Good Vintage Violins for Under $3000?

March 2, 2019, 1:02 AM · Hey there,

I'm trying to save up for a nice violin as an upgrade from my $400 student model and I thought I would ask here what I should be on the lookout for under $3000 for a vintage or antique instrument.

A local shop has some old turn of the century German trade violins for sale in my budget that are pretty cool. (John Juzek, Hopf, Claudiu Baltazar (Romania), Penzel, some Stradivarius copies, etc.)

I am an amateur and only play for fun but I would like get an idea of what's out there within my budget if any of you are in the know about vintage instruments.

Replies (10)

March 2, 2019, 1:36 AM · you also may want to upgrade your bow.
March 2, 2019, 2:17 AM · Check out corilon violins.
Edited: March 2, 2019, 7:24 AM · The one shop I have near me has a minimum budget of $10'000 before you get anything playable. But maybe in other parts of the world, shopowners aren't so shameless.
March 2, 2019, 7:56 AM · If you are unhappy with your new violin you might want to consider having it looked at for possible improvements such as a new bridge,soundpost, nut and fingeboard shaping etc.You might not be able to recoup this extra money when you sell it but if it gives you a couple more years of enjoyment until you save up for something else it coukd be money well spent.
Edited: March 2, 2019, 8:21 AM · Check out Fred Meissner ( ) in Santa Barbara, CA. Along with sales, standard lutheri services and violin making, Fred and his late father, Henry, before him set lower prices for "vintage" instruments that they regraduated to correct standards. I bought a regraduated German factory viola from Henry Meissner in 1973 in a case for $125. I think that by the 1990s their price for such an instrument had multiplied by at least 10x - but still it is quite a marvelous playing and sounding instrument (very cello-like under the right strings).

I had previously bought and still own a violin from Henry Meissner that he made in 1970.

March 2, 2019, 10:38 AM · Fred is in Florida now.
March 2, 2019, 10:47 AM · Lyndon - is Fred still doing the work?
March 2, 2019, 12:29 PM · I think he's dealing, he had cancer, hes near retirement.
March 2, 2019, 1:03 PM · There are good instruments out there at that price (or less at times). Just be prepared to shop later with a knowledgeable player or teacher that's honest and has no stake in the purchase of the violin. You could possibly find ome that will satisfy you for a lifetime if all goes well.

Of course, vintage workshop instruments are *not* guaranteed to be better than the alternatives (don't lock yourself into "it must be among these!"), so keep an open mind. Although in general, I find many players may be ignoring good vintage instruments in favor of more affordable, similarly priced-or at times, even more expensive-chinese ones, that may or not be as good, all things considered (no anti-chinese bias intended at all.)

March 2, 2019, 2:53 PM · Auctions are good as long as you can preview.

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