Top critical review
57 people found this helpful
Good value, if you're lucky
on 28 February 2011
I purchased this item with the intent to teach myself to play the violin, with the aid of books, dvds and the internet. After arriving one day late, I opened my package to find the instrument shipped in 'bridge-down position', with the strings slackened and a bow, all in a convenient carry-case. However, no rosin was included as advertised, rendering the instrument (temporarily) unplayable. I subsequently bought a rosin cake elsewhere rather than go through the hassle of trying to get one out of the seller. I also had to purchase an extra set of strings as the ones supplied were of poor quality and I managed to snap the G string very quickly, whilst attempting to tune the violin. The tuning pegs are of dubious quality and the instrument does not hold its tune very well.
After replacing the strings and receiving my rosin I was able to finally begin to play the instrument. The sound is actually quite good, although a seasoned violin player may be more fussy. To my untrained ears it sounded fine, and more than suitable for a beginner. The construction of the violin is obviously very low cost, but what can you expect for this money? The body itself looks a bit cheap, and the lines around the outside of the body are painted on (as pointed out by another reviewer). The fingerboard, tuning pegs and other black components are 'ebonised' meaning painted black. This is not a major problem to me as someone not really looking for fine quality at this stage. The only time I can see it becoming a problem is if the paint starts to flake off and hinder playing (especially on the fingerboard). The action is quite high, but I think that this is normal for a violin (I am used to guitars/basses!). The only real issue I have found is that the A string seems a bit dead, but that might just be an problem with my playing!
As mentioned, the instrument was shipped bridge-down, so after some searching online I found a tutorial on doing a basic setup. It wasn't that hard - the bridge sits in line with the grooves in the f-holes, held in place by the string tension. The bow seems ok - it is functional although cheap to look at. The case is quite nice: It is light but solid, with a fitted space for the violin and a strap to hold it in place. A space is provided for the bow, also with the option to lock it in place. Finally, the case has a closable pocket, which is handy for storing a tin of rosin.
I would say that this instrument is excellent value for money. Yes it is very cheaply made, but it sounds ok and is suitable for someone looking to learn the instrument without excessive cost (i.e. me). If I decide that I wish to progress further once I have outgrown this violin then of course I will look for a better (and more expensive) instrument, and I would recommend you do the same.
P.s. I would also recommend purchasing a shoulder rest for this violin.