15k on a Hopf need expert opinion


Recommended Posts

It would depend on the instrument. New? Old? How much was invested in rehabbing an old instrument? 

And it would depend on the vendor. Location? Demand in that area, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bbmpiano said:

...How do you normally select a violin, what is the process?...

My recommendation is to try out as many as you can so you can compare them.  By doing this, you can find out what different violins sound like, what you like, what you don't like, what things cost, etc.  If you don't play well enough to do this, take someone, like a friend or a teacher, who can play them while you listen and who can advise you.

 

7 hours ago, bbmpiano said:

...Are there any recommended sellers on here/ reputable ebay sellers/ online merchants/ physical shops or other sources that you recommend?...

The best way to try out a lot of violins is to go to a violin shop.  Where do you live?

The problem with buying on line is that you can' here what you're buying.  If you go this route, you should deal with someone who has a friendly return policy.

$15,000 for the Hopf is absurd.

Link to post
Share on other sites

$1000 is retail at a shop, they might have up to $300 plus labour into it., So your seller is running an over 30 times profit margin. That shouldn't be legal IMHO

Your violin is not a real Hopf, it is a mass produced violin with a Hopf stamp, and fake Hopf stamp on the inside, nothing to do with a real Hopf which would be made by a member of the Hopf family and be 100+ yrs older.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Brad Dorsey said:

...

$15,000 for the Hopf is absurd.

Especially a fake Hopf. ^_^

But the OP got their money back and learned a bit more about value, so it's all well that ends well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Rue said:

Especially a fake Hopf. ^_^

But the OP got their money back and learned a bit more about value, so it's all well that ends well.

Yes thankfully 

Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, bbmpiano said:

Yes i actually bought it for 15k. when i said negotiate, I meant in the case of him not willing to refund upon confrontation which is not the case

Your earlier posts were not showing for me, or out of sync somehow. I am relieved to see that you have been able to get your money back!!!!

This shows the danger of a private sale, because the owner can ask literally any price they like, and if you have agreed to buy it, then that is on you. There is no accountability in a private sale, and the legal wrangling which would then need to take place will be both costly, and prolonged.
Since it seems you do not yet know much about violins, I think you should avoid private sales, or online sales (eBay, auctions etc). The chance of getting burned is very high.

I would strongly suggest that you go to an established shop, and try as many violins as you can, within your given price range.
From there, arrange to take home your two favourites on trial. Most shops will offer a trial or approval service, where you can try them at home for several weeks, before deciding to buy. The service carries no obligation to buy, so if you are still not sure, you can return them, and take some others.
At up to $15k, there will be a huge range of violins to choose from, both old and new. If you are looking at old violins, really the condition is of paramount importance. If an instrument has been heavily restored, get something in writing that the shop will back up the repairs, if there were to be any problems with them in the future.
While many like the idea of an old instrument, new ones can at times provide better value for money, you also don't have the worry of old repairs, and things like this. If you can get something by a contemporary maker, which is second hand, these can be a very good buy for the price, providing you like the sound & way it plays.
I wouldn't get hung up on the idea that a new violin must be played hard for decades to sound any good, this is just an old wives tale, which is constantly regurgitated.
Try each violin at face value, and with an open mind, if you don't like it, then move on.

If you are trying a lot of violins, it will help to take a notebook, and write down things you liked about different instruments. This may help you to decide on the type of violin you are looking for, and show which things are important to you. No instrument is perfect unfortunately, but if it covers everything you are looking for, it's a good starting point.
If possible, get a second opinion on any instrument you are considering, and have someone else play it to you. I would be wary of teachers discussing authenticity of an instrument, or pricing.
While they may play well, I've almost never found a teacher who knew a great deal about instruments, or the market.

Above all, take your time in choosing an instrument. Do not get pushed into buying something you aren't quite sure about, there will always be more violins at another time, or at another place.

Good luck in your search.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A good condition, very well preserved genuine Hopf, 250 yrs old may well be worth $10,000, maybe someone might charge up to $15,000 for a particularly good example, maybe your seller had the mistaken idea that yours was that old and that valuable, more likely they were just a crook. Anyway good advice to go to a reputable shop, if you liked this violin you won't have to pay more than $2-3,000 to get something that sounds a lot better.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Rue said:

It would depend on the instrument. New? Old? How much was invested in rehabbing an old instrument? 

I should have realised what the "1957 repaired in Boston" label meant on that 15k Hopf, now that I think about it, I speculate someone was trying to sell this off at a ludicrous price after fixing it up somewhat.

2 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

And on your receipt, what exactly does it say? How is the violin described?

That's the most  uncomfortable thing for me in all this. I directly transferred money to him.

2 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

The best way to try out a lot of violins is to go to a violin shop.  Where do you live?

China, but I do not live in the major cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen) where shops have more reputation and I do not intend to look for a violin here anymore. 

I have a friend who got his contemporary violin for 12k in Hong Kong, at a store called Hong Kong Strings which sounds trustworthy. When I return to Hong Kong I will take a look there. There is also a chance I might return to London over the next few months so I would appreciate any recommendations in these areas.

1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

Your earlier posts were not showing for me, or out of sync somehow. I am relieved to see that you have been able to get your money back!!!!

Thanks Wood Butcher!! It's on me, they were marked hidden which I assumed got unlocked by an admin as my account is new.

1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

While many like the idea of an old instrument, new ones can at times provide better value for money, you also don't have the worry of old repairs, and things like this.

This is what I am inclined to think as well. Besides, I read a post elsewhere about a person trying out over a hundred violins before settling on a contemporary Laura Vigato. I understand that there is equal chance in me finding my "perfect" violin in both old and new violin categories, but for now I place sound above collectibility so I think I can find the suitable violin in the contemporary category without needing to consider the "nuisances" of old ones. There seems to be double-blinded studies of people preferring new violins over Strads.

