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Contempoary Chinese Handmade Violins

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Is there any one out there have experiences with the violin made by various violin workshops in China?

 

I have been looking at some of the eBay violin auctions and feel like going through a maze, there is The Violin Shop, Du-Shi, Old violin House, Capitalmusic, Joysee, Melodywoods, Song Family, on and on. If you have any experiences with any of the eBay violin seller I would love to hear from you.

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Chinese violins are okay in general. If you don't have really high standards then go for it. Otherwise, I would strongly recommend going to a shop because you could get unlucky and get something terrible.

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I have bought violins from Yita Music and have found them to be very reputable. They sell wholesale if you contact them directly.

 

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Chinese violins are okay in general.

True.  :)

 

If you don't have really high standards then go for it.

I find this a most unfair generalization.  A lot of current and recent Chinese production is very good indeed.  :P

 

 

I would strongly recommend going to a shop because you could get unlucky and get something terrible.

Well, that's not why I go to shops, though I do know of a quite notorious few where one can get sold $500 (or less) Chinese as $5000 American, Italian, or whatnot.  Much more common on eBay.  :lol:

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That's true. I have had some luck with Chinese-made violins. Sometimes they can be great but sometimes they can be not so good. One time I bought a violin online and it turned out to be a not very good one. I have bought some Chinese violins, both online and with a tryout opportunity and have had luck so go for it if you're confident.

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I have purchased a $150 handmade violin from China on eBay and its sound is marvelous and the varnish is gorgeous.  I am in Canada $150 will buy only a beginner entry level violin so I thought for a handmade and hand varnish violin at $150( including a case) plus $60 shipping is really a very good buy. I took this violin to a local violin shop and a similar sounding violin from China (no name) sells for $1800 alone. Mine has a makers name inside with his signature. This is the first Chinese violin I owned so far. I am in my 60's and I have owned and played on many European violins and I find Western violins are much overpriced comparing to this Chinese violin. Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts.

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I have three Yitamusic M20 violins and 1 Du Shi.    They are all under $300 with the Du Shi under $200.   I like the Yitas much better than the Du Shi which has an antiquing that looks kinda artificial in person.  The "blemishes" were painted on.  The Yitas are very decent instruments look and sound wise, though they are all individually quite different.  I would recommend Yita.

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Yes, I have been looking at the Yita site and still deciding if I should take a plunge. The one I have is from The Old Violin House, the French Master master violin. It looks good and sounds good. I am happy with that but looking for a few more. Thanks.

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I bought a Yita M20 violin...and a T20 viola for fun...and they're both decent.  I think the viola is a little better, overall, than the violin (which sounds a bit hollow - but not enough that it bothers me).  I now use the Yita violin as my 'outdoor fiddle', versus any of my other 'spares'.  The decent sound...and the inexpensive price...make it ideal for taking to outdoor venues.  I'd be upset if it was damaged, but not as upset as I would be if it was my 'good' violin.

 

I also have a 1/4 sized Song violin...it's very pretty...but very over-varnished - and with the useless strings it came with (that I'm not changing out unless someone actually plays it one day) I can't tell much about it's sound quality....all I can tell you is that I can play it and I've heard worse.

 

And while not Chinese...I have a 1/32 Gliga.  Cute as a button!  I can play it, but also have no idea of what it can sound like.  Cheap strings and my fingers are too big.  If it were to be played it would also need a different set-up.  It is also over-varnished...but given the designated users, I'm more inclined to forgive that in this instance.

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Is there any one out there have experiences with the violin made by various violin workshops in China?

 

I have been looking at some of the eBay violin auctions and feel like going through a maze, there is The Violin Shop, Du-Shi, Old violin House, Capitalmusic, Joysee, Melodywoods, Song Family, on and on. If you have any experiences with any of the eBay violin seller I would love to hear from you.

Yes. Good experience. Good wood, good business. But I think you will have to build a relationship at their will. I think Chinese business is different from the western style. You have to build a long term relationship, and be reliable over time. If you do not like something, you can just adjust it yourself with the strings on the instrument. Much of the instruments identity is in the lines, outlines etc. Most makers are female. Guess why?

 

I would say it is possible to build WC instruments from it. But that is my contact. You must find your own.

You got to figure out the RH - MC relations with your own shop. It is as you know easy to build in a relatively humid workshop. Less failures. Weaker and softer wood. Sharp scrapers work more buttery.

 

Westerns will be out of business within 10 yrs if they do not get on this wagon.

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Yes. Good experience. Good wood, good business. But I think you will have to build a relationship at their will. I think Chinese business is different from the western style. You have to build a long term relationship, and be reliable over time. 

