Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

81
Fiddle Lovers Online


Carbon fiber vs. wood violin. The cost?

Want to hide these Google ads? Join the Players Union!

Page:  First Page   1  2

Mar 13, 2020 - 8:18:07 AM

195 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by DocCoc

Above a certain point (after which the highest quality materials and the most meticulous workmanship have been employed), I suspect that the differences in sounds between violins will occur by chance. Let’s face it... luthiers are skilled craftsmen, and not engineering PhD’s specializing in acoustics. I’m guessing Stradivari made some violins that sounded better than others.


I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. If violins have little tonal difference above $10,000, how is it possible that Strads sound different?

I maintain that there's a wide range of sound and tone color throughout the range of violins available at every level. As you spend more, there are higher expectations of the performance of the instrument. Some violins just don't sound good enough for their price tags, but their tone issues lead to drops in price in order to find a more realistic market.

Every violin is unique, and it's rare for any two to sound exactly the same. However, it is possible for makers to produce a characteristic sound. Developing an individual style is part of what helps makers build reputations and separates their work from that of factories. 

Mar 13, 2020 - 9:55:57 AM

4837 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful
quote:
... As you spend more, there are higher expectations of the performance of the instrument. Some violins just don't sound good enough for their price tags, but their tone issues lead to drops in price in order to find a more realistic market.

The best analogy I can come up with is you don't buy a Ford Focus and expect to get Indy Car performance.  On the plus side, those high performance violins aren't for fiddling - your average fiddler doesn't have the technique to bring the most out of the high performance violin, in the same way your average car driver isn't going to be able to get the most out of an Indy car. 

Mar 13, 2020 - 10:40:11 AM
likes this

WyoBob

USA

128 posts since 5/16/2019

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

The best analogy I can come up with is you don't buy a Ford Focus and expect to get Indy Car performance. 


But,    the car salesman said   --------  surprise

Mar 13, 2020 - 10:51:10 AM

10 posts since 3/10/2020

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan
quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful
quote:
... As you spend more, there are higher expectations of the performance of the instrument. Some violins just don't sound good enough for their price tags, but their tone issues lead to drops in price in order to find a more realistic market.

The best analogy I can come up with is you don't buy a Ford Focus and expect to get Indy Car performance.  On the plus side, those high performance violins aren't for fiddling - your average fiddler doesn't have the technique to bring the most out of the high performance violin, in the same way your average car driver isn't going to be able to get the most out of an Indy car. 


However one might play them, I'm guessing that the sound quality (on the average) doesn't get any better past a certain price.  The added price of the violin can be attributed to other factors like rarity and collectibility.  
 

Am I wrong on this point?

Edited by - DocCoc on 03/13/2020 10:51:48

Mar 13, 2020 - 11:51:35 AM

Fiddler

USA

4103 posts since 6/22/2007

Here's a great video with Tommy Jarrell playing a real Stradivoius

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfHgN-5V274

And, here's a clip of Jack Benny doing a side-by-side comparison of a Strad and an "ordinary" violin. As he points out so well, there's no substitute for quality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD7GYjHqQco

Mar 13, 2020 - 12:43:39 PM

DougD

USA

9767 posts since 12/2/2007

Doc - I don't think this forum is a very likely place to get good answers to your question. The members here are largely (though not always) players of old time and Bluegrass music. We are mostly traditionalists, and I was surprised that someone actually owned a CF instrument, and was able to give you a good concise review.
However, I came across this review and discussion on another forum (actually a follow up to a previous thread) which I think it answers most of your questions: violinist.com/discussion/threa...page=2241 As is usually the case, the CF violin was chosen because of its resistance to extremes of temperature and humidity, not because of outstanding sound.
I hope you enjoy your new instrument.

Mar 13, 2020 - 7:42:55 PM
likes this

195 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by DocCoc
quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan
quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful
quote:
... As you spend more, there are higher expectations of the performance of the instrument. Some violins just don't sound good enough for their price tags, but their tone issues lead to drops in price in order to find a more realistic market.

