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Used Eastman VL80 for sale... Should I pick it up?

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Jul 18, 2019 - 7:44:43 AM
42 posts since 11/24/2018

While looking in my local classifieds, I found an Eastman VL80 for sale for $225. Somebody told me that this is considered to be a quality entry level model, aka the Deering Goodtime of fiddles.

I currently play a inexpensive "Menzel" model violin (musiccollection.ca/product/men...es-violin). I know that my talent, or lack of, has a lot to do with it, but there a lot of things about it that already bother me. I just want something that I'll have learning on.

Jul 18, 2019 - 8:00:21 AM
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2124 posts since 10/1/2008

IF it is in good condition w/ case and bow it is an OK deal. Eastman does make a good entry / student grade instrument. Keep in mind when you think you are ready for a different instrument buy a better bow first. A good student grade bow costs north of 100.00$ by itself used. Also buy some new strings and go to Youtube for instructions on changing them. Prim or D'Addario Helicore are good quality "inexpensive" +/- 35.00$ strings. Also buy a mute or a clothespin to act as one. R/

Jul 18, 2019 - 8:07:36 AM
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DougD

USA

9177 posts since 12/2/2007
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Make sure its a full size (4/4) instrument and has the case and bow. If its in good condition (no cracks, finish OK, pegs work etc.) the price seems in the ballpark. Try it and see how you like it. $200 would be even better.
Also, there's plenty of info about these online.

Edited by - DougD on 07/18/2019 08:08:59

Jul 19, 2019 - 7:47:49 AM

42 posts since 11/24/2018

I also found this one, but the seller doesn't know too much about it, including the make. It seems nice to me and look like it's made with actual, solid parts, but I'm wondering if anybody here recognizes this model?

All she remembers is that her husband paid $485 for it in the US a few years ago.

kijiji.ca/v-string-instrument/...Flag=true

Jul 19, 2019 - 8:06:47 AM

DougD

USA

9177 posts since 12/2/2007
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The tape on the fingerboard suggests this was a beginner's instrument, who never got too far with it. Not many pictures of the violin itself, but it looks to me like it has a pretty thick, tonekilling finish. How much her husband paid for it is irrelevant. Plenty of shops way overcharge for new instruments. The case looks pretty nice though.
You really need to play and hear any instrument before you buy. Otherwise you're just throwing money into the wind.
Have you looked in the classifieds on this site? There are often some pretty good instruments listed there at reasonable prices.
PS - Looks like everything in the classifieds right now is way out of your price range. It changes though.
PPS - Does that instrument have a label inside? If so ask the seller what it says.

Edited by - DougD on 07/19/2019 08:20:01

Jul 19, 2019 - 8:22:30 AM

42 posts since 11/24/2018

Yeah I asked the seller. Couldn't see anything, she's supposed to check later tonight.
I'm also wondering if this $485 was spent at Guitar Center or at Joe's Fine Violin Shop type place.

Jul 19, 2019 - 2:46:36 PM
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bluenote23

Canada

102 posts since 7/27/2016

With Eastman's the higher the number, the higher the 'quality'. The VL80 is a the bottom of the rung. Eastman makes good violins but I don't know how good the quality of their student models are.

I have a VL908 that I got for $600 US on Ebay. My violin sounded ratty for three years. Not because of the violin but because of me. It is loud and it can sing but it has taken me three years to get even just an inkling of what that means.

If you spend a little more and have more patience, you could probably find a 305, which is the just above the student violins for a decent price. Then you would know that the problem is not with the instrument but with you...!

Jul 20, 2019 - 4:41:50 AM

42 posts since 11/24/2018

quote:
Originally posted by bluenote23

With Eastman's the higher the number, the higher the 'quality'. The VL80 is a the bottom of the rung. Eastman makes good violins but I don't know how good the quality of their student models are.

I have a VL908 that I got for $600 US on Ebay. My violin sounded ratty for three years. Not because of the violin but because of me. It is loud and it can sing but it has taken me three years to get even just an inkling of what that means.

If you spend a little more and have more patience, you could probably find a 305, which is the just above the student violins for a decent price. Then you would know that the problem is not with the instrument but with you...!


Thanks. My logic is perhaps faulty, coming from the banjo world, but if I were to be shopping for an entry level banjo/looking for a beater, I would trust a lower end model Gold Tone, Recording King or Deering any day before those weird bottle cap banjos from Asia. I figure that Eastman is kind of the same thing.

I found anoother listing in my area. The girl this time actually plays the violin, so she was better at answering my questions. There is no label inside, but she knows that it was made in the Czech Republic. I think that its probably one of the Dvorak model violins, that seem to have decent reviews in the entry level violin world

Edited by - Hoodoo on 07/20/2019 04:42:26

Jul 20, 2019 - 5:53:18 AM
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DougD

USA

9177 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Hoodoo, you already have an entry level violin - why buy another one? My advice would be to keep sawing away on what you have, and save up for something better. I think for 400- 500 dollars you're more likely to find something you'll enjoy for awhile. Also try to meet some fiddlers in your area - fiddles tend to flock around where fiddlers are. And you might find a shop that does repairs and buys and sells instruments. I don't know about Canada, but at festivals in the US there are often people selling instruments, where you would have more to choose from.
Fiddles are not like banjos. Brands don't mean much, and price doesn't always relate to quality. The cheaper Eastmans, as well as most beginner and intermediate instruments are all made in China.

Jul 21, 2019 - 5:57:43 AM

42 posts since 11/24/2018

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Hoodoo, you already have an entry level violin - why buy another one? My advice would be to keep sawing away on what you have, and save up for something better. I think for 400- 500 dollars you're more likely to find something you'll enjoy for awhile. Also try to meet some fiddlers in your area - fiddles tend to flock around where fiddlers are. And you might find a shop that does repairs and buys and sells instruments. I don't know about Canada, but at festivals in the US there are often people selling instruments, where you would have more to choose from.
Fiddles are not like banjos. Brands don't mean much, and price doesn't always relate to quality. The cheaper Eastmans, as well as most beginner and intermediate instruments are all made in China.


Good point. I decided to simply invest in a better bow, as per many peoples advice and keep on sawing away.

Edited by - Hoodoo on 07/21/2019 05:58:00

Jul 21, 2019 - 7:22:43 AM

DougD

USA

9177 posts since 12/2/2007
Online Now

Its true that the bow makes a big difference, but it might be even more personal than the violin, so try brfore you buy. Can't say if it will help you now - it depends on what you currently have and your level of discernment. You'll know it when you feel it.

Jul 30, 2019 - 2:42:31 PM

42 posts since 11/24/2018

I'm sure that my opinion will evolve over time, but I received my new carbon bow (from Fiddlerman) and although it hasn't improved my playing per se, I can definitely notice the difference

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