I deal with Chinese mainland firms for a number of products, and a few caveats should be noted.  One is that most Chinese eBay sellers only ship to a limited number of countries, the USA proper, Australia, Canada, and the UK can generally be taken for granted (but NOT their dependencies), not all the EU countries are served equally, and except for Singapore and Thailand, the list often ends there.  BTW, the US has relatively liberal customs laws (usually, anything valued at under $250 scoots through unimpeded, and without any duty charged, if considered for personal use), but many of the posters here may have customs (or postal regulation) problems.  Do your legal homework before you buy anything directly from a foreign country.  For what it's worth, some items coming from the EU are taxed at 100% of declared value on entry to the US, so this isn't just a warning for buying from China. 

 

Some very odd things can happen when ordering from Chinese vendors.  There is some sort of (apparently popular) indirect marketing scheme going on where vendors in one location are selling stuff made and shipped by someone else elsewhere, and the vendor never sees what they're selling, except in a photo.  Differences between item pictured and item shipped ( and even damage or defects) are sometimes shrugged off with a bald-faced statement of something like "You get VERY cheap, why complain?!".  Asking them to look at something supposedly in their inventory before it's shipped can be useless (it's always "already packed").  A great many claimed manufacturers are actually middlemen who really never see or handle the item being sold, but will lie like rugs about it.  Shipping can be inexplicably delayed for days between order and acceptance by China Post, even when a shipping label is shown same day on eBay.  Pressing the vendors to hurry up and ship often results in a variety of "the dog ate my homework" excuses, but they will never tell the truth about what the delay is, which, from a comparison of shipping paperwork from dealers versus actual, real, verified, producers/manufacturers, seems to be at some point where the vendor orders from the people who really maintain the inventory.  If they would simply say what the situation is, one would be much less exasperated with them.  :lol:

 

Don't be too concerned about the accuracy of the provenance of anything you buy from China, but rather develop sufficient experience to make your own judgments, and look at price/quality/serviceability over any supposed origin.   Assume it's all fake and you'll never be disappointed.  ;)

 

All that said, after kissing many frogs, one can find scrupulous firms to order from, and I've gotten many a real bargain from them.  :)

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Franz Hoffman violins and violas are pretty decent. I own a 16.5" viola from them and for $450 it sounds way out of its price range.

On another note, the shop that I used to work in would buy cheap Chinese violins and regraduate them and stick a new bass bar in them and mark them up for 5-6 times the original price. I think they were mostly Tanglewood brand instruments.

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I am waiting for the luthier from California and see what he says about China made violins... forgot his name...

 

I have bought a Yita T20, and T19+ and they sounded similar, but the T19+ was more nasal than the T20. The varnishing on the T20 was rough than the T19+. Both were set up poorly. The tail pins were crooked, the bridges were too high, the string clearance on nthe nuts were too high and they hurt anyone's fingers. The tailpieces needed to be changed. The pegs were cut ok, but I needed to dope them heavily to make them turn smoothly.

 

I returned the T20, and sold the T19+.

 

Then I recently bought a M20, which had the same issues, with this one having a crack on the right upper bout near the purfling. It is on it's way back to China as I type.

 

I think the poor setup is the norm with these China violins so be prepared to spend a little more for it, or if you can do the setup yourself, then that's even better.

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... I find Western violins are much overpriced comparing to this Chinese violin. 

 

If you consider how much time it takes to make a violin and what a maker's time is worth, then it's more like Western violins being fairly priced, and Chinese are waaay underpriced.

 

My own experience with Chinese violins is spotty, as I only have bought the least expensive real-wood violins for experiments or varnish practice.  Most have been very poorly made, although I did luck out with one very well made purchase... just a transient deal, nothing repeatable.

 

The higher quality Chinese instruments I've only tried out in stores or similar... very good workmanship and sound, for the most part.

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 I am in my 60's and I have owned and played on many European violins and I find Western violins are much overpriced comparing to this Chinese violin. 

(seems like Don beat me to it, but I'll comment anyway.)

For your 150$ most likely 50$ went to a dealer. Of the 100$s it is hard to imagine that the materials costed less than 50$, even in china. Then you have some maker being paid 50$ for 100-200hours++ of labour. Lets say 100h for a half-decent violin. That adds up to 0,5USD per hour. And he probably takes half and pays some other worker to do most of the labour. Then there is matter of labour ethics, apart from poor pay. How do you know that your violin is not made by a 12 year old, that is sendt to work instead of going to school? VERY young workers are brought from villages, and live on-site in factories. Work 12-15hours a day, without right to contact family, breaks, days off, vacation or to leave the site. It happens in all other businesses in China, so why not violin industry? Chances are someone exposed to human trafficing are involved in making your violin. Im sure your varnish is excellent. Maybe a bit red even?

Some western makers surely knows how to charge for their good instruments, but dont come comparing other makers to your 150$ bargain on ebay. It's just not fair. Not to westerns makers paying their bills, and certainly not to the chinese employees that long for fair work conditions.

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^ I think everyone is well aware of all of this. It does make me sad to think about it sometimes.

