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FR Ender violin


Violin_mom
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Hello!

I'm looking to know if F & R Enders is a factory made or hand made instrument, and generally anything about the brand you can share. We are currently trialing a 1926 (1946?), F & R Enders "made in Germany" labelled violin. It is being offered for $6000.  We've compared it to a dozen others (newer and older) and my son continues to choose it as his favorite. I will say it has a very rich warm sound. But mom in me says it looks rather beat up!

I've included some photos of the violin and any insight appreciated. I do not play the violin but his teacher has been working closely with him in the process of selection.

IMG_6116_zpsbaxgjxwp.jpgIMG_6114_zpszzh8wjf3.jpg

IMG_6118_zpsuimvxz9r.jpg IMG_6113_zps2se1zvxt.jpg

IMG_6121_zpskpmifs6h.jpg

IMG_6120_zpsop2jx2e6.jpg

IMG_6109_zpsfzyvyis0.jpgIMG_6110_zps19hlhuty.jpg

IMG_6115_zpsehf8js2q.jpg

IMG_6111_zpstlwoxp4e.jpg

 

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It looks to be in pretty good condition. 

Also, all violins are hand made. There was no "factory" that had a machine doing every process, but rather, a different person doing each process, all at once in order to expedite things. 

Sure, there may have been a spindle carver employed here or there, but let it stand that there were no die presses lol. 

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Looks in good shape to me, but I would specifically ask the dealer about any repairs that may have been made that might not be easily seen, repaired cracks etc. Basically ask for a condition report.  I think there is actually little wear on this instrument. Some of what you see might be part of the original "antiquing". 

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40 minutes ago, Violin_mom said:

Do you believe they make a quality instrument? 

I have never personally seen one, but they were priced in the middle-to-upper range compared to other instruments in the catalogs at the time. The one you posted looks very nice, hardly "beat up" at all. I definitely agree about getting a condition report, and I would suggest haggling over the price a bit. Save some money for a decent bow, too!

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2 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

It looks to be in pretty good condition. 

Also, all violins are hand made. There was no "factory" that had a machine doing every process, but rather, a different person doing each process, all at once in order to expedite things. 

Sure, there may have been a spindle carver employed here or there, but let it stand that there were no die presses lol. 

Nick, your comment about no factory instruments is a little troubling. I know we all have different ways of looking at things. Violins were made in factories by the thousands. These violins weren't made by craftspeople one at a time at a bench. They were parts made in factories or cottage industries by people and machines mostly who didn't know any more about actual violin making than my cat.

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I think price is very high, if we compare it in quality with Lowendahl and Heberlein, then 2000 - 2500 is really top price. As far as I remember it is same upper  level trade violin class. Try to find something else, otherwise can be difficult to sell later even for a 50% of todays price 6000. But it is my humble opinion

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It looks rather nice to me, rather than beat up.

There are really two factors to consider in a violin: the physical box or chunk of wood, it's quality, maker reputation, and physical condition, AND, how it sounds and how easy it is to produce that sound.  Prices normally depend on the former, at least primarily.  Resale or trade-in prices likewise.

Many will turn their noses up at this violin, because it is a Markneukirchen-Schönbach violin ($2k is average for a nice one), but on the other hand, if it plays better than anything you can find in the $12k range, $6k is a deal.  Only it's a deal that may be hard to resell if your son's abilities outgrow it.

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8 minutes ago, Addie said:

It looks rather nice to me, rather than beat up.

There are really two factors to consider in a violin: the physical box or chunk of wood, it's quality, maker reputation, and physical condition, AND, how it sounds and how easy it is to produce that sound.  Prices normally depend on the former, at least primarily.  Resale or trade-in prices likewise.

Many will turn their noses up at this violin, because it is a Markneukirchen-Schönbach violin ($2k is average for a nice one), but on the other hand, if it plays better than anything you can find in the $12k range, $6k is a deal.  Only it's a deal that may be hard to resell if your son's abilities outgrow it.

 At the moment he's tried about 12 violins from two different shops. Everything from $3500 up to $6000. It definitely sounds much better than doing it in the lower end. I'm getting several more to try 

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Prices seem to be all over the place for F & R Enders violins, and there were several grades at different price points that were produced in that workshop. This looks like one of the higher grade violins.

I am so used to looking at auction prices that the retail prices for vintage violins often shock me. However, I also understand the work and expense that it costs dealers to maintain an inventory of high-quality violins for customers to choose from.

Having said that, I think that the asking price for this instrument is high, but not exorbitantly high. I am not going to offer pricing recommendations to the OP, but just recommend that she Google around to see what they are selling for. If this violin is really special and is an expressive performance-quality instrument, then it may last her son a lifetime and be worth the investment. It is nice to grow old with an old violin.

I wonder what his teacher thinks of it?

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55 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Prices seem to be all over the place for F & R Enders violins, and there were several grades at different price points that were produced in that workshop. This looks like one of the higher grade violins.

I am so used to looking at auction prices that the retail prices for vintage violins often shock me. However, I also understand the work and expense that it costs dealers to maintain an inventory of high-quality violins for customers to choose from.

Having said that, I think that the asking price for this instrument is high, but not exorbitantly high. I am not going to offer pricing recommendations to the OP, but just recommend that she Google around to see what they are selling for. If this violin is really special and is an expressive performance-quality instrument, then it may last her son a lifetime and be worth the investment. It is nice to grow old with an old violin.

I wonder what his teacher thinks of it?

