5 Ways to Spot a Quality Violin
Aug 05, · How do I know if my violin is worth money? Flame of the Wood. The back of the violin is a good indicator of the quality of the instrument. If the back of the Craftsmanship. The craftsmanship of the violin is the greatest indicator of the quality of an instrument. When you look Label. When. Apr 14, · It has something to do with the sound quality and overall soundboard of the violin. Violin makers see to it that top part of the violin has the best wood type as the sound quality makes a difference compared with the back part of this string instrument.
Store Hours By Appointment Only. We frequently receive phone calls about "old" modern violins. It's understandable. To most people, anything over 5 years is old - cars, television, and grandma. So of course a violin that is ks or years old seems very old. However, in the violin business, years old is actually termed and considered "modern".
To be considered truly old, an instrument should be from or earlier. So how do you determine if your instrument is actually old? Cartainly not by inspecting the unreliable labels from this time period.
Rather, there are other characteristics of old instruments which can be objectively evaluated. The first way to tell if your instrument is old modernold actually old or fake old, is to look for a neck graft.
Old violins and violas and cellos have neck grafts because they were crafted in an era when instruments had shorter necks. Arounda few esteemed luthiers experimented with longer necks, and these new necks caught on with players. Violins with shorter necks subsequently had to have their too necks removed and the original scroll put on a longer neck to be playable by the new standards. Thus, old violins have neck god, newer violins do not have neck grafts, and fake old violins have fake neck grafts.
Fake neck grafts are a groove or pencil line where the neck graft should be and can be spotted because there is no change in the grain of wood on either side of the "graft". Similarly to having neck grafts, actually old instruments frequently have bushed pegboxes. Bushed pegboxes are pegboxes where the holes for pegs have been partially filled in with wood. Bushing is necessary when old pegs have been turned and turned so much over hundreds of years that the pegs have what is canadian postage now down and ggood too large of holes for a sound pegbox.
Of course, if what country was bismuth discovered in instrument was never played much, it will not have a bushed pegbox, even if it is actually old. And very occasionally newer instruments will have bushed pegboxes. So if you have a bushed pegbox, the instrument is probably actually old; if the instrument does not have a bushed pegbox, you can't be sure. If the instrument has a fake bushed pegbox, such as grooves for where the bushing should be, olympus mons is on what planet the instrument is fake old.
If you have a good eye, another way to determine if you have a regular old, actually old or fake old instrument is to look at the varnish. Old varnish is made of oil; it is soft, worn from years of playing, and may even have blisters and crackles from temperature fluctuations.
The iss is mostly brown. It is not shiny and bright red. Regular old modern violins may have oil varnish, but the varnish is clearly newer. Shiny varnish, chipped spirit varnish or perfect varnish can be seen on modern instruments. Actually old instruments have actually old varnish that is dulled from years of existance. Fake old instruments, such as the one to the left, have gpod, cracks and crackles that are painted into the varnish.
Sometimes the varnish is shiny and new in addition to having fake cracks, crackling and blemishes! Finally, actually old instruments sometimes have extra lining where the top wood meets the ribs. Thanks to many trips to the violin shop for top removal for repairs, the wood on ohw edge of the top can grow thin and weak. In order to secure the instrument, the edges require a new lining to be added.
As with pegbox bushing, not all old instruments have this lining. But if it uf there, this is a good indication the instrument is actually old. Fake old instruments don't usually have fake lining at which we can laugh. So the next time you want to call us about your "old" violin, you can look this list over. If your instrument has most or all of the characteristics of an old what is a list in sharepoint, chances are that it is truly old.
If you have many or all of the characteristics of a fake old violin, it's not an old violin. It might be 's German or even new Chinese or German. And if your violin has none of these characteristics, it is most probably a modern violin. When you call us and properly identify your instrument, we will be highly impressed. Is My Violin Really Old? New Vs. By Diane Bruce We frequently receive phone calls about "old" modern violins.
The neck should be positioned perfectly straight, not skewed in any way. Look at the scroll design—the more intricate (deep, detailed carving), the higher the quality (typically) Joints and seams should be tight, without any visible gaps. The materials used and the craftsmanship involved are the two major features that determine the quality of a violin. Striped wood is better wood and indicative of a nicer violin. *Inside of the violin -- Casually look around the inside of the violin. Are there any rough spots? Rough patches inside the instrument tend to indicate a poor quality instrument. Things not to examine: *Crud on the violin -- It’s a challenge because most old violins look bad. On a good violin with the traditional bass bar you tend to have a wolf tone on the B natural or C natural above A This is particularly prominent higher up on the G string, but also a problem on the D string (third and fourth finger in third position, and first finger and second finger in first position on the A string).
Experts tell us that attribution, condition and sound of an old violin are the key factors in determining its value. But where do we go for advice about buying a second hand violin for a child? Centuries of violin making means that there is a large selection of pre-owned instruments on the market. So how do we know if an instrument is worth the price being asked? Are old violins better than new ones? Should I expect to pay more or less for a second hand violin than a new instrument?
