Do you believe new violins "settle down"?

June 15, 2019, 2:13 PM · My current violin was new and very cheap and I had to consult YouTube and rewind the strings and finally even to add chalk to the pegs to be able to tune it. I have a funny idea that it will settle down and stay tuned for longer after a while, do you think this is fanciful? It is out of tune every day, but seemingly less so each day.
I can handle it, I'm just curious.

Also, I used to notice when I tuned my guitar that something would react when it reached the right tuning, as if the string or the tuning peg was returning to a familiar place. Do you experience anything like this?

Background: Adult beginner in a small town. I am checking out the 3/4 size and a few other aspects so I can settle on a higher spec instrument, but I'm starting to see that "mail order" may not be my best option even though the seller I was looking at is a luthier and has great feedback.

Replies (58)

June 15, 2019, 2:55 PM · Lesley,

Your question about new violins "settling down" probably also means getting better with time. Perhaps, but don't bet the bank account on that happening. Unlike fine wines, instruments generally don't improve simply because they are getting older. In most cases (including my own) what makes the instrument sound better is the improved skills of the player.

I've read about the violin for quite some time and the consensus is that the violins of the great Cremona masters were great from the time they were "in the white" (before they were varnished) as in the time they could easily be taken apart and adjusted. The same is true for all other instruments - what they are today is pretty much what they will be in the future unless some effort is expended to change the instrument (tuning the plates, et cetera).

A cheap violin straight of the the production shop probably needs attention by a trained luthier to make it playable. Chances are your pegs and peg-holes were not matched, your bridge is probably not exactly the right height and possibly the nut isn't correct.

I say this as a person who deals with children who are joining a youth orchestra and their parents who got their instrument "from Amazon." I spend hours explaining to upset parents what needs to be done to make their young musician's violin playable (after having tuned all of the instruments of the 40 or so young musicians). If you have problems today, they will remain till you put the instrument in the hands of a person who can fix the problems correctly. Then the instrument will sound better when your skills in playing improve.

June 15, 2019, 3:04 PM · To paraphrase George: a good violin may get 'better' (round out) but a bad violin is just a bad violin.
June 15, 2019, 3:09 PM · If you're talking about staying tuned for longer, that's mostly a matter of the strings settling in. Every time you get a new set of strings, they need a bit of time to stretch out before they'll stay in tune.
June 15, 2019, 6:51 PM · On a very cheap violin there is a high likelihood that the pegs are badly fit and will never stay properly.
Edited: June 15, 2019, 7:56 PM · In terms of fittings like the bridge, soundpost, tailgut, etc. there is some "settling in" after a new adjustment. A fun little trick if you can't be bothered to exactly fit the bridge, for example, is to arch the feet a tiny bit and then they'll nicely hug the top after the violin's been strung up a while.

As for the pegs, I think a poorly fit peg is just a poorly fit peg. Soft pegs can eventually conform to the walls of the pegbox, but if the latter isn't shaped properly then it makes no difference.

If your strings are brand-new along with the violin then it's just the strings stretching out.

June 15, 2019, 9:32 PM · That does make a lot of sense about the strings :) and would explain why things seem to be changing over time.

I know what I have is a VSO but I chose "learn by doing". All interesting responses thank you everyone, I am learning so much.

If it turns out that the strings are not the whole cause, I don't suppose there is any question of sanding the pegs a whisker? They are a little big for the pegbox. I've seen where I can buy some new ones if needed.

June 15, 2019, 9:47 PM · My recommendation, without the proper tools, leave the peg fitting to a good luthier.
June 16, 2019, 12:15 AM · There is a reason why most professionals use instruments hundreds of years old.

I think wooden instruments do get better with age.

