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I have a budget of $1200 for a violin, and was looking at Eastman 305.  I tried 2003 Eastman 305 with a used pernambuco bow, and it sounded really nice compared to my 1983 Suzuki 220.  But my local violin shop had and recommended 2015 Carlo Moretti, which I also tried with pernambuco bow, and it seemed sounded little better than Eastman. Of course, I don't have trained ear as I'm only on Suzuki book 4.

I think this Carlo Moretti was a rental, as I can see some wear.  Also, inside, it had this local violin shop label with handwritten Carlo Moretti, serial number, and date.  When I searched online, I couldn't find much information about Carlo Moretti violins except that it's made by Amber Strings.  But this violin didn't have Amber String label.

The shop offer 20% off, making the price $1000+tax, with used pernambuco bow and case.  Although it doesn't have it's original label, based on sound quality, is it worth $1000?  I need some help buying decent violin at $1200 range.  Thanks.

carlo moretti 2.jpg

carlo moretti.jpg














Edited by itchibahn
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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:
Just curious, why did you delete the inscriptions on the label?

The inscriptions are of the local violin shop names and website, and I didn't wanted to impose that I was trying to advertise.


1 hour ago, monian said:

What is your exact question on buying a violin? I think you're already on the right track.

I'm trying to buy a violin within the budget, but I can't decide what is best deal.  Slightly better sounded but unknown violin or known Eastman, John Juzek,etc for similar price.

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1) "Carlo Moretti strings" doesn't mean the strings on the instrument are made by any "Carlo Moretti."  Generally it just means a "shop" instrument marketed by someone called Amber Strings. and they needed a name.  At this price point, any label is next to worthless anyway.  If you like the sound of the violin, buy it, but demand they throw in the bow gratis (all they can say is no, and it once worked for me!)

2) All violins have some "wear."  Strads have "wear", and you can't afford one.  Live with it.

3) Similarly a "used" pernambuco bow.

4) How do you expect anyone here to tell you if the violin is "worth" $1,000 or so?  Do you need a medical opinion also??

5) If I understand your post correctly, I have to ask if you're sure you need a new violin?  Maybe you just need a different (pernambuco) bow?  Apparently you are in the process of developing a discerning ear, in which case rather subtle differences in sound quality & playability start to become more noticeable.  Every performing musician (and most luthiers, too) will tell you a bow can actually make a significant difference.

6) Maybe what you really need is a quality teacher who can not only help you identify an improvement on a violin, but also teach you how to play it properly.  You don't have to go weekly (though certainly it would help), but even bi-weekly would probably be worth the $.  If you're poor, call your local university, and ask the violin professor for a referral to one of his advanced students.



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There is a maker named Carlo Moretti, born in Murano listed in texts, and mentioned on the Tarisio site ... he also has a death date listed many decades ago, however.  As AtlVcl mentioned, I believe the "Carlo Moretti" models, as the one you are asking about, are made for Amber Strings in Beijing.  A quick search brought up several selling between $1,000 and $1,250 (I assume, new).

Trade (commercial) violins are often supplied without a label, allowing the selling shop to insert one.  May or may not be the case here.

I wouldn't worry too much about gentle wear, especially if it saves you a little money and is not structural.

I agree that it might be helpful to involve your teacher (if you have one) in the selection process.  Make sure you pay them for their time.

Good luck.



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If you don't need (or want) the shop to just tell you what to do, you might want to have a look at your local classifieds.

Where I live the (online) classsifieds are full of (new-ish) chinese violins that where bought in the local shops a few years ago. Half the price.

If you worry about selling again in future, you may not want to suffer that cut and buy second hand to start with.

Also, for sellin in future, you might want to get something that has a half decent reputaion and is popular like a Scott Cao or so.

Else, take your time. Play and compare as many as you can, buy what youy like best in the end and don't worry too much.

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  • 1 year later...

As the current luthiers for Amber Strings, I can answer most of your questions. The violin was made in Northern China in a workshop I am trying to learn the name of. Amber Strings itself is in Brea, .CA, and has has been importing violins under several names (including Dragon by Howard Shore) for years, and Carlo Moretti is about one large step up from a real good student model. With a good setup, they tend to have a pleasant, even tone all across their range, and they respond to bridge and soundpost tweaks well. I would say it is totally worth that price, but I may be biased. If you would like to know more, I'll have to do some more asking. Which I'm perfectly happy to dom

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