3. NEW VIOLINS

NEW VIOLINS TO BUY in SINGAPORE in ALL SIZES:

As a teacher, I know how important it is to get a good sounding yet affordable violin or viola. I personally select the best sounding instruments from several Singapore violin and viola retail shops and set them up to sound the best they can.

MV100-smallest

Similarly, I supply ADVANCED and MASTER violins and violas at around HALF the PRICE that they sell for in the shops. This way you can afford a much better violin or viola! Please call me at +65 96611413 or email strings2u2@gmail.com to ask whatever questions you have.

ONLINE PAYMENT and SHIPPING is available by clicking on the “Buy Now” request button in the description and an email will be sent to you requesting your Paypal account name so a Paypal invoice can be sent to you. Paypal is used because it keeps your credit card information private and has “buyers protection” in case the violin is not as described, so you can get a refund with no hassles.

For information about where I am and when you can visit please click on: WHERE AND WHEN TO VISIT

ON THIS PAGE: 1. Violin Pricing Summary; 2. Detailed Descriptions and Photos

VIOLIN PRICING SUMMARY:

(for all sizes 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and 4/4)

BEGINNERS 100 series VIOLIN costs $170-$250. These have a very good tone, response and warmth for beginners level music.

INTERMEDIATE 300 series VIOLIN costs $350 and above (suitable for Grade 2-4). They come with a flamed maple back and sides and an attractive amber gloss varnish.

ADVANCED 400 series VIOLIN costs $600-$1,000 (suitable for Grade 5-6) with a flamed maple back and sides and a choice of different attractive varnishes including amber/orange/red/brown in gloss or matt varnish.

ELECTRIC SILENT VIOLINS are now available starting from $390. There are two types:

1. the SOLID BODY SILENT ELECTRIC VIOLIN – has a headphone jack and a 1/4″ speaker jack with volume and tone controls: the EV1 is a 5 String Electric Violin with the controls near the bridge and it costs S$450; the EV2 is a 4 String Electric Violin with the controls on the side and it costs S$390; the FV1 is a Fender electric violin in near new condition and it costs $690 (usual retail of S$1177).

2. The EV-HOLLOW is a 5 string ACOUSTIC VIOLIN with an ELECTRIC PICKUP and it costs S$390 – it has a 1/4″ speaker jack with the volume and tone controls on the side. It has no headphone jack and does not require a battery.

For more information please click “Electric Violins Available”

SEMI-PROFESSIONAL AND MASTER INSTRUMENTS: for the advanced players (Grade 7 and above) I have SEMI PROFESSIONAL and MASTER violins and violas available for $1,290 and above. There are many different models of New Violins available for you to audition. They represent the work of some of the best Chinese Violinmakers using selected European spruce or aged spruce from China.

– there are detailed descriptions, pricing and photos below.

ANTIQUE VIOLINS: There are also 3/4 and full-sized 4/4 ANTIQUE 50-100 year old violins available from $600 – $2,200 (click on the menu above called “Antique Violins”).

VIOLASThere are violas of different sizes available, including 14.5″-S$450; 15″-S$590; 15″-S$1,290; 15.5″-S$690; 16.5″-$1,290.

For more information on VIOLAS please click VIOLA DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS AND PHOTOS

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LIST OF VIOLINS AVAILABLE:

ADVANCED VIOLINS:

SEMI-PROFESSIONAL VIOLINS:

For Semi Professional Violin DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS and EXTRA PHOTOS please click

MASTER VIOLINS:

Master Violins DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND PHOTOGRAPHS:

(SN:200 – S$2190) Information on “the Cremonese Stradivarius” violin (4/4) of 1715

The “Cremonese Strad” copy is a very fine quality violin with excellent craftmanship and can be described as follows: balanced on all 4 strings. a powerful, bright, rich tone suitable for solo performance. It has a good response, which makes it a good choice for advancing players. The 2 piece book-matched top spruce is extremely fine grain, and not made too thin, giving the violin the potential to grow into a mature old instrument.

