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Stringingalong

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  1. Wow, what an incredible resource this community is! I am overwhelmed by the mixture of replies and educated opinions. I get easily carried away with things, and I think this was another case of that. The instrument is alluring, but I cannot discount the psychological effect of the price and how it relates to perceived tone quality, even though I am experienced and was raised around music, and have been a musician for 20+ years. I have learned that price VERY often reflects quality, with some exceptions. In this world everything is subjective, but the world of music we can usually agree what is of quality, who writes good music, who plays well, who interprets well, basically what sounds well, and while it is true that a lot of people , me included, seem drawn towards the darker more woody tone in instruments I think it is a mistake to say that this is for other reasons than personal taste when It comes to anyone beyond a certain experience level. A lot of the violins that are being made today that I have tried seem exceedingly bright and dry, as if the focus is on volume and projection rather than a pleasant tone. A luthier I saw the other day said this was a trend he was seeing, where some musicians on mellow instruments would feel like they were getting lost in the mix of brighter more aggressive sounding instruments. It depends on the purpose (not everyone is an orchestra violinist - I play mostly gypsy music myself), but I would say there are probably great balanced violins in all categories. I have played incredibly dark and bone dry (lifeless) Chinese crap that doesn't do anything for me except make me want to throw the instrument in the trash. They say that in a mountain of garbage the gold will always shine but the mountain of cheap but well made, yet horrible sounding instruments has made it hard to find the gold. I decided to pass on this instrument, and if I cannot get it out if my head I will go back one last time and see if it is worth enough to me to justify a year's savings. I would definitely keep the instrument my entire lifetime so I am not too worried about resale value, but knowing that issues usually present themselves after a week or so it is worrisome nevertheless. Thanks for all of your input, it has been valuable.
  2. Thanks for the recommendations and links. Lots of strong opinions here. I'm going to spend some time going over all of this. For the record I am currently in the US, specifically in south Florida, where I found the violin. The violin is in a music store that deals with several different types of instruments but mostly string instruments. They had instruments ranging from Chinese $100 junk to $25K German junk (apparently). I played all the instruments from $3000 and upwards (about 10-15 different ones). The $25K one was hands down the most appealing in tone. It had a warm, deep, dark and "wet" sound, night and day from everything else that sounded brittle and dry in direct comparison. They had some OK sounding UK-built violins, and certificates and stories for just about everything else, but I kept going back to the Guarnerius copy. He must have reached that price somehow, the instruments weren't just randomly priced. There's no doubt the instrument sounds special, but he seems emotionally vested in it, perhaps for that exact reason. He said it sounds more like a $50000-60000 instrument, and that if he had a certificate he would be selling it for much more. He's an ex-pro orchestra player who now trades instruments for a living. I offered him $18K on the spot, but he declined and said it was far too little. I went back and took some pictures and I'm now sharing them with you. The reason I'm asking here and not my colleagues is because I don't live in Florida, I'm only here temporarily and don't know any violinists here. The overall consensus judging by the response here is that he's selling a piece of junk. It is, however the most beautiful sounding piece of junk I've encountered so far, and even my girlfriend who knows nothing about violins agreed that the instrument had a special character. It's all very confusing and frustrating!
  3. Kallie, that's what I'm thinking too. I guess the search continues!
  4. David, while it won't make anyone an expert it certainly wouldn't make it worse, though. I know it's a complicated topic that could potentially be sustained indefinitely on a forum of enthusiasts such as this, but we all thirst for knowledge, and isn't sharing such knowledge part of the spirit of this community? Either way I appreciate everyone's time so far.
  5. Thanks for all your comments guys, I guess I fell too quickly in love with its tone, and after trying about 30 instruments I was getting frustrated. Then this one popped up. Out of curiosity, how does one distinguish a German made copy from something made elsewhere? What was the tell tale sign in this case? The wood looks pretty old from inside, though, even though you can't see it in the pictures.
  6. Hello, I have encountered an instrument that sounds incredible, but there's no documentation, no knowledge of where it came from, and of course it is a copy (right?). My pictures are not great, wrong lens for this type of work, but you can see some details at least. The instrument sounds absolutely beautiful, deep dark and woody tone with lots of overtones and life. I can't justify $25K for an instrument that has no other value than its superior tone (funny, since that's really all that matters to us as musicians, but as an investment and for resale value all that seems to matter is documentation), but the sound beats anything I've heard so far. Obviously it's hard to evaluate based on this limited information, and shoddy pictures but perhaps you knowledgable people on this forum have some ideas or thoughts? What do the numbers on top of the label mean? Do you see any issues with it? Here are the pictures : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vdfpt2fb45d7bse/PnKYcA4UJq
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