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Cao 750 vs. Gliga Gama


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Greetings all! This is my first post in quite a while! I am looking at the acquistion of a new fiddle -- since my TH Jr. sprouted wings. The Cao 750 Guarnerius and Gliga Gama Guarnerius are my choices. How do they stack up against eachother? Tit for tat,pro and cons. I gotta say I am attracted to the nicely figured woods of the Gligas. Thanks in advance. Lane

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I must say I'm always puzzled by this kind of question. How can anybody else tell you which one you would prefer? Not to mention that there are significant differences between individual examples of a particular workshop make and model. Even with mail order, any reputable source will offer some way to try before you buy- and that's the only way to go.

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I have both a Scott Cao STV 750 Guarnerius) and a Gliga Maestro (Strad). The 750 is a much better sounding and playing violin than the Gliga at a third the price.

Here is my sad (Gliga)story.

I ordered my Gliga Maestro form Violinlovers.com after a long search of Meastronet for information form others who had bought Gliga instruments, and the fact that I was impatient. I had planned to buy a Scott Cao STV-1500, but just the right one was not available.

The Gliga Meastro's looked so beautiful on their website and with the many good reports I read about them, I decided to buy a Gliga.

The violin arrived, it is of beautiful craftsmanship, but the sound was not so good.

One of the biggest mistake's of my life. (I take that back. The biggest mistake was my 2nd deviorce.)

Oh yes, I know, I should have sent it back, but I thought it would get better and thought a new setup was all it needed. My seven day trial period passed as I played my new violin thinking it would (Play-in).

After a little over a month, I started seeking help. Craig Tucker suggested I contact Robertson & Sons Violon Shop in Albuquerque, NM... I did, and mailed the Gliga to them.

The news was not good... It was going to require much more than a setup.

Here is the "shocker" .. How about a re-graduation and replacement of the bassbar... That's right.

The work was done a few month's ago and the violin sounds and plays great now, but all that should have been done before it left the makers shop.'

I contacted Violinlovers before I sent it for repair and didn't hear from them for two weeks. By then the work was started. They offered to let me ship it back to Romaina in an email, but as I said, it was already being repaired.

I thought some of you perspective buyers would like something else to loose sleep over.

Next time I buy a violin it will be in person, or from a shop that employs a good luthier. Or, from someone with and impeccable repetition, like Geroge Behary...

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I've never tried a Scott Cao. No-one answers emails there and as far as I know, no-one imports them into the UK. I just might buy one on ebay one day to see what they're really like. As for prices, you are comparing a Scott Cao to a Maestro, not a Gama.

Over here the Gama is becoming very popular indeed, we have only ever had one back and that was from someone who was prepared to spend three times as much. I guess it's a case of what sort of price range you're in though, we only sell violins up to about £1500 and the great majority of our sales are below £500. What I do find is that the differences between the Maestro and the Gama are mainly in tonal quality: Maestros are significantly brighter than Gamas. The other thing I find is disputed by Michael but I'm still convinced, and that is that Americans like a much brighter tone than English buyers.

But ... if anyone can persuade Scott Cao to answer our emails, we will be happy to get some of his violins in to make a fair comparison


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I have a Cao 850 and live in america, its actually dark sounding on the bottom and sweet on the top, a fairly robust tone for the money, that is when it is played correctly and without a mute on it.

I bought an 850 because I wanted all european wood, Im wondering if this is a real advantge (to getting a 750 with a chinese maple back)?

Also considering an upgrade this year, any suggestions?

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Liz thanks for the reply. All of the fiddles I have owned have been on the bright side. I really would like a dark bassey sounding fiddle. I have never played a Guarnerius but I have been told by countless other musicians that the Guarnerius typically has a deeper tone; that may be a totally subjective characteristic, one I intend to explore.

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