About the Original Stradivarius “Cremonese” – made in 1715:

The Cremonese violin is one of Stradivari’s greatest masterpieces made during his Golden Period. The Cremonese was once owned by the famous violinist, Joseph Joashim. It was returned permanently to the Italian city of Cremona in 1961. The choice of wood, pattern, arching, varnish, and sound is proof of Stradivari’s genius. The instrument has inspired some of the greatest makers in history and continues to be an inspiration today. The Cremonese is unique in the way it combines the sweetness and grandeur of a good Strad, while having the depth of a fine del Gesu. Original “Cremonese” Dimensions: Body length 357mm, Upper Bout 168mm, Center Bout 112mm, Lower Bout 207.5mm.

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Varnish:          Italian antique varnished
  • · Top:               Excellence Aged Russian spruce dried for 20 years
  • · Back:              Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15years
  • · Fitting:           Ebony  or rosewood fitting
  • · Fingerboard: Advance Ebony
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce
  • · String:            Synthetic string
  • · Bridge:           France Aubert bridge
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of this copy of the “Cremonese” violin are:

– body length: 357mm; lower bout: 208mm; upper bout: 170mm; middle: 113mm.

200-Strad-Cremonese-1715-front&back200-Strad-Cremonese-1715-sides

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(SN:206 S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Joseph Guarneri Del Gesu “Cannon” Violin of the year 1743-Russian Spruce

About the Original Guarneri Del Gesu “Cannon” Violin – made in 1743:

“The Cannon” violin is also known by the variants Il Cannone del GesùCannone or Canon, and is often appended with the maker’s name “Guarneri del Gesù” which is also the Guarneri trademark. The violin received its name as the Cannon from a former owner, the Italian violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini (1782–1840), because of its power and resonance. Paganini called it “my cannon violin,” referring to the explosive sound that he was able to make it produce. This is considered one of Guarneri’s masterpieces. The violin has distinct features that set it apart from modern instruments, including a slightly shorter and thicker sound box and a markedly curved neck. Its tone is distinctly bright, yet full. The violin has survived intact and whole and was given by Paganini to the city of Genoa. Original “Cannon” dimensions: Body length 354mm., Upper Bout 168mm., Center Bout 111mm, Lower Bout 207mm.

The Dimensions of this copy of the “Cannon” violin are:

– body length: 355mm; lower bout: 205mm; upper bout: 165mm; middle: 115mm.

106-Joseph Guarneri Cannon-1743-front&back2106-Joseph Guarneri Cannon-1743-sides

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(SN:210 S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Joseph Guarneri Del Gesu “Cannon” Violin of the year 1743-Russian Spruce

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 355mm; lower bout: 205mm; upper bout: 165mm; middle: 115mm.

110-Joseph Guarneri Cannon-1743-front&back2110-Joseph Guarneri Cannon-1743-sides

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(SN:213 S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Stradivarius “Viotti” of the year 1709-Russian Spruce

About the Original Stradivarius “Viotti” Violin:

This violin is one of the best masterpieces made by Stradivari during his golden period. If the “Messiah” is preserved in a superior condition, then we can say that the “Viotti” is in a very good condition. Besides the wonderful craftsmanship, the wood is superior and the ruby-like varnish also makes this violin incomparable. In France, the Viotti was admired and highly sought after among the instrument makers of the era, most notably Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. The first biography of Stradivari, authored by Francois Fetis, explained the unparalleled quality of his instruments and contained a list of the best examples, placing the Viotti third.

The Dimensions of this copy of the “Viotti” violin are:

– body length: 358mm; lower bout: 208mm; upper bout: 167mm; middle: 111mm.

113-StradViotti-1709-frontbackfull113-StradViotti-1709-sides

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(SN:215 S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Nicolaus Amati Violin-1670-Russian Spruce aged 20yrs

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Varnish:           Italian antique varnished
  • · Top:                Excellence Aged Russian spruce dried for 20 years
  • · Back:              Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15years
  • · Fitting:           Ebony  or rosewood fitting
  • · Fingerboard: Advance Ebony
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce
  • · String:            Synthetic string
  • · Bridge:           France Aubert bridge
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 355mm; lower bout: 206mm; upper bout: 166mm; middle: 117mm.

