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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I talked about Riley choosing the violin a couple weeks ago, there were a couple people that posted that had played. Help please?

Could you look at the set-up they have here and let me know what you think? It's all greek to me. Would this be a good violin? If he sticks with it, is it something that really wouldn't work for the long haul and would need to be replaced (if you can tell from the description.)

You just need to scroll down a tiny bit, it's the first picture listed - the Encourage violin outfit.
http://www.franksviolins.com/violin.asp

Thanks!
 

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Wish I could help, buy my violin career was launched and sputtered years ago.

I do love this, however, from the site: The view of the bargain-basement competition --

These outfits are available by special order for only $89.95 That's almost less than the cost of a good set of strings, a well cut French bridge and an ebony fingerboard! They are not set up and have a limited manufacture's warrantee. If you are looking for a "VSO" (violin shaped object) as a toy, a tree ornament, a prop, or an art project this outfit is for you. If you desire an encouraging musical instrument don't make the $99.00 violin mistake.
Heh. VSO. Snort.
 

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Ah back in the day...Love the smell of a good violin.

They seem like decent people, and a decent price too.

I too snorted a little at VSO.
 

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Does he have a teacher? Really, it's best to work with a teacher to find the violin that will be best for him.

I don't know makes and models of violins, so I can't judge these. The best thing to do would be to contact a violinist with the symphony and find out where they have their repair work done. At some point I guarantee that Riley will drop the violin or spill soda on it, and you are going to want to have a relationship with a competent violinmaker, not just a salesperson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He won't have a teacher until school starts in the fall. I emailed the person that helped him on the instrument selection night (works at the high school) and they did not get back to me.
 

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How about renting one for now, and then seeing how he does? Buying a violin can be a huge investment. SU's parents bought hers more than 25 years ago. It cost about $5-6k, but it has served her well--she'll be able to play it for the rest of her life. She rented one before that.

For $269, though, I kinda don't see how you can go wrong. When he wants to upgrade, you can sell it for $150 to some other kid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We do plan to rent first, but with the one I posted and the one through the music shop the school has a relationship with, your monthly rental payments (or at least a portion) will apply toward the price of the violin if you decide to purchase it later.

(A performance music class is only required for 6th graders - band, orchestra or choir. After that it's optional. If he only wants to play for the required year then we'll just give up the rental. If he wants to stick with it after year 1, it wouldn't pay to rent for a second year - not at the purchase price of these rental violins.)

So, I'm even trying to figure out what to rent! (I hate this. Why couldn't he have chosen the trumpet?)
 

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I have played the violin for many years (I won't say how many, but more than 20:)). Is he going into 6th grade? Much younger than that and he would need to rent a less than full size violin. If you are looking for a student violin that will work for a few years that might work. If son pursues it, it is not a long term solution, but you would not want to purchase the long term solution now anyway.

Buying him his own student violin might help him care and feel more invested in his instrument. Down the road - remember that new is NOT better with violins. Go to a shop with a variety of violins and don't buy one without playing it. He will fall in love with the one with the right sound.

I would suggest for the first year definatley renting. The violin isn't easy, and many students of all instruments don't make it into year two.
 

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OK here is my honest opinion.

How much is it to rent the violin for the year. If he is required to take the class and will have to stick with it for the whole year (not allowed to switch to a different instrument or choir) and the cost to buy vs the cost to rent is close I would buy it you can always sell it to another student next year and recoup some of your cost. BUT if he can change if he starts it and finds it is not for him then I would rent regardless.

Their description of what this violin has meets what I would look for in a beginner model. I agree a $99 one is setting your kid up to fail. A cheap instrument is always harder to play than a quality one. Even if he keeps playing it this will last him until 10th grade or so.

If the place you are looking at this one is near you call your local high school and speak to the orchestra director. Ask if he knows anything about this brand or if he has a student that would be willing to stop and play it and give you an opinion. I know I have done that on several student violins for friends and co-workers over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. I know if he does stick with it for the very long term, that the one I posted wouldn't last forever. I did wonder if it would last him the next 3 or 4 years.

We do know he needs a full-size, so that's not an issue.
 
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