Web Information on violin makers
Hello, I am a violinist of 20 years and am looking for a 1/2 size beginner instrument for my 8-year old. I have been trolling Ebay looking for a used student violin that is better than the VSO's out there on Amazon, but for less than $200. I have tried researching the violinmakers, but I cannot seem to find the right search words to bend the Google algorithms to my will. Does anyone know of any good web resources to read about violin makers through the last century? I am looking at a Tim Lee instrument at the moment but s I said, I can't really find much info on violinmakers. Thank you :)
Your best bet might be to find a dealer you can trust. They will have a huge supply of used student violins to try, and you might find that your best deal is renting. 8-year-olds have a way of outgrowing their instruments, and the bid/ask spread will eat you alive if you try to get rid of it in favor of a 3/4 size.
What Stephen wrote.
I rented a 1/2 size Jay-Haide violin for each of my granddaughters at that stage. They were really good small violins. I rented them from Ifshin Violins (now in El Cerrito, CA), one of my local shops, so I could check them out and find a really good one. I also rented a 3/4 size a few years later and it was even better. I had also tried the full size and came to the conclusion that one could do better with the small-size ones at the same price because all the small ones were priced the same as the lowest-price full size, rather than pricing them by quality. Since then, Jay-Haide has the "A l'Ancienne" antiqued brand categories for full size that are more expensive and better.
The small Neuner and Hornsteiner fiddles are fine fractional instruments, but not for less than $200. $200 wouldn't even cover a decent set-up and strings. Renting is probably better than what you will find at that price point.