The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59947   Message #958310
Posted By: Kim C
23-May-03 - 01:57 PM
Thread Name: Cheap fiddle, so what
Subject: RE: Cheap fiddle, so what
I have three fiddles that I play. Flora (yes, they all have names) is my main working instrument. She was built in Romania, who knows when, has a few dings in the finish, and cost Mister a Gibson Grabber bass that had been in the attic for 10 years. The price tag on her was $250 and the music store traded us even. She is a great instrument, with a great sound.

Then there's Hop Sing. I took off the chin rest and the fine tuners and outfitted him with gut strings, to play at living history gigs. I bought him off eBay for a whopping $65 including the shipping. One of the pegs is tight, and that's easily remedied. For a cheap Chinese fiddle, y'all, Hop Sing sounds pretty darn good. There are some things that sound better on him, actually, than they do on Flora. I don't play this one all the time, though, because the gut strings are weather-temperamental.

And then I have Dutchy. We bought him from a friend who tinkers with fiddles, for $125. Now, some of the modifications my friend made to this are not to my liking BUT it is a good third fiddle, for when Mister decides he wants to learn to play, and again, it has a good sound.

I have two others that need parts and TLC - one was given to me by a friend, and the other I bought from eBay.

Because a good violin CAN cost you, I recommend starting with something inexpensive, or even renting. But really, even a cheap violin can be set up to sound good with the right parts and right strings. Violin parts are not at all hard to come by, and are easily replaced by someone who knows what to do.

So don't be discouraged! :-)