Is crack on a new violin acceptable?

September 10, 2022, 7:25 PM · I bought a violin online and found a mall crack on the top close to the f hole on the E string side (see photo on Flickr). The luthier said it's a "surface crack that has been repaired". Is this routine and what are my risks if I accepted it? Thanks for any advice.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/29108422@N03/shares/61Pd0a7Pd4

Replies (13)

September 10, 2022, 7:59 PM · You should ask for a partial refund after threatening to return it
September 10, 2022, 8:29 PM · This is not routine and they should give you a discount for accepting it.
September 10, 2022, 9:39 PM · Actually when I see the picture, that's such a minor issue, I'm not even sure it s real crack, might just be line in the wood, how expensive is this violin?
September 11, 2022, 12:26 AM · +1 to Lyndon's questions. Is it the line in just a bit from the corner? It may just be a dark line from varnishing. If it's an expensive violin I'd probably try to get someone to photograph the inside and confirm it's a crack.
September 11, 2022, 3:10 AM · Does it go all the way through at the side?
September 11, 2022, 4:08 AM · Thanks for all the inputs. It looks like a crack that goes all the way to the other side (added another picture to Flickr), and it's not an expensive violin.
Edited: September 11, 2022, 5:35 AM · I would not give it a second thought.
About 50 years ago I bought a violin from a person in England - had it shipped to me in California. He had sent me photos and pointed out all its flaws, which included far more visible "cracks" and surface imperfections than yours. Including shipping it cost me about $1,000. For tone and handling it surpassed my hopes having been made by one of Spain's leading 20th century violin makers one or two years before I purchased it. It has been completely stable. Except for a soundpost adjustment and surface cleaning my luthier could find nothing else to do to it neither 25 years ago nor last year. I have seen the maker's violins advertised at retail for $10K TO $20K in recent years.
September 11, 2022, 9:49 AM · @Andrew thank you for sharing that experience.
September 11, 2022, 10:20 AM · Hard to tell from the photos. But I am not convinced it is a crack.
September 11, 2022, 11:21 AM · Well, the maker acknowledged that it's a crack and that they repaired it.
September 11, 2022, 12:17 PM · It's barely noticeable and limited to the edge. If you like the fiddle and it sounds and plays good. I wouldn't worry about it.
September 11, 2022, 1:15 PM · If it’s a small crack at one of the f-holes, it’s not something that should necessarily be a deal-breaker, especially if it’s been repaired well. There might be room for a small discount since it’s not pristine. I’d be more concerned about bigger cracks or cracks in more important structural areas.
September 11, 2022, 9:00 PM · I'd agree that this is likely not going to be a problem going forward. Even so I think the dealer ought to have pointed it out himself (or herself as the case may be) rather than waiting for the customer to discover it or hoping that it stays undiscovered.

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