Shout-out to Corilon Violins
Just wanted to give a little shout-out to Corilon violins. I've been watching them for a while now but hadn't taken the leap and encouraged any students to actually buy from them because the thought of buying online without trying the instrument first sketched me out.
Realizing that they accept returns eased my hesitance.
Anyways, my student got the violin and honestly, it's fantastic. Great sound, really good condition, high quality set-up and I do believe that the same violin would have costed close between 2.5k-3k in a typical violin shop, but it cost them about 1200 through Corilon.
I'm genuinely impressed, and students who want to buy violins that are about $1000 and above I'll probably be sending to them from now on.
Anyways, I highly recommend getting over any fears about ordering a violin online without playing it first, because it turned out pretty dang well in this instance.
Corilon's prices are actually pretty high IMHO
So these instruments travel from Germany to Northern California, and I take it they have to be set up anew after arrival?
Was the sound sample somewhat accurate?? I figure that's the best way to get any indication of the violin's sound.
They come set up and packed well, usually everything is fine.
Lyndon, they're much lower than the prices in a typical violin shop, based on my experience with those. I have noticed that you tend to remark on other shops' prices quite often, but are you basing those remarks just in comparison to your own prices, or are you comparing them to *typical* prices? Because even if your prices are substantially lower than the norm, it's sort of irrelevant to anyone unless they live near you. Yes, one could fly out to try your violins, but that's typically reserved for much more expensive instruments.
Erik, they ship their instruments strung up and with bridge in position. My luthier does the same with his instruments (for which he asks €23k). And just recently Luis Manfio told me how he uses to protect his wonderful violas when shipping them totally set up. Laying down bridge and soundpost seems to be highly overrated, and maybe reserved to those who are missing the know-how.
Corilon started out with pretty good prices, but lately, judging from their named, labeled violins, they're not really any cheaper than all but the most expensive shops, they do sell cheap German violins in the under $2000 range, but most of these are unlabeled, or fake Strad label etc. I'm not saying that they are a bad place to buy a violin, but the idea that their offerings are instantly worth twice what you pay for them seems rather farfetched.
Erik, although I understand your delight with their service, your post to me sounds like advertising.
I don't think it's advertising to post an enthusiastically positive experience.
Rocky, is there a way I could have worded it differently to make it sound less like an advertisement? If I had said "by the way, Corilon didn't pay me for this" wouldn't it have sounded even more suspect?
Still, putting a box with one or more string instruments on an aeroplane means they'll be in very low tempeartures and air pressure for some time. Why do we constantly hear stories about violinists arguing with check-in folks at the airport? Because they want to keep their instruments with them in coach.
I, for one, am glad that Erik took the time to post his experience with Corilon, because choosing a violin can be one of the most stressful choices and this gave some insight into a respectable dealer. A positive review is not advertisement in the least bit. Thank you for your response as well, Erik.
If we are to believe in google reviews, this shop fares pretty well.
Herman, sure you're right, but for a healthy instrument these changes in temperature are no problem, it's no more like taking it from your living room to a church in winter. At least I've never had any liquids coming back frozen in my luggage. And the changing air pressure isn't a problem I've ever heard of - canned bush eventually can unseal in high altitudes, which is why certain canned goods with intensive individual aroma (like surströmmings) are banned from airplanes. But thanks to the f-holes, pressure equalization is usually guaranteed in stringed instruments.
And of course, don't ship at full tension.
Didn't think of that Lyndon, thanks. Not sure if necessary, but tuning down a semitone or even a whole step is something I routinely do when traveling, or when I have to store one of my instruments for a while.
Anytime you're flying the changes in air pressure run the risk of raising the pitch, I believe, lowering the pitch a tone should be alright, but for air cargo I would lower the pitch considerably more, so there is much less added tension on the instrument with the instrument potentially under more stress.
