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Buying a ~$1000 Viola: Stringworks Maestro, Scott Cao 800, Shar,or Andrea Eastman?


Pennstater
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Hi Pennstater--

If you're willing to risk buying straight from the source (China), here's a site: www.netinstruments.com/hima/

Very nice people. Du Tao sent me some pix of violas, and they are certainly pretty things. $850 US including a nice case for the standard model; more for the antiqued

version.

Probably he could help you select someting to suit your specific needs. J.

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quote:

Originally posted by rainyann:

I have nothing against Chinese instruments, we have a Chinese violin here. BUt what happens if you buy directly from China and have a problem, could it be as easily solved as with one bought here in the states?

SURE! Throw it in the fireplace and then go buy another one. HA HA HA HA.....just kiddin!!! laugh.gif

FF

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Haven't tried the Maestro but I am familiar with Stringworks. I bought an Artist last year and found it to be an even better instrument than was advertised. The staff was very helpful and quite knowledgeable. After my experience I wouldn't even consider buying from a different site. EK

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The latest batch of Eastman violas I saw were exceptional. All could, of course, benefit from careful and rather focused setup. Were I in the market for a viola I would get an Eastman or a small-shop modified (graduations checked, bass bar checked, careful bridge preparation, etc.) Eastman or equivalent. Do keep in mind the key role of setup.

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I've recently bought a StringWorks Virtuoso Viola, and it I was EXTREMELY Pleased, I also got a GENEROUS deal on it. The sound is unbelieveable, it sounds better than my main $2000 viola that I have. The staff was very helpful and understanding. And by the looks of the message board, the Maestro is also a good instrument. That is just my 2 cents :)

[This message has been edited by violist87 (edited 03-21-2002).]

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A couple of violist friends have looked at Eastman violas (one purchased), which I've tried as well. These instruments seemed nice enough, especially for the price, though they were extremely lightweight (I mean, lighter than my husband's Italian fiddle)--for what that's worth. The sound struck me as light, as well: resonant,yes, and powerful enough, but not what I seek in a viola.

My impression of the Eastman cellos is similar. And the shop markup was impressive We bought an equally fine, or superior, Chinese cello for less than half the shop price of Eastman cellos--from Stephan Weiss, an eBay cello dealer. We love it.

My luthier's caveat regarding Chinese instruments (and probably most other instruments in this price range)is that the wood used is sometimes green and therefore prone to change and(*yikes*)crack.

J.

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