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  1. I forgot to mention that unless it is a true rare violin (which we are not going to get for $2500) we plan to hang on to it and not sell it. We are much more interested in the sound and to insure it is of a quality that it holds up to some orchestra playing. My daughter has this crazy habit that we currently indulge of hanging on to violins. They are kind of like teddy bears for a 12 year old.
  2. Thank you Blank Face for your bravery! I am really OK with bluntness. No time to be political correct! Tara
  3. Here are photos of older fiddle. Please let me know your thoughts, possible age, origin, etc. I thought my photos looked clear until I saw the preview. Oh well. I will post for now and you can let me know your thoughts. Thanks so much! I hope when I push the post button these photos show up! LOL
  4. Thanks Rue, Now I am trying to figure out what icon allows me to take them from my computer.
  5. Greetings All, Time to check in. Well after previewing many violins, it is down to 2 violins for my daughter. One is a Snow. It is predictable, sounds very good although it looks a little odd due to varnishing. The other I just got but it moved to the #2 position is supposed to be an older fiddle. I was hoping I can post some pictures to get your opinions on approximate age, set up, origins, etc. I have the paper that states this info, but honestly, I have learned from labels that it can all be just words on a paper. And with my lack of experience it could have been made in 2014 and I wouldn't know it, so please don't hold back! Now I just have to go and research to see how to show photos. My education never stops!
  6. Now that our full size purchase is in the near future it is dawning on me that there are other important components like a case. My daughter has been using back pack stile soft cases but it seams like a more substantial case is in order. Need something light enough for her but durable if stepped on. Their orchestra is quite crowded so accidents are bound to happen there or elsewhere Does anyone shop cases via the Internet or EBay or do the same thoughts hold true for violin buying in that you need to go touch one in a store to be sure it is right for you?
  7. Greetings All, I wanted to give you an update on my process and let you know how your posts have helped me keep an open mind on our violin shopping. It has been an interesting experience and one where I find myself "growing" and coming out of my comfort zone. As you know, my OP was regarding Ebay sellers and my desire to purchase an antique fiddle for higher level middle/high school orchestra playing. Preferred budget was $2500 with the thought of a much more expensive fiddle budget in the future IF my daughter "earns" it. Translation - she is a typical pre-teen into lots of things like being a great student, athlete, musician, etc. As a parent, you know she can be a better musician if she practiced more but with our busy lives, we are happy with her progress. She currently plays in a symphony group, is one of the youngest at age 12 and is 3rd chair out of about 50 violins. So the potential is there and we need a fiddle to replace her 3/4 antique one. And perhaps it is flawed thinking, but we didn't want to invest in a more expensive fiddle until we see her commit to her progress - demonstrated in lots more practice instead of the 15 to 20 minutes she tends to put in with coaxing. Additionally, this is a child where we are now up to about 7 retainers due to her habit of placing them on the carpet where she is reading just to have one of us step on it! And although she has not damaged a violin yet, her pre-teen focus or lack of do not support a Strad anytime in the near future! So based on this criteria, there were several things that were an absolute for me. - I will not buy a violin without my daughter and her teacher liking it (teacher has no financial connection to our purchase) - It is easier for the violins to be demoed locally to accommodate the above - I will not buy a violin that has not been checked out with our local luthier What has changed for me: I have a love for old violins and still do, BUT in keeping an open mind and reading some of your posts, I have moved away from this position. We are currently demoing a Snow violin and it sounds so much better than her current antique and others we have heard along this journey. I know it sounds strange, but it feels a bit like I lost a friend because I was initially not open at all to anything other than antiques. I feel like the sentiment for Chinese instruments is still very mixed, but I couldn't deny the sound quality and good set up of the fiddle. It is easy for my daughter to play, we tested it in an auditorium, etc. and it was a good fit. Since I am now out of my comfort zone, (and in the spirit of many of your recommendations to go to shops and play other instruments) we are now on that path. We have two violins we are testing now. I made arrangements to get more by the end of next week. My final consideration is seeing if I want any others sent to me from some of the major sellers some of you have mentioned where my investment is shipping costs if they don't work out. So although I don't live in an area where there are many brick and mortar shops, I am utilizing a few and in some cases I am taking advantage of the internet to have some sent to us. Speaking of the internet, I did actually find a lovely antique full size bow on Ebay. I know.....I started this thread with Ebay on the brain and here I