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Chinese violins


Auelfan
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I think the cut and fit of that bridge looks fine. I like the arch between the feet, if that's what you're asking about. I've read that a higher arch will accentuate higher frequencies, making the violin sound brighter.

But it doesn't look like a very good quality blank--the wood I mean. Looks to be very soft, and the slightly ragged edges of the cuts support that.

It might be just right for that violin, but you might also get a different tonal result if you started with a better blank. OTOH, you might not like the result if the violins tends toward a bright sound.

You should post your question on The Pegbox section--I'm not sure that all of the makers read this section, and you might start a good discussion there. You may want to shrink the photos just a bit...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm glad to see that this discussion has taken on a new life. I bought two chinese violins on ebay for about $200 to $300 before bying a ZSM Soloist and finally a Masterpiece ZSM for $2300.00. I have replaced the sound post, bridge and strings in all of them. The Masterpiece is an incredible violin for the money. The tone is rich, deep and mellow, just the way I like it. The Soloist is a bit brighter but very nice. Glossy finish on Solist and vintage flat finish on Masterpiece. Very happy with both purchases. As I said in an earlier post, the better Chinese violins offer exceptional value today and I belive that their prices will rise as they are discovered. Many people are still afraid to purchase through ebay, which has kept the prices under control. There certainly is a lot of junk out there. I spent a lot of time emailing ZSM owners to get their reactions on their purchases. All very happy.

The cost of violin setup, i.e. making bridges, soundpost setup, peg replacement has forced me to do the work myself. Have learned a lot and have accumulated a lot of luthier tools. Oh well, off to play!

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No two Violins are alike that even if it is made by the same person, the sounds & workmanship will always be unique from one another. The violin made in China is admirable. I have Hofner made there which were Hofner germany certify & it cost less that its german counterparts. The sound is admirable. I also has the chance to have Zhang Shu-Mei violins which I am selling not because of the weak sounds but due to my wanting to help a dear friend who has finacial problem. It's sounds is great in all registers but when I approache the local orchestra member here in the Philippines, most will not want to try it upon hearing that it is made in China, that they prefer Italian or German violins. I found out that they are selling china made violins but not Zhang's. Crooked isnt it?! But case in point, Zhang is the only Asian that is certified by AMATI FOUNDATION last september 2004. These are Europeans that favord asian workmanship. Again, the circle aint completed & in vicious repetitiveness that most people I Know likes the Euro, German made violin. They bought regardless of the price. The China made ones are totally turned down without listening first & take out the prejudice while trying the instruments. I happened to try a german violin costing thousands of dollars, made in Germany. Yet it sounds weak & non-responsive. but a rich family bought without trying it first. To end my long story, my first violin is a gift freom a royal family. It's a Guarneri Desu, they said. I don't like it sounds. Or maybe i am really not a great player to know it is great since it is Italian. You decide. But whatever decision you have, next time you try a Violin to purchase, Close your eyes then play it. Use your ears to listen to its sounds. Disregard whether it is made in China or Germany. Listen to the Violin sounds not the preconceived notion that China made ones is no Good.

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Quote:

I have business interests in China (nothing to do with music or violins) and so have the opportunity to travel there from time to time.


Hi GlennYorkPA,

Could you tell us about your experiences in China? I'll be going to Shanghai this summer on business (also not related to music). I'd like to at least visit some violin makers there. Can you give me some recommendations? Also, what are your thoughts about buying directly from the maker?

Thanks for any of your thoughts.

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In Beijing, Zhang Shu-Mei has a workshop there. To complete the Chinese Violin triumvirate is Benjamin Feng & The famous in Europe, Tian Ying. I can also recommend the Antonio Zhang works! I guess that's it, but you will be astounded that there ae so many luthier / violin maker there in China which is not popular but when you try their Violins & other instruments, you can hear a solist sounds without having to spend thousands of U$ Dollars. ThaT some of these unknown Violin maker were c0mmissioned by some of Euro, American company to make Violins for them. Use your ears when you go there, & when you hear & see the ones you like, don't act excited so they can still lower their price which often happens. Good luck to you! Hey, don't think I am Chinese that's why I am promoting their Violins. I am from the Philippines but knows by ears. Once again, Good luck!

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It's a pleasure to be of great help. Be sure to take my advice, dont look excited when you are facing the instruments you like the best. Show coolness with apathy (hehehe) so they can lower the price/s. Be sure to get a guide, a trust worthy one. China is not crime-free. Well, every country is always same with that. Just be careful!

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