Despite all of that, objectively speaking, the Chinese are pumping out some good stuff for the money. Unfortunately it comes at a heavy toll.

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I think or suppose 1/10th of western salaries are about a good rule of thumb. It's the same with clothes industry etc. I think they do quite well, anyway because of the work morale. Way better than the Norwegian, but maybe not compared to US standards. The costs for living there is lower too, of course. 

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I do not know if this is against this sites rules or not. I can't find my sources website any longer. But the pictures from it lies on Google. China has a different kind of politics from our western world. I do not know much about it. 

https://www.google.no/search?q=tiange+violins&start=20&sa=N&rlz=1C1RNCN_enNO325NO325&biw=1440&bih=813&tbm=isch&imgil=de_BAvs6RUALlM%253A%253B4mpCUqlDyybDXM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.tiangeviolin.com%25252FUnvar.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=de_BAvs6RUALlM%253A%252C4mpCUqlDyybDXM%252C_&usg=__rx8XsKe2LOcDTdlN0WoqDZyC0Cs%3D&ved=0ahUKEwi4lsHZ65TOAhUMMZoKHaKXDgI4FBDKNwgn&ei=l0mZV_juL4zi6ASir7oQ#imgrc=S2qZnTDpOMTb2M%3A

Maybe calling them directly is the way to go. Google yourself in case you are interested. 

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I have wanted to explore 5 strings and electronics for some time.  I ordered a Song 5 stringer electric. ($100 + $50 shipping) It arrived in reasonable time.  Styrafoam case, Cheap bow, connecting cable and instrument.  Decent workmanship.  The pegs work!  Holds pitch well.

Acoustic sound weak, but it has a pizeo plate between the bridge and body plus stuff inside.  The playing set-up has a flatish bridge as expected for a fiddle set-up.  Cheap chinese strings.  The electronics work.  Plugged into a guitar amp it sounds violiny.  I am pleased. 

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Psychological manipulation of the "value factor" has been dramatically induced into the fragile eggshell like western  mind.This is a discussion about globalism and western based monetary systems and the end results.

 

Two people,,one in China, one in the USA, both skilled, both take the same amount of time to build and lets assume the same quality outcome. DO we really need to go into the reasoning as to why one cost much less than the other? mainly cost of living, value of currency.

 

And I suppose we could debate if your bank owned quasi media/military chosen government "leaders" made the right choice by promoting "globalism"...and or corporate interests taking advantage of currency valuations and desperate people in order to provide you with cheap goods, but that's just one facet among many, but the bottom line end result is that we have a prolonged manipulation of the "value factor".

 

Manipulations so strong that we have western people literally programed to have absolutely no concept and or a massively distorted concept of value. Quite frankly after 25 years of cheap goods supplied by non comparable economy/currency valuations, with no trade deals to take into consideration these valuation differences in order to preserve the "value factor" we have what we now have,  Or perhaps it is the other way around, and it is the west that is completely obtuse and it is we who are "way over priced", so we should just devalue our currency and have a 1.50 usd an hour be a "high paying salary" ? that way 45 usd for a set of lawn chairs will seem more realistic? :lol:

 

Anyways the world will continue to be bs until we collectively understand that it is the global populations "faith" in privately owned corporate debt based currency supplies pretending to be sovereign that is the problem...or that "you" don't understand the dynamics and because you "believe"

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Psychological manipulation of the "value factor" has been dramatically induced into the fragile eggshell like western  mind.This is a discussion about globalism and western based monetary systems and the end results.

 

Two people,,one in China, one in the USA, both skilled, both take the same amount of time to build and lets assume the same quality outcome. DO we really need to go into the reasoning as to why one cost much less than the other? mainly cost of living, value of currency.

 

And I suppose we could debate if your bank owned quasi media/military chosen government "leaders" made the right choice by promoting "globalism"...and or corporate interests taking advantage of currency valuations and desperate people in order to provide you with cheap goods, but that's just one facet among many, but the bottom line end result is that we have a prolonged manipulation of the "value factor".

 

Manipulations so strong that we have western people literally programed to have absolutely no concept and or a massively distorted concept of value. Quite frankly after 25 years of cheap goods supplied by non comparable economy/currency valuations, with no trade deals to take into consideration these valuation differences in order to preserve the "value factor" we have what we now have,  Or perhaps it is the other way around, and it is the west that is completely obtuse and it is we who are "way over priced", so we should just devalue our currency and have a 1.50 usd an hour be a "high paying salary" ? that way 45 usd for a set of lawn chairs will seem more realistic? :lol:

 

Anyways the world will continue to be bs until we collectively understand that it is the global populations "faith" in privately owned corporate debt based currency supplies pretending to be sovereign that is the problem...or that "you" don't understand the dynamics and because you "believe"

Well said, Comrade Jezzupe.

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