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tinman

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I am going to learn the viola from my wife. She has been playing for a long time and she has a high end viola. I have found one in rough shape that needs to touch up. I am just thinking I might sale a few other violins and just buy a new viola. But I do not want a Chinese made instrument. Not saying there aren't some nice ones.

What your thoughts?

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almost all the new violas under 10,000usd are going to be made in china, or romania,(even if they dont say china on the label) as i usually reccomend, youll find more real bargains in quality 100 and 200 year old antiques than new instruments,IMO, if sound and resale value are factors for you

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We have no idea what you hope to get--nor where you live, nor how much you want to invest in your playing future. Have you played other violin-family instruments? You said you were thinking of selling off some violins to get a viola-- are you a violinist? Are you just dabbling, or can you say for sure that you will invest the time for serious practice, etc.? (Not assuming anything at all about you-- you asked for thoughts, and didn't give much to work with...)

There are lots of living makers who would be happy to sell you a new instrument, from $3K to $20K--and lots of old ones languishing on the market. Take your pick. Or get a decent Chinese one and play it until you know for sure what you want.

There are plenty of makers here in the US who do not get $10K for an instrument, BTW.

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Lots of good questions Chef. Thats why I always ask for help. I have updated my profile to show my location.

1-Investment in playing future? Mostly I want to play duets with my wife at church. Later join the string instrument group she is with. I don't expect to ever play for money.

2-I have tried to learn mandolin over the years. Bluegrass Rules. I have also tried violin.

3-My wife would prefer me to learn viola because of her ease to teach me.

4-Probably dabbling but I feel I really want to do this. I think it would be great fun and I will definitely spend more time practicing.

Right now I have a Anton Schroeter Geigenh(b)aumeister Mittenwald/Bayern Made In Germany but it needs lots of work. Lots of scratches and has a school number carved in the back.

We have acquired a few violins and one local made fiddle. Instead of owning so many I was thinking I should sale them and buy a nice warm sounding viola. I wouldn't mind spending 3k if I could sale the violins. Sorry about the horrible pictures.

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w159/brigade_photos/DSCN1483.jpg

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w159/brigade_photos/DSCN1482.jpg

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w159/brigade_photos/DSCN1481.jpg

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w159/brigade_photos/DSCN1484.jpg

Edited by tinman
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Lots of good questions Chef. Thats why I always ask for help. I have updated my profile to show my location.

1-Investment in playing future? Mostly I want to play duets with my wife at church. Later join the string instrument group she is with. I don't expect to ever play for money.

2-I have tried to learn mandolin over the years. Bluegrass Rules. I have also tried violin.

3-My wife would prefer me to learn viola because of her ease to teach me.

4-Probably dabbling but I feel I really want to do this. I think it would be great fun and I will definitely spend more time practicing.

Right now I have a Anton Schroeter Geigenh(b)aumeister Mittenwald/Bayern Made In Germany but it needs lots of work. Lots of scratches and has a school number carved in the back.

We have acquired a few violins and one local made fiddle. Instead of owning so many I was thinking I should sale them and buy a nice warm sounding viola. I wouldn't mind spending 3k if I could sale the violins. Sorry about the horrible pictures.

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w159/brigade_photos/DSCN1483.jpg

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w159/brigade_photos/DSCN1482.jpg

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w159/brigade_photos/DSCN1481.jpg

http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w159/brigade_photos/DSCN1484.jpg

Take your viola to a good luthier and find out what it will cost to get it into playing condition.

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I wish I could take better pictures. It has been rainy and dreary outside and thats where I get my best pictures. I do think this one might make a good one for me and maybe our growing youngins. I think it might need alittle more work than just a good setup. It looks like the bridge feet have made deep inpressions in the top and the fingerboard looks triangle. Flattened on one side instead of being rounded.

I have thought of sanding it down and revarnishing it before I send it to get setup.

Should I just string it up and play it?

Another concern of mine is that I don't know of any respected and honest luthiers around here. Kevin Scott violins is in Knoxville but I am sure he is high to do setups. Not that he ain't worth the money but investing more than the viola is worth might be a concern.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just looked at the pictures...it doesn't look bad at all, and the flat fingerboard under the C string is how violis are often made. I don't think you need a new viola. Have this one set-up, and start playing. The cost of the set-up, if done right, will pay for itself in the first 5 minutes of play. Also, the cost will be much less than the value of the instrument, and also much less than the replacement cost. A bridge runs about $50, soundpost the same, and strings? depending on the quality you can afford, but don't go cheap. Generally strings bought online cost less than in a brick and mortar shop. Estimates are generally free, so don't be bashful.

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Right now I have a Anton Schroeter Geigenh(b)aumeister Mittenwald/Bayern Made In Germany but it needs lots of work. Lots of scratches and has a school number carved in the back.

Are you sure it says Mittenwald inside, because it's a Schönbach or Grazlitz instrument. It could have been supplied by a Mittenwald dealer.

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I am going to learn the viola from my wife. She has been playing for a long time and she has a high end viola. I have found one in rough shape that needs to touch up. I am just thinking I might sale a few other violins and just buy a new viola. But I do not want a Chinese made instrument. Not saying there aren't some nice ones.

What your thoughts?

+++++++++++++++

Thousand miles journey is begun with a first step. Tune your viola carefully and play a few notes. Don't worry about too much.

If it does not sound right, you probably do not tune it correctly. If you just try open strings and double stops, you will know what I mean..

If it sounds right, the pegs and strings are already in good playing condition.

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Are you sure it says Mittenwald inside, because it's a Schönbach or Grazlitz instrument. It could have been supplied by a Mittenwald dealer.

It typed it exactly as the inside label read. It reads Mittenwald/Bayern. I am still learning about violins and violas so please excuse my ignorants if I say anything that sounds wrong. :D

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Try Steve Perry at Gianna Violins in Knoxville. He's moved to the West side of town, near the intersection of I-75 and I-40.

I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with that viola, except that the plates might be too thick. The fingerboard is made that way intentionally. It's called a Romberg fingerboard, and although it's not used a lot these days, it's also not a problem.

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