Sign in to follow this  
LongNeck

Value of 1982 A.R. Seidel /Glaesel V131P student violin

Recommended Posts

LongNeck   

I am thinking of buying a violin for learning. Here is a description.

A.R. Seidel, Mittenwald OBB.

Stradivarius copy.

Glaesel Shop Adjustment, January 1982.

Model V131P, 4/4.

Unflamed back. The top has a somewhat reddish finish that doesn't show much grain.

Used by its (only) owner in high school ca. 1982-1985, then mostly disused and stored under ordinary household conditions until now.

Has never been in the repair shop.

Good overall condition, clean, shiny, etc.

The instrument is strung, and the bridge and sound post are standing. The bridge is amazingly warped and needs to be replaced.

The tuning pegs are original and without problems. It has four fine tuners.

About 1/4" of one top edge near a corner is broken off. The break does not go into the purfling.

Includes bow, hard case, chin rest, shoulder rest, rosin, pitch pipe, mute. The case has a little crack in it but is clean, no odors.

I am not finding much information on the V131P model. If you know about its particulars, that would be very helpful. Glaesel is now selling models V131SPECIAL, V131ECH, and V131DLX:

http://www.glaesel.com/catalog/detail.php?model=V131ECH

http://www.glaesel.com/catalog/results.php?instrument=violin

I can't be there to try it out or hear it. The seller seems honest.

What should be the price for this outfit?

Thanks for any help. I welcome any comments about the nature of this instrument.

Please ask in case I am leaving anything out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are decent student instruments. Are you in a position to have the instrument checked out after purchase, before? How much is the instrument? jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

They are decent student instruments. Are you in a position to have the instrument checked out after purchase, before? How much is the instrument? jeff

Thanks for your reply.

If I buy it, I will make the new bridge myself. I have made a bridge for the fiddle that I discussed (with you) on a couple other threads.

I think I have learned enough so that after I set it up with a new bridge and new strings I would be able to find most things that might be wrong with it.

I thought I might ask for a two-week trial period from the seller so that if I don't like it, they will take it back, having gained the new bridge and new strings.

They are asking $100 for the outfit. It is about 60 miles away, so I would either have to drive or have them ship it for another $15.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
welshman   

I do see a lot of these - mostly stacked in school closets after being beat to death or the school's program cut.

$100.00 is the upper end of what I would pay at a yard sale or auction and only if it is in really good shape, strictly a rental or raw beginner instrument for me to get into, what i see most often on these is a clunky neck set at a ridiculously low angle which means a neck rest or neck modification. i don't know why these factory made violins can't get that right, they make enough of them.

Reese

check the bridge height in other words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

I do see a lot of these - mostly stacked in school closets after being beat to death or the school's program cut.

$100.00 is the upper end of what I would pay at a yard sale or auction and only if it is in really good shape, strictly a rental or raw beginner instrument for me to get into, what i see most often on these is a clunky neck set at a ridiculously low angle which means a neck rest or neck modification. i don't know why these factory made violins can't get that right, they make enough of them.

Reese

check the bridge height in other words.

I am closer to the backwaters, so violins don't show up much at yard sales around here. As I say, it has had a single owner, and the only noticeable damage or cosmetic problem is a quarter-inch of edge broken off. And of course I would be buying it for me, not for you. Presumably you would be buying to rent or resell. Is that right?

Thanks for the tip on the bridge height. I think I will ask the seller to measure that and the height of the fingerboard above the belly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

what i see most often on these is a clunky neck set at a ridiculously low angle which means a neck rest or neck modification. i don't know why these factory made violins can't get that right, they make enough of them.

Reese

check the bridge height in other words.

Thank you.

Do you mean that the neck is set wrong from the start as some kind of optimization for students or that it sags over time?

Also I'm not sure whether you are referring to school violins generically or to the maker and vintage that I am looking at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
welshman   

what i mean is that the neck is set wrong from the start and it is just a big mistake that is repeated without anyone in the factory noticing the machinery is set wrong - and it seems common to these instruments (seidels) as well as pfretschners and other factory builds. I have seen short squat bridges that make it very hard to clear the c-bout, the strange thing is that these can be decent violins with a correct bridge height.

Reese

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what i mean is that the neck is set wrong from the start and it is just a big mistake that is repeated without anyone in the factory noticing the machinery is set wrong - and it seems common to these instruments (seidels) as well as pfretschners and other factory builds. I have seen short squat bridges that make it very hard to clear the c-bout, the strange thing is that these can be decent violins with a correct bridge height.