Edited: June 16, 2019, 1:05 AM · I think that remains to be conclusively demonstrated however. I like to believe that age matters, but some of the top luthiers in the world will say that not much is to be gained beyond 1.5 decade of aging. That being said, they are in the business of selling new instruments, so they are not totally without bias.
Edited: June 16, 2019, 2:47 AM · "There is a reason why most professionals use instruments hundreds of years old.
I think wooden instruments do get better with age."

You are aware that these professionals you're talking about use just a tiny tiny minority of the instruments made over time? 95% or more have wound up on the proverbial attic or dust heap.

This means that perhaps some old instruments get better over time (or at least they survive), but only with constant care and revision, to such a degree that they are largely new instruments.

A main reason why professional soloists play old Italian instruments is because it's the only way to get taken seriously by a large portion of the public. Also, in many cases they are playing that concert with a modern bench replica of that old instrument that's sitting safely at home.Who wants to travel with a million dollar instrument on his or her back?

Edited: June 16, 2019, 7:39 AM · I think a violin will sound better over time because first, the wood will have time to dry in case it wasn't really dry, and mostly, because when we play we create vibrations all over the structure of the violin and after a lot of hours/years, the violin is more "flexible", I believe. It's easier to make it vibrate and move. This is just what I think, I haven't read any kind of serious study about this.

Also, wood will change overtime, it must not be the same a piece of wood now and that same piece after 300 years. So, may be those differences in the structure of the wood make it sound better.

Your problem with the strings getting out of tune is probably the regular behavior of a string: when you install a new one, it needs time to stretch and accommodate to the new tension, that's why each day it's less and less of a problem.

Edited: June 16, 2019, 8:06 AM · Herman wrote, “you are aware that these professionals you're talking about use just a tiny tiny minority of the instruments made over time? 95% or more have wound up on the proverbial attic or dust heap.”

Yes I do, and I know this argument will come up. But why the same logic can’t be applied to other wooden furniture, or 99% goods of the past? Can you say the same thing to guitars, flutes, pianos, tables, chairs? Why most old items , wooden and whatnot, ended up on the dumping grounds rather than fetching millions of dollars?

Not to mention violin making techniques have improved thanks to improved measurement, better glue, CNC, and other technologies etc. and better wood selection, enabled by international trade. If violins were to act like other goods, modern instruments would win old instruments by a wide margin.

Edited: June 16, 2019, 7:07 PM · A lot of new violin settling down has to do with the varnish curing up, which can take years to fully cure. I sent my instrument back to the maker because it wasn't opening up as expected after two years, and he reworked the varnish and put the instrument under UV light, it made a very significant improvement. The wolf pack was gone and sound more open. UV light treatment speeds up the curing process and one should perhaps leave a new instrument out of the case as much as possible in my opinion for the first 5 years at least. The wood, which is 70yrs old to beging with has certainly not changed in any measurable way, so varnish was the only significant variable here.
June 16, 2019, 10:43 AM · I want to interject the reminder that the OP is talking about a VSO, not a fine master-made violin.

The VSO is highly unlikely to get better.

June 16, 2019, 11:50 AM · I have heard that for a brand new instrument from a quality luthier, after about the first year of playing, you should return it for a check-up and refitting: sound-post, bridge, etc.
Edited: June 16, 2019, 1:13 PM · Matt wrote:
"If violins were to act like other goods, modern instruments would win old instruments by a wide margin."
______________________

Matt, in many testing situations, they do.

However, there are many more interests involved. Perhaps a 16-million-dollar fiddle would work out better for a player than a 100 K fiddle, or maybe not.

I was once offered a 16K kickback to find a buyer for a Strad. That wasn't enough to get me off my old-fashioned values, but it's a decent example of the things which can go on in the "collectibles" market.

June 16, 2019, 2:09 PM · I have owned and met low grade violins and violas which sounded pleasantly "subdued" when brand new, but with use "opened up" to be rather unpleasant.

Before anyone says it was my lousy playing, my "good" instruments have improved.....

June 16, 2019, 2:17 PM · Interesting contributions all.

