Begginer significant budget 2-3 K
Im 38 and want to learn the violin, just for me I know its not easy. My budget is decent, say 3k * violin alone, (1k for case and bow also )to get started, I know I can spend alot less but if I can buy one instrument to grow with thats more ideal then upgrading. As long as its not advanced in the sense its harder to play? More why pick up bad habits on a lesser instrument if I can afford not to? Narrowed it down to these, interested in classical playing for my own enjoyment, please advise
1) mezzoforte forte design $2500- I like carbon as I travel and have kids, just appears durable and less tuning. Like the sound very much, a bit more bright but for learning perhaps unwise? Beautiful and perhaps a one stop purchase and all the violin ill need for awhile?
2) Holstein cannone $1400- love the fuller, lower, more mellow sound? Scott cao cannone $1100, it appears I like the style canone. Thoughts are wood is better to learn on? Prob all I need, better feel or easier to play then carbon?
3) Mezzo evo $1100 - not as good as the design line, but cheaper and can travel, isnt as powerful but perhaps thats good while learning? Also its sandwich carbon and not fully layered- regardless my thought was I could start here and have money left over for the cannone, or vice versa. Albeit if I started with the cannone id prob still want to come back for the mezzo design....just sounds fuller.
Thoughts? Not trying to waste money but 2-3 k is fine for me if its not silly and theres value to be had starting with a more complete violin, or buying a lower end carbon and nice wood or a lower end wood and the design line.
Violins don’t come in models unless they are out of a factory or workshop in China or Germany. Right now you would not even have the ability to asses whether or not a violin is good for you. But it’s your money, you are free to spend it as you wish. I would not recommend anything other than wood.
Okay wood only, whats your advice on what I buy or spend then? Surely theres some starting point? Models are replicas of old great style violins, but are you saying I go find a luthier that doesnt brand their violins? Confused as theres plenty of manufacturers out there, just what does one spend to get started? $100 amazon violin? $1000 in a violin shop? Thanks!
Take some time and have someone play instruments to you.
In that price range you can get a nice-sounding Chinese violin, CF bow, and a Embassy Courier case. 100+ year old workshop violins from Germany can be found at reasonable prices too and some of them sound and play really nice.
Tony, thank you for the advice. I have looked at fiddlerman and listened to all theor reviews and narrowed it down. I will be in extreme environments, my job takes me from Africa to denmark and all over. I will start with wood though. I am in Germany actually, but everything is locked down so I cant visit shops. Since I cant play yet I thought the fiddlerman reviews and videos were as good as it gets for me
Paul, I live in Germany actually lol that being said is older better? I see the heritage but I am looking for a good place to start, you mentioned chinese...ming violins? I liked the 907...regardless I just thought before I show up with a cheapo amazon violin to my firat lesson why not take it seirious and spend wtv gets me started off on the right foot....the ones I mentioned were what caught my ear while listening to violins below 3k online. Germans I have encountered were not helpful in the stores....appeared their reaction was buy anything and didnt want to play for me unless I wanted to spend 10k plus...which is fine Im just where Im at starting.
My apologies if this forum is all elite players, I understand 3k is nothing for a violin, but I was just trying to buy a decent starter, apologies for the eye rolls I may have caused.
Personally I like instruments with a story. Older is better in that respect, but - older is in many ways crappier. Todays instruments outperform many old ones.
Have someone at a local shop play violins for you, then pick one based on sound. If you can play, try out different ones.
Personally - I think a violinist needs as good as fiddle as he can get his hands on. You need to be sure the instrument is better than you. That means you can learn how o make it work harder and better.
Thank you Tony, Paul, and Xuanyuan. I will spend the most I can and look at wood, appreciate it.
Remember to take your time, a bad violin is like a bad marriage!
My advice is to obtain the very best rental that you can, and also the very best teacher that you can. The top-quality rentals are typically outfits worth about $1,200. Potters Violins does online rentals if there are no shops offering higher-quality rentals near me.
Everything Lydia said. Visit some shops (violin/string shops, not band/everything shops) and start asking questions snd asking to hear rental instruments. You will probably get some good teacher recommendations and get a sense of who carries instruments you like. Then rent at a shop that you've got a good feel for and will allow you to carry most of your rental fees forward into an eventual purchase, once you've got your feet under you, and have an idea what sound and feel *you* personally love playing. If you really really really want to buy right now, find a shop (or a reputable online company such as SHAR) that will give you good trade-in value; get a "decent" instrument to start (and a good shop will be able to help you get something that's not a rank "VSO", but save your cash and trade in for an instrument you really love in a year or two when, again, you've got your feet under you and a good idea of what you're looking for. Having a teacher or advanced friend along to help play and listen will be invaluable at that point.
Rereading--it looks like you may have already gone to a shop where you could try all these. I still think you can do better long-term with a rental or trade-in but if you've heard the instruments and like the sound I would just say go what sounds and feels best **but** check with your teacher first!!! to make sure there are no major weaknesses you're missing. You should be able to take them out on trial before you purchase, but realize you are still at a bit of disadvantage just because you are buying before you can really play the instrument. (And I would still compare around and try also to take a trial or two home from an actual string shop to compare with your teacher--you may be amazed how much more sound you get from *some* non-branded instruments.)
Don't buy before hearing the
Hi, I've understood that you've based in Germany right now? So I guess that all luthiers are shut right now here in Germany.
