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A luthier friend showed me how to check the joints between top and side and bottom and side. on the top surface close to the edge go around knocking with your knuckle. if the fiddle has become unglued at certain points you will hear the difference in sound. Do the same around the bottom edges. Armed with this knowledge you can show a luthier what is wrong and he/she can give you an estimate for fixing.

The other thing I would recommend is to not rush when buying a new or used fiddle. You need to be sure the sound is right for you. I learned this lesson from experience! ๐Ÿ™