1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

I wouldn't get hung up on the idea that a new violin must be played hard for decades to sound any good, this is just an old wives tale, which is constantly regurgitated.
Try each violin at face value, and with an open mind, if you don't like it, then move on.

As in, if it doesn't sound right to me from the very beginning, I should just immediately drop it instead of considering trying to adapt to it over the coming years?

1 hour ago, Wood Butcher said:

If you are trying a lot of violins, it will help to take a notebook, and write down things you liked about different instruments. This may help you to decide on the type of violin you are looking for, and show which things are important to you. No instrument is perfect unfortunately, but if it covers everything you are looking for, it's a good starting point.

I absolutely agree with you. I think my mental library/reservoir of imaginable violin sounds at the moment is too poor. My first step should be exposure to more types of violin sounds to grasp their varying complexity.

Edited by bbmpiano
Link to post
Share on other sites

The other question you need to be clear on, is what is your goal with the violin?  Primarily to play you mentioned.  What level are you playing at?  Where will you be playing the most?  Orchestra?  Quartet?  Solo?

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Rue said:

The other question you need to be clear on, is what is your goal with the violin?  Primarily to play you mentioned.  What level are you playing at?

My train of thought is since I will be working in the foreseeable future, it is a valuable time for me to start picking up the violin again right now while I am still studying as I have time still. I've been playing it since little (stopped during beginning of Uni) and I think it's a pity to lose it all. Expanding my repertoire for personal leisure is my goal at the moment, and I wanted a good violin to accompany me as I step into society.

level-wise, I passed Grade 8, Bach's chaconne is on my list next

Edited by bbmpiano
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, bbmpiano said:

Hi everyone,

I greatly appreciate all your feedback and, being highly shocked and uncomfortable myself after hearing all your thoughts, I was able to get my money back today fortunately.

The seller is a friend of a friend, I do not believe he has bad intentions but he seems to be left in a state of denial upon hearing the objective value of this fiddle.

Anyway, I will be investing this money much more cautiously and patiently for my next violin.

May I ask:

1) How do you normally select a violin, what is the process?

2) The violin I picked up yesterday sounded okay, it had nice projection and a round warm sound hence I assumed it had value. I guess that is not the full picture.What are some truly vital attributes to look for in a violin that I neglected?

3) Are there any recommended sellers on here/ reputable ebay sellers/ online merchants/ physical shops or other sources that you recommend?

Sorry for the long reply, but I cannot feel thankful enough to all of you, since I am nearing my 20s and I would appreciate the companionship of a good violin for life. 

 

Daniel

 

Daniel,

I go by sound.  I prefer older instruments to newer ones because they have been played a lot and are broken in.  There are ugly violins that somehow sound good but also plenty of pretty instruments that sound good as well.  But for me, sound is the key.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/25/2021 at 7:33 AM, bbmpiano said:

Hi everyone,

I greatly appreciate all your feedback and, being highly shocked and uncomfortable myself after hearing all your thoughts, I was able to get my money back today fortunately.

The seller is a friend of a friend, I do not believe he has bad intentions but he seems to be left in a state of denial upon hearing the objective value of this fiddle.

Anyway, I will be investing this money much more cautiously and patiently for my next violin.

May I ask:

1) How do you normally select a violin, what is the process?

2) The violin I picked up yesterday sounded okay, it had nice projection and a round warm sound hence I assumed it had value. I guess that is not the full picture.What are some truly vital attributes to look for in a violin that I neglected?

3) Are there any recommended sellers on here/ reputable ebay sellers/ online merchants/ physical shops or other sources that you recommend?

Sorry for the long reply, but I cannot feel thankful enough to all of you, since I am nearing my 20s and I would appreciate the companionship of a good violin for life. 

 

Daniel

 

Prices in Hong Kong may be higher than in the rest of the world. The one you showed is worth noting and is unlikely to produce a great sound. Such violins can have a mellow sound, unlikely to get anything rich out of such a box.

I am also not a great fan of real Hopf violins, there were better makers, even in Germany :).

You need to get some experience with instruments and your best chance is to visit shops. If you play well they won‘t mind if you try many. If you are a good player they will let you try anything - after all they want to sell. Ask your teacher, he or she will have seen more instruments in the past. Although some teachers have no clue of the value and authenticity of an instrument.

I for my part went to violin auctions since I was in school and met collectors and players - but this only works of you have an auction house nearby. And this doesn‘t make you an expert, but you know at least what sound you can expect from a decent violin.

Buying from an auction is also dangerous - not everything there is genuine and their guarantees are hard to challenge.  Nevertheless, in an auction you do have a real chance to try a large range of instruments although often not very well set up. A dealer will present them properly set up with decent strings, much better to try.

Dealers in Europe would let you have a violin for a few days if not weeks to try and compare.

New vs old: New violins can have an excellent sound but can be hard to sell again unless the maker is very well known. Often you can find a good older violin for the same price - let‘s say a 19th century French violin - and the resell value is higher.

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Daniel,

I am relieved to hear that you got your money back. As you shop for a new violin, please always keep in mind that the price has nothing to do with tone. Tone is subjective and malleable. There are expensive violins that sound awful and inexpensive violins that sound great.

Find a reputable honest dealer, and work with them to select a violin. Take your time.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Hi Daniel,

...As you shop for a new violin, please always keep in mind that the price has nothing to do with tone...

That bears repeating. Many lowly amatures don't know that, and only want a fiddle that plays well, doesn't need repairs, and sounds good to them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.