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Baroque violin from SHAR


techfiddle
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I have the $100 baroque violin bow. It's in the Italian style, as can be seen from the picture on shar; but not as noticeabley, it is also convex (or concave, depending on which way you see it). The construction isn't very solid - where the frog connects to the shaft isn't very secure, and the screw mechanism is, well.. a bit screwy. But hey, it's a hundred bucks. I'd say overall this bow is worth as much as it costs.

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Not to be rude, not at all. But this is a steryotype that I am getting a little tired of hearing. In many cases, the quality of handmade Chinese instruments meets or exceeds their German equivilants. So long as the Chinese instruments come from a workshop with REAL luthiers (and not industrial carpenters) the products can be quite good. However, I will have to agree that 90% of the time German instruments trompse all over Chinese violins. I all also add that the Germans have a MUCH, MUCH better reputation then the Chinese. (I DO tend to favor German instruments)

But watch out, the Chinese are on the rise.....and they are getting really good at this violin thing.

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Yeah, Austen, I mean the fine tuners are actually working on them...barely...that is if they don't break off right when you touch them.

It's not only me who has experienced the worst of quality of chinese violins, my teacher has, all of her students have, all of my friends hate how chinese violins always fall apart, so it's kind of common sense not to buy a chinese violin unless you're on a tight budget. So Austen, this isn't so much a steryotype as it is a known fact.

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There are quite a few different Chinese violin makers -- you know, China is quite a large country ... I have no experience with Chinese Baroque instruments (my violin is custom made and my viola is from an Eastern European maker), but the modern viola that I play semi-professionally since six years or so is a Chinese one. It was much cheaper than any European instrument I tried, and better than most of them.

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Austen you are absolutely right.

Your statement 'So long as the Chinese instruments come from a workshop with REAL luthiers (and not industrial carpenters) the products can be quite good.' - therein lies the key.

Given the relative cost of labor, Chinese instruments if made by professional luthiers, even supervised in a quality shop production environment are simply better than their global counterparts in the same price range. In US dollar terms try comparing your $800 chinese instrument with a $800 german one. Due to a mere perceived quality difference, people usually buy cheaper chinese instruments early on to save mnoney, but are later willing to spend $2000 plus for italian/german/romanian ones and tend to make comparisons across instruments with a huge range in price. They are also generally better at violin later on when they make these comparisons and rather mistakingly proclaim - 'my old chinese violin sucked!' - sure blame the instrument.

The cost of labor difference, ensures that Chinese instruments of comparable lutherie, will always be better dollar for dollar. This is the only acceptable fact .

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Austen, I'm not saying they're garbage, I'm just saying their quality could be much better. Yes, there are good chinese violins out there, but it's very rare to find one. I've played so many of them, and I hated the tone quality. NEver had I played a decent chinese violin. Basically what I'm saying is if I had $1000 to spend on a violin, I would definitely get a German made or Romanian made violin, considering their reputation is much better. But, you know, if you're on a tight budget, about all there is are chinese violins for you. But if you want a decent violin and you have money, then it's common sense to go for a German made violin. And that's all there is to it.

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Austen-

what I am absolutely sick of is the chinese sellers hawking brand new instruments (12 or so different seller ID's) all using the same photo and calling this an Antique found in the Henan countryside. (Yeah, maybe if thats where the factory is located, I guess they could have "found" them there, but the violin pictured is NOT an antique by any stretch of the imagination.

Which is why I would be wary of any Chinese seller at this point. However, I do think that if SHAR is handling these violins, the business/ legitimacy end of the thing would be OK. And I truthfully don't have recent experience with the quality of Chinese instruments. Just some of the shadier sales tactics as seen on ebay.

Norma

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Oh, no, Austen, you're not saying that in a derrogitory manner...how do you know I don't have the experience? And what, you have all the experience? You are very stuck up, you know that? Acting like you know EVERTHING. (And yes, I am saying that in a derrogitory manner)

...you know more than anybody here, is that what you're saying...

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Quote:

Austen-

what I am absolutely sick of is the chinese sellers hawking brand new instruments (12 or so different seller ID's) all using the same photo and calling this an Antique found in the Henan countryside. (Yeah, maybe if thats where the factory is located, I guess they could have "found" them there, but the violin pictured is NOT an antique by any stretch of the imagination.

Which is why I would be wary of any Chinese seller at this point. However, I do think that if SHAR is handling these violins, the business/ legitimacy end of the thing would be OK. And I truthfully don't have recent experience with the quality of Chinese instruments. Just some of the shadier sales tactics as seen on ebay.

Norma


I agree, I am sick of that too. I read about it in Strings Magazine.

Sara a m, I am not going to waste my time on childish, and immature insults and arguements.

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Not specific to chinese instruments, crooks can be found anywhere!

Until 5-8yrs of dedicated violin practice is complete(yes definitely not < 5yrs), the problem is almost always the violinist, not instrument!

Unfortunately sometimes teachers unable to progress the student can only suggest violin upgrades.

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My Baroque viola is from Rudolph Fiedler -- I got it through the Early Music Shop in London. It was actually even less than the SHAR Baroque violin when I bought it a couple of years ago. I'm assuming the violin makers in Eastern Europe don't have the highest salaries either ... I'm very pleased with this viola, but never would have bought it without trying it first, of course -- the price really made me suspicious at first.

So, there are instruments available at less-than-you-would-dare-hope-for -- and this SHAR Baroque violin just might be one of those. When somebody has tried it, please enlighten us!

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I thought simple counterexamples would solve the dispute.

sara, have you ever tried the chinese violins by the shop of Scott Cao (his main shop is in Campbell, CA, but he has factories in China) and the Jay Haide series of Ifshin violins (Berkeley, CA)? Those are the best violins I've ever played under $2000 - too bad they don't have baroque violins. Any Scott Cao at $800 I tried was unimaginably better than the $800 Karl Hofner I once owned, and I'd even say better than some antique ~$5000 German (though against antique instruments it's a little apple and orange). I'm sorry that all the chinese instruments you tried in your area are terrible, but yeah, as mentioned above, China is a HUMONGOUS country

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