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Yita vs. Gliga? + new price/skill level standards?


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Hello everyone,


I am at a crossroads in trying to decide on adding one nice unbroken, cracked, or otherwise damaged ebay violin to my life.  My budget is a bit strapped at the moment, I know Scott Cao and Snow violins are also awesome.  But in the lower price ranges and for what is supposed to be also a quality instrument, Yita and Gliga seem to be the 2 leaders.


The rumor mill has it that Yita sells unfinished violins to Gliga, does any one believe that to be true?


Then you have the other where Gliga sells its finished violins to others in the trade to put their own labels in, just to keep their factory busy.  Duh?


Its funny, but it seems the Chinese have rewritten the book on the price range and quality/skill levels. 


$250 - 500 = beginner

$500 - 750 = intermediate

$750 - 1000 = solo/advanced

$1000 - 1500+ Professional/master


I have heard the sage advice years ago, and I am sure that many old timers still believe its true, that for a good beginning instrument you should expect to pay around a $1000 for it.  But now has all that really changed?  With Asian and Europe mass production with higher better quality standards, the new norm is less expensive than it ever has been, and will continue to remain so way into the future?


Lets face it, I am sure a lot of us would think nothing about spending $2000 for a nice laptop, but when it comes to any priced violin, then comes the big song and dance, even for a few hundred dollars.


Just wondering,






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I have a Yita viola which I bought last year. Fantastic instrument for the price that I paid. It is so much better than what is available locally from music shops, for even more expensive instruments. It was in your "beginner" price range, but apparently supposed to be one of their more advanced models.

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Me too. I have a Yita violin and viola. Each is one of their "20" level instruments. Not as good as my better instruments...but pretty darn good. I bought some bows from them too...Also not bad - especially at that price point.

I also have a 1/32 Gliga. It is very nicely made. Can't tell you much about the tone though.

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I was pleasantly surprised by a lightly used 4/4 2004 "Johannes Kohr" K501A (a Howard Core Chinese made student instrument) that fell into my lap last month, along with a Core pernambuco bow and various other goodies.  I will, however, note that the fiddle, etc., had been cherry picked at a shop with the assistance of a good teacher and concerned parents long before it found its way to me.  It's good enough that I currently use it as a backup to my antiques.

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I have a Yita "20" whatever that means, and I've seen a lot of Gligas. I would say the Yitas are better, but will need $150-200 more for set up work once you get it. The Yita is soon to be given away I dont see any reason to ever buy another.


I'd go for a Chinese instrument from any one of a number of US dealers (assuming you're in the US) where it is already set up and adjusted well, I'd first look into Shar.

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OMG!  I am bit shocked to see what good company I would be keeping to get a Yita.  Actually it was just yesterday when I really started to pay them any kind of serious attention.  Before that I was really focussed on the Gliga's.  In trying to do my home work on this one, I have tried to read every forum post on each.  Universally the set up issue is very consistant with both brands.  And right, a bargan violin with the addition of the cost of getting it set up right, ends up to be even more expensive.  Yes my first what I thought was a real nice ebay violin ended up costing me $500 more with a new bridge, sound post, replanning the fingerboard and a case for it.   Yep!


Yes I can't wait to throw my latest cell phone in the trash, only because of the people/carrier, whom I won't name. 


I looked at Shar's website, they I am sure are ok.  I live in Salt Lake City, UT, and have even been to the famous Peter Prier violin shop, plus a couple of others.  Yes and even a chain music store, Charles Liu has a firm rep in that city for his hand made violins.  Plus others I guess.


I just don't know, I go into these places and see them hanging up maybe for months and even years?  I think about the mark up in most shops,that individuals charge, then figure well I could save money by bargain hunting on the internet.


The only really big difference I can see is what I would call, "Flash" or appearance in Gliga violins, that the Yita violins don't have.  I know it sounds dumb, you don't buy it because of the way it looks, but because of the way it sounds.  But still....


