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Those are interesting observations. I agree that the eye appeal of Chinese violins can be deceptive, but had not heard much about how they hold up as over time. I have bought and sold four Chinese violins in the past year, reworking each one to a greater or lesser extent, depending on what they needed. At a minimum, they all needed to be set up properly. They turned out quite well, but one in particular had an extremely beautiful and expressive voice, way beyond expectations. It was 100 percent consistent on all strings and had great depth, character, and carrying power. It would be interesting to hear it again after a few years, but it’s gone now. Sold it to a lady who was visiting from Japan.

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I doubt there's any long-term degradation problem with Chinese violins as a class that's special to them *and* unable to be fixed. They do, however, vary a lot, depending on the source, and there's a pig-in-a-poke aspect to buying them. The first three I bought were undifferentiated by the person who sold them to me, yet very different in quality, both internally and externally, and ones from different shops are as different as from any other different shops are.

Perhaps the biggest problem I've heard of came to me under the name of using fresh, wet wood, but I've since then I've discovered that the choice of wood varies among shops, and is often dried just fine, but that the shops are located in the US equivalent of the Everglades, in a very hot, damp area, so it's almost inevitable that they react and change when coming to drier climates. That's not a deadly problem, though--we have the same one bringing old cellos from England. :-)

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I've just realised who they are. The P100 P200 and P300 are sold wholesale in the UK by http://www.thesoundpost.co.uk as the Primavera, Prima 200 and Prima 300. I don't think that can be a trade secret since these days they all come with the violmaster label still on!

We sell them so I know them very well.

In brief: better than most cheap student violins (including Stentor) but not a patch on .... um ... sorry that is a trade secret!!


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