Otto Jos Klier, Karl Hofner, Yamaha... Violins

Edited: December 13, 2017, 8:37 AM · I'm violist, and I'm interrested to try violins world.

The problem is that I can't try them and I have to travel out my country to buy (there is no violin luthier in my country).

So, I found some violins online, maybe someone can give some reviews about it ! (I selected them with good reviews in Thomann website)

1) Otto Jos. Klier 55 Orchestra Violin 4/4

2) Karl Höfner H8-V Allegro 4/4 Violin Outfit

3) Karl Höfner H5G Allegretto 4/4 Violin Outfit

4) Yamaha V5 SC44 Violin 4/4

5) Alfred Stingl by Höfner AS-280-V 4/4 Violin Outfit

6) Roth & Junius RJVE 4/4 Student Violin Set

Replies (11)

December 11, 2017, 5:19 AM · My current feeling is that a starter violin should have two qualities:

1. responsive to the bow and,
2. pegs that actually work.

Both of these are impossible to assess from a website. A professional player can lean on the strings close to the bridge and turn a barking dog into a singing voice. But you would not want to learn on a violin that requires such effort and mastery to get a decent sound.

Hopefully, someone has personal experience with one or more of the violins listed and can help you out.

Edited: December 11, 2017, 8:25 AM · All of those look like reputable brands, but remember that what you are buying will have been made in an Asian factory. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you're not going to get a truly great violin at this price. You might get something that will help you decide whether violin will be a long-term hobby for you or not.

In addition to Carmen's suggestions, I would look for a violin that has the fine-tuners built into the tailpiece (as in Violin No. 2, 3, and 4) rather than added on during setup (as in Violin No. 1 or Violin No. 6). Your pegs will likely be rubbish so you will need good working fine-tuners.

Look carefully at what you get. Note the Violin No. 2, for example, is pictured without a chin rest (CR), whereas Violin No. 1 comes with a CR. Some of them come with a case and bow, which means if it's the same price the violin is probably quite inferior and the bow may be useless as well, but who knows? Anyway the likelihood that you will need to buy a CR and shoulder rest (SR) to match your own individual physicality is close to 100%.

Classical violin is an expensive hobby. You need lessons (generally the most expensive "accessory" far and away), music, rosin, occasional repairs, a music stand, etc. Your teacher may want you to get an SR, different strings, etc. Just need to be prepared for that.

December 11, 2017, 2:32 PM · @Paul : Yes good remark, for exemple, about Karl Hofner Violin H5, the violin + package cost less than the violin alone !!?

Karl Höfner H5 Violin 4/4 (406€)

Karl Höfner Allegretto 4/4 Violin Outfit (385€)

December 11, 2017, 7:02 PM · I agree with Carmen, make sure the pegs are good and well fitting, as it can make tuning very challenging. Also, maybe try to find a used violin if possible, as you can buy a rather high end (beginner) violin for around the price you are looking at right now. I dont know if that would be possible or not, being that you don’t have a store nearby. DO NOT USE EBAY
December 11, 2017, 7:56 PM · Amine those are different violins though.

Take your budget, subtract $100, and buy the most expensive outfit you can get. (Outfit means bow and case are included. Make sure outfit includes tailpiece with built-in tuners). If the outfit doesn't come with a Guarneri-type chin rest ($20), buy one of those. And buy a "Kun" shoulder rest ($10). Based on your picture I predict these will work well for you (please understand this prediction is essentially impossible to make). If you feel you are someone with a long neck, don't buy Kun -- buy the "Everest" shoulder rest. And buy first two Suzuki books ($15), a cake of Bernardel rosin ($8), a Peak music stand ($35), and a microfiber cleaning cloth ($8). Don't buy any polishing liquid -- you do not want to use that on your violin at all. There are plenty of cheap apps for metronome and tuner that you can get on your phone. Might be a little more than $100 if you need to pay for shipping or if prices are a little higher than they are in the US>

December 12, 2017, 2:27 AM · @Paul : thank you very much for your advice.

About my picture, I don't play viola (and violin) in the universal way, I play it only on the knee because I didn't learn violin lessons, I use this way to sing and play at the same time.

December 12, 2017, 2:29 AM · @Violin Master : unfortunately, I can only buy online and travel to get my instrument. I use only Thomann website :-)
Edited: December 12, 2017, 6:58 AM · Hi Amine, have a look at Yitamusic violins. There are quite a few discussions on this site about Yita violins (use the search function), and the reviews are generally quite positive as far as I know.

Buying from Yita is a wise choice, since the beginner violins at are almost certainly made in China anyway. A $250 Chinese violin being sold via these sites would have a $500 price tag, so why not buy directly from China?

Another potential brand to look at is Gliga (if you don't like Chinese violins), who has advertisement on this site. Gliga violins are made in Romania.

I own a Gliga Gama, and I absolutely love it.

Both Yita and Gliga offer violins at your price range.

P/S Since there are no luthiers in your country, you should choose the violin that comes with full set-up. I had a brief look at your website, and couldn't find anything about setting up their violins. So you should email asking them about that if you consider buying from them. As far as I know, Yita violins are sold without proper set-up but Gliga ones do, per what they say on their website.

You should prepare for the worst, since even if the seller send a fully set up violin, the sound post may fall off due to transportation, and you would definitely need a luthier to re-erect it.

Edited: December 12, 2017, 10:26 AM · @Will : thank you for the advice.

I know Gliga, because my own viola is Gliga GEMS 2, I like it's warm and deep sound, but don't project very well (low volume sound). I also read a lot interresting topics about Yita T20/M20 violins. However, long shipping isn't ideal for me, it cost me something like 100$ for my Gliga (shipping + taxes) 2 to 3 weeks for delivery to europe. I prefer really Thomann because of fast delirevy, so it's help me when I traver to europe !

December 12, 2017, 12:08 PM · @Paul: "a microfiber cleaning cloth ($8)"

How are those different from the ones that cost €1 or so in the household stores? I'm wondering whether I've been using the wrong type of microfiber cloth.

Edited: December 12, 2017, 8:03 PM · Amine, yes, anything below Gama models from Gliga don’t have a high volume sound. But I’m not sure any of the violins you quote would be truly a step-up from a gliga gems 2 violin (assuming gliga violin and viola is comparable). A Yita T20 violin, however, may be a much better violin than gems 2, and still only costs $400 inclusive of freight, :) it’s up to you then.

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