 His teacher is quite fond of it. He spent over three hours with us last Saturday playing the instruments and having my son play them and giving us tips on them. We are using his expertise obviously in this as he is much more knowledgeable in the area than we are. I would think that this wouldlast my son forever as well he does not intend to be a performance major in college, he does want to continue violin and he thoroughly playing

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On 4/12/2017 at 4:52 PM, Violin_mom said:

Hello!

I'm looking to know if F & R Enders is a factory made or hand made instrument, and generally anything about the brand you can share. We are currently trialing a 1926 (1946?), F & R Enders "made in Germany" labelled violin. It is being offered for $6000.  We've compared it to a dozen others (newer and older) and my son continues to choose it as his favorite. I will say it has a very rich warm sound. But mom in me says it looks rather beat up!

I've included some photos of the violin and any insight appreciated. I do not play the violin but his teacher has been working closely with him in the process of selection.

 

"Rich warm sound" is a bit of an alarm signal as young people gravitate towards "warm" violins and that's not a quality for an instrument to be used in recitals particularly in larger halls. It would be helpful to know what your son's skill level is - is it sufficient to put a violin through it's paces over some 3 octaves or so ? $6k is a fair amount and one should try the violin in a larger hall and if possible against a decent piano, to see what's left of it and what sort of carrying power it has. For that sort of money one might be able to buy a new violin from a young/less established maker maybe just out of school, violin built on a proper model with top quality materials and with some sort of guarantee. The teacher's input is important but only if the teacher knows violins. Not all do. Also, this particular violin might have an excellent set up ( find out what this means ) and other violins he tried a less than optimal one. That makes a HUGE difference. A YT recording of that violin would be helpful, too. Might not tell much about tone but will tell enough to some of us about how the violin functions.

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The Enders instruments can be of very high quality (all things considered) which I would easily put akin to the Roth's from the same era (which often equal the $6K sum and then some). I sold one nearly a decade ago to a former President of the American Federation of Violin Makers for not too much less than the price you are now considering.

 

DGSR☺

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7 hours ago, carl stross said:

"Rich warm sound" is a bit of an alarm signal as young people gravitate towards "warm" violins and that's not a quality for an instrument to be used in recitals particularly in larger halls. 

violinmom just said her son is not going for a perfomance major. so: the issue of how he would stack up against Joshua Bell is not really a pressing matter.

If he and his teacher like the sound that's a good signal.

PS: I, too, think 6000 dollar is a pretty steep price for a violin in this class. You do need a nice bow, too.

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I would not pay more than 2k for this instrument and I do think it a pretty one. If a decent case and bow is included maybe I would be looking  I to pay $2500. If you like this violin enough and  pay 6k for it thenI think you would be taking a terrible loss if you were to resell it five or ten years from now. Just my opinion.

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14 hours ago, carl stross said:

"Rich warm sound" is a bit of an alarm signal as young people gravitate towards "warm" violins and that's not a quality for an instrument to be used in recitals particularly in larger halls. It would be helpful to know what your son's skill level is - is it sufficient to put a violin through it's paces over some 3 octaves or so ? $6k is a fair amount and one should try the violin in a larger hall and if possible against a decent piano, to see what's left of it and what sort of carrying power it has. For that sort of money one might be able to buy a new violin from a young/less established maker maybe just out of school, violin built on a proper model with top quality materials and with some sort of guarantee. The teacher's input is important but only if the teacher knows violins. Not all do. Also, this particular violin might have an excellent set up ( find out what this means ) and other violins he tried a less than optimal one. That makes a HUGE difference. A YT recording of that violin would be helpful, too. Might not tell much about tone but will tell enough to some of us about how the violin functions.

This is all too true. A pretty sound under the ear is often the deal breaker, when it's not really the full meal.

Give someone with some talent a fiddle that works,,and some time and instruction on how to drive a stick shift with some power under the hood, then a month later hand them the soft pretty fiddle they will wonder what they were thinking. Every note has to work and speak, not just make a pretty sound, yet fiddles will get approved that have a dozen pretty notes that are flat as a sail rabbit at dawn!

Been down this road many times before.

And I can hear a lot about how a violin functions in a video also. so true Carl.

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I am totally confused as to what it is worth.  The gap between $2,000-6,000 is too big to make any kind of sense to me.

Why do some think it's worth $2,500?  How did the shop settle on $6,000?

Even if they could sell/buy it for $5,000...that's still way above $2,000-2,500.

 

 

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F.R. Enders was neither a violin maker nor a factory, but a dealer. Some of the good Markneukirchen makers made fiddles for them, among them Paul Knorr. Eckart Richter in Markneukirchen, who knew Paul Knorr personally, told me a few years ago that he would have had to supply for a time two instruments per month to Enders. That means not (and I don´t think so) the OP-fiddle is one of these.

Good Enders violins in my area are sold in shops also for well over 6k.

If one likes the style of these instruments, the illustrated violin basically does not make a bad impression.

But then you should also expect a violin in top condition and good set up.

From the pics the restoration of this violin, however, does not appear to me executed at the highest level . Why was the top removed? For wing crack gluing or other issues? The removing/gluing back is not executed and retouched very cleanly. Not sure about other details i.e. the not nicely shaped peg ends.

It´s in any case worth a demand and a condition report.

Discussing a sound description/opinion in a forum is worthless in my opinion. If you trust your son´s teacher and your son feels fine – why not?

Good luck and happy easter!

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