Reese

Yeah, I have seen way too many of these (I am refering to the pfretzschners)with bad neck angles from day one. Never could figure it out as it was obviously always that way and the instruments are very cleanly made. Forgot about the Seidels have low neck angles too, now that you mention it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lyndon   

long neck, unless you are running a violin shop and need really cheap violins for poor customers, i would highly reccomend avoiding this deal, there are so many opportunities to buy better violins for 100, and so many better violins if you can save up and pay a bit more, IMO evan a generic 100 yr old strad label made in germany would be a better deal than this seidel and about the same price....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

Thanks, guys.

One limitation is that I am in a city of 25K that I don't think has much interest in violin. At least I am not seeing used instruments for sale. I have to go a hundred miles for a city of a half million that seems to have more fiddles available. BTW you know from another thread that the low fingerboard in my old Saxon fiddle is one thing I am trying to get away from.

Still there is some question on this thread whether the neck angles of these are low by design or just frequently by accident.

What if I find that this Seidel has reasonable fingerboard height and bridge height? What else might likely be undesirable about it?

I have a strong do-it-yourself streak, and while I am not much inclined to do anything to the neck, I would be willing to do other improvements on this Seidel if I wouldn't have to spend a fortune on tools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

what i mean is that the neck is set wrong from the start and it is just a big mistake that is repeated without anyone in the factory noticing the machinery is set wrong - and it seems common to these instruments (seidels) as well as pfretschners and other factory builds. I have seen short squat bridges that make it very hard to clear the c-bout, the strange thing is that these can be decent violins with a correct bridge height.

Is it maybe that they make some models with low neck angles on purpose and other models with standard neck angle, and you are not distinguishing between the different models?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

what i mean is that the neck is set wrong from the start and it is just a big mistake that is repeated without anyone in the factory noticing the machinery is set wrong - and it seems common to these instruments (seidels) as well as pfretschners and other factory builds. I have seen short squat bridges that make it very hard to clear the c-bout, the strange thing is that these can be decent violins with a correct bridge height.

Reese

It doesn't sound very German that the machines would be set wrong by accident. :-)

This may be a dumb question, and I have never looked at one, but remembering what Lyndon said on another thread about fingerboard height, could they have set a low bridge height by using a different fingerboard during shop adjustment?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
welshman   

more likely poor quality control and inspection before they were sent overseas to be set up at a place like Sherl and Roth here in Cleveland. Perhaps its just a case of Monday morning work after a weekend of partying. There is no reason to set the neck so low consistently - what i see usually is a very high string height over the board in an attempt to make them work with out resetting the neck.

I just see too many of them for it to be an accident, it is just incompetence. It is the first thing i look for whenever one of these comes in the door.

if it is what you can get inexpensively enough do it but don't expect a great violin.

Reese

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The neck angle is designed to survive tumbling down a flight of stairs in a middle school. Very carefully calculated.

These fiddles are tanks. Perfect for practicing beginning repair and set-up work on. You could even remove the top, which is typically about 5 mm thick, thin it a bit. Fit a new bass bar. Re-set the neck. Then, when you're tired of it, you can sell it for $100 and move on to something better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

The neck angle is designed to survive tumbling down a flight of stairs in a middle school. Very carefully calculated.

These fiddles are tanks. Perfect for practicing beginning repair and set-up work on. You could even remove the top, which is typically about 5 mm thick, thin it a bit. Fit a new bass bar. Re-set the neck. Then, when you're tired of it, you can sell it for $100 and move on to something better.

Yes, I was thinking of something to practice working on and playing on, that I wouldn't feel too bad about if I ruined. Also that I could just learn on if I decided not to change it much, maybe in case the tools cost too much.

What about the coating on the sound board? I guess maybe it is thick or tough somehow, as you can't see much grain through the finish. Would it improve the sound to change that?

But I think if I find out that this fiddle has a low neck angle, I will probably skip it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about the coating on the sound board? I guess maybe it is thick or tough somehow, as you can't see much grain through the finish. Would it improve the sound to change that?

I don't know, but I doubt it would make much difference. Bridge, soundpost, nut & fingerboard would be things I'd look at long before I'd worry about a factory finish. All of those things can be screwed up and redone with little permanent damage, but messing with the varnish/lacquer/whatever-it-is can turn something boring into something hideous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

messing with the varnish/lacquer/whatever-it-is can turn something boring into something hideous.

Not sure whether you mean boring/hideous to look at or to hear or both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure whether you mean boring/hideous to look at or to hear or both.

Yes, I was unclear. I was thinking hideous to look at -- I've seen a few refinish jobs that would qualify. Usually, a boring look is better than a hideous look when it comes to resale. Depends on your market, of course. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it maybe that they make some models with low neck angles on purpose and other models with standard neck angle, and you are not distinguishing between the different models?