Actually I feel drawn to getting a Guarnius, and not a Strad copy.  Any one have any thoughts on if there really is anykind of difference between the two, is it mostly hype or is there a real differnce?


bye, and good night,



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There's a visual difference between the two 'types'.  At this level of manufacture get what you like...too many other variables will affect sound quality before type factors in..


Buying off the internet is hit or miss.  I was fully willing to lose the money if the instrument turned out to be a dud.  It was an experiment (in on-line violin shopping) for me.


If you have limited funds, you are better off going to one of those shops you mentioned and playing each violin in your price range - to see if one suits.  Hopefully they will also all come with good strings, good set-up...and have some kind of a limited warranty.


BTW...my Yita violin came with Dominants...so that was great.  But the varnish isn't very good and is a bit chippy.  The Yita viola came with unplayable steel strings that I had to change out immediately. Nicer varnish though. The cases they come with are  useless except for storage...so the overall package might not be as good a bargain as what the initial purchase price suggests.  The Gliga (serves me right for not reading the fine print) came with nothing.  I had to purchase a bow and a case for it separately.

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Hi Rue,


You made so many good points.  Cheap cases, I bought two online with hygrometers that looked great and a bargain at $40 each, but in reality would only be five and ten dollar crap. 


Yes the package deal with Yita is the essence of cheap, with the exception of maybe a decent playable instrument.  The varnish issue is something I have read online about in other places, where its still wet and not completely dried out when some people get them.  The chin rests are applied while the varnish is still drying, causing the cork to stick to the wood.  oh well.


Yes on the one Gliga sales site, it does give a choice of which case or none, which bow or none, and which strings it can be ordered with.




Well that is what I am seriously thinking of getting from Gllga, without a case or bow, but I might change my mind about getting just a cheap case.




And that is the Ebay Yita version that is really no even compairable to the Gliga, still a small maybe, but ???


oh well,





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M indicates instruments that come from one workshop. Ma Zhibin
T indicates the second workshop. Liuxi.

18 and 19 are the lowest levels. 20 is the intermediate or better level. And I suspect the Master is one step up! Ma Zhibin and Liuxi might be handcrafting most of the Master level instruments themselves, but don't quote me on that.

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Hello Friends,


Well if anyone cares, I decided on a Gliga Gama Professional.  I love the stained color and it's looks.  My first, brand new, out of the box, off the rack violin.


I figure it's going to inspire me more, because its not used, had been someone elses, not thousands of years old, etc. 


Yes I noticed we all mostly have the old, well played in violins.  With the approapriate bragging rights, it's this, it's that, it's one of these.  And I got a couple of those too, but nothing brand new, that I can say is mine all mine.


Who knows, maybe in a hundred years, this will become some one elses prized possession, but for now its mine.


As far as the original thread subject, I am not here to say which is best or worst, or whats in between.   But I really do believe, in choosing one over the other, for whats basically double the money, its correspondingly double the quality.


just my thoughts,



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Well my Gliga Gama came today, yippie!


It actually has a very plastic look and feel to it, which I don't really like.  I thought it would be more "woodsy", but I was told its an oil stain and buffed out finish.  I am really hoping it dulls itself down, we'll see.  Here's an interesting review from a GB seller, Elida, a commentary lets say on its quality/skill level I thought was interesting.



"Typically sold to adult improvers, folk fiddlers, teachers, freelance professionals as a backup instrument, young players of Grade 5 up to Grade 8. We will not make silly claims and describe this instrument as suitable for first instrument study at a conservatoire but we will and do say confidently that it will be entirely adequate for anything below that level."




The above link is to the commentary page on the different Gliga's they sell.


I must be used to my more old wood and looking like old wood violins, then an off the shelf wood that looks and feels more like a plastic violin. ha!


It does sound nice, a bit quiet I suppose with the Obligatos I had put on it.  I went to a shop today and got the chin rest changed out for a lower one.  The luthier asked why Obligatos on a notorisly dark and quiet sounding violin. Well they were only a $10 more upgrade over the Dominates that normally would come with this violin.  And to be honest, I doubt ever again I would spend the $90 anyway on a set of strings.  So why not try them now just to see how they play.


