Violins Buying Guide
The violin is a beautiful stringed instrument that takes patience and dedication to master. It also requires proper care to keep its tone warm and powerful. If you want to buy a violin and all this sounds doable to you, consider some of the following information to help you get the best quality violin you can afford.
Before You Purchase
- Make sure you choose a reputable dealer, website or music shop from which to buy your instrument. Get recommendations from music teachers and/or fellow musicians who have done business with them in the past. Price and compare products from several venues before buying.
- Ask advice from a teacher or expert. They may be able to tell you which brands to look for and avoid, and they may also be able to give you tips on judging quality once you actually have your hands on the instrument.
- Examine the violin's "set up." This basically means look at all the finishing touches on the violin, including fitting the bridge, shaping the fingerboard, pegs, etc. These and other minute details can have a major effect on sound quality.
What's A Good Violin
- While there are many ways to describe a good violin tone--warm, lyrical, smooth, deep, and so on--the most important adjective is powerful. A good violin should be loud.
- The quality of the wood affects the sound. Most well-made violins have a spruce top and maple back, neck and sides. The better the wood, the more expensive the instrument.
- Professional violins are of a higher quality than student violins because they are often more delicately played and cared for. Professional violins are hand-carved from high quality woods, hand-varnished and meticulously set up. Student violins are machine manufactured with average wood, finished with a machine-sprayed lacquer and set up quickly.
Not all violins come with every accessory you need. Don't forget:
- The bow . A quality bow has a good weight, flexibility and balance.
- The case . Particularly handy if you travel for lessons.