McMahon Brand Viola/Violin

Edited: May 27, 2020, 10:53 AM · I purchased a Viola I am enjoying but can't find any information about it. It may be just another cheap made in China student fiddle but I can find no info on it at all. The label inside reads McMahon Viola Model # MC-200 Made in China 2007. If anyone known any details, bought or sold or seen one listed, I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks Robert

Replies (11)

May 27, 2020, 10:58 PM · McMahon was a violin manufacturer with a very unusual business plan. Independently wealthy (a Rockefeller by marriage), he loved violins and wanted his name to be spoken in the same breath with Stradivari. So he sourced excellent antique French and Italian violins and inserted his own labels into them, which said "McMahon Violin" and so on. Eager to build his reputation quickly, but without concern for profit, he sold them for almost nothing. Eventually he realized that offering good-sounding violins at such low prices would be more credible if he included "Made in China" on the labels. So you should hang on to your McMahon violin because it could actually be a relabeled Vuillaume or a Bergonzi.
May 28, 2020, 4:58 AM · Thanks Paul, that will probably get quoted on Maestronet as authoritative
Edited: May 28, 2020, 4:21 PM · Thank you very much Paul Deck, that is an incredible storey. Are you pulling my leg as suggested by another reader? I enjoy playing that Viola and now I know why even I can make it sound good. How do I learn more?
Robert
Edited: May 28, 2020, 9:40 AM · Post on Pegbox at Maestronet. You will find instructions on photographing the violin..
Think possibly, just possibly Paul is pulling your leg.
May 28, 2020, 11:34 AM · Yes I had that thought as well. Perhaps a Lark, pun intended. I don't plan to pay off my mortgage by selling it. I am enjoying the instrument but find it odd that I can find details of all other brands. I will continue to seek info.
May 28, 2020, 5:52 PM · **grin**
May 29, 2020, 1:24 AM · Look out Paul - Laurie may have to start sticking a "fact check" link on your posts...
May 29, 2020, 9:13 AM · Steve-I hope I didn't start a political discussion by asking for facts. Paul's good natured ribbing is I guess how a newbie is welcomed to violinist.com. Now that we have had our fun, in researching McMahon I expect to find that it is or was a mass produced student fiddle. I have wondered if the manufacturer might be using the name of famous English violinist Ivan McMahon or Luthier Dustin McMahon of Nashville. Although Dustin seems to make only Mandolins and guitars. Either way an executive order has been signed so we are free to tell lies but forbidden to point it out and I would apricate contributions from anyone who knows anything about this brand.
Edited: May 29, 2020, 9:52 AM · Actually I waited to see if anyone would respond to Robert's post, and nobody did. So I conclude that there's not a wellspring of information about McMahon among the membership here. My little joke was partly just something to do while I was bored, but it also brought Robert's post back to the top of the list -- if people don't respond then it can get buried pretty quickly.

Robert, welcome to violinist.com and I hope you are successful finding information about your violin. The knowledge-base is a little more encyclopedic on Maestronet.

Editing to say that I own a violin made by a gentleman who only made guitars his whole life and then made a couple of dozen violins after he retired from his day job. (And based on the quality of the violin I own, he never mastered it.) But that doesn't mean that Dustin McMahon made violins. If your violin says "made in china" then probably it's just a manufactured violin with a random name glued into it.

May 29, 2020, 11:02 AM · Paul, Thanks, your prank turned out great for me. I was not planning on selling it but because of the information you shared and the credentials on your profile I sold the piece of junk for $30,000 to someone who trusts. *GRIN* Actually I just heard from Dustin McMahon and he was appreciative of the heads up, seems like a nice guy.
I'll will eventually find out it was mass produced in a sweatshop and labeled for the Australian market where there is or was someone of that name who once held a fiddle.
Stay safe
Robert
May 29, 2020, 6:39 PM · Cheers, Robert!

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