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new chinese violins?


maestramusica
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Does anyone know much about the new Chinese violins being offered by Muses, made by Wei Ming Li, or Benjamin Feng? I note they make very visually attractive instruments, often using extremely unique "quilted Maple" backs, and sometimes carving the scrolls in unique styles. But as we all know, the key is not how it looks, but how it sounds. Has anyone heard any of these fiddles?

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Post deleted by Jeffrey Holmes

To all; There is a fine line I am attempting to maintain concerning "for sale" or "advertising" and answering questions/sharing information. While many of us on this forum are dealers of one sort or another, maintaining the balance on the board is important to all, I believe.

If questions are asked concerning specific information on products offered, the dealer/seller is welcome to answer those questions... but please avoid general ad type posts.

Thanks you.

Jeffrey

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The eBay description states...

" All instruments are graduated by hand and finished according to the specifications of traditional old Italian style in our own overseas workshops, then setup in our Santa Paula studio."

Screechee,

Do you feel the overseas workshops are somehow deviating from the "traditional old Italian specifications"? What do you find wrong with the varnish?

Most of the customers left positive feedback so they must find the instruments acceptable for the price!

By the way, how can those finish specifications be obtained? A number of people have always wondered how the old Italians did it!

Just curious.

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The varnish looks like shellac laquer. It doesn't matter what you put on, if it is far too thick it will ultimately dull the sound. However, the figuring of the wood is beautiful on some of them, btw!

I know very little of how the old Italians did it exactly, I just use common sense and have read up about it enough to know what is good application and what isn't.

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Skreechee,

I do think we must maintain reasonable expectations for the finish used on a $165 violin.

If you look at the BEAUTIFUL-STRINGED-INSTRUMENTS "professional model" listed for $1500, the varnish appears to be of a much superior quality. Look particularily at the photo showing the ribs and the edgework detail.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...39&tc=photo

I agree with you.. that is some beautifully figured wood.

Jimbow

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I have friend with a music store who has started stocking a few of these (Muses) violins. They are fine, there is nothing about them that is shady or deceptive. They all come with a Bobelock knock-off case and an OK bow. That said, they are like most Chinese violins, and like what the Mirecourt violins, of JTL for example, were in their day.

What I mean is that there are various grades, and the best ones are pretty good sounding to me. The lower end ones are OK. They don't sound bad, but like all instruments made of wood, some are better sounding than others of the same grade. The best ones seem to have pretty good wood, but they are not cheap either-about $3K I think. Unlike JTL violins (medio fino) even the low end Muses violins have nicely figured Chinese maple.

They are well made, and the varnish and modeling seem good to me. They are not lacquered, they appear to have an oil varnish and it's good.

I would bet that the violins sold by Mr. McDario are similar in quality, probably no better or no worse on average. Of course, you want to buy one that's above average, like all the kids in Lake Wobegone. How you do that buying online I'm not sure...

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I have looked at some of the Chineese instruments in shops and there are differences in sound within the same models. Talking to shop owners, it doesn't matter if the violin setup is done at factory or in shop(somewhat better) there is a noticable difference in tone and projection between instruments. I wonder if most of those going onto ebay are what is left after "cherry picking" the better ones for local clients.

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I have tried two Chinese violins in last 5 years. They were

good but similar in sound (tones)($2k, $4k in retail ) I did not know why. Now I think, the set-up by the same shop that made them similar. Workmanships were good too, but $4k violin

could stand up with time ,only thing I could see.

My gerenal feeling is that you get what you pay for. Violin shops and e-bay sellers and alike know exactly what they are doing.

I have also tried a $6000 Roth,(and the $4k Chinese and this Roth were copies of same Strad, different wood, different varnishes) it was definitely better. It could be just the set-up. No clue for me. /yuen/

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I HEARD ABOUT BENJAMIN FENG VIOLINS. YES, HE OFFERS GREAT VIOLINS, INCLUDING THE RARE "QUILTED BIRD's EYE MAPLE" VIOLIN. I WANT TO OWN ONE FROM HIM BUT I HEARD THAT THE ONLY PROBLEM ON PREVIOUSLY SOLD VIOLINS WERE THE "SLIPPING PEGS," BUT OVER ALL IT's A GREAT ONE. ZHANG IS ALSO A GREAT CHINESE MAKER & ALSO TIAN YING FAMILY OF THE INFAMOUS "TIAN YING VIOLIN."

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Hi Yuen, Maybe I'm dense, but from your posting I could not tell whether you liked the Roth better or not. For me it would probably be the Roth, well set up with good strings, simply because I like their beauty, age, history, and excellent tone. Some of those modern Chinese will doubtless take on a lot of that in 80 years. Cheers, Larry.

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I meant :"Roth was better". Please don't be confused with just any Roth. This particular Roth had a lot of repairs but was a set-up,(with a Chicago Violin shop name the most excellent one,(wood were excellent,very laser sharp densed grains spruce top, equally densed flamed back etc, It must be made for the KING kind of wood no exaggeration of my part, the repair was another story,wait for another days to tell you) I have ever known. Inside with a label and brand stamp,signature, so many words elaboratedly written on it. You can spend a whole afternoon just to digest what was written. It is not fair to the Chinese violin I tried (with Okay set-up with few words on the label).

You may ask,if it was so good why did you buy it?

Good question. I know you would like to ask. The seller wanted $6k cold cash for it.(no trade,no installments,no return). I am not a compulsory buyer.

And, it was sold to other next day. Anyway. I did not regret. /yuen/

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Hi Yuen- Thanks for the clarification- The Roth you describe sounds very interesting- maybe it just needs some TLC. Ireally feel that given the high qaulity of the best Chinese makers, they should start to sign and stamp their instruments. The anonymity is for me a problem. Cheers, Larry.

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