It is definitely a VSO, but even this VSO has definitely got better since I opened the case for the first time. Less further potential, is all.

I had no idea that seeing the million-dollars violin was part of the concert, or that the artists have replicas.

I know there is this illusion that, for example "old architecture is the most beautiful" but if you look at old photographs you can see a lot of rough ugly shacks that have been long since torn down in your area. Likewise I wonder if out of all the many violins made, there are a few "flukes" that just happen to sound better and as they are looked after and handed down, their price rises. Don't they say the wood in Strads comes from a unique climatic situation?
Plus of course luthiers learn from those flukes and their skills improve. Feldenkrais teaches us that the most elegant movement for the body is discovered by pure accident, order out of chaos.

I'm not sure I've said anything at all, actually......

Edited: June 16, 2019, 10:41 PM · No, but one settles with a violin! This is one of most persistent myths often pushed by dealers. Personification of dead wood might sound convincing (and one grasps for more control over a particular instrument), but there is nothing like a muscle to be developed over time. There are other complex psychological factors sometimes labeled as a " trap of previous investment" that feed into this belief.
What does happen is that a good violinist, having an internal concept of sound, and looking for that sound, will explore and invest in setup, strings and bow. That may result in substantial perceived improvement in sound quality if, and only if, the instrument is already exceptionally good. Here is one example:
https://tarisio.com/digital_exhibition/hilary-hahn-j-b-vuillaume-1865/
June 17, 2019, 3:51 AM · Wood seems to become drier, lighter, and more brittle with time, and I imagine it can vibrate more readily.
And playing the instrument surely confirms or disturbs the microscopic alignment of the fibres. To what extent seems be debatable..

When science cannot explain something perceived (yet), it is relegated to the realm of imagination. Hence my choice of "seems" and "surely"..

Edited: June 17, 2019, 6:30 AM · David, I believe blind testing is also done a lot in the shops by the buyers themselves.

If a luthier or violin maker was trying to sell (or refer) me a Strad, it would be naive to make a no-commission assumption - it’s part of their business front and center. A kickback of 16k would be low for a something worth a million dollars.

Not to take away anything from modern makers - I'm just trying to say violins do get better with age (and maybe, with playing). Who knows in 200 years an instrument today will fetch a Strad's price ...

June 17, 2019, 9:50 AM · Adrian, can you please explain what that means "disturbs the microscopic alignment of the fibres"?
June 17, 2019, 11:06 AM · Repeated, strong vibrations can even weaken metals, so I imagine what they can do to wood fibres.. Then there are the captive resins which may disintegrate during playing, but re-form afterwards, like a sonic fingerprint.
Pure guesswork, though.
June 17, 2019, 4:58 PM · Also, wood expands and contracts with temperature, humidity, physical forces, and perhaps sound waves. The thinner the wood, the bigger the impact.

Therefore, ageing definitely changes the physical properties of the wood, and this change is permanent. Logically, the sound created out of it would change, somehow.

June 17, 2019, 5:55 PM · Wood does not stay the same, that's for sure. All the changes in humidity and temperature change the different parts of a violin, and it will sound different, mostly better, because if they worsen the quality of a violin, old violins would be massively rejected.

I think very few people or even no one here in this entire forum can talk properly about all these facts. We are not really guessing, but we are talking with no information or data. Only experts that have done tests can properly talk about what changes overtime in a violin, properly. Not even luthiers, because they know how to build violins, but they can be (and I believe most are) totally illiterate about this, just like us.

Anyways, the fact that many violin shops let you give back the violin you bought there and swap it for a new more expensive one, giving you full refund of your old violin that you're giving back, tells you something.

June 18, 2019, 2:33 AM · Yes, in how many other fields does this happen, I can't think of any.
Good point.

>Anyways, the fact that many violin shops let you give back the violin you bought there and swap it for a new more expensive one, giving you full refund of your old violin that you're giving back, tells you something.

