Query: New violins at a price point


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1 hour ago, Potter said:

Its a question I would have asked at some point. If my daughter continues and goes to college we'll need to eventually shop for a new violin approaching a professional level. I am outside your world but seems like there would be buzz around makers making great playing instruments, but not yet being able to ask what the already recognized makers are asking. So finding the equivalent of the next Zyg. 

We went to the contemporary luthiers show in NYC last year (really in town to take kid to Harry Potter show on Broadway). My daughter loved a 20K violin by Isabelle Wilbaux. Would take a loan for our family, but like someone said, tuition at any decent conservatory makes that seem like pocket change. (Conservatory, if its her choice, is 5-6 years off.)

And per my posting  name,  as a professional I have not hesitated going to the bank and borrowing 20k

for a kiln. Really not a big part of trying to make a living or have a business.

(And yes, likely there is the needle in the Haystack 5K violin that sounds as good. Takes a lot of one's time to track down such a unicorn.) 

So. thats what I would like to hear, who is the underpriced next Zyg, Curtain, or simply who's out there making great violins that you would check out if shopping? 

 

That’s a fascinating question, and even though I have my lifetime cello, I posted the original question on behalf of my friend because I was interested in learning about it myself. My friend initially had no trouble with the post, but eventually decided that Antoine Nedelac Would not like his name being mentioned here, even though it was in a highly complimentary context, so I deleted it.
three fine local violinists have purchased violins by Nedelec so he's certainly a possibility.

for me the trickiest part is anticipating the sound that will be needed. I have sat on several auditions, and I have heard instruments that stood out. Interestingly, in the most recent audition, the cello that sounded best did not win the audition, but was runner up(very close vote) because the principal of the section preferred the other sound. I disagreed strongly and said so, but the principal of a section is rarely going to acquiesce to one of the schlubs in the back.

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13 minutes ago, MANFIO said:

Someone mentioned instruments for students, I will quote this article by Laurie Niles:

"Your violin is your teacher, too: So get a good one

February 14, 2007, 11:28 PM · As of this month, I've been playing the violin for 30 years. My violin anniversary is February 18, to be specific. I know because I started on Melanie Mayer's ninth birthday, as did Melanie. She reminded me every year. So wherever you are, happy birthday, Melanie!

I've been playing on an excellent violin now for one year, and it has opened my mind in ways that nothing else could in the 29 years before.

 

Photo

 

That's right, my nine years of violin instruction before college, four years in college, two years in graduate school, years of performing in dozens of orchestras, solo recitals, not to mention literally thousands of hours in the practice room – none of it taught me what a good violin has taught me.

One sees this phenomenon in small children: the child with a quarter-size violin who is ready for vibrato, for example. The child can do vibrato, even, but neglects it because he or she can't see the point. Then the child gets a larger violin that resonates, and suddenly vibrato makes sense and he or she can learn it.

The highest violin technique makes sense only on a fine instrument.

I've been looking back at pieces I played in college and reading the notes my teachers wrote in the margins. At the time, I played on a German factory violin given to me by my grandmother; it had been in her attic. For all her good intentions, though, it was a squeakbox.

"More tone!" implores my teacher from the page of a Brahms sonata.

"SUSTAIN" in the last movement of the Saint-Saens concerto.

"Darker sound on the G string" was a comment in a Bartok piece.

Even "LOUD" at the end of the Andante melanconico in Intro and Rondo Capricc.

Certainly there were requests that had more to do with the player than the instrument ("Stand straight! Relax left hand!") but I also saw much begging for a sound that simply was not possible or that took such heroic effort. I worked and worked and worked to make those things happen, and still the results were marginal. I barely have to do anything to make more tone, or a darker sound, on my current violin.

Without having ever played a fine violin, I did not even understand the completely different plane of playing available to me.

I understand now why some conservatories and universities make fine instruments available to students. I used to think that if one played well on a bad violin, one would be way ahead of the game when stepping up to a better one. That if one was "spoiled," playing on a Strad in college, one would never figure out how to make do with something lesser. It's not true. If one plays on a fine instrument, one knows what to seek in any instrument, and one also knows its importance.

