Pros and Cons

I’m contemplating the purchase of a violin. My instructor had me audition one at my most recent lesson. It is being sold by one of his students who has moved up to the next larger size. The instrument is better than what I am playing, but not the best I have heard in this particular range. However, I may consider it if the price is right. I don’t know.

Buying an instrument seems nearly as difficult as learning to play one. There are so many factors to take into consideration. What if I purchase it and my gut feeling is right – that it simply isn’t what I’m looking for? Then I’m stuck with it and unhappy with my sound, which is exactly like every other Chinese student instrument I have auditioned. There are good Chinese instruments out there, but I have yet to hear one priced under $1,000 that had the voice I am looking for. They all sound muffled and choked. I want my instrument to sing, not whimper in the back of the room like a naughty puppy that has been sent to his crate.

Then there’s the fact that my instructor endorses this violin. He likes it and thinks it suits me. Not very flattering considering I wasn’t that impressed with it. On the other hand, perhaps he thinks I can bring something out of it. Not likely, since he didn’t draw much color from it either. And yes, I’m being picky. I feel like I need to be if I am going to spend big dollars on an instrument. I really don’t want to have to buy up again next year. This instrument needs to grow with me.

-sound is even across the strings
-warmer sounding than my current loaner
-attractive construction and varnish
-the bow it comes with is decent, and the case is spiffy
-instructor approved

-action is higher than current violin (or maybe mine is low?) so more difficult to do string crossings
-audition was during a lesson (too much stress to solidify an opinion)
-may cost too much with sellers commission
-muffled sound (might project better than I think, however)
-likely will not increase in value

It appears to be an even split. Honestly, I would almost rather delay a purchase until I have doubled my violin savings and buy a nicer instrument. However, that seems like such a long time to wait. I’ve waited this long, another year can’t be so bad, right? Right?

4 thoughts on “Pros and Cons

  1. If you’re not in love with it, don’t waste your money. I waited five years to find one I loved and that I could afford. I’m glad I did. This advice is given from a violinist of almost 20 years 🙂

  2. With the guidelines of value above, new instrument outfits under around $300.00 are not worth purchasing and it is best if you can start around $450. I understand completely the problem that many people are in whereas they cannot afford even the $300 violin. All I can say is that you are better off waiting and save up some more money, you are going to have to spend it anyway on repairs so why not get a better violin to begin with for the same price. Typically the parts on these instruments such as the pegs, strings, tailpiece, bridge and sometimes others will have to be changed just to make them playable. The bow can hardly be used and the cases don’t hold up. I would often have a parent come in after taking in an instrument to the lesson that they purchased on line or at Sams Club, the teacher sent them to me to “fix” the violin. I had the unfortunate job of telling the parent that the violin that they just purchased new for $200.00 would need at least $150.00 more in repairs to make it playable.

  3. When I arrived at the shop to purchase a new violin I instantly realised the warm atmosphere created by the building and also the welcoming staff who were very considerate and kind. It was also apparent that Chris and Cecile had a great interest in me and in my happiness of finding the right instrument. I had the opportunity of trying many violins, each one being unique in its sound and characteristics. It was a very long procedure to choose a violin but Cecile and Chris showed endless patience and true care.

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