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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Help buy new Fiddle

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Strangedude - Posted - 04/09/2020:  07:30:12


I got rid of my highly prized, "Crapovarious" , it's now the treasure of the Salvation Army. They didn't want it, but I insisted.

Since I'm not hip to all of the rules yet, maybe contact me in private with your thoughts.

I'm in the market for a real Fiddle, there are several larger shops that carry lines of fiddles at varying price points.I would like a fiddle I wont outgrow every couple of months.

-Hank STL,MO

Swing - Posted - 04/09/2020:  07:56:40

You could look at the classifieds here on the forum and make contact with some of the sellers... many of them offer a return policy so you could try a quality used instrument at an affordable price. Buying new is always what it is cracked up to be with violins...

Play Happy


Cyndy - Posted - 04/09/2020:  10:08:57

So many ways to find a good fiddle, but check out the recent post on the Bluegrass Shack. Looking there might be productive, especially since I think it might be fairly close?

Edited by - Cyndy on 04/09/2020 10:09:38

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 04/09/2020:  13:26:18

I'm a fan of string instrument shops. If there's one within driving distance, pay them a visit. If going to a shop isn't feasible, surf the net for likely suspects. Try and get in direct communication with the place. In any case, string instrument shops aren't remotely like used car lots.

Arrive at a round number you might be willing to play. Talk about tone. Do you want a screamer that'll cut through the din of a jam? Do you want a modestly voiced instrument that won't disturb the neighbors as you squeak & squawk your way to acceptability? Don't get too hung up on country of origin or how old an instrument might be. I myself have always ended up walking away with new fiddles. Sure, looks and quote-unquote provenance carry a lot of emotional weight in a fiddle purchase but it's tone that inevitably rules the day.

Good luck! Good hunting!

The Violin Beautiful - Posted - 04/09/2020:  18:21:25

There are plenty of places to buy instruments, but I would start by finding a luthier who does good work, one who can maintain and adjust your instrument and repair any damage that might occur.

Then, come up with a budget. If you’re looking for something that you won’t need to trade in soon, I’d recommend budgeting for $3000-$5000. Talk to your luthier about the kind of sound you want and your playing style so that you don’t have to waste any time on things that aren’t suited to your needs.

If you’re looking for something intermediate like a good quality shop violin or an old German or Czech violin, check the condition carefully. If you’re looking to purchase a fine violin, make sure it comes with a certificate by a leading expert if possible and be sure that the condition is sound. There are a lot of fiddles on the market with hidden problems. If you buy a new instrument, be aware that you will generally get very little value back if you trade it in later, unless the shop or luthier offers a full trade-in value.

Once you’ve narrowed the field down, play the instruments and see what you like. Make sure you’re happy with the way it performs before purchase, and have your luthier make any adjustments it needs. Remember that the bow is equally important, so either buy one with the violin or see if there’s an outfit deal and come back later for a better bow as you improve.

Good luck in your search!

Dick Hauser - Posted - 04/10/2020:  08:18:51

Check out Royce Burt in Plant City FL. He reconditions old fiddles and sells them. You can watch him on Youtube. I spent about $2K for a new fiddle and later bought a reconditioned old German fiddle from Royce for $700 less. A luthier recently evaluated both fiddles and considered the fiddle I bought from Royce the better instrument.

Buying an instrument from Royce could save you $$$ and provide you with a better instrument. You can browse this website and read buyer comments from people who bought one of his fiddles.

This reads like a sales pitch but is just a suggestion from another amateur fiddler.

riverview - Posted - 04/10/2020:  10:00:38

Hank, I agree with Dick ,can’t go wrong with Royce or the Lou Xi just listed. Good Luck

old cowboy - Posted - 04/10/2020:  14:04:33

Check out Fiddlershop. I bought from them after much investigating. Great fiddle for the right price. Top knotch guys to deal with. Go to No I don't get anything for saying this.

Elliefiddler - Posted - 05/05/2020:  17:52:21

Got a really nice old German Fiddle, 1890-1900, from Bluegrass Shack a few years ago. I felt like they went out of their way to find a variety of fiddles that I would like, and then helped me narrow it down. It has an unusual warm sound and I’ve had complete strangers want to buy it off me. No way! Of course I also have a newer Chinese fiddle that again has a unique sound that I love. Good luck!

snakefinger - Posted - 05/05/2020:  21:51:17

For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would want to buy a fiddle that they've never heard or played. Play all the fiddles you can find until one begs you to take it home. Make a road trip if you have to.

WyoBob - Posted - 05/06/2020:  05:17:55


Originally posted by snakefinger

For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would want to buy a fiddle that they've never heard or played. Play all the fiddles you can find until one begs you to take it home. Make a road trip if you have to.

If you live in "fly over" country, mail order with return privileges works pretty well.

There is a shop 3 hours north of us that sells violins starting at $750.   As a beginner at age 72 last August, I wasn't willing to spend that much when I didn't know if I'd be able to play a fiddle, physically,  and would have had no idea what I was doing if I'd gone up there to look at one as I had yet to take my first lesson.

There's violin dealers 7 hours south of us in Denver.  Once again, most of what I came across was more than I was willing to pay.

If I ever decided to buy a better bow, I'll shop at Shar or another place of business that will ship bows out for trial.  I tickled with the two mail order fiddles I have now think they will suit me for the rest of my life.

DougD - Posted - 05/06/2020:  07:27:12

Strangedude - In a city the size of St. Louis there must be violin shops you can visit. In fact, in the classifieds here member dbhone recently posted a violin for sale in your town. That one may not suit you, but it was repaired by Geoff Seitz, a violin maker and old time fiddler in St. Louis. I'd suggest you contact him for starters. A local luthier who is also a fiddler is a very valuable resource.

Edited by - DougD on 05/06/2020 07:30:07

Schreech - Posted - 05/06/2020:  09:07:19

The classifieds on this forum, Elderly Instruments in Lansing Michigan, Fiddlerman shop. All are good places to find decent fiddles. Bought from all three with no issues.

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