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I am tempted to upgrade my violin and hoping to get your opinion... 

My current violin is actually a decent German violin from the early 1900's. I really do like it and that makes this so very difficult. The issue with this violin is that it is made for someone with slightly bigger hands than what I have and my teacher is therefore encouraging me to think about getting a new one... And yes, I remember also that Beth was not so very impressed with the tone either ;)

I now have a promising violin for trial (the cost is about the max side of my budget (almost three times the cost of my current one and I am not really sure if the improvement is that significant...). I also have another violin for trial but I am not really considering that one, but including here for comparison reasons.

I would really apprecate if you could listen to these three (they are in the same order for both snippets) and give me your opinion 

- what do you think of them 

- and in which order you would put them.

And sorry about my playing, this was a very spontaneous recording with no retakes . The snippets are in a random order.

I really value your opinion so thank you in advance... And of course, I will also discuss this with my teacher - I know recordings are not really very reliable... I am using my zoom recorder, so should be a bit better than just with a normal mobile phone. 

9 Responses
Posted: December 6, 2018
Last Comment: December 8, 2018

Janet Doherty
Posted: December 8, 2018
I know how frustrating it can be to choose a new "love"....  I have to agree with most of the posts that #2 was my favorite, with #3 close behind.  But, #1 gave you better intonation....perhaps because you are used to it being your current one.  Now that said, intonation counts of course, but I tried to imagine what #2 and #3 would sound like if the intonation was correct.  For me, #2 had some fullness that was missing from #1.  #3 had the same richer sound, but not quite as pleasing to my tastes as #2.

I just spent years upgrading my violin.....came very close a few times, but something inside me just gave me a pause of caution.....and I am very inclined towards buyers remorse!!!  yikes!!   Anyway, my best advice is to keep the trial violins as long as possible....and play them everyday....especially first thing in the morning when everything is out of wack because you are not awake yet.....  at least two weeks.  Also, have your teacher or someone who can play well at a shop....and let them play the kind of piece you would play now (in terms of sophistication) and also something sophisticated.....with your bow as well....

Best advice....don't upgrade just to upgrade.... wait until Mr/Miss RIGHT!!

Hope this of luck to you...and I very much appreciated your playing....two of my favorite pieces!!!


Barbara Habel
Posted: December 7, 2018
No 2 is the best. Close runner up is the 3rd. Lagging far behind is the first.

Elke Meier
Posted: December 7, 2018
Interesting, Katja. I find it hard to judge from such a sound file. #1 to me sounded sharper than the other two. I wasn't sure whether I liked #2 or #3 best. Since I know what it means to struggle with reaching I would very much look to what feels comfortable in your hand. As for #3 that sounds like an animal that needs to be tamed :) - so I would think there is great potential...

Posted: December 7, 2018
Thank you all for your answers
#1 is my own violin. the comparison to the others is a bit unfair as this one has strings that are over due (but will not change them as I have had a lot of concerts and don't want the hassle with tuning instability). So yes, I am most comfortable playing this at the moment 😉.

# 2 is an old French violin. I like the sound, but the neck is definitively thicker than the one in my current one. 

# 3 is a Russian violin from 1956 - this woild probably fit my hand the best at the end although now struggeling . To be honest, I don't really like this one and am not even considering this.

I will bring # 2 to my lesson tomorrow and get to hear it played by someone else (my teacher and some other students) as well as getting my teacher's opinion. I might very well continue the search still - I am not in a hurry, luckily!

Posted: December 7, 2018

Def the last one...

Happy for you and enjoy ur new violin!

Beth Blackerby
Posted: December 6, 2018
I listened without looking at others comments to be more objective, and my opinion was exactly like Michael's. The thought that occurred to me as well that you seemed to have better control with the 1st violin, less so with #3. #2 was more robust, but #1 sounded clearer. 

Michael Baumgardner
Posted: December 6, 2018
Well, I'd have to say I liked #1 the best.  Thought the tone was very clear and pleasant.  #2 and #3 were fine though.  Some of the differences may be driven by how you happened to play them.  I could be completely wrong, but I thought you sounded more "comfortable" playing #1 too.  Didn't hear as much extraneous sound.  Good luck and nice playing!

Posted: December 6, 2018
Thank you Dianne! I really appreciate your response. I will, though, wait if I could get some more responses before telling more about these and my own opinion. 

Posted: December 6, 2018
#2 (Maybe #3)
My favorite was #2, followed but #3, and then #1.
#1 was a nice warm, textured instrument but it didn't seem to have the tone colors or projection of #2 and #3.
#2 was my favorite, but to be honest, #3 had more texture to the sound where #2 had more clarity and depth. Both being clear. When I heard you play on #2 though, I was the happiest! I was engaged and interested in what you had to say!
#3 nice instrument, projected just a little bit less than #2. It had the most textured sound with clarity and color, so it was hard to pick between #2 and #3. Just from these sound files, I would probably try a different bow or strings, just to recheck between #2 and #3 to see if one stood out more than the other.

#2 my pick!
PS-Nice playing.