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Diamond in the rough, or beware?


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I have started playing violin again after a 25 year hiatus, and after borrowing one from the library and realizing that I really missed it, have decided I'd like to purchase a violin.  I am an intermediate player and am looking for a violin that sounds nice and that I can grow into skill-wise.  From what I have seen, I would probably be looking to spend somewhere between $500-$1200 CAD to find a suitable instrument.

That being said, while browsing local ads I stumbled upon an ad that looks like it might be a good deal due to the seller not knowing the value of what they have.  They claim the violin was purchased for $800 20 years ago and that the quality and condition have not deteriorated.  They are currently taking offers but could go as low as $250-300.  My feeling is that this violin is probably worth more - say at least $800 and could be a really nice instrument for a really good price, or maybe it's too good to be true, and I'm better off spending more to know what I'm getting?

I was hoping based on these pictures, someone could assess whether this appears to be a decent violin or whether I should just avoid it?

Thank you in advance for sharing your expertise. 








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Everybody's different also, so it may be you'd rather buy several "pretty good" student violins over a few years rather than buying one in a shop. There's no harm in buying that, swapping strings and getting a rehair and playing  on it for a while. I do think the market has changed in the last 20 years. The internet means more instruments are circulating, and now there are a lot of pretty good Chinese instruments also available.

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