seeking top 3 bangForBuck 4/4 student violin recommendations
Looking for recommendations for 4/4 violin for my 11yr old daughter whose 1st instrument is piano. I am a guitar player and know very little about which makers produce the best bang for buck violins. I suppose I'm trying to find what violin makers could be as good as what Seagull is to steel-string acoustic guitars. She was happy with her cecelio cvn 500, but doesnt practice enough with it and has now outgrown it. I think she needs something that sounds better, or is perhaps more playable and/or forgiving.
99% response your gonna get is take her to a violin shop and try it out, even if you go by brands like i did in the past, 2 violin from the same brand will play and sound differently. violin shopping is very different from guitar. shopping by brands is a bad idea.
If you are in or near Chicago, as you pseudonym implies, the city is rich with violin dealers.
Sounds like whatever you buy will fester in a cupboard. I'd get her a full-sized Cecilio with a view to getting something better if she does show any interest.
Laurie recently posted an informative explanation of "violin brands":
If you do purchase another Cecilio, please make sure to take it to a competent violin maker for a proper set-up. It makes all the difference.
What price range? There are good buys in all ranges. Are we talking <$5000, or <$10,000? Or are we talking <$1000?
Thanks to all for the quick replies. Please be aware that I have an older child for whom we have huge medical expenses(USA). Ideally I dont want to go over 500 bucks. I fear visting shops will result in a major 'out of wallet experience'. She is a very good pianist, having been at it for almost 6 years, so Im not concerned about the instrument ending uo in the closet. Finally, I am quite happy with my Seagull S6 that I picked up for 200 bucks. It's not as nice as my 2000 dollar J45, but the J45 isnt 1800 bucks better(I liked only 1 taylor out of the 10 or so I tried out, and only 1 of 8 or so of the Gibsons or Martins).
Thanks to all for the quick replies. Please be aware that I have an older child for whom we have huge medical expenses(USA). Ideally, i want to stay under 500 bucks. I fear visting shops will result in a major 'out of wallet experience'. She is a very good pianist, having been at it for almost 6 years, so Im not concerned about the instrument ending uo in the closet. Finally, I am quite happy with my Seagull S6 that I picked up for 200 bucks. It's not as nice as my 2000 dollar J45, but the J45 isnt 1800 bucks better(I liked only 1 taylor out of the 10 or so I tried out, and only 1 of 8 or so of the Gibsons or Martins).
Check Shar in Ann Arbor. Or online.
@Doctor Chicago - check Fiddlershop.com. This is not a plug, and I am not associated with them in anyway. But I have been - and still am, a customer. They have in-house beginner violins under their own brand - Fiddlerman, that you may want to check out. They also do adjustments and check the setups on their violins before sending them out. They offer free shipping too.
Rent for a while as her ear will change.
A Kono is going to be well out of the price range -- they are around $2,500.
This topic comes up all the time. Could someone explain to me why two violins from the same "brand" (workshop instrument) and price category can sound very different, while for classical guitars this seems not to be the case? It would indicate that making (and setting up) a violin is much more tricky than making a classical guitar? I suppose this is then well known among luthiers? I've just never seen it explicitly said or written.
The violins that I sell in my shop that are $500 are from Century Strings. They require a new bridge, tailpiece and strings, and sometimes the fingerboard needs work, as well as the nut. They leave enough peg to refit them rather than having to replace them. Eastman mdl 100/120 are the same. If you get one that has the "factory" set-up still in place a good luthier can make the instrument sound and play better.
Many thanks to all once again; you've all been beyond helpful. For better or worse, Ive decided to roll the dice with the fiddlerman, and if that doesnt work out, sell my J45 and hit the 2 good shops i know of here in minneapolis, and/or take a weekend trip to chicago to find something there(my user name comes from having married into a gang of russians and being too fat fingered for my phone)