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Hi Im 38 and want to learn the violin, just for me I know its not easy. My budget is decent, say 3k * violin alone, (1k for case and bow also )to get started, I know I can spend alot less but if I can buy one instrument to grow with thats more ideal then upgrading. As long as its not advanced in the sense its harder to play? More why pick up bad habits on a lesser instrument if I can afford not to? Narrowed it down to these, interested in classical playing for my own enjoyment, please advise

1) mezzoforte forte design $2500- I like carbon as I travel and have kids, just appears durable and less tuning. Like the sound very much, a bit more bright but for learning perhaps unwise? Beautiful and perhaps a one stop purchase and all the violin ill need for awhile?

2) Holstein cannone $1400- love the fuller, lower, more mellow sound? Scott cao cannone $1100, it appears I like the style canone. Thoughts are wood is better to learn on? Prob all I need, better feel or easier to play then carbon?

3) Mezzo evo $1100 -  not as good as the design line, but cheaper and can travel, isnt as powerful but perhaps thats good while learning? Also its sandwich carbon and not fully layered- regardless my thought was I could start here and have money left over for the cannone, or vice versa. Albeit if I started with the cannone id prob still want to come back for the mezzo design....just sounds fuller.

Thoughts? Not trying to waste money but 2-3 k is fine for me if its not silly and theres value to be had starting with a more complete violin, or buying a lower end carbon and nice wood or a lower end wood and the design line.

Thanks!

Edited by Hunter011

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Don't go rushing off half cocked :)  Lots of things happening in people's lives at the moment. Be a little patient and I'm sure you'll get some sage advice soon. My thoughts …. visit a reputable shop or luthier and see if you can try before you buy. Even an old Markie with a good set up may be an option !!

Cheers

 

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If you want a keeper violin that you want to continue playing.... don't just buy one.

Even Stradivarius had great violins and some that were  not so great.... so you could spend several Million $'s for one that in the end you did not like.

Buying a violin for playing (as opposed to investment) is a matter of trying and testing as many as possible over a period of time to determine what kind of tone you are looking for, and until you have learned & played for some time, you won't even know what you like. 

If money is not a concern, make a stab at buying whatever.. you can always buy another. But if it were me, ask around at reputable shops, take violins out on trial many times, ask your teacher for their opinion, ask  them to play it for you so you can listen and begin to form an opinion. 

One of my son's teachers played on a $75 violin that he said he would never part with and he has never found any as good. Price is not always a good measure of tonal quality. Even in the same make and model there will good instruments and not so good instruments and which is which sometimes is in ear of the beholder.

 Good luck! ... Mat

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I guess replies will be slow as most people on this forum don't view violins as typical branded and marketed consumer products (i.e. they don't google the top10 violin brands under $3,000).

What matters most is a quality set-up when you start out. This is usually not to be had from music stores stocking consumer brands.

As mysticpaw said, a Markie with a good set-up might be an option. Find a luthier/ dealer and play as many instruments in your budget as you can.

Cheaper plus upgrade might also be a good idea. If you learn half a year or a year on less than $1,000 it will equip you to understand what you are looking for when you upgrade to $3,000.

If you are smart about the first one you might even get (all) your money back when you upgrade.

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Store bought brands, which there are many, as many as different types of soft drinks, are not really a violin makers forte. There are some dealers here, but they are mostly selling older instruments from established 18th,19th and 20th century makers or workshops. There are perhaps a few here who have "music shops" and may know something about these brands, but being a maker who knows a thing or two about violins, I've never even heard of these brands you mention. 

So I think you have a misconception that "everyone" would know something about these manufacturers, you may get better replies in the "fingerboard" section as there are lots of student violinist there who may know something about these student grade budget instruments. Good luck, and for what it's worth, seeing how we are in a global financial meltdown, you may want to hold off for a bit, something tells me there will be lots of "deals" as we experience a combination of deflation in many goods and services, while a massive inflation in others. 

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It is a mistake to think that you can select a violin just by brand name, because two violins of the same make and model can have different sounds.  And two violins of the same make and model can set up differently, making one much harder to play.  All this means that to make a selection you should try out as many different instruments as you can.  If you don't play well enough to try them out yourself, you should have someone else play them for you so that you can compare the sounds, and so your tester can assess the set-up for ease of playing.

