Russell L Coe violin

November 7, 2017, 1:17 PM · Hi.
Newbie here so please excuse any transgressions in advance.
I'm looking to step up from my current intermediate Sandner violin which I purchased new in 1999.
I'm thinking of trialing an instrument by Russell L Coe of IN. I think he was better known for his violas.
Does anyone have one of his instruments or would be able to comment on its sound and/or quality of construction.
Thanks
Richard Yee

Replies (3)

November 7, 2017, 1:47 PM · I recommend trying a variety of affordable violins and picking your favourite one.
November 7, 2017, 4:23 PM · Hi and welcome Richard, I think it is important to trial any instrument for a few days in your home and maybe play it in a school music hall which is a much bigger area to test in. I also think it a good idea to take this instrument to another competent luthier and pay for an inspection and evaluation of it. There are so many things that can be off and super expensive to set right on some instruments.
November 23, 2017, 9:22 PM · I'm not sure how much good I can do you, but if you like the fiddle you should be OK. I don't think his instruments bring a great deal of money, Perhaps 3 or 4K maybe? I actually knew Mr. Coe a bit and know some very good professional violists who play on his instruments. When I was at the Interlochen Arts Academy in the 1970s Mr. Coe came up to talk to the viola class. He was very much about not charging too much as he wanted his instruments in the hands of young players. It gave him a lot of joy to see them being played. I used a viola of his for a couple of months while my viola was being repaired and it was a good instrument. He was pretty much self taught and I am pretty sure he made his first instrument in his kitchen. He did quite neat careful work and tended to use a red varnish (spirit I think) He told me he used pre carved necks and refined them from there. I actually have a viola of his at present I picked up at a T2 auction. It is a bit unusual and displays some traits that would be frowned upon in formal violin making circles. As an aside he made a copy of my teachers very large viola and left it to him in his will. My teacher put it in the hands of a very tall young man from the Pacific Northwest who uses it with great effect. This was probably no help, but if you like it it should be an OK buy at 3K or so.

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