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Jul 30, 2023 - 8:30:50 PM

dbc224

USA

4 posts since 7/30/2023

Hello! I’m a classical pianist looking to venture into learning a more mobile instrument; I’ve been very interested in learning the violin for a while now. What make violin should I look into buying? I’d like to purchase something in the $100-300 range that would last me 5-10 years before I progressed to a nicer one, if I even enjoy playing. My kids are 2,4, and 6 so even if I don’t, I would love to have one on hand for them to try down the road. I found this one local to me for $300, samuel Easton 4/4 vl80; would this be a good choice if I offered 200-250? Any tips on how to test it out as I don’t play myself? My phone doesn't take screenshots as Jpg so had to put a link to a video scroll through of photos in comments below. 

Edited by - dbc224 on 07/30/2023 20:37:02

Jul 30, 2023 - 8:35:43 PM

dbc224

USA

4 posts since 7/30/2023

Jul 31, 2023 - 7:13:21 AM
like this

1350 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by dbc224

Hello! I’m a classical pianist looking to venture into learning a more mobile instrument; I’ve been very interested in learning the violin for a while now. What make violin should I look into buying? I’d like to purchase something in the $100-300 range that would last me 5-10 years before I progressed to a nicer one, if I even enjoy playing. My kids are 2,4, and 6 so even if I don’t, I would love to have one on hand for them to try down the road. I found this one local to me for $300, samuel Easton 4/4 vl80; would this be a good choice if I offered 200-250? Any tips on how to test it out as I don’t play myself? My phone doesn't take screenshots as Jpg so had to put a link to a video scroll through of photos in comments below. 


The Eastman VL80 is a very popular model for rental businesses across the country. They're fairly well made and sound ok for a beginning player. As far as the amount of time one would be useful, you would probably want something better within two or three years if you took to the instrument. By the time you've played 5-10 years you'll want something that offers a lot more tonal range. Because everyone has access to this model, the resale market isn't great. Be careful.

If you're looking at buying a violin, make sure that it is in good condition first before considering anything else. If it has any structural damage, don't bother, as it will be essentially worthless and repairs will likely cost more than the replacement cost of a new one. If the instrument is in good condition, don't worry much about sound yet. If you're unsure of condition (trust me, even the majority of experienced players aren't able to assess condition, so don't be afraid for ask for help!), take the violin to a legitimate luthier before making the purchase. If you have a shop or luthier you trust, ask to have the violin set up after the purchase so that tone and playability can be optimized--even if the violin was never played, it likely never had a good setup, as the entry violins are never given the same level of attention as higher level violins. For a beginner, a good setup is even more important than getting a great sound out of the instrument. Put on a decent set of strings, as they will make a huge improvement (Alphayue and Tonica are good budget synthetic sets).

Jul 31, 2023 - 12:32:02 PM

2400 posts since 12/11/2008

I was also a dedicated piano player who took up the violin for various practical reasons -- in my case the ability to take the instrument outside when the wife got sick of my relentless practicing. (I'm the kind of guy who just doesn't like electrified instruments...apart from my Fender Tele.) In any event, if you are lucky enough to live in a large enough town to have a retail outlet with a decent violin selection, do what I did and buy an instrument from that retailer. It's a true treat to be able to put several different instruments under your chin and attempt to scratch out a note or two. It's a true treat to get a glimpse as to whether or not you even want to devote time to the thing! It's truly satisfying to know that you are supporting a dedicated music store in your area.

Aug 1, 2023 - 6:45:15 AM

Erockin

USA

840 posts since 9/3/2022

It's not always about the price. Although I'd like a new fiddle...the set up IS the most important. And, most fiddlers I've met since I started like to collect them...lol. Mine was $45 hahaha and I put $150 into the full set up. I'm approaching the 1 year mark and at this point I plan to have someone adjust and lower the action some before I commit to a new one. The most important thing is starting at this point!

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