Welcome to the violin world and good luck.

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If your goal is to buy nicer quality with a view to resale and upgrade later, you might be better off buying a well setup antique instrument from one of the big violin shops rather than a new Chinese made instrument. They can be very good value but the resale is much lower than your initial outlay, also harder to find a buyer as anyone in the market for such an instrument can afford to buy new.

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1 hour ago, Jo Stephens said:

If your goal is to buy nicer quality with a view to resale and upgrade later, you might be better off buying a well setup antique instrument from one of the big violin shops rather than a new Chinese made instrument. They can be very good value but the resale is much lower than your initial outlay, also harder to find a buyer as anyone in the market for such an instrument can afford to buy new.

Yes agreed, there are so many decent used antique instruments out there that just need a good setup. Parents are often surprised when I do the math for them. A few hundred dollars and the time for a good setup versus a Chinese instrument or a rental. In the scheme of things, I'm a retiree with a small luthier shop but my customer loyalty is directly contingent on always being available for setups and adjustments. And for the kid, a playable instrument may make the difference between sticking with the instrument and not.

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8 hours ago, chas5131 said:

What is a Markie?

Convenient shorthand for a Dutzendarbeit trade violin of the built-on-back type with the bass bar carved into the underside of the top/belly, produced and marketed in their millions from the Markneukirchen/Schönbach area on the border between Saxony and Bohemia between the 1860's and the 1920's. :)

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Hunter, you have never played the violin before? Yes?

If that is the case I might recommend renting one first. The reason being you have no idea what you are listening for when you first start, much less what feels good to you. Think of it like buying a car without knowing how to drive. You can always buy an instrument later, and you will have a better understanding of what you like and don't and what works for you. 

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If you are just starting to learn to play you really have no way to test or compare instruments for playing characteristics. You might really be better off going to a decent shop and either renting an instrument or buying an inexpensive entry level violin. Most shops will let you trade up or have some sort of credit for the rent which will let you choose a more advanced instrument once you have developed enough knowledge to know what you want. You will have to trust the people you buy from to set the instrument up properly whatever you buy and therefore should be looking for a trained violin maker rather than a music store or on line seller. Even buying a brand new violin doesn't guarantee that it is set up properly.

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Nathan's advice is pretty spot on. If you do not already play you have no way to judge an instrument. Go to a good shop and get an instrument you can outgrow for the right reasons not the wrong ones. We sell a beginner outfit for about $500. For that, you get the violin, the case and the bow, but the single biggest thing you are paying for is the set up. I cannot stress enough that the set up is critical. That's all the parts and adjustments that make the thing actually play like a violin. Once you have played for some time, then you can actually try instruments and find the one you want to have for the long haul. 

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I agree with Nathan and Stringcheese.

A lot of people say you have to try a violin. But how can you if you are just starting? Find a good reputable brick and mortar dealer, it is to their advantage to get you into something that at least works.

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17 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Convenient shorthand for a Dutzendarbeit trade violin of the built-on-back type with the bass bar carved into the underside of the top/belly, produced and marketed in their millions from the Markneukirchen/Schönbach area on the border between Saxony and Bohemia between the 1860's and the 1920's. :)

Thank you

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" My budget is decent, say 3k * violin alone, (1k for case and bow also )to get started, I know I can spend alot less but if I can buy one instrument to grow with thats more ideal then upgrading. "

I'd say spend $1500 on a violin, case, and bow. Spend the rest on lessons!!

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5 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

If you are just starting to learn to play you really have no way to test or compare instruments for playing characteristics. You might really be better off going to a decent shop and either renting an instrument or buying an inexpensive entry level violin. Most shops will let you trade up or have some sort of credit for the rent which will let you choose a more advanced instrument once you have developed enough knowledge to know what you want. You will have to trust the people you buy from to set the instrument up properly whatever you buy and therefore should be looking for a trained violin maker rather than a music store or on line seller. Even buying a brand new violin doesn't guarantee that it is set up properly.

I think that's pretty good advice. I have several times visited Guitar Center with my wife, since she plays guitar. Many of the guitars were pretty decent, but all of the violins were something south of horrible.

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