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old violin - worth repairing?


micheleconunaele
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Hello Everyone!

I was hoping you could help me with this violin.

I know it belonged to my great grand father who passed away in 1920 so the violin must be older than that.

It has the word STAINER printed on the back and also inside.

And It has two cracks in the front, other than that it`s well conserved.

I don`t know if it is a good instrument, or if it`s worth much, but i would like to use it to learn to play. Would you advice to repair it?

Also out of curiosity, it would be nice to have any leads about

When it might have been made.

Where it might have been made.

and if it is worth anything?

http://s1300.beta.ph...ele/story/17379

thanks on advance for your help!

front_zps43f193fb.jpg

back_zps244b266c.jpg

backtop_zpsc8ba50da.jpg

top-handle_zpsb8d80902.jpg

top_zps4d95968b.jpg

Edited by micheleconunaele
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First, I'm not an expert but have worked on dozens of violins and had many of them restored.

Is it full size - 23"+ total length, 14"+ back?

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but It looks like a nice enough violin that it would probably be worth it to do a basic set up - strings, bridge, sound post adjustment, tailpiece, etc. to see what it sounds like. There is no way to know how it will sound without setting it up. If you have a decent bridge and tailpiece then the setup cost will be nominal.

The big question is the cracks. It looks like there are two cracks on the right f-hole - a wing crack and a crack coming off the bottom. The wing crack is probably not a big deal and can be easily fixed, the other crack might be the one that makes it not worth repairing. If the crack is very tight and less than a couple of inches or so long, than it may be able to be repaired, without taking the top off of the violin, with glue, a cleat and little clamps. If the crack is not very tight or long then it will need to be a top off repair to be done right - this is a minimum of $500 at a decent shop and can easily run $1000 or much more.

If it turns out to be a cheap $200 fiddle, then you can decide to have a luthier just massage some glue into the crack and play until it opens up again.

The best way to find out more information is to take it to a known luthier in your area. They can help you figure out where it's from, how much repairs might cost and if it's worth it to do them.

Have fun!

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Hi Michelle,

You violin was not made by Stainer. There is something a little odd about the aspect ratio of the posted photo, and some other photo angles are really necessary, but it's most likely a Saxon factory violin from the late 1800s or early 1900s. There are some pretty significant cracks around the treble f hole, that would most probably require a top off repair. Also some damage to the lower eye of the treble f hole. The reflection off the fingerboard looks a little odd. Has the end of the fingerboard been rounded over? If so, it would require a new fingerboard. The nut and tailpiece may also need replacement. Can't tell about the pegs. Without having it in hand, repairs and set up could add up to $500-600 or so. Is it worth it? I'd say yes. It was your great grandfather's, it's well preserved, and it should be worth more than the necessary repairs.

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Hello again

Thanks for your replies!

So far i`m leaning toward having it repaired, hopefully it doesn`t cost more than the actual value of the violin.

About your questions:

the fingerboard hasn`t been rounded over.

Indeed the images come from a scanner, that`s what makes the lighting look weird, i`ll try to borrow a camera and upload some better pictures later.

The violin height is:

full size 23",

just the body 14"

and its almost 8" wide at the widest point.

once again thanks a lot for your help :)

Edited by micheleconunaele
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My opinion is that you have some thinking to do about the intrinsic value of the fiddle. Is the violin worth lots of money {even in good condition} no. Will you be able to get it repaired cheaper than the cost of a new student Chinese violin, no, however it may be considered a valuable family heirloom, and therefore you may want to get it repaired.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/violins?_requestid=562325

an example of a cheapo....You will not be able to get that reapired for 99$. I hate to say it, but I use these Dorellis for "training" and heck, for the money they are ok.

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Ok then, i´d better start looking for a good luthier, see how much the repairing would cost, and decide if i´m repairing it after that.

Thanks to everyone for your help, i have a much better idea of what to do now.

I live in Arequipa, Perù (southamerica), i don`t think anyone in these forums will know about a luthier over here, but ...peruvians have a tendency to oversell their skills so one last question:

Any advice about what to look for in a luthier?

Edited by micheleconunaele
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My opinion is that you have some thinking to do about the intrinsic value of the fiddle. Is the violin worth lots of money {even in good condition} no. Will you be able to get it repaired cheaper than the cost of a new student Chinese violin, no, however it may be considered a valuable family heirloom, and therefore you may want to get it repaired.

Michele,

I think Jezzupe has is right. If spending a few hundred dollars more to get this fiddle in shape than you would pay for a new Chinese student fiddle is worth it to you for sentimental reasons, then getting this fiddle all fixed up makes sense. But there are some very usable Chinese fiddles in the $500 range, including bow and case. Repairing this fiddle, as Doug noted, will probably cost that much, possibly more.

Remember that you will want to get a bow and case for whatever fiddle you decide on, including this one. A bow and case may be already priced in if you're buying new.

If you feel you want to consider using this fiddle, get an estimate from a good shop for getting it fixed up. Ask the shop to explain what that estimate means: Is it a fixed price? Could the final cost be higher? Look at cases and bows for this fiddle. Plan on spending about another $200, combined, for a usable bow and case.

Compare that total cost -- restoring this fiddle plus cost of new bow and case -- with the cost of a new, decent beginner or intermediate quality violin outfit which includes bow and case. A sizable price difference may help you decide how to proceed.

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I have recently restored one like this "stainer". It was not a bad instrument, but the bass bar was increíble rough (completely square profile), the fingerboard was stained hardwood. Once fitted a proper bridge, tailpiece afterlenght corrected, shaped the bass bar, and glued the left lower bout it did not sound very bad. A little bit on the nasal side, but good enough to play.

If it has some sentimental value for you, i'd say go ahead.

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I live in Arequipa, Perù (southamerica), i don`t think anyone in these forums will know about a luthier over here, but ...peruvians have a tendency to oversell their skills so one last question:

Any advice about what to look for in a luthier?

The quality you want to look for in a luthier is that he/she has a good reputation among professional violin players.

If there are professional violin players in your area -- perhaps from a classical symphony orchestra -- you can ask them for some recommendations for a repairer. Ask the professional players where they take their instruments for repair. Well regarded violin teachers might also be able to recommend some repairers.

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