Advice for purchasing a good used/new violin for intermediate player.

April 4, 2019, 2:42 PM · I love my violin but it is an advanced student violin and I am thinking it is time to upgrade. I play in church weekly and at special events. I'm not a professional but I enjoy playing. I can't afford a lot, under $900. What should I look for? Should I buy new or used? I would like one with a warm, rich sound.

Replies (4)

April 4, 2019, 4:28 PM · Brands aren't going to do you much good if you truly want the best sound for your personal taste.

You need to try violins from multiple sources. Obviously, the more you try, the better your result will be.

Try local listings like Facebook and Craigslist, as well as flea markets. Then you need to visit violin shops and try everything there as well. However, given your budget, the amount of violins you will have to select from at an actual store is going to be limited.

Edited: April 4, 2019, 7:35 PM · I'm struggling here because when I think "advanced student violin" I am thinking of violins that cost well above $900. Clearly these terms mean different things to different people.

--> What kind of violin do you have now?

--> What is it about your violin you don't like?

The "warmth and richness" of the sound can often be surprisingly influenced by the position of the sound post and the type of strings you use. Also when is the last time you cleaned your bow-hair?

Edited: April 4, 2019, 7:44 PM · perhaps try a low end Scott cao instrument, they are pretty good for value. I know your on a tight budget, but i can't really give you much information. Violins classified as "intermediate" level violins are generally in the $2000-4000 range.
April 4, 2019, 8:07 PM · Even knowing that different people define the terms differently, I've never heard "intermediate" being used to describe a step up from "advanced student" -- everywhere I've looked, no matter how the tiers are defined, advanced student violins have been the tier above intermediate. That's where my confusion comes from.

That said... if you're shopping at any price point above $500, you really should try before you buy. Even though you're in the price range where violins are sold under brand names, violins of the same brand and model may still differ dramatically.

Also: what strings are you using? If you are currently using steel strings, you'll get a warmer sound just by switching to almost any synthetic string.

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