Edited: June 18, 2019, 8:03 AM · Here's one resource on the aging of wood.
https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/bitstream/handle/20.500.11850/98764/eth-47394-02.pdf

In general, older wood will have a slightly lower equilibrium moisture content than newer wood, and will exhibit a decrease in cellulose and hemicellulose content, and an increase in ash. Some sonic or vibrational differences have been measured too, but we don't really know what effect these have on violins.... whether they might be positive or negative.

In general, contemporary makers who have experimented with making new instruments from very old wood have not perceived any benefits, and returned to more conventional practices.

After about 50 years in the fiddle business, one thing I've concluded is that many of the standard assumptions are suspect.

June 18, 2019, 1:09 PM · Yes, making violins out of very old wood wouldn't be the same though, would it. It would like sewing clothes from pre-shrunk cotton, effectively resulting in larger pieces, if you were to cut apart a shrunk item and compare them. I don't think you can replicate shrinking in that way, it's complex.

I still think it's more "survival of the fittest" over time, mixed with natural bias. Statistically it seems likely to happen this way. If you could blind test them all, there must be a lot of wonderful (and terrible) unknown violins out there.

Haha but then, I *would* say that!

June 19, 2019, 4:02 AM · David's right when he says to be suspect of the "truths" that are touted constantly. I feel that this applies to most things, actually. My experience has been that most things are some sort of lie. And most lies stem from the pursuit of profit. If you're in the business of selling old violins for great profit, it's in your best interest to continue feeding the myth that old violins are better. And often, the people that have the most to profit from this myth are ones that people seem to trust the most. So the myth continues.
June 19, 2019, 4:42 AM · I'm a non-expert. But my experience indicates that professionals (who presumably have the ability to judge a violin's quality) are much more likely than beginners to play on an expensive antique violin, and they are more likely to accept the 'myth' that old violins'are better.

It is among the very beginner players that you often find the staunchest diehards for rejecting the value of old instruments. I was one of them ...

Edited: June 19, 2019, 5:21 AM · A very valuable violin can be a good investment for a player, an investment which carries much greater personal interest and sense of connection than the more usual investments. It may also have tax advantages for one who plays professionally, compared to other sorts of investments.

There can be quite a bit of cachet, currency, and affirmation in owning one too.

June 19, 2019, 5:25 AM · it is my experience that 1700s violins tend to have different qualities of tone than new violins, this does not necessarily make them better, but different, yes. And no I don't give a damn what David's opinion on this is!!
June 19, 2019, 8:48 AM · Lesley, making violins out of very old wood should be about the same, except that changes due to oxidation and light exposure would be expected to happen more slowly in thicker, not-yet-carved pieces of wood.
June 19, 2019, 1:10 PM · David I still do not believe it would replicate the pulling and twisting effect of the original shrinking, nor the old varnish. I still think it is incalculable.

Probably all the stuff people say about old violins is "true, up to a point". And since the value of money isn't fixed, it's always going to be about demand and perception.

I really like what Erik said!

If it makes me happy to play my strange pink VSO, there's no one qualified to argue with me. If anyone says "we should all try our hardest to own one of the top violins" I think that would be nonsense and yes I really would think that was financially motivated.

Edited: June 19, 2019, 1:52 PM · Leslie wrote:
" David I still do not believe it would replicate the pulling and twisting effect of the original shrinking, nor the old varnish. I still think it is incalculable."

Most of the stresses or shrinking on very old instruments will have already been relieved, from various joints opening (deliberately attached with a weak glue to allow for that), and then being re-glued, with this happening multiple times.

