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What do you find attractive?


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When was about to buy a violin I didn't know squat about what to look for or even how to play a note. My teacher tried out ten violins or so for me and he kept asking me "how do you like the sound?" and I didn't hear any difference between them. The only thing I knew was that they all had different colors. I liked a light brown violin, and that was my idea of how a violin should look. My teacher didn't like that one at all, and said I should go with a red one, I trusted him and bought it and now I'm so happy I did. I love the red color! I can't say my violin sounds better than any of the other ten, but I really enjoy playing on it, it's becoming a part of me.

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lesseee.... in a violin, i like natural wood colours to comethrough... beautiful, like the darker rings from a stump.

i love my ( 1930's ) violin, beacuse it kinda has raised grain on the top and a real thin thin varnish... that bird can SING!!!

my viola, has to be that lighter auburn-ish colour it looks distinguished and very pretty amoungst the other 3 violists in my orch....ugly orage violas..ewwwwww

my cello is dark mahogany colour with a satiny- smoothe varn... i just love to touch it....

of course the occasional fender elec. white violin is cool too...

has anybody thought of taking an unvarnished insturument and staining it blue, fuschia or purple? i had a dream on staining one once and i wanna try it...

or am I really weird?


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I'm a bit of a Hawiian shirt person when it comes to colours. What I'd really like (though I've never owned one due to the cost of those I've seen) is an old blood-red to burgundy violin with yellow -gold ground showing through at all the wear points, and that kind of 'patchy' colour effect you get on some really nice old violins. Medium ro small sized pronounced flame all round would be fine, with an aged boxwood tailpiece and pegs. Did any makers particularly favour those colours?

I saw a nice 1900 or so Hill violin in a shop the other day with worn streaky varnish which was a distinctive pink colour - not red, pink like guava juice! It appealed to me, but apparently not to the average violinist, because I believe it had been on the shelf for a while.

A decorated Strad would be nice, of course, but in the meantime I'll settle for anything that plays well and sounds good.


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Electric Gemini,

I have seen blue finish (translucent) on an electric/accoustic guitar made by Yamaha. I thought it was gorgeous. My wife opted for the boring brown finish instead. It's a nice guitar but I keep reminding her that the blue one would have sounded much better :-)

[This message has been edited by wolfnote (edited 03-23-2001).]

[This message has been edited by wolfnote (edited 03-23-2001).]

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i'm glad to see all the replies! i think it's facinating to find the differences in taste between everyone here. the previous post reminded me of a violin i saw once being played in central park(near some little foot path bridge if i recall correctly): it was a blue violin. the thing was wonderfully flamed and it had this translucent blue that was just stunning! it was fantastic!

so now for my original intent in this post, i came accross this one a couple of days ago. let's not talk about the quality of the violin, the description, or anything of the sort, but i would like to hear people's opinions about the look. it's rather close to what i like very much(particularly the varnish)and i thought giving an example for people to say what they like/dislike might make this easier for some people who might not have contributed yet but wanted to. so, here we go:


i don't know where one would find a picture of it, but the cello steven isserlis plays with or the amati carlo chiarappa plays with have something else that drives me wild(as it were smile.gif ): a powerfully flamed scroll/neck(in isserlis' case, the flaming of the neck is just amazing i think!). my little fiddle has a scroll that just sort of jumps out and grabs me, and i love it!

again, thanks for all the talk everyone!

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You asked for opinions so here is mine. Yuck. I can understand how others might find the one you like attractive but to me it looks like a poorly revarnished hack. I would think it sounds much better than it looks but one can only guess. I'll admit that I usually gravitate to the newer, contemporary instruments, particularly in the Stainer or Guarneri style. Here's one I've seen offered on ebay several times that I like.


It's a recent make offered by the luthier. It's quite 'red' and a bit shiney on the bout edges but I do like the style and the deep coloring. I do not care a lot for the "too white" flamed neck. I think a more golden color would have worked better on this instrument. Who knows, I may buy this one someday.

On the lighter side, I really like the more plain look, augmented with attractive fittings. A good example would be the intermediate offerings at Stringworks. An example would be


This is the quintessential violin to me. The strad body style is very clean and the varnish appears hand-rubbed to enhance the wood grain without covering it. I don't like the two piece back as much, particularly the one in the photo. The matched pieces do not appear to match! Of course, this could be a photo problem rather than a real problem with the instrument. The instrument I like the best is my own. It's crafted with the best of both of the above and is one of those instruments that you can almost tell what the sound will be just by looking at it. If I can find a bit of time, I'll post a few pics of it if there is any interest. Finally, I must admit, as should we all, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and nothing is more beautiful to behold than a finely crafted stringed instrument. Best regards all.

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