Better violin better results
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- This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 8 months ago by Joey B.
December 13, 2019 at 10:52 am #38913ArtParticipant
A common comment is that a talented student can be held back by an inferior instrument. I don’t claim talent, most of my instruments bear streaks of tear-stained frustration. However no one seems to ever say what sorts of things the talented student can do with a better instrument. So: What sort of things are possible on a better instrument?
December 14, 2019 at 5:23 am #38914OwenParticipant
I don’t consider myself a talented student either, but I am on my second violin; the one I play now having a much better sound. I’m sure you’ve noticed that “sound” element already Art. But, I do remember a book I read in my 20’s about bicycling, “Anybody’s Bike Book,” in which the author stated the three things necessary to choose a good bicycle; the bicycle, yourself and lots of time alone with the bicycle to be able to truly choose. I suppose any good violin maker (or dealer) would be willing to give a buyer the necessary time to make a proper choice. And nobody should expect a sale just because one “tries” an instrument.
January 19, 2020 at 8:58 pm #39637marrowParticipant
Bit of a late bump, but I’ve also been wondering a similar thing.
My view/question is this (coming from being a guitar/banjo player), The difference is really noticeable.
A high quality banjo will often have a tone ring, better quality wood/fretboard, maybe set up with lower/better action, and even have things that improve the usability of the instrument (like spikes and a frailing scoop) as well as higher quality tuning pegs.
What are the equivalent of these for fiddle? Going up from an entry level one, am I just going to be getting the same thing but made from better wood, or are there specific features/techniques used in quality fiddles that set them apart from student ones?
September 4, 2020 at 8:13 pm #43164KvmceffParticipant
Yes. A better fiddle can give you a better ring. All fiddles can have action adjusted via the bridge and the nut. A poor finger board will affect action as well. Pegs are pegs, but in better wood, can stay in tune better. You can get mechanical pegs which can have some advantages. I do notice that wooden pegs have endless options to finding the pitch, while mechanical can leave gaps (due to the mechanics) in hitting the pitch.
All fiddles are different. You can find slimmer necks and other little differences that may fit your body better than another instrument.
Many student violins are factory made while a fine violin is handmade. The age (and type) of wood certainly makes a difference as well.
My guess is that as you advance you will get to a point where you feel your instrument is holding you back. On the other hand you may find you have found the perfect instrument for you and it will be with you for a lifetime.
September 25, 2020 at 5:15 pm #43696Joey BParticipant
I am a banjo player as well. I can identify with exactly what Marrow is staying. You can tell a better banjo by better components. I am finding it difficult to identify what makes a violin more valuable. I have a pretty good student one, but always looking out for a deal on a better one. The problem is I have no idea what to look for and would have to play one to know if I would be better than what I already have. In Covid days, that is more difficult. Many stores are open by appointment only and do not necessarily want you putting your cheek on their clean instruments.
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