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Posted by Daniel Gordon on January 01, 2004 at 01:39:59:

I'm trying to buy a new violin- my old violin is collapsing on me- and it'll cost more to repair it than its really worth. Anyway, my teacher has borrowed some violins from some shops/dealers he's worked with before- he's a world-class soloist, but I'm being very careful, because I've seen many people get ripped off before, and although he's a great violinist, I don't know if he is really able to judge how much these violins should cost. I've tried a few violins so far- a Hungarian violin which cost about 2,300- which we actually didn't like- it couldn't handle being strong-armed and wasn't that loud, and my teacher's secondary/practice violin, which is pretty old and in good condition, has great grip, very bright sound (almost too bright), and is extremely loud, but of course, extremely expensive and I don't want really to accept donations- he's had this thing for 25 years. Well, today he brought a brand new Knilling Romanian Bucharest, which the dealer, who supposedly goes out, tries violins, buys the very best, and resells them, is asking a lot for- my teacher thought we should offer him 2000 and see if he will bargain with us. Well, I really don't know much about violins, even though I've been playing half my life and have gotten very good. The thing seems solid and well-built, from what I can tell. Its sound is relatively loud, although it could be a little louder (the sound post is very far from the bridge right now, this could be the reason, and obviously could be adjusted) and obviously clean, since it has never been used before. I think if the sound opens up, which is what seems to usually happen with new violins, it could be very nice. Playing it for the first time, I seemed to connect with it very well, etc.. Anyway, this is my concern. I looked up the same model on the internet- and the asking price is about 500. Is it really possible that this one sounds particuarly good, was purchased by this dealer because of this, and is really worth 2000 bucks? Part of the probably may be that I'm not sure what great violins sound with. I can tell good from bad, but not good from okay, etc. Also, my teacher is trying to mold me into a soloist- as a ticket through school, but also possibly as a profession- he thinks I can make it- I'm only 18, so I still have time- and am very serious- I practice hours and hours a day. Anyway- are the violins I'm describing suitable for finishing off my training or do I really need to invest more? Obviously later on I would want to get a more expensive instrument, but being so young, I'm on a budget. Also, is buying new a mistake? To me, new violins sound much cleaner than old ones, if they're well-made, of course. Sorry for asking so many questions- thanks in advance!

Oh yeah...please email me your responses in addition to posting them here, if that's possible- I sometimes have trouble loading webpages due to my aweful internet connection. Thanks!

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