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Buying a violin $6000 to $10,000 range


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Hello. I own a fiddle that I paid $1100.00 for. It is an English Guarneri copy and the label says Ferdinando Leoni, Parma, and I can't read the date of 18??.

I am looking at making a move up in the very near future in the range of $6000 to $10,000 maximum price. I am a celtic fiddler, mostly of the Scots variety. I want a dark, rich, fiddle tone. I understand that many new fiddles have a great tone right out of the gate, and that you don't necessarily have to buy an old instrument to get a great tone.

I'd greatly appreciate some ideas of makers to consider. Thank you.

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A good place to start is the Strings guide, online at http://www.stringsmagazine.com/Search/index.asp

You can search on instrument price near the bottom of the form.

One thing to note is that the categories overlap, but people are listed in one category or another. So in your 5-10K price range you should look at the 2000-9999, 5000-9999, and 5000-19,999 categories, and to catch the last dollar you'd have to add the 10,000-19,999 and 10,000-29,999 categories.


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This may be out of your area (I assume you are still in Virginia)

but John Masters of Columbus Ohio is one of the lower priced makers

and may have something available. He took down his web site but he

used to post on Maestronet. Search the forums with jmasters as an

author. He's been making violins for a long time. Sheila's Corner

has a picture of her Masters violin but they don't all look alike

or sound alike. Mine is older, from 1982,  and is very red.

It's also very responsive, has a nice tone and is fun to play.

John Masters

230 Fallis Road

Columbus, Ohio 43214

(614) 262-9254


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Michael Weller is an independent maker, located in Old Town Alexandria. I believe he was with Moennig in Philadelphia before setting up shop in Alexandria. Since I'm not positive about his relationship w/ Rideout (heck, I only saw a photo on the wall), I'll send you a PM w/ the particulars.

edit: Crystal, I see that some setting on my PC won't let me send private messages. (I can do it from home ok. ???) But I can read messages. If you like, send me a message w/ your email address, and I will write to you directly.)

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Michael Weller is a gentleman that doesn't dabble in the politics of the violin world so he maintains a low profile and is overwhelmed with work on the East coast. He's made over 400 violins of excellent quality but now spends more time on repair than the making of new instruments.

He's Mittenwald trained and worked with Hans Weissharr but has refined his own approach, techniques and tools.

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