European or german violin

October 18, 2019, 7:59 PM · These 2 violins are the same price $2200.
Not sure out of the 2 which one I should get?

Replies (23)

October 18, 2019, 11:00 PM · maybe the pegs and the chinrest are made in germany, with german labor law and the amount of hours a experienced luthier would take to make a violin highly doubt its made in germany.

i'm just gonna grab popcorn and wait for lydon's response lol

October 18, 2019, 11:02 PM · Just go ahead and get them both.
October 18, 2019, 11:34 PM · I just sold a really nice labeled German violin from 1912 for $1500, sure it is much better, those have to be Chinese, no way they could be made in Germany with German labour rates.
Edited: October 19, 2019, 5:00 AM · I've no idea about the Klier or Staufer instruments. But in general, it's ridiculous nonsense that a violin at this price level could not be manufactured in Germany. AUD2200 are worth €1200, which usually represents not the very basic entry level of instruments made in Germany, but already one or two steps above and already offers decent enough tonal quality for the first year(s).
This "it cannot be done" Mantra has been persevered until that we almost start to believe in it. While it is inevitably true for €100 VSOs, and most probable in instruments arount €350 (I know there are "manufacturers" that "buy in the white") , beginning at around €650 (with standard workshop setup which needs to be optimized) you can find real "made in Germany". The price tag simply represents the number of hours spent and the number of hands it went through during the process of production, and the amount to which power tools were used.

The Paesoldt instruments are made in Germany from scratch, and there are other brands doing the same way. Even the lowest level <1k models. As in all other parts of the world, in these workshops / factories, most of the work (except in the top models which can easily cost up to 12k and are mostly made by an individual luthier) is done by specialized craftsmen. One will know how to carve a top plate, and the next one is trained in gluing ribs to the back plates.

October 19, 2019, 9:34 AM · I heard Paesoldt stopped making violins in Germany in the 1990's.
Edited: October 19, 2019, 9:50 AM · "made in the European tradition" doesn't mean "made in Europe". The other is out of stock and perhaps they only had one that was 100 years old? "Made in Germany" may mean "assembled in Germany". Would they export wood to China, have them carve the bits there, then return them to Germany? Don't they have vast amounts of wood in China? No idea.
October 19, 2019, 9:48 AM · some people are really gullible about Made in Germany, to be labeled Made in Germany legally, a Chinese or Romanian violin only has to have minimal set up work done in Germany, that's what so many of these "German" violins actually are.
October 19, 2019, 10:08 AM · same with Made in France
October 19, 2019, 10:18 AM · This subject, Violin "Made in Germany," came up in this forum a few years ago. A contributor wrote that under German law, manufacturers are allowed to label their violin "Made in Germany" by investing a required number of hours of labor. In this way, a violin can be assembled in Germany from Chinese parts, and be legally labelled "Made in Germany." If I find the original post, I will copy it here.
October 19, 2019, 1:15 PM · Bud, I don't think so, but as usual I may be wrong. But it should be possible to make profit with violins completely made in Germany around 1k.
I know a german full time luthier who sells his bench made "basic" models for 3k (at least 3 years ago when I was in the market for my first "own" violin - and they're really decent BTW). He works alone and makes 4-8 violins parallel at once - 8 tops, then 8 backs, 8 lower ribs, 16 C-bouts etc etc. Don't know if he's honest about his scrolls, but the rest of it I've seen myself. Uses power tools, and spirit varnish instead of oil, these are some of his compromises. Makes a good living.

In a larger workshop with more specialized but less trained employees, you can bring down your production costs far more.

October 20, 2019, 11:47 AM · There are some "makers" in just about every part of the world (including Cremona) making use of pre-carved Chinese parts, and sometimes even complete instruments.

I'm not thrilled about it, but also need to acknowledge reality.

October 20, 2019, 4:49 PM · David, you're certainly right, and I do know about this practice. Without wishing to be insultive against Chinese people, this is simply fraud, if not legally, but morally.
But knowing about these things happening doesn't qualify for generalization. BTW we both know about these things being done even in much higher price ranges where nobody ever would expect...
Edited: October 20, 2019, 5:39 PM · Just to make sure we put the blame where it should really be; the Chinese violin scroll (or whatever violin part) makers are not the ones committing fraud, but rather the people/makers who utilizes them and claim the violin part as their own making.

Just out of curiosity, is there a way to know if a scroll was made in China, or wherever?

I know experts can tell whether a violin is of Chinese, or whatever origin, but what about scrolls? Is there a certain curve or whatever in the scroll that might give it away?

What about violin makers? Will someone be able to distinguish a scroll made by modern maker A vs. maker B?

