Review of Fiddles Under $500

Online Fiddle Lessons Forums Strings and Things Review of Fiddles Under $500

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  • #36838
    Avatartylerdean
    Participant

    Great post Scott. I was just going to ask about something like this. I thing you need to get those whiskers under control there. haha

    #36839
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Haha!  Rock.  The question that has plagued me my whole life is “Why are people always laughing at me??!!!    What is so wrong with me to make them laugh like they do?”  Is it the way I look? 
    Oh, the pain of it all!!!  — Oh, the pain!!!!!

    I am considered quite good-looking back where I come from.  Well, at least I was until my accident.    🙂

     

    #36840
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Thanks, Tyler.  I hope you enjoy the read and find it informative.

    [quote=36838]I think you need to get those whiskers under control there. haha[/quote]

    I’m shaving as we speak!   “Ouch!!!!”    🙂

    #36845
    RockRock
    Participant

    Scott, I was quick to judge I am so sorry. You look great Scott!! (hee heeee)

    #36846
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    That’s okay, Rock.  I’m used to being the brunt of everyone’s jokes and laughter.  And let’s face it:  How many people are there like me, posting photographs of someone else’s head because they don’t have one of their own.  It’s not my fault I don’t have a head with big googly switchable baby-blue eyes … anymore.

    I appreciate your kind words; however, I have decided I have just two choices:  1) Join a freak show and get laughed at even more — perhaps even being offered my own reality TV show where I can knock those awesomely wholesome Kardashians down in the ratings, or 2) Return to the tar pit whence I originated and live the rest of my life with Brer Rabbit and all my other sticky friends.   🙂

     

    #36847
    RockRock
    Participant

    Scott, I will not advise you except on #2 don’t do that! I guess I just did advise you?!?! This thread is interesting, I was looking at SharMusic.com and they have some lower prices too, your thoughts?

    #36855
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    [quote=36847]I was looking at SharMusic.com and they have some lower prices too, your thoughts?[/quote]

    Do you mean lower prices on violins?  My thoughts on what, exactly?

     

     

    #36858
    RockRock
    Participant

    Sorry, On the violins they sell. I have a pot I always throw my change in and it is amazing how much fast it grows!

    #36859
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Use your spare change to feed someone who is hungry.  Clothe someone who is bare.  Buy some books and stationary supplies for a few school children whose parents can’t afford to buy them.  Buy breakfast and lunch for a school child who can’t afford to eat.  Help someone in desperate need.  Your reward for such selfless acts such as the aforementioned will be far greater than you could ever imagine.

    As far as violins go:  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Sound is in the ear of the listener.  Value is in the opinion of whoever is doing the spending.

    I can not comment on the quality nor the value of the violins that Shar sells.  One really needs to visit their store and inspect and listen to their violins in real life.  My fiddle review covered two of Shar’s line of violins — both under $500, and what people see and hear in that review is really what I call “the glossy surface”.  One really needs to go much deeper than the surface to see and hear what their violins sound like in person.  I will say this, however:  If you already have a nice violin, save your money.  If you are in the market for a good second violin, then the decision is yours alone to make.  Though, if for example, you had, say, $500 to spend on a new violin, and you were in no urgent need to get a second violin, then if it were me in that situation, I would keep adding to my $500 until I had around $800 to $1,000 or more, And then I would go in search of a good European-made older violin from the pre-1940s — simply because I know anything less would never satisfy MY ear for quality of sound.  And when investing in and playing the violin, the sound is EVERYTHING!  If it were me, I would follow the very good advice from members here at BGD and elsewhere, and I would not go rushing into the purchase of a violin– simply because I do not want to buy a cheap Chinese piece of wood ever again, and I don’t want buyer’s remorse and to keep forever thinking “If only I had listened to the good advice given to me and saved up a few more dollars and got a really good older-style EUROPEAN fiddle instead of this piece of Chinese firewood that is going to keep my family warm tonight.”   This is my own personal opinion.  However, if you really want to buy a violin from Shar or elsewhere, then I would, again, suggest you get to play it in person before buying.  And follow the old rule of “Caveat Emptor.”    🙂

    I will say that there are a few good Chinese violins being made.  However, knowing what I know now, and as a matter of principle, I refuse to support an industry where, in most cases, workers are being paid up to 36 cents an hour and treated like second-class human beings, just so the Western world can have cheap violins, and where the profit margins are quite steep by those selling these violins in the market place at the expense of the under-paid, over-worked and neglected workers who make them.

