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jermen

How much will it cost to repair these cracks and must it be done, also woodworm query

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Hello,

Can anyone give me a rough estimate of a reasonable price to expect to pay to repair these cracks and approximately how long the work would take, for a good luthier. 

Also is it possible to tell approximately how recently the cracks were made.

And, if I don’t get them repaired, will that affect the sound or stability of the violin?

As I think the cracks were caused by tightening the strings when the soundpost was not in the violin; I don’t know if this affects your opinions on whether the work is vital or not.

Also, could that be woodworm on the back.

Many thanks for any help.

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How much will it cost?

Much much more than the violin would be worth after the repairs.

Is the violin playable as-is?

No.

In my opinion, that violin essentially totaled. Sorry.

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Hi Jermen - have a look at the neck end of the belly. Are there any signs of cracking either side of the neck?

Without having the violin in my hands, my gut feel is that the violin suffered a "hot flush" and we are looking at shrinkage cracks.

Those "wormholes" look like an attempt at antiquing. Common mistake - using one "hammer" and tapping all over the surface leaving identical marks everywhere. You'll find a few more down next to the saddle.

 

As to estimated costs - Jermen,  it's not fair to our members to request prices for repairs "sight unseen".

When I was a very young engineer My mentor hammered it into me "Edi, never give an off-the-cuff estimate. No matter how much you qualify your answer, it will be the only figure the client will ever remember. He will lash you with an unending series of "BUT YOU SAIDs..." - despite the scope of the works having doubled and subjected to unending delays due to unforeseen weather conditions."

I have steadfastly followed his advice for over 50 years.

In the case of your instrument, it's a straightforward job. Take it to your nearest luthier and ask him for a quote to remove the top, repair and stud the cracks and reassemble.

 

cheers edi

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4 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Much much more than the violin would be worth after the repairs.

In my opinion, that violin essentially totaled. Sorry.

How can you tell what kind of violin this is from these pictures?

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How much was the violin valued at before the crack happened ?

If it was only worth $500 then the cost of repair will easily eat up its value. If it was worth $10,000 then it would be viable to have the work done. I am pretty sure my luthier would scratch his head and come up with a repair figure pushing on to $1000. That would go up if a soundpost patch was needed.

If it was mine and it had little financial value I would open it up and repair it myself with a little help from Youtube, this forum, and online tutorials. I would never attempt such repairs on a valuable violin though.

The holes may be old woodworm as they appear to be filled in. The holes could have been there when the violin was made, but do not seem to have spread. Woodworm will often leave tracks across the surface, but as this is just confined to a few old holes it does not look like anything to worry about, although it can always affect the resell value.

Edited by Delabo

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If you wasted 500 dollars on a cracked violin cos it's old, and then ask for a. Quote from people on here, then, with respect, would you buy an old car which doesn't work, then go online and ask for repair costs, you would be told the same thing as in, how can people do bizzo on an information forum.

Sorry luv, but you should have considered costs beforehand and I would suggest as others have on here, nobody would publicly say, oh yeah, I charge so and so. It's not cattle market or a used car mechanic forum.

How does anyone ask prices, with photos? Unseen problems can make a messy job, a long restoration.

Take the violin to a violin restorer, luv. It's not worth more than £200. After work it won't be worth more than £300.

An estimate, sorry about that luv,

 

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Hi all

Many thanks for your generosity with your time and wisdom.

The problem really is a sonic one rather than a monetary one. What I mean is I am a fairly good violinist but a long way from home and with not much money at all. I am trying to get an instrument that will have some capacity for colour and tone with my very limited budget. I bought the violin for $50 through local adverts, so what I am comparing it to really is what I can get off amazon or from a chain music store. So even if the violin hasn’t much intrinsic value, i.e. I wouldn’t be able to recoup what I put in if I sold it, it doesn’t matter to me as long as it will sound significantly better than say the entry level Yamaha the music store has, if that makes any sense? The catch 22 is that it’ll be hard to figure out its tonal capacity till it is set up and playable.

Anyway I attach pictures if they are of any help. I think it’s about a 100y old Mittenwald. Beyond that I have no idea how to assess its likely quality. 

Do the cracks mean that even if they are patched the sound is irrevocably compromised now?

I also appreciate it’s very hard to estimate what someone will charge but I suppose I just wanted to know a ballpark of what to expect so I don’t get ripped off, or to know whether it is just plain out of the possibility of my means. 

I also have to factor strings, soundpost replacement (it’s currently rattling around inside the violin) and a new bridge into the budget. 

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Edited by jermen

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On 4/10/2019 at 12:27 PM, uncle duke said:

How can you tell what kind of violin this is from these pictures?

By having seen a lot of violins like it.

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11 hours ago, jermen said:

I am trying to get an instrument that will have some capacity for colour and tone with my very limited budget.