Actually so far, I think this is the only violin I can play/practice on within a few feet of my sleeping cat, and it doesn't bother the cat at all.  I am amazed and actually abit happy over this.


Well so far so good!



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Congrats! Post a picture! Let us know how the strings pan out.

Liz at Elida's has always had positive opinions of Gliga.

Hi Rue, and thank you. 


I really don't know how to post pic's yet to even change my avatar, and update info and personalize the blank empty space under my name, lol :(  And I don't even know using the menu on the post how to access my comps pictures to even post a pic here.


Yes everyone loves them forsure, honestly, perhaps its just the unique style and finish that isn't the usual norm for their brand.  Antique Stained, even on its little tag and info sheet its labelled "Special".  But to continue, it has a plastic look and feel to it, that I can only hope wares off soon and starts to look like a piece of wood, rather than a piece of plastic.


This is a real first for me, I do sometimes go in and out of music stores, see the violins but usually have never picked one up or had a reason to feel one.  Because usually they all look like regular wood, reddish brown stained, or whatever.  I am almost laughing to myself now over this, its just amusing thats all.


Maybe its an experimental concept violin finish that they got bored and tried making?  If anything I'ed say its way over buffed, to the point of having sanded down any wood grain and glazed over into a sheen plastic, glass like finish. ?  maybe?


Unusual forsure!  Which is the usual hallmark of almost every violin I own. 


Maybe I'll do a Linsey Sterling thing and go outside and play it in the rain, that might help it a bit. 


The irony is, I wanted something sparkling brand new, unblemished, nice, gorgous, etc.  And now I can wait to mess this up and get to look at least a little more like a normal violin would or should be looking.  lol


However it sounds perfect, it sounds like a violin.  It the body seems to resonate or vibrate with the notes being played.  Good tone in the lower and upper registers, the E is great up and down and so is the G, good good good.  I will say this, it really does seem to have a sweet and warm tone, it really does.  Perhaps due to the Obligatos, its not too over powering and loud, but still has a clear solid tone.


Now as far as the set up, its perfect for me.  I asked the woman on the phone before I bought it, about the issue some people were having over wanting a different set up.  She explained its more due to a preference for a certain style, uniqueness that they have developed over the years in their personal set ups.


And the million dollar question????  da da, da da!  "Would I buy another one again?"  I would say yes, but I would wait and save up my money and get a Mastro next, if I seen one that appealed to me visually that is.  But its still to early to tell.  Most might agree, its what it sounds like several months from now when its played in that is really the test.


While I was playing it, there was a fly sitting next to me and it sneezed and I couldn't hear the violin when he did.  But I am sure the violin will get louder as time goes by.  LOL :D  Just kidding!





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"It actually has a very plastic look and feel to it, which I don't really like."  So why settle?



Well because it is my first brand new violin, so I am hoping the finish fades and wears down to a normal look after time. 


I don't know, I just really wanted to treat myself to something that is brand new.  It has been beneficial in that I have read as much as I could on "breaking in" or "playing in" a new violin.  I googled "break in time for new violin", and omg!  On this forum several years back there is a 12 page discussion on the topic, ranging from hydrogen atoms to stereo speakers, physic's and everything else.  Plus a couple of other smaller threads.  On the Violinist.com there is also a very long discussion from 2006/7 even with some of the same people now here, discussing the idea of a break in time, etc.


One reoccurring theme in the posts was how after a new set up, let the violin sit for a day, then see how it sounds and plays.  Yep!  Exactly I have to agree.  Only after a few hours of having taken it out of the box, it did sound very weak and under powered, very poor projection.  I even joked that I needed to find someone that would stand 4 or 5 feet away and ask them if they could hear it while I was playing it.  Yes it was that quiet.