    Forgive my rant regarding the humanitarian issue of cheap violin making, but this is something I feel very strongly about.

    All this aside, I think you might be in urgent need of that spare change money to use for an emergency at home soon.

     

    #36866
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    “Caveat Emptor,” or as we might say, “Buyer Beware.” If you can’t personally try out the violin before purchase, please make sure the seller has a good return policy. If you were to get a lemon, hopefully you will come away wiser, and poorer only by the amount of shipping. That said, I have heard good things about Shar, both on this post and from their customers.

    Tarpin Creek (an understandable misspelling of Terrapin, if you heard it pronounced) is where I vacationed as a child. When prunings were dumped, and peaches were picked, we would head to the creek as fast as our legs would carry us. In a flash we would be out of the jeans and button down shirts, and into the cold dark water. Just off the farm was a swimming hole which held an element of danger (it was on Mr. Brown’s land, which was leased by the evil and cunning Old Man Holdsclaw). There we would meet the Cross boys and the Hildebrans, and post lookouts to watch for danger while the rest dived and swam. Now and then I go back, but you can never really go back.

    #36887
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    Rock — My apologies. 🙂 You asked for my thoughts, not for my opinion on the humanitarian side of things, nor for my thoughts on Chinese-made violins.

    Shar has a good following of repeat customers, so they must be doing something right. They have a very good return policy and they stand by the products they sell. I would imagine they would be very proud of their own line of violins, and give them the same backing. Customers can order bows and other items from Shar, and return them within a certain time frame if they are not happy with the product. The customer, of course, has to pay the return shipping. I am not sure how this would work with violins. If you feel you want to buy a violin from Shar, and if you can’t see or hear the violin played in real life, then you really have nothing to lose. If you don’t like the sound of it once you receive it, then you can easily send it back, and all it will cost is the shipping. If you do decide to buy another violin, I sincerely hope it brings you a lot of joy.
    GS

    #36890
    Great ScottGreat Scott
    Moderator

    John Cockman wrote:Tarpin Creek (an understandable misspelling of Terrapin

    Thanks for sorting the confusion, John. Why the heck couldn’t they just call it “Turtle Creek”? Makes things a lot easier!

    Your boyhood escapades sound like a whole lot of fun.

    True, you can never REALLY go back. That is, of course, unless you dumped all those prunings illegally and you have to go back after all these years and pick them up to dispose of them properly. 🙂

    #36892
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    I like to fly over the old homeplace in Google Earth then roll the clock back using the historic imagery slider. It goes all the way back to the year before I left home. As I scroll the slider to the left, I watch the homes of my siblings disappear one by one, then a leaning barn appears. I slowly revert one last frame, and watch the barn stand up straight as row upon row of ripe North Carolina peaches bursts into my sight. It is an older aerial image; black and white. Still, I can tell by the shadows that the heat of the day has passed. Grandpa is just about to pull the tractor out of the shed, and my dad is whistling us up out of the creek for another afternoon of picking. I guess in a way, you can go back. 🙂

    #36895
    RockRock
    Participant

    No problem, Scott.

    #36907
    John (BGD)John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Use your spare change to feed someone who is hungry.  Clothe someone who is bare.  Buy some books and stationary supplies for a few school children whose parents can’t afford to buy them.  Buy breakfast and lunch for a school child who can’t afford to eat.  Help someone in desperate need.  Your reward for such selfless acts such as the aforementioned will be far greater than you could ever imagine.

    Scott thanks for the apology for getting off-topic 🙂 but I don’t think this was totally out of line. One of the things I like about this thread is that it is about saving a little money, and one of the reasons we do that is to help others, beginning with our families, then our friends, then extending outward to others in need. I hope everyone understands that even though your rant may have sounded like a lecture, it was actually meant as an encouragement, and I’m sure everyone here follows similar principles. After all, our members could have joined far more expensive fiddle instructional sites, but choose to save a little bit and learn here instead.

    As Rock mentioned with the change jar — a little bit here and there quickly adds up! I hope everyone is able to put a little back for a quality fiddle that is better than their starter model, but which doesn’t break the bank. Having a good instrument really makes practice a lot easier, and listening more enjoyable. And, who is to say what wonderful things they will do with the money they save?

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