The best analogy I can come up with is you don't buy a Ford Focus and expect to get Indy Car performance.  On the plus side, those high performance violins aren't for fiddling - your average fiddler doesn't have the technique to bring the most out of the high performance violin, in the same way your average car driver isn't going to be able to get the most out of an Indy car. 


However one might play them, I'm guessing that the sound quality (on the average) doesn't get any better past a certain price.  The added price of the violin can be attributed to other factors like rarity and collectibility.  
 

Am I wrong on this point?


You're right that price for collectibility is set based on non-tonal characteristics. But at the same time, things like the skill of the workman, wood selection, and attention to arching, really can give one an idea of the tonal capabilities of an instrument. I can look at a violin and predict approximately what it'll sound like, having studied thousands of violins. The most valuable violins have all the right things going for them, and that definitely includes sound. If that were not the case, the great players would be happy to relinquish their Strads and Guarneris in favor of other makers' instruments. As it is now, few can afford to buy them, and the insurance alone costs over $100,000 a year, let alone the costs of restoration work. These are huge financial burdens, but players gladly shoulder those burdens for the chance to play such magnificent instruments.

For anyone who's played in an orchestra or gone to music school, the process of upgrading one's instrument in hopes of better placement will be familiar. It's an everyday occurrence for a judge to leave an audition saying "that kid would never have made it if she hadn't gotten that better violin for her audition," or "that kid played beautifully, but it didn't matter because his violin was just awful. He lost the position because his violin wasn't good enough for what he wanted." Orchestras at a high level often push players to upgrade their instruments so that all players are on a fairly even playing field; there's a desire for uniformity of sound in a string section. 
 

May 9, 2020 - 8:05:13 AM

67 posts since 4/7/2016

"Luis Leguia is the inventor of the Carbon Fiber Cello and the subsequent line of stringed instruments. As a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1963-2007, "
Carbon fiber instruments are played in orchestras. Yo Yo Ma played one at the inauguration of a president.
Had one. Prefer the tone from wood.

May 9, 2020 - 10:48:56 AM
likes this

195 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by chas5131


Carbon fiber instruments are played in orchestras. Yo Yo Ma played one at the inauguration of a president.


It's worth pointing out that Yo Yo Ma was playing the carbon fiber cello because the event was held outdoors in the winter. There was no way he or Perlman would be willing to risk their good instruments in those conditions, and what everyone heard was a recording made previously, where they used their best instruments. 
 

A lot of orchestral musicians need something to use outdoors for concerts in less-than-ideal settings. This is where carbon fiber instruments sometimes come into the picture.

May 9, 2020 - 11:28 AM

10 posts since 3/10/2020

I do believe that some carbon fiber violins were evaluated by professional violinists and found to sound as nice as their obscenely expensive wood counterparts.

Let’s face it... the objection to carbon fiber instruments is that they are carbon fiber. It seems to me that violinists - even the most experienced among them - are unable to discern the sound of a Stradivarius from a good quality modern wood violin. Our perception is highly, highly impressionable.

I purchased a Mezzo-Forte EVO, but upgraded to a Design Line. The EVO sounded nice, but the Design Line sounded much nicer.

May 10, 2020 - 3:44:53 AM

kjb

USA

712 posts since 6/8/2013

if there is anyone alive in 100 years it would be interesting to see how this all works out one vs. the other and if there are any problems down the road for the carbon fiber, maybe a carbon fiber eating bacteria!!! soylent green is carbon fiber violins!

May 10, 2020 - 7:14:52 AM

Beardog

USA

130 posts since 8/12/2012

Carbon fiber violins are good instruments, in my limited experience. I had a decent one for a while. It had less volume, and had less depth of tone than my wooden violins, but it was a nice instrument. I traded it toward something else, but not because I was unhappy with it. I haven't had my hands on one of the real high-end carbon violins, but they do sound very good in on-line demos. But, Michael Cleveland and some of the classical professionals I have seen playing the carbon fiber violins can make anything with a bow and and at least one string sound wonderful.

May 10, 2020 - 9:32:18 AM

4837 posts since 9/26/2008

Some things to consider - the difference between what the player hears and what the audience hears (which can be surprisingly different) and the number of quality violins/bows/players a person has experienced (which can be surprisingly different).

Page:  First Page   1  2

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.1894531