Just curious.

Edited: October 21, 2019, 1:54 AM · Nuuska - how do you figure that it's the Chinese who are committing the fraud, not the "makers" who are profiting from their products? The practice has been going on for a century and more. Before the Chinese it was German factory violins that were being imported in the white, before them French. I suspect I'll be seeing one or two at auction viewings today, boasting the names of known and unknown English makers, varnished and self-labelled by the makers themselves.

As a slightly different case, I once bought an honestly described Chinese violin, fully varnished and nicely antiqued, which came with its label left loose so the buyer could decide whether to attach it or a different label of their own choice!

Edited: October 21, 2019, 2:45 AM · Define "made" bearing in mind expressions such as "the army made me".
Edited: October 24, 2019, 3:39 PM · I wrote a very long answer that seems to have gotten lost (Sorry if it isn't and this is repetition).

The gist was:
1. If you're anywhere near Sydney you and visit Sydney string centre who are seeking these violins. They are very reputable and extremely helpful. If you don't play want can't take a teacher worth you, find out when they don't have many customers and they'll probably play for you. I'd also stop off at irwin violins in edgecliffe for a similarly priced but different ranges of instruments.

2. Listen to all their online videos that compare violins assert the same price points. They do a good job of explaining the differences (usually a bright vs a warm tone). Also look at similar videos from Whitehorse music in melbourne, which are even better.

3. Whitehorse music will send you a violin toot two to try. If you live in a rural area, this is a good option. Returning it is your cost. I'm not sure if simply for strings in Brisbane does, but it's worth asking.

4. SSC, Irwin, Whitehorse and simply strings will all set up your violin very all. This is important because violins come from the factory unfinished. Look at the websites for explanations of this. Logan's in burwood will come up in your violin shop search. But your piano there but not your violin - their set up isn't nearly as good.

4. If you want to hear the difference between beginner and intermediate level instruments, a simple test is to play the g string in the upper positions - beginner violins usually sound choked in this area.
People here can tell you Notre things to look out for. forested you can trust all these stores to give you good advice about how far a particular violin will take you.

If you're not sure hire one! You can upgrade or return it and ask for a sweeter/brighter/warmer model.

5.oh and talk to Sydney string centre about where they were made - they will tell you the details.

Edited: October 23, 2019, 3:53 PM · Steve (and everybody else) - I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough, I didn't guess this could be misunderstood.
I've absolutely nothing to say against a well made Chinesen factory violin. Plenty of decent instruments for a very reasonable price, and many young talented but financially less privileged players wouldn't have the chance to play on something alike if they weren't there. And if they're making parts - well, this was already done in the Schoenbach region for the larger Saxon workshops a century ago. What's new (as far as I know about, but what do we know anyway...?) is if well known makers with exorbitant asking prices integrate these parts in their work and claim it as their own. And well... Not sure about modern instruments from serial production with misleading aoc... But it's pretty obvious who's responsible for the fraud in this case.
October 23, 2019, 4:34 PM · @nuuska, im curious, whos responsible for the fraud in this case. makers buying the scrolls and labeling it as their own or the people making the scrolls.
Edited: October 24, 2019, 3:11 PM · Anyone can produce and sell whatever he likes, if theres a market. Thats okay. Using parts made by someone else like an apprentice is okay, as long as this is clearly communicated, either as a workshop violin or like "this is the way my instruments are built". Buying parts or even readily assembled violins and add a label is okay as long this is declared, or at least as long as one doesn't claim this to be a "master instrument made by one single experienced maker". It's just not okay if someone is not telling the truth. This is called a lie. And if someone is lying out of a financial motivation, then I'd say that's fraud?
October 24, 2019, 4:36 PM · Germany is in Europe, no? Or did I miss the Germexit?
October 24, 2019, 5:05 PM · nuuska, it is fraud i agree with you, but i'm asking is who is the fraud, the scroll maker or the guy purchasing the scroll and saying its his.
October 24, 2019, 11:24 PM · The scroll / plates maker is clear about that it was him / his company who made these parts. I cannot see fraud there. Theyre selling to anyone willing to buy, and for whatever purpose - and be it a cryptic art "installation" including dozens of these, as gas happened here a couple of years ago. (Noone understood, but still it was there...) And if they would go to customers who might say "well, I'm just someone who's gluing parts together" everything would be okay. But since things don't happen like this...
Kyle, does your insisting on that repetitively suggest a different opinion? Feel free to share.
October 24, 2019, 11:29 PM · To clarify a clear statement - the fraudster is "the guy purchasing the scroll and saying its his".

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