Where/How to buy violin in NYC?

January 8, 2019, 6:17 AM · Hello guys, I'm from Brazil and professional violinist in a great orchestra here, called OSBA (Symphonic Orchestra of Bahia).
I'll go to NYC in a month, and would like to try and see some violin... But I have not much money to do this.

I will explain: I have a good violin here, and would like to buy a "second violin", like a substitute when I can't take the another one (outdoor presentations, weddings, etc.). Because the first is a bit expensive to do that.

So, I'm looking for a way to see and try some violin, but not expensive, from some luthier (old probably), around the range price $300-900.

I went to Chile last year and found a good one, with OK sound, early 1900 and I paid +- $300 (after converting). Need some repairs, but is ok. And I would like to found something like that in NYC.

Anybody know a "luthier store"? violins store? Can I found it on Ebay? and test before buy?

Sorry for the mistakes in my English, I'm not so fluent.
Thank you all.

Replies (6)

Edited: January 8, 2019, 6:41 AM · https://tarisio.com - the T2 auctions may have something like you're looking for.
Edited: January 9, 2019, 3:54 PM · Pawn shops can be a resource for musical instruments. In your price range that is definitely a possible source. I chanced into a CONN violin some years ago in a local pawn shop here in a small California city. They wanted $600 for it.

The CONN instrument company, founded in the mid-nineteenth century is know for making wind instruments, not strings. However, I looked up Conn violins on the internet and learned that by the early 20th century they employed Italian violin makers and sold some very good instruments. I also learned that a violin shop 45 miles away from me had sold some CONN violins recently for up to $3,000. He offered me $1,000 if I bought it and delivered it to him. I was concerned that if I bought it I would probably keep it and the last thing I needed at the time was another violin. Anyhow, he had someone he knew buy it for him and deliver it. He sent me a $100 finders fee.

Forty years ago an adult violin student of mine happened upon a 1925 Ernst Heinrich Roth violin with case and bow in a pawn shop in Winnemucca, Nevada, during a road trip, for $125 - which he bought immediately. Even back then E.H. Roth violins were selling for ten times that amount.

Check the pawnshops, for sure!

January 8, 2019, 2:48 PM · Thank you Stan and Andrew!
I already contact Tarisio some days ago and I'll go there on February 13th (an auction begin on 12th). But the end is after my travel to come back... So, it makes the price goes up (with shipping to Brazil and local taxes).

Andrew, is good to hear (listen) it! I'll looking for some pawnshops in NYC! I know some Roth's violins here in Brazil, it's much more than hope to find now hahaha It is very very good. If I saw a Roth's violin for $125, would offer $200 for the opportunity haha

Thank you for the information about CONN, I never heard about it.

Somebody else? =D

There is a "sales site" here in Brazil between the people, is called OLX (it's not an online sale, it's only to advertise your used product), and the possible buyers can send a message and schedule a date to try and see the product. Sometimes is possible to see violins there.
Are there any similar site in the US? (I know ebay but I think it's not the same way...)

January 8, 2019, 5:03 PM · David Segal's is an excellent and trustworthy shop in NYC, imho. They sell Strads, but also lower end instruments. You're on the lowest end, but I know they usually have a large selection in most price ranges...maybe you'll find something with a little less hassle than an auction. In either case, good luck!
January 8, 2019, 8:19 PM · The problem with pawn shops is that you're buying pretty speculatively -- those violins aren't properly set up, may have issues requiring repair that you can't easily see unless you are really adept at figuring out what you are looking for, and may be unplayable in their current condition.

You probably want to focus on the shops that sell student instruments.

January 10, 2019, 5:49 PM · Thank you Peter and Lydia!

I heard about David Segal... I'll look there too.
About the pawn shops, is not a problem if the violin is in a "half good" condition haha... We can fix it here.

The problem with the "normal shops" for violins is that all the instruments are overvalueted yet, and I believe is the same here in Brazil... But we'll see =D

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