Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #17379 Reply

    Sary Miller
    Participant

    Hi there!
    I recently encountered an amazing luthier who restores old violins; Iam looking to purchase one from her, and her recommendation for me were two different violins (one German, one French) from the turn of the century; she tells me that each of them are in about the $500 price range.

    WELL. I have been expecting/planning to spend upwards of $1000 for a quality sounding instrument. I played one, and the sound is full of depth and range… stunning, actually.

    I mentioned to her that, if these are her lower-quality recommendations, what would she recommend in a higher range?

    She told me that she did NOT recommend I get a ‘fancier’ violin or a ‘more expensive’ (She refused to acknowledge ‘higher quality’ for more money) because, even though she had those violins, she felt it was her responsibilty to match the player, and that I would do better with a more approachable violin. She leaves them scratched and scuffed where it doesn’t affect playability, which I like and which may lower the value… I can’t decide what to think about the price of such a lovely sounding instrument.

    Obviously this is something I can override if I choose, but frankly, she seems to know what she’s talking about and I sure as hell don’t!

    What do you guys think? Am I wasting my money, setting myself up to buy a more expensive violin in a year? I have been trained to think that $600 means “Not worth it’s weight for an adult beginner” but hell… maybe I’ve been trained wrong?

    #17383 Reply

    Texasfiddler
    Participant

    Awesome discovery. If the luthier is respected by others than I would go with his recommendation. Usually restorations are expensive. The used look adds a lot of character you may not get with a new one. Can you bring a friend or teacher to hear or play them? I think $500 is about average for a good fiddle for bluegrass, from what I’ve heard. After a few years of playing you may gravitate to a fiddle sound or a classical sound and if it still serves your needs then great. I struggled with “pretty” wood over sound quality when I started looking and had to get over the idea the violin was not furniture. After playing for 6 years, I now value a violin scratches and all with an amazing sound over a more expensive quality sound. Many net violins in the $2500 and up range are made to look old and worn. To notice a significant difference in new instruments you would have to pay much more than $1000. I would get the German or French violin. Be sure to ask what strings are on them and use the same bow when playing them for comparison. And don’t be shy, spend hours if need be to play both until you know which sound (and look) you prefer. Then you’ll be happy with your purchase, scratches and all. Good luck.

    #17384 Reply

    Sary Miller
    Participant

    You know, as soon as Iread this I knew that that’s what I *wanted* to hear and so I am going for it 🙂 GOOD ADVICE on bring a friend/teacher… I will follow that.

    On the play for hours note — she actually lets you try it out for a couple of weeks because she thinks people need to get to know a violin.

    I do like the scratches and scuffs — I think it’s great to leave the marks of years loved and used.

    THanks for your advice, I think I needed this reassurance.

    #17387 Reply

    Texasfiddler
    Participant

    Cool. Have fun ?

    #17398 Reply

    murakami sandy
    Participant

    by hearing about this luthier who doesn’t want to sell you a most expensive violin but has the experience to see what you need, i wouldn’t hesitate and trust her.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
Reply To: Advice on an old turn of the century violin
Your information: