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Jul 29, 2020 - 9:16:57 PM
1 posts since 7/29/2020

Hello,

I am brand new to fiddle playing and my wife got me an extremely cheap fiddle on Amazon to start.

I am looking into another fiddle, but everything I read says violins under $500 are crap.. problem is, I don't have $500 to spend.. max $250.. if I don't intend on playing professionally, or really playing for anyone other than immediate family... Does it matter? I just wanna learn to play and entertain my kids and grandkids

Jul 30, 2020 - 3:06:18 AM
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175 posts since 4/15/2019

Best bet is to start looking at used fiddles. Take your time and don't get in a hurry.

Jul 30, 2020 - 4:38:52 AM

11310 posts since 9/23/2009

I have bought Cecelio brand fiddle type instruments from Amazon. They are new, cheap, Chinese-made fiddles (my grandson bought a fiddle and I bought myself a viola and a cello)...the instruments really aren't bad...the bows are ok to start with but you might want to get a better bow at some point. Sometimes they even throw in a set of strings...but you get rosin, case, bow, sometimes strings too. We have liked the brand. I've been playing my Cecelio viola I got for under 250 for years now...bow is holding up, still using the rosin...still on the strings it came with...I don't play it everyday, but I have played it a lot for a few years now. Might wanna look into those on Amazon and see what you think.  Not sure I'm spelling it right...lol...but close.

Edited by - groundhogpeggy on 07/30/2020 04:39:18

Jul 30, 2020 - 5:02:18 AM
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487 posts since 9/1/2010

Since the fiddle you already own was purchased on Amazon, my initial thought/question is did you ever have it set-up? I would imagine a cheap fiddle from Amazon wouldn't come with a properly fitted bridge and soundpost which make a world of difference as far as playability and sound.
I started out with one of those $150 deals where you get the fiddle, bow, rosin, and case. The main difference between my initial purchase and yours is that I bought from a local fiddle shop and it was set-up properly. After months of practice, I thought the quality of the fiddle was holding me back and took it back to trade it towards another. I talked to the shop owner, who was an accomplished fiddler, about why I was trading and he asked to see the fiddle I had. He proceeded to play some stuff that left me picking my jaw up off the floor. It was a humbling experience, but he wanted to show me that even that cheap fiddle was adequate, and upgrading at this point wasn't going to improve anything other than the fiddle.
My point is that I would advise you to wait on upgrading the fiddle and invest in a proper set-up first (assuming of course that you haven't already gone that route). If you have had it set-up already then waiting until your budget is closer to $500 or more would be worth the wait. It is highly unlikely you are going to gain that much improvement in the $250 price range.

Jul 30, 2020 - 5:34:57 AM

851 posts since 8/11/2009

There is a company called Shar Music, that is reputable, and sells violins in that range. They would be a reasonably good option, Also shopgoodwill.com is an okay place to buy used instruments on the cheap, but of course there's no chance it will be set up well. Some used brands that represent value can be TonKlar, Knilling, Eastman, there are others of course. In your situation Sharmusic would be my first place to look.

Jul 30, 2020 - 5:44:28 AM
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WyoBob

USA

138 posts since 5/16/2019

After being disappointed with the purchase of my first fiddle (poorly set up) from a big name, online outfit, I bought a fiddle with a perfect setup from the "Bluegrass Shack".  https://www.thebluegrassshack.com/newviolins.html

They have new and used instruments with a wide range of prices and the owner, Chris Talley, was a pleasure to do business with.  She listened to what I needed in a fiddle and fixed me up with exactly what I was looking for.   I wasn't expecting the great level of service I received.   If I ever buy another fiddle, it will be from the "Shack", for sure.

Jul 30, 2020 - 7:08:16 AM

2283 posts since 10/1/2008

Well .... for 250.00$ you are not going to get a great instrument. But something playable is indeed possible. Otherwise you could spend your 250.00$ on a setup and a better bow. The violin or fiddle if you prefer is a fairly expensive hobby and a very expensive one for a pro player. Just getting a bow re-haired can run 100.00$ or more. Strings are three to ten times more expensive than guitar or mandolin strings. Oh well .... Be patient save some more money and play all the instruments you can. Eventually you will fall in love with one enough to buy it ... or several. One place to check out is Ebay look at Gliga violins... Luck R/

Jul 30, 2020 - 7:08:44 AM

89 posts since 6/8/2020

My 3 fiddles (older German made), have all been purchased online. This is not the way I prefer to buy a musical instrument but though I live in a big city, the availability of reasonably priced fiddles is not good here. Two of them I paid around $300 for and they were both reasonably set-up, so it can be done. Neither of these two sound very good though.  The one I paid more for sounds better - go figure.

Edited by - Johnbow on 07/30/2020 07:12:51

Jul 30, 2020 - 10:43:27 AM
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212 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by Cyklops99

Hello,

I am brand new to fiddle playing and my wife got me an extremely cheap fiddle on Amazon to start.

I am looking into another fiddle, but everything I read says violins under $500 are crap.. problem is, I don't have $500 to spend.. max $250.. if I don't intend on playing professionally, or really playing for anyone other than immediate family... Does it matter? I just wanna learn to play and entertain my kids and grandkids


Welcome to the forum! I can unsderstand how you feel as you're just getting into the violin. It's true that you can't find much that's good for under $500. A good setup alone on a violin can cost that much easily.

