I've been studying banjo and mandolin for 18 months and started fiddle because a) it is a good compliment to the other instruments and b) love fiddle music and want to play some!
I got a cheap Strundal model 220 and Glasser bow, but am not thinking about getting a nicer fiddle to see me through my 'beginner-hood'. Budget is a factor but I would like to get recommendations in any price range, but in the context of a playable, nice-sounding beginner instrument.
Look up Royce Burt,,,he;s on this forum. I couldn't be more pleased with mine!
What I didn't get with my Musicians friend SV80 ($80) was a setup. I found a guy that rents violins to school kids. He set it up to be playable. But he had lots of student violins setup to play. Find out where the local kids are renting their violins. My guy always kept one or two cherries for sale. That's my advice.
You might consider renting an instrument.. either at a local music store or online.
'“Artist” Violin Bow' 8 hrs
'Emile Dupree Violin Bow' 12 hrs
'“Artist” German Violin Bow' 23 hrs
'Play Tomahawk in A' 1 day
'I'm so old...........' 2 days