All those years of fighting a bad instrument cause frustration; they block out what could be; they prevent the exploration of one's fullest potential as a musician.

I am grateful to at last have an instrument that allows me this; even if I'm destined to be a very late bloomer! But I would implore parents, schools and young musicians themselves: get the best instrument you can. Get the one that will awaken you to your fullest potential!"

Even with young students this is true. The larger the difference between a good and bad tone the faster they will learn.

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1 hour ago, Rue said:

I keep getting the feeling that we're all guilty of ignoring the power of "name dropping".

Buying, wearing, and visibly displaying a known "brand" is an indicator of social status. It's hard to not fall into that trap, given we are an extremely social...and socially conscious...species.

I can use a cheap pleather purse from Walmart just as well as I can use an expensive leather purse handcrafted from a Canadian artisan. Functionality is the same. But I FEEL better/more confident when I use the leather purse.

...and DO NOT ever underestimate the signaling power of an expensive pair of shoes.

So..in part..the "next big name luthier" will be whoever catches the eye of a socially prominent player...and the hoard of violinists who want that connection, to be "just like them", or at least have something tangibly related to them and therefore to have in common...

 

 

Your point is valid, but in the violin world, literally who cares? Outside the violin world, who knows who David Burgess is, who knows who David Caron or Matsuda or Rabut, Or among the older names, who knows who Gand is or Lupot. And even within the violin world, I bet not one violinist in 10 knows any of those names. Even I myself did not know that Antoine Nedelec lived in Dallas for a long time. Had nary a clue. 
and the people who do know, and do care, are aware enough to do their research, to set their parameters, and to look carefully until they find what suits their needs.
so although Rue’s point is totally valid I don’t think it’s really applicable here.

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8 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I have sat on several auditions, and I have heard instruments that stood out. Interestingly, in the most recent audition, the cello that sounded best did not win the audition, but was runner up(very close vote) because the principal of the section preferred the other sound. I disagreed strongly and said so, but the principal of a section is rarely going to acquiesce to one of the schlubs in the back.

The hilarious thing is that everyone wants a solistic instrument so they will have the edge in an audition.

The second they get the job, no-one likes that instrument because it doesn't blend.

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7 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

...My friend ....  decided that Antoine Nedelac Would not like his name being mentioned here....
fine local violinists have purchased violins by Nedelac.

....

Wait just a minute...:blink:

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1 minute ago, martin swan said:

The hilarious thing is that everyone wants a solistic instrument so they will have the edge in an audition.

The second they get the job, no-one likes that instrument because it doesn't blend.

...hmmm...maybe orchestras should have their own "audition" instrument...

That could narrow the playing field! :P

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3 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Exactly, the best brand new car in the world.............in 10 years it will be in a junkyard somewhere waiting to be crushed.

You city folks are weird:P   What sort of crap are you poor things driving?  :huh:

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

I can think of a couple of instances of people borrowing (ie. pretending to take on trial) an instrument for an audition, only to be told that they would be offered the job provided the instrument was part of the package.

It's a total minefield.

Yep, and the instrument returns with worn strings...

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30 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

Your Model T still running ? I sold mine years ago. Bad brakes, windy, smelly etc 

Yup, me too.  Got a 1965 Karmann Ghia with the "Rommel" air filter, instead    :lol:

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4 minutes ago, Carl Stross said:

As I said, it's been done.

I would love to know the circumstances, the reaction of the players and the committee, and the result. Definitely a fascinating experiment, although I cannot imagine a serious audition being conducted that way.

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43 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Well, I am a bit of an exception, I’m still driving the same car we bought in 2012.

It’s German factory, But quite good nonetheless

Dear heavens,  buy good solid stuff used, then maintain it.  And except for fun, buy hefty pickups.  :)

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12 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Dear heavens,  buy good solid stuff used, then maintain it.  And except for fun, buy hefty pickups.  :)

Yes that’s what we do. It’s a 2011 we bought it in 2012 and still driving it. Regarding trucks, oh, did I love my truck. I cleaned it top to bottom every week, and it was our date vehicle, and my wife referred to it, without affection, as “that Damned Truck.”

(sigh)

Ask me how much I love my wife… And I will tell you I love my wife enough to sell my truck...
:(

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