June 19, 2019, 2:04 PM · .......I did not know that! :)
Edited: June 20, 2019, 5:55 AM · That's OK, lots of people think that some of our most famous old violins have just been passed down, unaware of the heroic interventions by some freakingly talented restorers.
June 20, 2019, 12:53 PM · Yes I never met a violin conservator at any party. There must be a lot of fierce opinions about what you can add and remove for these instruments, or the ones on the next tier down. "Ax with a new handle and a new head", sort of thing.
Edited: June 20, 2019, 3:23 PM · Yup. Except that I have met some brilliant violin conservators at "parties".
June 23, 2019, 1:00 PM · Maybe they are party *animals* and I am the one who is not :)
June 23, 2019, 2:27 PM · I wouldn't necessarily call them "party animals". Showing up at promotional events is sometimes part of one's job. Some people love it, and some hate it.
Edited: June 24, 2019, 12:42 PM · I have only one experience of a new violin, that being my daughters first 1/16 violin tha cost about 500 euros. It was a fine violin of its size, bought from a good luthier who has good connections. It sounded like a 1/8 violin, it was so good, And it definately did open up and get even better after a few months of playing. And it was not just my daughter playing better lol I tried it several times too,

But if one has a bad violin to stat with, I wouldnt bet that it would bet better in time.

About old violins as investment. It sounds far fetched to me, the prices are so high that no musical instrument can really be worth so much of money regardless how it sounds. If I were to buy a good violin (my own is a decent chinese) I wouldnt be looking at expensive old ones but the ones that are more recently built. Good value bacause they are not appreciated as the old reputable makers are and after a violin is a tool for the musician not a historic artefact.

June 24, 2019, 12:53 PM · Maria your opinion is safe with me, I'm not ready to buy one of those antique ones just yet :)

Maybe it would work to get a violin with a good body and an ebony fingerboard and upgrade it in parts over time?

June 24, 2019, 4:03 PM · This is off the direction that this thread has taken, but I would question the ability (or perhaps ethics) puff any 'luthier' who is seeking VSOs whose pegs do not fit.

Factory made violins are not 'finished' when they leave the factory. Pegs and bridges are not fitted, the strings may sit too high off the fingerboard and the soundpost may be entirely in the wrong position. They may also be accompanied by bows that 'don't work' because they have no rosin.

A reputable luthier will 'finish the violin by fixing these problems by hand (unless it really is a VSO and is not worth the effort). This will cost extra but is well worth the cost because it makes the violin much much easier to play (so you practice more so you play better so you practice more etc.) Save up for it off you need to. It will make all the difference.

June 25, 2019, 2:06 PM · Would this be "of any luthier who is selling VSOs whose pegs do not fit"?
There is a luthier here who gets new violins in from China (made to his ownspecs) and then sets them up and sells them at varying price points.
He has a good reputation, big hurdle for me is he lives a long drive from me through a busy motorway. I just don't know how to get there.

>puff any 'luthier' who is seeking VSOs whose pegs do not fit.

Edited: June 25, 2019, 5:05 PM · In my opinion, a bowed string instrument should seem good (enough) to the buyer when it is purchased (i.e., paid for) no matter how old or new; unless you are purchasing an old instrument for possible resurrection. My experience has been that when the sound is in doubt on a new instrument (after the setup has been made as satisfactory as possible) it will probably continue to haunt the buyer - probably for life!

Poorly fitting pegs are easily rectified or replaced provided the existing pegs are not too large for replacement (which is bound to be cheaper). However, if you are considering enlarging the peg holes you should realize that the greater their diameter, the harder it is to tune (unless you replace with Knilling or Wittner geared pegs). Frankly, nowadays the only reason I can conceive of to avoid these geared pegs would be because the instrument (or its owner) is too vain. No one will ever know you have geared pegs unless they watch you tune and understand the process intimately - if they do understand, they will likely be jealous!