Since you're just starting out, the best way to make use of your money is to rent an instrument from a violin shop (NOT a music store!!!). Any good shop will have instruments that are set up properly and will perform well, and you don't have to pay the price of ownership and maintenance. That way you'll have something that's good to learn on and you'll have the time to  save up for a better violin if you decide you want to upgrade. Some shops do a rent-to-own program and some offer credit that you can apply toward a future purchase.

I wouldn't recommend just trying to hunt for a cheap fiddle online--it's way too easy to get burned, especially if you don't know exactly what to avoid and can't see the instrument and play it before buying. 

Jul 30, 2020 - 12:12:53 PM

8736 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by bandsmcnamar

There is a company called Shar Music, that is reputable, and sells violins in that range. They would be a reasonably good option, Also shopgoodwill.com is an okay place to buy used instruments on the cheap, but of course there's no chance it will be set up well. Some used brands that represent value can be TonKlar, Knilling, Eastman, there are others of course. In your situation Sharmusic would be my first place to look.


Shar is very reputable!!!

Jul 30, 2020 - 12:13:41 PM

8736 posts since 3/19/2009

Tom, Welcome to the Hangout.. My suggestion is to  do everything within your power to get some experienced assistance in picking out a fiddle..You'll never regret it.....new or used..

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 07/30/2020 12:15:06

Jul 30, 2020 - 12:34:50 PM

1669 posts since 12/11/2008
Online Now

I like Shar, too.

Jul 30, 2020 - 12:42:01 PM
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DougD

USA

9785 posts since 12/2/2007

It sounds like you should make the acquaintance of a violin shop in your area. You can show them your instrument and see if they think they can improve it any, and see what they have available for rent and purchase. It looks like there's at least one close by.
Good luck!

Jul 31, 2020 - 10:26:22 AM
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Gary524

USA

7 posts since 8/1/2017

If you're not scared off by the "made in China" phrase, search eBay for Yitamusic. Look for their auctions and for the T20 or M20 models. Sometimes you can pick one up for $120 - $150 plus $100 shipping...so for about $250 total, you can have a pretty decent violin.

Jul 31, 2020 - 10:34:48 AM
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LukeF

USA

64 posts since 10/15/2019

All good suggestions. Has anyone dealt with fiddlershop.com? It's owned by the "Fiddlerman" (fiddlerman.com). I hope it is OK to post the name of another fiddle forum, so moderators, feel free to remove my post if inappropriate. I've had one dealing with them. They were very helpful and honest when I called them.

Here's a link to one of their house brands. It sounds great for $250 beginner level violin. fiddlershop.com/collections/vi...in-outfit

Jul 31, 2020 - 1:35:40 PM

337 posts since 11/12/2016

I've purchased from the Fiddlershop, although not a fiddle, and they have good customer service.

Other folk I know that have purchased instruments from them are all quite happy with the product.

Aug 1, 2020 - 2:37:03 PM
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doryman

USA

57 posts since 2/10/2020

quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

 The violin or fiddle if you prefer is a fairly expensive hobby and a very expensive one for a pro player. Just getting a bow re-haired can run 100.00$ or more. Strings are three to ten times more expensive than guitar or mandolin strings. 


Owning a fishing boat my recalibrate your opinion about what constitutes an expensive hobby!

Aug 1, 2020 - 3:14:24 PM
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8736 posts since 3/19/2009

quote:
Originally posted by doryman
quote:
Originally posted by UsuallyPickin

 The violin or fiddle if you prefer is a fairly expensive hobby and a very expensive one for a pro player. Just getting a bow re-haired can run 100.00$ or more. Strings are three to ten times more expensive than guitar or mandolin strings. 


Owning a fishing boat my recalibrate your opinion about what constitutes an expensive hobby!


Or, a HORSE..Also, many of us has been given a FREE dog... yeah, right..!!wink

Edited by - TuneWeaver on 08/01/2020 15:15:38

Aug 1, 2020 - 7:11:18 PM
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226 posts since 9/6/2011

The most expensive banjo is still cheeper than a free horse.

Aug 2, 2020 - 12:09:26 AM

Loup

Australia

114 posts since 11/24/2012

Do not trust Amazon items,specially electronics. In February ,my friend purchased for me a vhs program called diamond ,as a present to me.I received it but it had an error, and would not activate after going through the normal procedure as instructed.Following Amazon's procedure,I sent it back incurring further costs.It is now August and I have had no reply nor reimbursement
nor replacement of the item.My friend is down $75 and I am left without my intended present .

Aug 8, 2020 - 8:21 PM

568 posts since 8/10/2017

How about a free umbrella cockatoo? I don't think anything costs more than that.

I would disagree that you seek out a $250 fiddle. Keep the one you have. If you can, take yours to someone who can look at it and make sure it's all put together well. It will be good enough to learn from.

I played a $100 fiddle for many many years. I hated the way it sounded but when other people played it I was surprised how good it sounded. I joined a jam and one of the people there liked to fix up old fiddles. He'd bring them in now and then hoping to sell them for $200. There were a couple over the years I really liked, including a frankenfiddle he made with a viola body, but I never bought one. I ended up buying one from Craigslist for $600.

I think if you keep your eyes open, eventually a good fiddle will come to you at a price you can afford. A fiddle is just a violin. There are lots of violins for sale on Craigslist.

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