I recommend Jacob Saunders just out side of Vienna, in Austria, he's under lockdown too, google Jacob Saunders violin, call him up and ask him if he is able to ship a violin to Germany under the lockdown, if he can, I would suggest you ask him to put together a good antique German violin and bow and case for 3-4000EU, I guarantee he wouldn't sell you short, and it would beat the hell out of that Chinese crap from the USA that probably is going to take ages to get shipped across the ocean with an embargo on flights from the uSA. His number is 43-2243-20270
Thank you everyone, tremendous help, I will reply to each of you, since you took the time to help. I will clarify a few small details also,rentals are a non option for me and so are demos. I am military in Germany and no one will send from the states to demo or rent. Since I dont exist in the German credit arena they wont loan to me either and I have to buy out right. Why I looked at fiddlermam to trade up later, basically wtv I get will be upgraded later or honestly just a lesson learned and gifted to someone when I buy what I have learned is for me. Because of corona I cant meet my teacher or teachers yet ( selection of two ) and may be stuck for 3 months waiting to get started. I wanted to have a violin waiting for that day, tinker with online instructional videos untill I can take reg classes when the lock down lifts
Also one of my potential teachers appears quite accomplished:
Lyndon Taylor, I will make that call, thank you for the advice. I just dont want to buy junk. If 4k is the price of admission then so be it. If it is 1k and then move up to 3k, 6k, and so forth. Im good with that. I was trying to spend 2500 or so to start and then after having some skill go spend 5k or so, but I can start higher
Lydea, Thank you for the detailed response, really cleared it up for me. Rentals dont appear to be an option for me but perhaps since my wife is German I can have her use her credit line to apply, corona has me held in a stopping patter as all of europe is locked down.. I just wanted to start with something Id keep for a year or travel with on all my frequent buisness trips to ...well litterally everywhere but mostly europe,. Thats why I toyed with a 2500 carbon but I understand that makes everyone cringe so scratch it from the list, I was trying to be sensible and start with my future back up violin in my mind. Then go shopping for something significant with whoever my teacher is, I also didnt want to show up to an accomplished instructor with a low end violin. I know she loves to teach and teaches children also so she has seen it all, but I am an adult and wanted to show her respect and dedication by having a quality instrument on day one....if that makes sense? Everyone has a budget so shop within your means but I prefer the buy nice or buy twice mentality
Anne S! Very interested, I am an hour outside of Frankfurt but Im willing to drive all over once the ban is lifted.
Ben, you came on all guns blazing, lol, because you assumed you were mixing with an elite. Then you back-peddled quite a lot.
Thanks Gordon, yeah I back pedaled lol in answer to your questuons in how I travel its both actually, sometimes a c130 and alot of commercial travel and throw it in the overhead. Commercial when in Europe and normally military birds when in Africa. I also am not combat, Im a strategist and electronic technician.
I mentioned 3-4000K because that is what you mentioned for your budget and because that would get you a pretty good antique violin at Jacob's, although I'm sure he has cheaper options.
You sound as though you may be having second thoughts already, Ben.
I have several violins including a Fiddlerman, a midrange Chinese violin and an old German Mittenwald. Of the 3, the German is the worst in sound quality and playability even after work from a master luthier. The Chinese is quite good and the Fiddlerman is the best. I also have one of their Holstein bows and really like it.
what a load of BS, a hundred year old violin in good condition is actually more stable and less likely to need repairs than a new violin, where the wood is still not entirely dry.
Firstly, it is great you'd like to learn the violin! Great instrument, I highly recommend it (as most of us will).
God damn it, why don't some idiots bother to read the thread, the OP is in Germany under lockdown, no violin shops are open, no rentals are available.
I read the thread, well aware Germany is under lockdown. I didn't see the need to add in that OP should wait until the lockdown is over. Thought it was obvious.
he doesn't want to wait
I'll bet that under the circumstances, Lyndon's friend, knowing Lyndon had recommended him in a public forum, would probably outdo himself to get you a really nice violin for your price point and he'd probably make sure it was in good adjustment. With a connection like that, you can almost buy your instrument sight-unseen.
I am not all that convinced that rental agencies would agree to taking their instrument on deployment, remember the OP is active military. I didn't think the carbon fiber instrument was that bad of an idea, I would have considered that myself but I can't speak from experience, and wonder if anyone who disrecommended it actually did either, and if so, didn't articulate much of their own experience.
I've only tried Luis and Clark instruments (briefly.) I've also heard a L&C cello played for a contemporary concerto (from the orchestra.) Some people love them. To me they sound a bit brassy, for lack of a better word (maybe less overtones?) and lack complexity but they're pretty powerful and easy to play. I wouldn't use one for classical rep in performance, but I too think a synthetic instrument would be fine for the OP, given his use. Of course L&C are pretty pricey and I've not tried less expensive brands, but I think what matters most for a beginner is the instrument setup. No matter the price range, you want to purchase from a specialty string shop or dealer with professional luthiers doing the setup.
Totally agree that the setup is what matters most, IF the violin is structurally sound.
you're not a violin expert, are you??
I'm a beginner, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But here goes: 1) I own a Fiddlerman Master and love it. I also had an Artist, and the sound was excellent, but I needed a 7/8. From what I have read, import duties may as much as double the cost of violin, so getting a violin from the U.S. when you are in Germany may increase the cost substantially.
Ben, are you traveling
Lydon, I don’t make my living from it but I can do simple things like carve a bridge or adjust a sound post or measure the projection, etc and my father was a master woodworker so I’ve been working with wood of all kinds for over 40 years.
Corilon has pretty high prices and their repairs are no where near as skilled as Jacob Saunders, from what I have been able to gather
Totally agree with Lyndon that Corilon’s prices seem to be on the higher side but their reputation is good; I can’t comment on the ability of their luthiers though.
they don't make cracks disappear like Jacob can, probably structurally sound though.
Just a thought...
Hi,there,From my limited experience,I would be inclined to spend