Old Violin Versus
better, a new violin or an old violin? This is a loaded
question, but let us offer a few interesting
perspectives. People in general (especially
amateurs or those that don't actually play) tend to readily
think that old violins are always better than new. Older
violins sound better because they are, well...older. Not
true! Or, that they really knew how to make
violins better 100 years ago and that today, everything
is 'cheap' or mass produced. There are a lot of
mass produced, factory violins made a hundred years ago,
that are now...old.
Some brand new violins made today
can cost upwards to $40,000. So much for cheap!
Here are a few thoughts that come into play on
deciding on a new, or buying a violin:
- when referring to 'old' violins, we're not
thinking of the great Italian, French, English or
German "master" luthier violins, but the abundant
factory made type, older violins that proliferated
from Europe in the late 1800's to early 1900's.
- old violins are not better if in the first place
if the materials used on it was inferior or if the
workmanship is poor. Just because the violin
is old, doesn't guarantee that the violin was/is
well made. If poor materials were used then,
sound suffered and still, will continue to sound
bad, no matter how old it is.
- lots of mass produced (old) violins were made
cheaply and quick. Often, the tops and backs
were not graduated properly. Usually the tops
were too thick. Thick tops usually make 'hard'
violins to play on. Unresponsive. They
were made this way because they were trying to make
violins as quickly as possible and to the masses of
people wanting a cheap violin.
Again, it depends on materials used and quality of
the violin maker's workmanship. Often the mass
produced violins of 100 hears ago were just that!
Whereas a lot of the new, Chinese violins today are made
with the same Stradivarian techniques and high standards
used by some of the best makers of yesteryear. You
can get a lot for you money on a new violin.