Not quite sure what is here to discuss. If you have an opinion and want to share your positive impression about a product or a vendor, use blog instead. I still think this borders with free advertising. I love my violin case, but would never open a discussion bragging about the maker, who often contributes to this site.
Yeah, how can you possibly make conclusions about the quality of a companies instrument offerings when you've only tried one???
Although I see your point, Rocky, I'm also aware that this thread would quickly disappear into the abyss if people weren't engaging with it.
I have often drooled over their violin offerings. I do like the fact that their prices are not ambiguous and are clearly stated. It seems much more transparent than somewhere between, say, a $10K -20K price range.
I strongly disagree with Rocky here. This is a discussion forum, and blogs on v.com tend to be where content goes to die, unless it's surfaced to the top by Laurie (and often not even then).
If this 'shout-out' comes from an account created just yesterday it would have been a lot more dubious.
I also don't agree with Rocky that a good product review constitutes advertising - that's extremely unreasonable.
Here's a typical example of not at all discounted pricing at Corilon, a mid 1800s Hopf branded 3/4 violin (not a genuine Hopf family instrument, but a mass produced one). For $1200, no returns accepted?????? WIth repair to the pegbox they don't show in the pictures, in fact hardly any pictures at all compared to most sellers on ebay.
Here's a Mittenwald violin theyre calling Klotz school, which is blanket term for anything made in 1700s Mittenwald. something like $25,000 higher than full retail IMHO
The one thing I seldom see at ebay is a sound demo of the violin. This and the posted prices are a big one for me. I'm not saying they would be my first choice. Ebay certainly figures into it as do other sources. Corilon looks to be a very favorable place to shop. I looked them up awhile back and was impressed by the sound demos, even if they don't let you hear all of the character.
I haven't updated the instruments on my website for some time, the three pictured with detailed descriptions were my most expensive offerings at the time and have all sold. My most expensive violins currently are a c. 1925 Ernst Heinrich Roth and a 1784 Joseph Wagner for $4000 most of my instruments are in the $700-1500 range, I currently have 62 instruments ready for sale, fully set up.
This is great! I'm throwing a shout out for you here. That's a good range for an intermediate if it's set up and plays well.
"worth 2500 but bought for 1000, saved 1500", and this is from an entity that I assume has a goal to make a profit (or at least maintain a healthy business). "An object is worth what someone is willing to pay", is another expression. It isn't 100% accurate, but given simple facts I would lean toward assuming its correct here. Why would a business generally sell something for 60% off?
I'm primarily a local violin shop in an area with few shops, 60 miles east of Los Angeles, where there are many shops. I haven't done ebay sales in a long time, very disappointed in the kind of prices it generated. I haven't been doing online sales, but if some one where to want to try an instrument in a given price range I could pick the best I have to offer, send pictures and offer a full return as long as people pay up front and cover shipping both ways. I would recommend that we use paypal, as it offers some level of buyer protection.
As small business with low overhead, if I were to price my violins just as high as the top end big shops, I wouldn't get any sales, they would buy from my competitors. Overpricing your violins will put you out of business much quicker than underpricing them, and since, as I said, I have lower overhead I can afford to offer instruments at a more modest markup, my labour rate is cheaper and I can price instruments up to 50% cheaper than the same instrument might sell at a big, established shop, like in Los Angeles.
Thanks Lyndon for that info. I'm not about to fly to Los Angeles any time soon so far as I know which makes the distance ideas look a lot better.
Lyndon, I agree with pretty much everything you're saying about Corilon.
I think Erik referred specifically to Corilon's lowest-end antique violins ($1200 range). I totally agree that their pricing is quite reasonable in that specific range, given their years, origin and repair/set-up. And the specific quality of the one Erik bought and played.
I will admit that in writing the review, it sounded like an advertisement, but it's just so rare that I'm actually pleased with anything these days. Disappointment in either a product or service is just my norm, so when something turns out well I'm pretty ecstatic about it. Unfortunately, genuine excitement comes across as fake or phoney when put in text form.