Wednesday, 20 November 2013

£40 Violin, Good or Bad??

Ok so I am not a violinist, but it has always been an instrument that I wanted to have a go at. I picked up a full size 4/4 Windsor violin from Amazon for £40 so that I could give it a go. I didn't expect much for this price but since it was just for fun, I was not prepared to pay any more.

Firstly I would have to say that the case, although very lightweight, is very poorly constructed and in my opinion would not survive a daily commute for long. It has a plastic handle which feels as though it may give way at any time, some sort of back straps which I cannot work out, a pocket on the front of the case too small to fit anything useful in and a compartment inside for rosin etc. The rosin supplied seems to do the job, however I would recommend purchasing some.

On first inspection the violin itself looks the part, however I am no expert. The bridge has to be set up when it arrives, although instructions are included and I found this relatively easy to do. If you were to use this violin for anymore than a bit of 'fun' I think you would probably have to get some new strings, for the price, I'm sure the cheapest strings available have been used. The bow also does't seem very well constructed, so you might have to consider buying one of these too if you were to take playing seriously.

The big problem that I have found with this violin is the tuning pegs. I understand that instruments have to be tuned before you use them, however this violin seems to go horrendously out of tune. The tuning pegs seem to 'slip' making it incredibly difficult to get the strings perfectly in tune - I don't think you would ever want to risk using this particular violin in an orchestral situation!

To go with my violin I decided to purchase a cheap shoulder rest from Ebay. The particular one I bought was adjustable so could be used with a 3/4 and 4/4 violin. I definitely would not recommend buying something so cheap as to be honest it hardly even stays on the violin. 

Overall, if you're looking for a violin to teach yourself at home on and to have a bit of fun with, then I would say give this one a go as it will definitely not break the bank. However if you're buying for a student who is going to have lessons or want to take violin playing seriously, then definitely don't go with this one. Spend a bit more money and get something that is better quality, will last and can make a better sound. Stentor seems to be the brand that teachers recommend.

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