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  1. Out of the two trial violins I brought to a lesson which were pretty different in price, my teacher said both had something that my current violin does not, but to keep looking. There was also some suggestion that the qualities I am likely looking for are mostly found outside of the price range I've been looking in. My teacher does not think that my current violin is holding me back but agrees with me about some of the deficiencies I find in my current violin. I don't get a strong sense that my teacher has a lot of experience with violin pricing specifically. I don't know if my teacher would get a percentage of the sale but given no particular attachment to a specific shop, I think this is not too likely.
  2. I don’t actually think they are. It’s a reputable shop. But the local market may or may not be making prices higher (maybe a lot?) than elsewhere.
  3. Thank you for your insight. I do trust that the shop I reference is reputable. It’s that I am concerned that the local market may be priced a lot higher than everywhere else. It sounds like it’s likely within range of US prices.
  4. I’ve watched the violin shopping video. While it was highly entertaining I’m not sure that it gave me much more knowledge of the actual process of selecting an instrument.
  5. US West Coast. I probably need to be more specific than this, but it’s a start.
  6. I've been trying violins at my local shops, and the prices seem higher than I expected in some cases. The prices on German trade violins from the 20th century have particularly surprised me. I unfortunately did not get specific dates for some of the instruments I tried, which I know makes a difference in price. Do these prices sound normal, understanding that I didn't write down the years for most instruments and prices will range depending on the year? EUGEN MEINEL for $12,500. Heinrich Th Heberlein for $10K Jurgen Klier for $6,250 (I think this was a 1990s or late 1980s model) KA Gutter 1921 for $11,500 From a different shop: Gustave August Ficker for $8,500 - mid 1950s model In my local area, I have the help of a professional (my violin teacher) to guide my violin search and eventual purchase, but I'm starting to wonder if I should explore shopping outside of my area. I am also considering lesser known contemporary makers but I haven't found anything contemporary that I am particularly drawn to yet. Most of what the shops show me are German or French workshop violins.
  7. On the subject of Shar violins, they have a clearance section with trade in instruments and sometimes they offer additional coupons. I've only tried their Carlo Lamberti line which is a bit more expensive than the Franz Hoffman, but it seemed like a decent beginner instrument. @ChickenBeeMan Taking a look at the violin you inherited pictured above, it looks like it had a large top crack repaired in a bit of an amateur way and the pegbox looks a bit chewed at one of the peg holes. As someone who played a violin with very bad pegs that I could not learn to tune as a youth, I would highly urge you to make sure that the violin is in full working order before your child plays this instrument.
  8. I've done this before. I just moved over the A, D, and G and got a short scale viola C. I probably had dominants on my violin at the time and I think I tried a Zyex C. Helicore C might work well for a violin strung as a viola (they make a short scale viola and a violin C). My experience was that my instrument sounded just fine as a viola (and not really worse than some 14" violas I've tried). If you want to keep the violin strung as a viola, you might want to make sure the bridge and nut have the right grooves for viola strings and have a soundpost adjustment. I think some violins make better violas than others. Regarding viola size, I have a 15.5" viola that I have been avoiding playing because I often get hand pains when I play it for the duration for example of an orchestra or chamber music rehearsal. While it's very true that small people can play larger violas, not all people are equally flexible and sometimes it makes more sense to play a smaller instrument. Also, I find that having my arm very extended makes playing in first position on the C string, especially with vibrato, rather difficult.
  9. I’m considering making my first real bow upgrade since returning to playing as an adult. As I’ve never done any serious bow shopping, I’m interested in getting some tips on things to look for and to look out for. I have a budget that’s going to primarily get me a Brazilian or German workshop bow. It could get me a previously repaired bow of a more reputable make, but is this like getting a violin with a repaired soundpost crack? Is it reasonable to consider a repaired bow?
  10. Thanks for all the advice. I’ll try to take the instrument to a luthier in a couple of weeks and see if they can make a bridge that compensates for the issue reasonably well.
  11. Another question that I have is, how big of an issue is an off center neck and what amount of off centered ness becomes a problem? How do I tell if the issue is the neck or the fingerboard? Can these issues be compensated for and how? I can’t get to a shop for a couple weeks to have the instrument checked out, but I’m sure they can answer these questions when I do.
  12. @David Burgessthank you for your response. I have read the article on the Triangle Strings website where they outline a process for determining the center line for the purposes of bridge placement. I might try something similar. I do think that something seems off about the neck and/or fingerboard on this instrument.
  13. @Strad O Various Jr.I did what you suggested and tried to get some photos of the results.
  14. @Strad O Various Jr. I haven’t figured out a good way to measure it, but it looks like the fingerboard is .5 cm closer to the bass side of the instrument than it is to the treble side. But the weird bridge could also be throwing off my perception. Edit: If I place the edge of a piece of paper alongside the fingerboard, the bridge seems centered with the fingerboard, but it’s obviously off center on the body.
  15. Since posting the other day I have shortened the tailgut and moved the soundpost. The soundpost is still definitely not it the right place but it is now closer to the bridge rather than about 1cm away. The e string has an overly ringing, piercing tone although the two lower strings sound pleasant. I’ve also confirmed that the fingerboard is definitely off center which is disappointing. It looks like the neck is set off kilter. @FiddleDoug according to Pegheds Facebook page, they make a replacement for Caspari pegs. They still require removing the whole peg and bushing assembly. @geoff1954 The fingerboard is off center. Given this issue, I don’t really think it’s worth a professional setup and it’s probably worth attempting to return it where I bought it. I did manage to move the soundpost closer to the bridge but I’m pretty sure it’s still not in the right spot based on the sound. @Strad O Various Jr. I’m pretty sure a setup will cost more than a couple hundred dollars where I live and given the off center fingerboard, it’s probably not worth it. The instrument doesn’t sound terrible but my bow keeps hitting the treble c bout which is likely because off the off centered-ness. @GeorgeH the Caspari pegs are kind of tight but I don’t think they are slipping . The fingerboard is definitely off center which is really disappointing so I’m not sure how much good a professional setup will do. The serial number inside the instrument looks stamped rather than branded. It’s not on a paper label. There is also a brand on the base of the neck that I can see looking through the end pin hole. @deansand @Dave Slight I agree a setup would be in order if the violin is worth it at all given the off center fingerboard. That’s a good idea to get a bridge made and work to copy it to try and learn more about fitting a bridge. Thanks everyone for your responses.
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