No, they definately didn't intend to make the neck angles low, and like Reese said, it's just poor quality control....not the machines...the nut with the knobs! In contrast to Lyndon, I think if the neck angle is good on this one, you should get it. If it's bad, then get it cheap and as Ken said, practice repairwork on it, starting with a neck reset. The one thing to NOT touch, is the finish. I absolutely guarantee that you will make it worse. Those finishes are not meant to be retouched, or dealt with in any way....ok, so I'm exagerating out of prior frustration :blink: jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lyndon   

some of the worst violins ever made were the student grade factory stuff out of germany after 1950, i dont see how this one could possibly be an exception, i thought id never say this, but a well chosen $100 violin from china off ebay would probably be a better sound than this one, the german ones used crappy kiln dried wood, and were mostly machine made, even the $100 chinese usually use air dried wood and theyre almost all hand made, in a factory, but not with power tools

thats the main reason chinese violins have such a good reputation, on sound at least, they literally blow away the low grade factory 20th century german stuff, a violin dealer wouldnt give you 10$ for this seidel IMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thats the main reason chinese violins have such a good reputation, on sound at least, they literally blow away the low grade factory 20th century german stuff

Did Lyndon just say that??? Sorry to jab at you, just can't believe you of all people said it. I do agree with you though. I too hate to admit that the Chinese instruments in my shop that I sell for $350 (dealer cost is around $200),blow away most of the "under $1K" European early 20th century stuff. I still think that this would be good for him, not all the ones I have had sound bad. I have yet to find a $100 Chinese violin that I liked, and that's why I am encouraging him on this. If he said it was close to $200, then I couldn't agree with you more. If the neck angle is good on this one, they are basically Buicks in that they are indestructable (sometimes sound that way too). I like them for rental stock when they sound ok because they go out for years, and years and are bulletproof. More of a utilitarian role though. jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lyndon   

i just dont think a really low grade student violin is what the OP is looking for, what possible use for it could he possibly have when he already has a much nicer violin, hes not running a violin shop or a rental program, i wouldnt in a million years let my kids learn on something this cheap, what possible reason does he have to buy this violin, because he thinks its a bargain? it might be useful for the price to you jeff, as a rental, but its certainly not a bargain, and i dont see how its going to do anything but depress him when he finally repairs it and realizes how bad it sounds....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

some of the worst violins ever made were the student grade factory stuff out of germany after 1950, i dont see how this one could possibly be an exception, i thought id never say this, but a well chosen $100 violin from china off ebay would probably be a better sound than this one, the german ones used crappy kiln dried wood, and were mostly machine made, even the $100 chinese usually use air dried wood and theyre almost all hand made, in a factory, but not with power tools

thats the main reason chinese violins have such a good reputation, on sound at least, they literally blow away the low grade factory 20th century german stuff, a violin dealer wouldnt give you 10$ for this seidel IMO

Your post makes an impression on me. I know you aren't fond of the Chinese factory fiddles, and most people don't like the idea of a slave-built instrument, so I hesitate to ask how to choose one well.

You are saying that a new Chinese violin would be better for sound. I think you may be saying that they are often or usually worse in other ways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

they are basically Buicks in that they are indestructable (sometimes sound that way too). I like them for rental stock when they sound ok because they go out for years, and years and are bulletproof. More of a utilitarian role though. jeff

I guess we are getting more awareness that they are optimized for toughness. I don't expect to give mine much rough treatment, so this fiddle begins to make less sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LongNeck   

i just dont think a really low grade student violin is what the OP is looking for, what possible use for it could he possibly have when he already has a much nicer violin,

Okay, I think that is the first compliment I've gotten on my old Saxon fiddle, except when I took it into the local music store. Thank you. To me it sounds great on the treble side, but not so good on the G string. The problems I know about are 1) the pegs are fit very badly--you could say they are not fit at all, so that for a couple of them I can see a 1 mm crescent of light through the holes. I have fine tuners on the tailpiece, so I can live with that problem. 2) The neck angle is low and the fingerboard radius is large, as we already discussed. That leads to difficulty in selective bowing or trains me to be more precise in bowing, whichever you prefer. 3) The top seam is split beneath the tailpiece (the top shrank, the saddle didn't) and there is another crack in the top in the lower bout parallel to the bass bar 1 1/2" away. Number (3) is the most worrisome as I am told it will be much harder to fix after dirt and rosin get into the cracks. This fiddle has been in my family a long time. If there is literally a stopgap for the cracks---especially to keep dirt out of the cracks, I would feel better about taking my time finding a different instrument to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.