But on the next day by leaving it sit out in the open air, after what I think it acclimaized or settled in, wow!  It projected just fine, as good as any other violin I have, and no complaints.


I really should have made a blog out of this adventure, but its all good.  I am giving some serious thought to the Linsey Sterling way of playing it in.  By playing it in the pouring down rain, in any ice cave I can find, under water, and while being eaten and attacked by sharks or polar bears, oh yeah!


I love your cat pic, my cat is an antique at 17 going on 18, here's an 100 yr old german violin I have as my favorite pic.  I don't have any yet of the new Gliga, but its really not that bad, I'll give it few years and see I suppose.


bye, CCM


don b


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Nice pic! :wub:


I don't think the plastic look goes away.  It's a very sturdy finish.  I also think a lot of folks like it...it's shiny... ^_^


Seriously...one dealer that let me test drive his violins thought that the shiny look was the cat's meow.  He found it beautiful and I don't think he understood why anyone would want any other finish.

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Hi Rue,


Well I almost have to agree, the dull reddish brown stain on most I see is, yuk!  Boring, drab, lack luster, ordinary, etc.  But still actually its not its' apperance, but the way it feels, very plastic like.  It doesn't feel at all like wood, but polished plastic.  It's kind of like petting a cat with no hair.  You just keep getting that feeling that something isn't right. :D


Well I think I almost got the adding pics to posts thing down, its just changing the avatar and other stuff I've yet to figure out.  So here are the pics, and one of the internet photo that came with the violin.  Some are in direct sunlight, others in a shadow.


Ta-Da!  Success with the pics.


And I decided to name or call this the cameleon or klaidioscope violin.  It never looks the same way depending what kind of light it's in.










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How much was this CNC made violin? I am pretty sure the top varnish coat is sprayed on and polyurethane based.  



Just under $700 for the violin itself.  I declined to get a case or a bow with it. 


I really don't know if its CNC or polyurethane in the polish, or they just over buffed the heck out of it, causing heat and by some quirk of fate, it made the thing all plastic and shiney.  I have no others of their brand to compare this too.


It actually looks great in artifical light, its only in real sunlight that it changes colors or its' appearance.  The funny thing is, in my mind before it came, I was really thinking about treating this like it was the cat's meow, or like a treasured item.  But instead I am going to treat this no better than a door mat, I am going to humidity cycle it, play it outside, use it even to beat off flies if I really have to.  And once it fades and the high gloss polish wears thin, then maybe I might be more inclined to treat it a little bit more respectfully.  Maybe?


Overall it actually is very nice.  It feels a lot heavier than a couple of other violins I have.  It actually feels a bit top heavy in the neck and scroll.  I would just say, that if I were a woman I might not be as comfortable with the weight as I would with another lighter violin.  But thats just my humble opinion,, nothing professional or anything like that.


In a way I am very glad it isn't flawlessly perfect and omg!  I am not intimidated by it at all, and actually rather comfortable with it over all.


Who knows what Gligas other violins are like, I really can't say.  But they do advertize "shiney" ones, which knowing what I know now.....


Luv ur cat pic, honestly if it came down to the cat or my violins, it would be the cat everytime!


meow meow,




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Now that you have had a chance to try it out for a couple of days...how is it sounding?  I suppose, ultimately, that is the most important part... ^_^

You are so right, and it sounds great actually, but I am gonna have to bow out on anykind of expert or informed opinion,  since I am really not that much of an authority.  But trying it now the E string is shrill in the 4 th position and the A is a bit tinney, G and D are ok however.  But where I am at tonight its 77% humidity outside, and in the truck I ain't got a clue since I misplaced my hygrometer somewhere, duh?


It still could be the new strings are still settling in.  But really the strings are only a couple of days old, and still maybe need a lot more playing in. 


However its just kinda exciting to have a brand new, half way decent and nice violin that in maybe in 50 or 60 yrs from now, some one may bid on ebay for it,  for a hundred bucks, and really be just as thrilled to get it or have it as I am. :)


Bye Rue,



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