go bringing it up again! What can I say, it has always been a comfortable place for me to buy things. However, based on your posts and thoughts, I clearly realize buying a fiddle on Ebay can be treacherous and if someone were to take the plunge, make sure you do it with someone who provides a 100% refund if not happy. Based on where we are now, I expect our fiddle purchase to take place in the next 13 days, but who is counting?!!!! PS I have not received any reach outs from a young maker on making a fiddle as referenced in one of the posts. Sounds like a fascinating project. And even though the practical side of me has this $2500 budget in mind now, I know my daughter is my heart. IF she morphs into some dedicated musician, we will not hold her back and will support her with a higher level instrument. Stad - NO 10 to 15K not out of the question. Thanks again for all of your sharing! Tara
  8. Greetings to All, I am enjoying a short weekend (mini vacation) before going back to the craziness of my life (worker, driver to youth orchestra, homework checker, and hopefully fiddle purchaser soon)! I continue to enjoy reading posts here and in other parts of the site. I was reading something in Pegbox (I think that is the name) and read a member say they purchased a fiddle in a Tarisio Auction. I think from your generous posts, I am clear that many would stay clear from buying a violin on an Ebay auction ...or at least tell rookies like me to do so. I am curious does that same sentiment hold true for auctions like Tarisio? If not, is it because they are "authenticated" if that is an official term? Is the difference being that one is an auction house that needs to uphold their reputation verses the tons of people who could sell violins with no true insight into the fiddles background, maker or set up? Have you purchased from Tarisio? I still can't imagine it being good for folks like me that know very little about violins. Many of you look at photos and can tell a month's worth of data as I look at it and only see the most surface of things. Thanks again for sharing and opening up your world to people like me. Tara
  9. I stand corrected. Looks like my posts are going up rather quickly. Now I get to "speak" in current tense and be in the moment with all of you! Tara
  10. Greetings All, Please don't let my absence of posts be construed as a lack of interest or follow up. I continue to follow and read your pearls of wisdom several times a day. I never thought a single question about Ebay sellers would generate such a fascinating discussion! I even post messages myself that are timely in the moment that may address a question asked to me or serve as a response to something I read. However, I keep forgetting that I am still in rookie status and my posts have to be read and approved for the board. So there is often a 2 to 4 day delay until you see them. I may be a bit tardy at times, but I am not that SLOW. Hopefully soon I will be able to respond in real time! :-) Tara
  11. Yes Victor, I continue to get things out of the posts! I love the comments as they contain opportunities to learn, grow, consider the possibilities and to help me form my strategy. It is a bit like a smorgasbord...feed on what you like, be open to things that are out of your comfort zone and hopefully end up full and happy! What I have settled on for sure is making sure I get fiddles I may try out, take to her teacher and a local luthier and send back for a refund if they don't fit our needs. That takes is out of my totally rookie hands and surrounds the process with different skill sets, expertise and a mechanism not to get ripped off with a VSO! It also helps us make sure we have a sound and comfortable fiddle for my daughter and we can test out the subjective component of tone/sound, etc. I can' tell you all how much I APPRECIATE your willingness to share, challenge and help me widen the net so I get a good catch in the end! Hmmm, I must be hungry as I just realized I have several food analogies in my post! Time for an early lunch! Tara
  12. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and for Lorenzo's thoughts on teacher trust. Fortunately in that department, I trust her completely. The violin is our individual purchase and so there is no possibility for her to gain. She is actually the director of the orchestra where my daughter goes to school. She is one of those people that puts in tons of time, goes way out of her way and will do anything to support my daughter's growth, including losing her as a student if she continues to progress. As for renting Rue, we considered it early on when she began playing at 8. When we did the math, we thought purchasing was a better option for us. She rents a school violin just for orchestra lessons, but we take her's to her private lessons and to the youth orchestra she is in. Finally, IF she stays engaged with her music (and with pre-teen sightings popping up more I am not sure), my guess is we will invest in a more substantial purchase to support her. That is why I was considering lots of options including Ebay because I am not going to make a huge investment until I see her make the same in practice commitment. What can I say? She is quite talented in many things and can be spectacular if she applied herself more but it is hard to argue when the end results are great grades, well rounded, gifted athlete and a great character. Personally, I played the cello until the first year in middle school. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she lasts a lot longer than I did.
