Reply To: my fiddle is sick
Saw your post here and Richard gave you excellent advice to find any seam problems, but I thought I would help out with the aftermath. Firstly, I would say to you that it is not a decadence to spend on a beginner instrument. From what I can tell from my researching, you are almost guaranteed a clunker if you buy a violin for less than $150 USD. Beginner violins from reputable brands seem to hover around the $250-$300 mark, brand new and that is just the entry point. It is a “darn shame” that you have run into a problem so early on, and it is up to you to decide if repair or replacement is the worthwhile option. I only wish to impart this small bit of information to you: If you don’t love your violin, you won’t LIKE practicing on it.
I was fortunate, I worked a ton of overtime and had 2 fat paychecks about a month before I said “I really want to do this” (I was considering the Cello for about 8 years before I bought an instrument, decided on violin instead because of the costs and my love of Irish folk music). I bought a second hand student violin for around $450, it retails at $700-800 new, sounds great (With a few wolf tones on the G and D strings if I play them hard and some “Tinny” notes on the E if I don’t press my fingers down- but to be honest- I love the Wolf tone resonance, so I don’t mind)
I’m not really helping yet, am I? This is the crux of my point- Go to 3 or 4 musical instrument shops (No need for a luthier/Violin shop if you don’t have them close by). Look around for a student instrument with little to no rosin on the bows, or a cheapish one that has been played awhile. (In my small city, I was able to find about 1-3 instruments per shop, but I looked for about 2 months before settling on an instrument I connected with). This allows you to get a Very Good student violin for less than retail, and you can upgrade within a year or so. Right now I would dare to say that you should not be looking for the best, but the best you can afford. If a $100 repair fee is more than half of what the violin cost you, then ditch it for a new one. If you can persuade the music shop to give you a professional tune up on a second hand violin you come across, then you are way ahead of where you started.
In any case, I hope you do well this New Year, and I hope that you find an instrument that calls you to play it- even if you only give it “Ode To Joy” for the first month, that is still something, and the 2 of you can pull more music out and make it yours.