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Fiddle Lovers Online


Oct 5, 2022 - 8:17:02 AM
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1 posts since 10/5/2022

Hello,

Our daughter is in the advance orchestra at the middle school and we are currently renting (with possibility to purchase) an Eastman VL8044SBC 4/4 violin. Many of her classmates have a Cadenza 17E 4/4 violin. I tried to find reviews on these two violins and could not find much, especially on Cadenza 17E, while Eastman VL8044SBC appears to be referred to as VL80. Am I correct?

I would greatly appreciate if you could please give me some direction. What shall we do? Stick with Eastman or go with Cadenza 17E, also available from a local violin shop.

Additionally, is there a bow that we should consider? Reading posts in the Fiddle Hangout, I learned about the importance of a great bow (and resin?). I kind of knew that, but not in so much detail.

Thank you and keep on fiddlin' as they would say it here in Louisiana.

Mario :-)

Oct 5, 2022 - 1:41:36 PM

668 posts since 6/11/2019

I'm not extremely smart on student violins, but I would have to ask:

- Does she have a teacher and what do they suggest?
- If both are available at the shop, can she go noodle on the Cadenza to compare? I'd go with whatever your daughter likes, that's the main thing.

You may get some answers over on violinist.com, too. There's a lot of violin teachers on that site.

Oct 5, 2022 - 11:36:22 PM
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907 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by mtrutsch

Hello,

Our daughter is in the advance orchestra at the middle school and we are currently renting (with possibility to purchase) an Eastman VL8044SBC 4/4 violin. Many of her classmates have a Cadenza 17E 4/4 violin. I tried to find reviews on these two violins and could not find much, especially on Cadenza 17E, while Eastman VL8044SBC appears to be referred to as VL80. Am I correct?

I would greatly appreciate if you could please give me some direction. What shall we do? Stick with Eastman or go with Cadenza 17E, also available from a local violin shop.

Additionally, is there a bow that we should consider? Reading posts in the Fiddle Hangout, I learned about the importance of a great bow (and resin?). I kind of knew that, but not in so much detail.

Thank you and keep on fiddlin' as they would say it here in Louisiana.

Mario :-)


Hello and Welcome Mario,

The Eastman VL80 is a pretty common entry level rental violin that's used in shops across the country. The wood selection is very plain--no figure in the wood, but it's solid. The Cadenza you mention seems like it could be a Scott Cao 17E with a shop's private label. This is another entry level violin. If you're in a rent-to-own program (it sounds that way from your description), you could buy the instrument your daughter currently plays if she really likes its sound, but it wouldn't offer much room for advancement. If she's playing in an advanced orchestra, she would likely benefit from an upgraded instrument that is of a higher quality that she can grow into as a player. Once your daughter is in high school, she may find that the level of the other violins in the orchestra increases quite a lot. You have to work with a budget that fits you, but spend a little time considering how much you can invest. 

If the shop where you rent has a rental credit program where each month's rent is applied toward a credit that can be used in the purchase of an instrument of your choice from the shop's retail inventory, it would be worth looking at options for an upgrade. See what's available in new and vintage instruments. A lot of players buying their first instrument after renting can find a great deal on an old German violin. If it's a good enough instrument, it could carry her through high school and into college if she plays in an orchestra as a non-music major.

If the shop doesn't have a lot of options for upgrades, it might be worth it to look at one that does and just consider the rental payments an investment; it's easy to get caught up by the feeling that the rental payments need to be a credit toward something else, but if you end up with a violin that doesn't allow any growth for your daughter and you can't resell it without a considerable loss, you'll end up regretting using the credit.

Yes, a good bow is just as important as a good instrument! You can get an entry-level carbon fiber bow for under $100 that's not too bad, but again, you don't have a lot of room for growth, and many of these bows are cheaper to simply replace than to rehair. That gives you an idea of the quality standards in their manufacture.

If you have a private teacher, ask for guidance. Teachers often know the market pretty well and can help you steer clear of bad purchases. If you don't have a teacher, a good shop or luthier can provide some guidance.

Regardless of your budget, make a good setup a priority for the instrument you end up with. This will make a seismic difference in the way the instrument sounds and feels in your daughter's hands. Using good strings will help quite a lot as well--rental programs tend to use cheap strings to keep maintenance costs down for a rental fleet.

If you aren't a player yourself, making a violin purchase can feel extremely daunting because the market for violins is so wide and it's hard to know what's really important in making a decision without any prior experience. It can be a really exciting journey if you're eager to learn, though, and the rewards of finding a good instrument that makes your daughter happy can't be quantified by a monetary value!

Oct 6, 2022 - 5:34:16 AM
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535 posts since 9/1/2010

I believe the advice from Rich is going to be the best you will get here, and it is good advice. The majority of us on fiddle hangout play folk music..(i.e. old-time, irish, bluegrass, etc.) I second the suggestion of posting on violinist.com simply because there are more teachers and players who came up through playing orchestra music. Good luck!

Oct 7, 2022 - 2:55:14 PM
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2127 posts since 12/11/2008

It's also good to pay attention to the fiddle's sheer, physical prettiness. Whether it looks shiny and new or it seems to have been possessed by hundreds of players over the centuries, the fiddle's appearance is a good part of what makes you want to pick it up and play it. Smell is a factor, too. After all, most fiddlers hold a fiddle fairly close to their nose. Putting it another way, is it alluring?

Oct 10, 2022 - 4:55:05 AM

Erock77

USA

140 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

It's also good to pay attention to the fiddle's sheer, physical prettiness. Whether it looks shiny and new or it seems to have been possessed by hundreds of players over the centuries, the fiddle's appearance is a good part of what makes you want to pick it up and play it. Smell is a factor, too. After all, most fiddlers hold a fiddle fairly close to their nose. Putting it another way, is it alluring?


SOOOO True! I had no experience, no desire to learn the fiddle but when I approached this instrument in the antique store, I had to bring it home with me.

Even if it were to live in the case, it spoke to me! Now I'm obsessed! Following this thread because I've been interested in the Eastman. 

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