  13. I live in South Florida and hear there are some dealers about 4 to 5 hours away. My only challenge is I want her teacher to listen to them as well. We do have some competition stuff coming up and she will be trying to qualify for all-states this year where several dealers attend. Also I have been focusing so much on the violin I read some posts about bows which completely slipped my mind. Right now she plays on a 3/4 Coda Bow but I suppose I need to wake up as she will need a full size bow too. Please tell me there is not as much fraud in buying bows as there can be in violins. Do people carve fake names into them, distress them to appear old, use cheap wood and call it something else in hopes of finding people like me? :-) Does the same general advice stand for bows...go to a dealer and try them out? Do people buy them online like I did her first one? Stay away from auctions unless they are some of the ones you mentioned that sale violins? And finally, I came across some statistic like expect to pay 1/3 (or was it 1/6) of the violin price for a bow? I have never had a drink in my life but surely this buying instrument stuff is going to drive me beyond my drink of choice....Shirley Temples!
  14. Thank you everyone. I will stay in discovery mode and will try to maximize my opportunities to get violins my daughter's teacher can hear. I certainly cannot rely on my ears to tell me anything! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, concerns and even links with me. I feel like I have a wider net to consider that will lead me to my daughter's next violin. Tara
  15. Thank you for your candid responses. We have been using a dealer of rare violins and I haven't abandoned ship yet, but the attention to detail has slipped and the last two "try outs" we took to her teacher were not good. Perhaps my budget is too low and it is not their market once you get into a 4/4??? We are partial to older violins and prefer not to go new. 1930's and older is the range we are looking at. I am not so concerned about an investment, as my daughter grows attached to these things as if it is a favorite stuffed animal and doesn't want to let them go. (We still have her 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 she is playing now) Quality of sound (which is subjective) is key along with some basics like nothing broken, bad repairs, structually sound, etc. A bonus would be things like nicely carved scroll and cosmetic items like nothing painted on. She is 12 and we have no visions of her pursuing music as a career. However she plays in an upper level orchestra, was concert master last year and plays duets and solos at state competitions. So having some brilliance along with the lower strings that tug at your heart when played is what we need. Whoever we work with needs to be local or one that accepts returns so her teacher can approve it. I don't mind a few hundred invested in some shipping costs because of this. Being a newbie (which is reinforced by reading all of your wonderful posts) I realize my weakness is in hearing descriptions of how a violin sounds or hearing one that is played on the internet. For example, I am attracted to a description like the following (translation, I am probably the perfect candidate for a rip off). Sorry, I don't know how to properly put in a link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Extraordinary-Antique-Markneukirchen-German-Violin-Excellent-Original-Condition-/331638507307 Personally, I find the front of this violin to be very unattractive and I heard too much varnish impairs the sound of the violin or perhaps covers some bad repairs. But I hear the word "patina" and the description of how it is supposed to sound and I think it is a good thing. If it truly played beautifully and the site of any violin we get doesn't make her conductor gag or make them think we have lost out mind, I could get over the instrument not looking nice, as quality of sound and a sound fiddle are ultimately the goal. As a final thought, I hear there are reputable dealers that are not local that will still ship violins to you to play and are returnable if they do not meet your needs. If that is a common practice that I remain ignorant to, please let me know. Thank you again for your posts. I am trying to read as many as possible. I find it all fascinating and want to learn more about violin parts and how they impact the sound, etc. Don't know if there are any good books that are out there, but they may fall short of all of the posts that are here.
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