How that violin sounds after a repair is purely a gamble. I my opinion, you could purchase a similar violin from eBay in the $250 - 400 range that was set-up and in good repair. The tone would still be a gamble, but if you did not like it, you could at least re-sell it and recoup most of your money or maybe even make a few dollars. Or you could return it if the seller offers a money-back return.

If you spend money on repairing this violin and don't like the tone, it is going to be hard to sell with that kind of repaired damage. 

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11 hours ago, jermen said:

 

Anyway I attach pictures if they are of any help. I think it’s about a 100y old Mittenwald. 

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No it isn't "100 year old Mittenwld" but a specimin of the Markneukirchen/Schönbach Cottage Industry, end of 19th. C. I wrote a short explination how you can tell the difference here

 

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On 4/9/2019 at 9:35 PM, jermen said:

Hello,

1. Can anyone give me a rough estimate of a reasonable price to expect to pay to repair these cracks and approximately how long the work would take, for a good luthier. 

2. And, if I don’t get them repaired, will that affect the sound or stability of the violin?

1. If I wanted to have a top-notch person perform all these repairs, I would expect to pay well in excess of five thousand dollars. Not that you couldn't get a hack-job "restoration" done for around two hundred bucks. ;)

2. Definitely. After repairs, the violin may sound better or worse.

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

1. If I wanted to have a top-notch person perform all these repairs, I would expect to pay well in excess of five thousand dollars

I am in the UK, but based on what I have heard its a toss up between lawyers and plumbers who charge the most per hour in the USA.

I think "luthiers" can be added to that list. :ph34r:

 

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20 minutes ago, Delabo said:

I am in the UK, but based on what I have heard its a toss up between lawyers and plumbers who charge the most per hour in the USA.

I think "luthiers" can be added to that list. :ph34r:

 

Shame that you don't value the skills of people who have been perfecting their work for decades, in order to produce amazing restoration work.

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1 hour ago, Delabo said:

I am in the UK, but based on what I have heard its a toss up between lawyers and plumbers who charge the most per hour in the USA.

I think "luthiers" can be added to that list. :ph34r:

I disagree. My crude estimate was based on high-quality work,  whether or not the work was performed in the US.

Granted, this instrument isn't worth that sort of work or expense. The cost of that sort of skill and painstaking work can only be recovered on much more expensive instruments. It can easily be worth putting 20 thousand bucks worth of repair work into a Strad. A 1000 dollar, instrument, not so much. ;)

I wish more people had a chance to spend time around really high-end repairers and restorers, so they could learn to appreciate the time and skill involved.

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I'd rather doubt that you could get $100 on ebay for it. 

I also don't believe that it would be worth much more once repaired. It has a soundpost crack in back and top. 

It will make a nice campfire though.

 

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2 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

Shame that you don't value the skills of people who have been perfecting their work for decades, in order to produce amazing restoration work.

The OP violin cost $50.

A $5000 repair bill would be 100 hours @$50 per hour.

Would it really take a 100 hours to fix those cracks on a $50 violin ?

We could make that 50 hours @$100 per hour.

Would it really take a week to fix those cracks ?

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10 minutes ago, Delabo said:

The OP violin cost $50.

A $5000 repair bill would be 100 hours @$50 per hour.

Would it really take a 100 hours to fix those cracks on a $50 violin ?

We could make that 50 hours @$100 per hour.

Would it really take a week to fix those cracks ?

 

5 hours ago, David Burgess said:

1. If I wanted to have a top-notch person perform all these repairs, I would expect to pay well in excess of five thousand dollars. Not that you couldn't get a hack-job "restoration" done for around two hundred bucks. ;)

 

As David said, if you want top-notch, it's expensive.  Also, you'd be amazed how quickly you can burn through a hundred hours when someone is expecting it done to extremely high standards.  

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7 minutes ago, Jerry Lynn said:

As David said, if you want top-notch, it's expensive.  Also, you'd be amazed how quickly you can burn through a hundred hours when someone is expecting it done to extremely high standards.   

So a rich person buys a very expensive violin and gets a top luthier to repair it "no expense spared".

I get that.

Where does the OP with there $50 violin go to  for a reasonable repair at reasonable cost ?

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1 minute ago, Delabo said:

 

Where does the OP with there $50 violin go to  for a reasonable repair at reasonable cost ?

I've got no idea. 

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This violin is at the end of its useful life, it has salvage value or in this case maybe no residual value. It would be better to guy a reasonably priced instrument from a local shop. The local shop usually guarantees the availability of repair (if it's not a general music store). If you buy a violin from ebay, you might end up finding no one who wants to repair your violin.

In this case, the post repair value will be lower than the repair cost. 

In other words, on every dollar you pump into the repair, you get pennies back.

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