Are you anxious about buying a new violin? Well, you should be. Buying a new musical instrument like the orchestral violin can either make for a great investment or a total waste of your time, energy, and money. Sometimes the thought of purchasing a new violin can be extremely exciting, but there are considerations that you must make to avoid an eventual heartbreak
New Vs. Used Violin
Buying a new violin can be a smart move. But only if you research for the best manufacturer. Modern technology has even enabled new violin models to feature quality materials like imported tone woods, machine-wound steel rings, metal tailpieces, and fine tuners. With these advancements, sometimes a new violin can be so good that even a professional violinist is unable to tell the different in the sound it produces from that of Stradivari violin. New generation manufacturers are now even capable of copying Strad designs to very intricate details, making the violins sound so professional. One good example is the Kennedy Violin models that have continued to receive praise for their acoustic excellence. New Violin models were mostly left for beginners’, but that is slowly changing.
Old violins have antique value. For this reason they are mostly more expensive than new violins. The general assumption is that these violins feature premium wood and produce quality sounds. However, be very careful with the old violin model you decide to buy. Some old violins have spent many dusty nights on the shelves of pawn shops or thrift stores and may have problems like bad pegs, cracks or open seams as a result of poor maintenance and climatic changes. So you may have to spend extra money in their repair. The best way to ensure you get value for the money spent on an old violin is to purchase it from a trustable luthier.
There are higher chances of you landing an ideal size from an online store as opposed to when you shop at the local musical store. However, it’s important that you discuss the right size with your teacher/trainer or with an expert violinist if you’re a beginner. The size of the best violin purchase is very important as it will determine how much you can bond with the violin, and the ease of playing. It is better to buy a smaller size than a bigger size if your size range is in between sizes.
There are a total of nine violin sizes, in fractional value. The biggest is the 4/4 inch or full size and the smallest is 1/32 inch. The perfect violin size for a player is determined by their body physique, most specifically their arm length. You should have your arm length measured to determine the violin size that’s perfect for you.
Buying a Violin is a great investment, not just because Violins can be very expensive, but also because the quality of the violin you purchase will determine how long it will service you. Don’t be hesitant to ask to try out a violin if you are buying it from a local shop, most of which have private practice rooms. If you are buying your violin from an online store, it’s important that you buy from a dealer who has a return policy so that you can return it in case you find the quality unsatisfactory.
Quality of the Violin normally depends on a lot of factors. Is it a new or an old violin? Old violins are said to produce better sound quality and are generally more durable. Is it made by a reputable manufacturer? There are Luthiers and manufacturers that do a dismal job on their models. What materials is it made of? If the violin is made of substandard wood or the parts have been substituted by cheap materials, the quality is bound to fail you.
The decision to buy a violin should be treated like buying a new phone, or car-it’s based on personal preference. When looking at violin brands you will be faced by the decision between handmade units, and factory-made instruments. Both of these have their merits and demerits.
Handmade models like Cecilio violins have good customer reviews for being learner friendly. If you are a beginner who is keen on authenticity then you can check them out. There are also models by luthiers like Guarneri and Stradivarius, for instance the Jay Haide’s models. However, sometimes manufacturers can be thrifty and may have a violin labeled Strad or Guarneri while in fact it is factory manufactured. This is where having trusted musician friends come in. They can help you authenticate if it’s indeed a hand-designed fiddle.
On the other hand, you could also find some quality factory-made violin instruments that will be worth the buy. Some of the reputable violin manufacturers are Hofner, Stentor and Yamaha. These come with good bows and quality strings and can be a good investment for a student or even if you’re just looking to upgrade your violin.
The saying, “buy according to your pockets” is very applicable when purchasing a violin. Violin prices can span from hundreds of dollars to millions. You should have a rough budget of what to spend in the violin and consider all the other factors too before making a decision.
Purchasing a violin from an online store is way cheaper than buying from a luthier’s shop or a local musical store. In addition, there are considerations to make like the size you want, and the brand. On average you should spare between 400$ to 2,000$ towards the cost of your violin. But the price will fluctuate depending on the dealer and the accessories that it comes with.
The decision to learn a violin is like a calling. You should be ready to commit both your finances and your time for the instrument, lessons and even for accessories. The good news is that your commitment will not go unrewarded. When all is said and done, you will be happy you made that decision.