Fiddlershop or Shar Music - which one has better quality violins for the price?

Edited: April 19, 2019, 2:33 AM · I'm toying with the idea of having some violins sent to me for evaluation. Between Fiddlershop and Shar Music, which one has better quality instruments in the $600-1500 range?

Replies (8)

April 19, 2019, 6:02 AM · my shop, hands down!!
April 19, 2019, 6:48 AM · I just finished two trials of 3 violins each with FiddlerShop (6 violins total). The violins trialed were Romanian, Ming Jiang Zhu (chinese), Holstein Bench and a used violin from an American maker.

All instruments were packed extremely well and got to me and back to them with no problems (even stayed in tune!).I ended up purchasing one in the second trial.

I'm very happy with FiddlerShop's handling of these trials.

I've never bought an instrument from Shar, but do buy many other things (music, shoulder rests, etc) and have found them to be reliable, but a bit less hands on (more impersonal).

If I were in the market for another violin, I might give Lyndon a try, if he does through-the-mail home trials, but I didn't see that on his web site.

Bob

April 19, 2019, 7:23 AM · So which one did you end up getting, Bob?
Edited: April 19, 2019, 7:34 AM · I might be willing to send out one violin at a time, selected specifically with the players preferences in mind, but no, I'm not actively encouraging online sales.
April 19, 2019, 9:01 AM · I have had better experience with Shar, but I have to say even in their case I’ve been disappointed. Our newest cello’s setup should have been better considering the price I paid for it.

If you can’t buy local, I’d recommend Shar over Fiddlershop. Others who also send out home trials are a good idea.

April 19, 2019, 9:51 AM · Craig asked: "So which one did you end up getting"

I bought the one made by William Fleischer in Miami.

April 19, 2019, 4:38 PM · I've been a customer of Shar for 50 years. I trialed a number of bows and bought some. I even trialed an Italian violin they sent me 45 years ago (a Stefano Conia - the father). Only trouble with it was it was tonally identical to an American made Strad model I already owned - except for the G string (and mine was better). The Conia was a $1,500 fiddle back then (now a sefano Conia - the son) sells for about 10x that price.I've always been very satisfied with Shar's service and they continue to be one of the on-line shops I use when they sell what I want to buy.

Shar was started by the Asharian family that has a fine reputation in violin lore.

Edited: April 19, 2019, 9:08 PM · I ordered a couple from Shar this morning. Fiddlerman doesn't seem to have a trade-in policy, though the refurbishment fee on Shar gives one a slight pause. I guess it's a fair fee given time needed, but it hurts a wee bit.

Hmmm....just checked Ifshin, and their trade-in policy is 100% towards an instrument that costs 20% more, minus any repairs of the old instrument. Could be better than Shar. I have a Jay Haide on evaluation right now.

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