Is a second hand student violin a good investment? What should I look out for when buying a second hand violin? Generally speaking, violins or violas or cellos are like almost any other purchase you make: except for certain professional instruments, they are most valuable when they are new and will not increase in value over time.
This is especially true for beginner instruments. With good care, however, they can last for many years. To help you get started in your search, here is my checklist of 12 things to look out for when buying a second hand violin:. Is the body in good condition? Minor scratches or chips on the varnish are not serious but cracks or chunks out of the wood will need to be repaired or they tend to get worse. How does it look overall?
Looks will matter more for those making more expensive purchases, but even beginner instruments should be attractive, and look sturdy and well-made. The fingerboard should be straight, smooth and even, or it may need to be re-planed or replaced. Set-up: good fittings mean the instrument is easier tuned, maintained and played.
Is the bridge correctly placed and shaped? Look at it from the side — is it straight up and down or bending towards the fingerboard? If the bridge is too tall, the strings will sit too high above the fingerboard making it difficult to place the fingers. Also look inside the violin to check the sound post is fitted upright. It definitely should not be missing or rolling around inside the violin!
Are the pegs in good shape? Are the holes for the strings running directly through the pegs and consistently placed throughout all four pegs? The pegs should turn smoothly but still stay in place. Stiff pegs will probably be fine with some peg paste, easily found in a music store. How does the instrument sound? Think about this: everyone in the house is going to hear this violin being played.
You want an instrument that sounds pleasant, and that you will be happy to hear in practice! Are the strings fairly new and of good quality? Very thin, old, steel strings will sound poor. So replacing these with a high quality set could make a world of difference to the violin. The bow hair should be loose and the screw easily turned.
Do also check that the hair is not too long: Let the bow down as far as it can go. If the hair is like a hammock, it is too long. Over tightening and age make the hair stretch. Hold the bow out in front of you and look down the stick.
Is it perfectly straight? This can happen when the bow has not been well maintained. The condition of the case: Does the zip go all the way round without getting stuck? Does the buckle work? Are the handle and straps still properly attached? Is it light enough for your child to carry comfortably?
While some of the above issues may be easily fixed, too many things needing changed could add up to more hassle and cost than the instrument is worth. Of course you may well find a great second-hand violin, with no work needed, the above is provided so you know what to look for.
This is one quick and relatively cheap way of making an instant improvement to its sound and playability. When buying a second hand violin, it is wise to think through the above points.
Know what you are prepared to take on and how much work you are happy to do to bring the instrument up to a good playing standard. Good luck and happy shopping! What's your experience in buying a second hand violin? Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject - please leave a comment below, thank you! If you have a question about stringed instruments or music study Just Ask Rhoda at thestringsfamily.
Until you are good enough to make use of a really good fiddle, you won't know what a really good fiddle is, anyway. Unless you get a lucky "under the bed" find. Setup is incredibly important and expensive. The condition before purchase is KEY to whether you waste a lot of money. He only wanted 40 for a set of D'Addario Pro-Arte strings and offered to put them on for free.
It sounded very good, warm and subtly complex with the old strings on it and I am quite sure that it would have blown minds with new strings on it. Just look around and listen to the violin before you buy it. If the sound is good with lame strings on it, well you most likely got yourself a real stunner. For a young student you need a Wittner tail piece the kind with the four tuners built in , so if the violin does not have this, then you are going to need to buy that part and have a luthier put it on for you.
You probably need the bow re-haired, and you probably need new strings. Another thing to look at is the bridge. If not, then the strings have cut too far into the bridge and you'll need a bridge cut. Measuring the string clearance from the fingerboard is an easy thing to do and the violin won't be playable if it's too far off usually too low.
Sounds too good to pass up. All profit then. I got a couple of passable Strads that way. I know some one got a screaming deal on that thing tho. So you can find good new ones for not that high of a price. Also some of the ones from China are extremely good quality and while I will give you that quite a few China violins are not very good, this is not true for all of them.
So really the best advice for anyone looking to buy a violin is to google the heck out of how violins are made and what makes one well built and the other not. There really is no quick guide for what a good violin is because it's a very complex instrument and if any of the parts are sub par the entire thing will preform in a diminished way. When creating the bow, the stick is curved using heat - giving it the correct camber. A stick that has bent to the side say, from being held in a too-restrictive case or has straightened out because it was left with the hair tightened after playing can be restored to the proper curve using the same methods as used in its creation.
I'd hate to think someone might pass up a decent instrument if the otherwise good bow needs work. If it's obviously a cheap bow, or pieces are missing from the frog, the button is missing or wrong, head of the bow was broken and poorly repaired, head plate missing or any number of other issues are present, yes - perhaps you should keep looking.
If you have a reliable dealer, take the instrument to them. Often the cost of refitting is similar to the cost of renovation of a old home, higher than new making. When my customers come in and want to sell privately, I recommend a reduced price from what the violin would cost in a shop, since there is no future to the instrument such as warranty, service, and trade in.
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