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Aviol Inist

Contemporary European violin makers

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I'm thinking of selling my violin that I've played for the past 6-7 years and replace it with perhaps a violin made by a living violin maker in Europe. My budget's pretty tight at about £3000, and ideally I'd like an Italian one because I think they look the best on average, but I guess when my budgets not even 5 figures, beggars can't be choosers. I would be very grateful if people could suggest any contemporary makers in Europe (for ease of travelling from the UK) who have violins for sale or commission violins for around £3000. Thanks.

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per eu labor law you be hard pressed, 3 grand won't even get you a chinese bench made violin. i got a quote couple months ago from a cremona maker for 10k euro, caveat was his apprentice making it and not the master. if he make it he would've quoted me 20k. 

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11 hours ago, Aviol Inist said:

I'm thinking of selling my violin that I've played for the past 6-7 years and replace it with perhaps a violin made by a living violin maker in Europe. My budget's pretty tight at about £3000, and ideally I'd like an Italian one because I think they look the best on average, but I guess when my budgets not even 5 figures, beggars can't be choosers. I would be very grateful if people could suggest any contemporary makers in Europe (for ease of travelling from the UK) who have violins for sale or commission violins for around £3000. Thanks.

Every Tarisio sale has dozens of new Italian violins that sell for around £3000 - it seems no-one else values them particularly so you could get lucky ...

You need to play them but there’s a good chance of finding at least one that doesn’t make you want to immediately tear your own head off.

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Every Tarisio sale has dozens of new Italian violins that sell for around £3000 - it seems no-one else values them particularly so you could get lucky ...

You need to play them but there’s a good chance of finding at least one that doesn’t make you want to immediately tear your own head off.

That's not actually a bad idea. I've been following Tarisio auctions for some months now in search of a Gordge case in a rather specific colour scheme and model variant (so probably going to be looking for a very long time), but I hadn't really considered buying a violin at auction because I assumed most of them would sell for way above my budget, seeing as a buyer's premium is also included. I've just checked the Tarisio calendar and annoyingly I'm never around for any of their auction dates. Do you know off the top of your head if Gardiner Houlgate or Amati regularly have contemporary violins? From what I've briefly seen, GH and Amati don't seem to be as good as Tarisio in terms of listing description etc.

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7 hours ago, ilikewhey said:

per eu labor law you be hard pressed, 3 grand won't even get you a chinese bench made violin. i got a quote couple months ago from a cremona maker for 10k euro, caveat was his apprentice making it and not the master. if he make it he would've quoted me 20k. 

Oh right I didn't know that was a thing. I also contacted a relatively new maker in Cremona and was quoted 15k. I read on some old threads that you could get a new Italian violin for well under 10k so I didn't really understand why a maker who's recently opened a workshop would have such high prices for their violins, but I'm assuming it's to do with the EU labour law as you say. 

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In the UK you have Tarisio, Amati, Bromptons, and maybe even Ingles&Hayday frequently have instruments in your price range. You are just a few days too late for Tarisio, Bromptons and Amati's October auctions, but there is a "Single Owner" auction currently at Amati. All violins are marked "A Violin", but I think there could well be some nice ones in that lot. 

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What are you playing now? Here in the US the best sounding instruments in that price range are usually higher grade Chinese, I suspect its the same over there. If you want to have a good choice among contemporary makers you should think about saving up around 20K, not that they are all that expensive, but your choices will expand greatly.

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On 10/29/2019 at 1:40 PM, Aviol Inist said:

Oh right I didn't know that was a thing. I also contacted a relatively new maker in Cremona and was quoted 15k. I read on some old threads that you could get a new Italian violin for well under 10k so I didn't really understand why a maker who's recently opened a workshop would have such high prices for their violins, but I'm assuming it's to do with the EU labour law as you say. 

It's nothing to do with EU labour law.

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18 minutes ago, deans said:

What are you playing now? Here in the US the best sounding instruments in that price range are usually higher grade Chinese, I suspect its the same over there. If you want to have a good choice among contemporary makers you should think about saving up around 20K, not that they are all that expensive, but your choices will expand greatly.

My current violin is unlabelled (I made a post earlier with photos asking for ID) but the dealer I bought it from roughly guessed it was German. I made an ID post just to see if luthiers from abroad could make something else of it. I'm not under the impression that "high grade" Chinese instruments in the UK are really a thing - I've seen some Chinese instruments in the '000s on the JPGuivier and some other London dealer's websites, but in local dealers, most made in China (or other Asian) instruments are Stentor, Primavera, or Hidersine, which aren't very highly regarded, but I don't think that's the sort of Chinese instrument you're talking about.

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2 hours ago, Felefar said:

In the UK you have Tarisio, Amati, Bromptons, and maybe even Ingles&Hayday frequently have instruments in your price range. You are just a few days too late for Tarisio, Bromptons and Amati's October auctions, but there is a "Single Owner" auction currently at Amati. All violins are marked "A Violin", but I think there could well be some nice ones in that lot. 

Yep, I was watching Tarisio for that Gordge but didn't really think to check the instruments when the auction was live.. There were a couple of recently made Italian ones which looked really nice and were within my budget, if not slightly over. I'm assuming they're only that cheap because they don't sound that good, or the maker is an apprentice (not a problem for me) ? I don't really understand why the market value is so much lower than the price that makers charge that all seem to be well over 10k. The Amati auction isn't near where I live so unfortunately I cannot visit, I'm no luthier but most of them look like they need to be repaired or something.

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You may go to Tarisio looking for a modern instrument in your price range, and end up bidding on the best sounding instrument in your price range ;).  But as others will tell you, it helps to know a fair bit about violins if you're going to buy at auction.  Otherwise, I would recommend seeing what reputable dealers have to offer, many of whom share their considerable knowledge here on Maestronet, i.e Martin Swan et al.

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13 hours ago, Aviol Inist said:

My current violin is unlabelled (I made a post earlier with photos asking for ID) but the dealer I bought it from roughly guessed it was German. I made an ID post just to see if luthiers from abroad could make something else of it. I'm not under the impression that "high grade" Chinese instruments in the UK are really a thing - I've seen some Chinese instruments in the '000s on the JPGuivier and some other London dealer's websites, but in local dealers, most made in China (or other Asian) instruments are Stentor, Primavera, or Hidersine, which aren't very highly regarded, but I don't think that's the sort of Chinese instrument you're talking about.

You should be able to find a Jay Haide

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19 hours ago, Felefar said:

 there is a "Single Owner" auction currently at Amati. All violins are marked "A Violin", but I think there could well be some nice ones in that lot. 

I didn't spot one, and certainly wouldn't fancy trekking into Wales for a viewing. In any case most lots in their single-owner and "affordable" sales are a long way from being in a playable state. In the past I've bought a few wrecks from Amati and GH, mainly for the practice in setting them up, plus a couple of decent ones in the £500-800 range, but without a proper opportunity to try them in advance I promised myself that would be my limit. Bromptons and I&H are OK for auditioning although hardly "private". Tarisio London, on the other hand, have some (at least one) great auditioning rooms. Prior to their last sale I found that useful for ruling out a couple of possibilities and ruling in another, although my bid wasn't successful. In general I'd say yes, there is a good chance of finding a decent auction violin by a contemporary or 20th century maker for £3K, but beware!

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Go to a respected dealer where you will find well set up German instruments with guarantees and informed choice of strings etc - plus free ongoing support

Paesold, Kirschnek, Gewa, Kier, Semmlinger and many more, with Chinese master instruments, Rumanian and even English (Wessex)

Try them all, discuss the sound you are looking for and find your 'soul mate' rather than even a calculated risk on auction

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