June 26, 2019, 1:12 PM · Very interesting, the Wittner videos are great on this thank you Andrew. And it means I wouldn't need the fine tuners.
June 26, 2019, 3:27 PM · So, what we've learned so far: Cheap new violins get worse. Expensive new violins get better. Definitely something that makes me wonder where the slope of the improvement-vs-price curve goes through zero.
June 26, 2019, 6:34 PM · Whether or not a violin gets better depends on the individual violin in question. It's like asking whether wine gets better with age. Only wines that are capable of aging well get better with age. No one would put
a nouveau Beaujolais or a Pinot in their basement for 40 years and expect something better. All Cabernets are capable of aging well.

The only possible indication of whether a violin will get better, stay the same, or get worse is to compare it to something of similar design and wood by the same maker. There's little else to go on. Otherwise you're guessing.

The French, with their Enlightenment philosophy of scientific rigor, actually discovered the exact reason how and why violins age. Their technical term is: "a certain je ne sais crois."

I think that explains it all very well.

Edited: June 27, 2019, 1:04 PM · 1) The notion that a violin improves by "playing in" I think is an old wives' tale.

2) There is some shifting that occurs in the first year as the wood goes through cycles of drying out and re-humidifying. The top plate may change shape just slightly from the consistent pressure of sound post and bridge. Generally this shifting would NOT improve the sound if the fiddle was properly set up in the first place.

In fact if you have a new fiddle you should have the luthier see it at least every year, maybe every six months, to make sure soundpost is properly seated and bridge is properly positioned.

3) I think people do a disservice when they so glibly discuss "bad" vs. "good" violins and claim there's no hope for a "bad" violin.

In fact, a lot of low-priced violins, new and antique, can sound really good if they're set up with good strings and fittings. A lot of luthiers won't want to invest in a violin costing less than $1000, but if you do make the investment -- a decent $70 set of strings, a good bridge and soundpost and a skillful luther's adjustments, a $1000 violin, even sometimes a $500 violin, can sound terrific. Obviously the cheap fiddles you get on Amazon for $100 or $200 -- i'm not talking about them.

But I wouldn't dismiss factory made instruments from China, Germany, the USA in the 20th century or eastern Europe today. If the wood and workmanship is decent, violins can sound really nice in a lot of price ranges.

(My spare "beater" violin is a cheap Shanghai workshop (Liu Xi) fiddle I got on Ebay for $350 and -- after some TLC -- it sounds WONDERFUL -- it absolutely competes well with instruments that cost 10 or 20 times that much.)

Maybe because of industry marketing, I think students and amateur players focus too much on the cost of the fiddle as a measure of excellence, and not enough on adjustments and strings. And then of course, do not lose sight of the most important factor in the sound of a violin -- the violinist.

Edited: June 27, 2019, 1:02 PM · The idea that the several millions worth Stradivarii *must* eventually decline in sound quality was a shock but how can it be otherwise?
Husband says they would still be valuable as museum pieces but I don't think so, because there needs to be a "pyramid" of violinists wanting those instruments for the price to stay high. They may be worth thousands one day but not millions (inflation ignored)

By the bye, my violin *has* settled down and stays roughly in tune from day to day.

Edited: June 27, 2019, 1:19 PM · Absolutely. The dirty little secret is that a lot of the surviving Strads are not great playing fiddles any more. Many of them had wood removed from their plates in the 19th century in an attempt to squeeze more sound out of them, and they have had so many repairs that they're as much glue and varnish as they are original wood.

If you read the bios of prominent players, you'll often notice that a foundation has lent a Strad to them -- it's like a product endorsement contract. It helps prop up the astronomical value of the instrument.

But often if you keep reading the bio, you'll see another instrument mentioned -- maybe a 19th century Villaume copy of a Strad or del Gesu (like Hillary Hahn's) or a modern master like Samuel Zygmuntowicz.

Almost invariably, it's the newer instrument that the player prefers. They'll play their famous Strad for the requisite number of performances that their contract specifies, and they'll publicly state what a great honor it is to be entrusted with the Strad. But it is the newer instrument that sounds best.

Of course that's not true in all cases. Some of the surviving Strads and Del Gesus are famous and valuable AND also fantastic fiddles.

June 27, 2019, 2:08 PM · I'm not sure improve with age is definitely the word, but older violins do sound different than new violins, especially 1700s ones, and most of my customers seem to prefer the tone of cheaper 1700s violins to better grade 20th Century violins. The 1700s violins are not any louder or brighter, but seem to be richer in tone, more complex sounds, new violins tend to be plain by comparison, but some people prefer new. The only way to know which you prefer is to compare similar priced violins from different ages.
Edited: June 27, 2019, 2:30 PM · Getting back to the OP's question, I would make two points:

1) As strings settle in (after the first few of days) they should stay generally in tune EXCEPT for changes in temperature/humidity. If your violin stays in the same room it should generally stay in tune.

2) Still, you should be ready to tune your violin every time you play it. Get comfortable with tuning efficiently -- it is part of learning to play a violin. My violin stays reasonably well in tune but I still need to tune every time I sit down with it. For beginners, fine tuners on the tailpiece for all four strings can be a good thing. One thing a better grade of violin buys is higher quality pegs, and better pegs will generally work more smoothly than cheap pegs.

3) If you're a beginner it is nice to buy a violin from a local shop. Much easier to get problems solved when they come up and you also learn something every time you visit your luthier.

But... there is nothing wrong with buying a violin through the mail. Most small towns and cities in America don't have violin shops. Lots of reliable mail order places -- among them Shar, Southwest Strings, Carriage House violins/Johnson, and J Fisher violins. (Fisher is located in central Pennsylvania and started his mail-order business because there was no violin shop near him). The "Fiddlershop" in Florida is run by good people who know what they're doing. So you have lots of options.

June 27, 2019, 4:44 PM · For the most part, a violin will need some tuning adjustment every time you play it. Guitars too, even carbon fiber guitars with steel strings.
June 28, 2019, 2:23 PM · Yes I am happy to tune every day, I remember this from guitar. It's just that at first, the change was extreme, and now it is fine. I use the fine tuners, and every so often I will need to retune on the pegs because there is no "room" left for the fine tuners to turn.

I've had time to find out about luthiers and shops here (New Zealand). The nearest shop has 3 very low-price violins, Stentor I think or Palatino. If I drive north 45 minutes or take the train 60 minutes south, I can test one or two Eastmans that look nice.
The south option would include more violins in total, and two shops large by our standards, as it's the capital.

The nearest luthier is about 6 hours drive from here including a motorway at the end that I can't handle on my own. I think that means I should not get a violin that needs (or will need) any adjustments. This luthier buys in Chinese violins that are made to his own specs, rebrands them, and sets them up for varying price points, and he does mail order. His violins have a good reputation and I've never seen any bad comments. I want to make contact with him but he's on holiday until August. I also keep looking for any used instuments from him, have seen 2 so far on our online auction site. If they had anything wrong with them, I would have to ship them to the luthier.

Husband isn't willing to travel north, but is willing to fly over to Melbourne in Australia with me as neither of us has ever been. The population of Melbourne is similar to our whole country, so more choice.
And there is a shop in Australia https://animato.com.au/ that I'm sure would ship me an Eastman. He has videos on YouTube about Eastmans, I like that.

End of ramble. I just like talking and learning about violins, I'm not losing sleep over this. Interesting comments about the aging process!

June 28, 2019, 5:52 PM · I'm also from New Zealand. Based on the description of the luthier you said that is taking his holiday till August, I think he's Dimitri, my current violin is from him. I love my current one, great sound and not too expensive. It's a 2019 violin, so I think the sound can get even better with age. I'd totally recommend considering his violins.

The Antonio Strings in Christchurch also mailed out violin, I believe. I trialed out one of their bow before via mail. No complaint ,their customer service is great.

June 28, 2019, 8:22 PM · Excellent hints there thank you Daniel! I will look into those names. No, it wasn't Dimitri, but now it could be :)

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Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

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