115-Amati-1670-front back full

115-Amati-1670-sides

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(SN:218 – S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Joseph Guarneri Del Gesu Violin-1730-Russian Spruce

ABOUT Giuseppe Guarneri ‘Del Gesu’  ranks today as one of the two greatest violin makers of all time, although the marked difference between the appearance and sound of his instruments and those of Stradivari makes comparison almost impossible. Some simply prefer Stradivari, and some prefer del Gesu. Giuseppe trained with his father. The earliest known insruments that are entirely his own work date from the late 1720s, but it was not until 1731 that he began to insert the label with the monogram IHS. He seems to have been strongly influenced by the Brescian school, and his work combines the best of the Cremonese tradition with the stretched C-bouts and exaggerated f-holes of Maggini and da Salo. Tonally, his instruments retain much of the sweetness of a Stradivari, but have a seemingly unlimited depth and darkness of sound, irrespective of the pressure of the bow. It is the later instruments that have come to represent all that is characteristic of del Gesu the unbridled creativity, the astonishing disregard for the details of workmanship, and the sheer daring of design and construction that are the natural conclusion of the deeply ingrained individuality of the Guarneri family. The rapid spread of del Gesu’s fame in the mid-19th century was largely due to the patronage of Paganini, who played the ‘Cannon’ of 1743 for most of his career.

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Varnish:           Italian antique varnished
  • · Top:                Excellence Aged Russian spruce dried for 20 years
  • · Back:               Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15years
  • · Fitting:           Ebony  or rosewood fitting
  • · Fingerboard: Advance Ebony
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce
  • · String:            Synthetic string
  • · Bridge:           France Aubert bridge
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 355mm; lower bout: 208mm; upper bout: 168mm; middle: 115mm._

118-Guarneri-1730-frontbackfull118-Guarneri-1730-sides

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(SN:223 S$1690) Master Violin-Copy of Guarneri Del Gesu “Goldberg-Baron Vita” Violin-1730

The Goldberg is named after a famous violinist, Szymon Goldberg, who had a long and distinguished career as violinist, conductor, and teacher. It is currently played by the violinist Nicholas Kitchen.

The “twin” of the Baron Vitta Guarneri, is the Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù that had belonged to the legendary violinist Fritz Kreisler. Both the Baron Vitta and the Kreisler Guarneri were made in the 1730s by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù from the same blocks of spruce and maple.

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Varnish:         Antiqued varnished
  • · Top:                Aged spruce dried for 15 years
  • · Back:              Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15 years
  • · Fitting:           Boxwood fittings
  • · Fingerboard: Ebony
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce
  • · String:            Synthetic string
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 355mm; lower bout: 206mm; upper bout: 166mm; middle: 110mm.

223-frontback-medium

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(SN:227 S$1890)  Copy of Stradivarius Francesca 1694

This copy of the Francesca Stradivarius has a convincing antiqued varnish which makes it convincingly antique in appearance.

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Varnish:         Antiqued varnished
  • · Top:                Aged spruce dried for 15 years
  • · Back:              Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15 years
  • · Fitting:           Jujube fittings
  • · Fingerboard: Ebony
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce
  • · String:            Synthetic string
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 355mm; lower bout: 206mm; upper bout: 166mm; middle: 110mm.

SN:227 S$1690-Stradivarius Francesca-1694

SN:227 S$1690-Stradivarius Francesca-1694

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(SN:238 S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Nicolaus Amati “Alard” Violin of the year 1649-Russian Spruce

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Vanish:           Italian antique varnished
  • · Top:                Excellence Aged Russian spruce dried for 20 years
  • · Back:              Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15years
  • · Fitting:           Ebony  or rosewood fitting
  • · Fingerboard: Advance Ebony
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce
  • · String:            Synthetic string
  • · Bridge:           France Aubert bridge
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 352mm; lower bout: 202mm; upper bout: 163mm; middle: 110mm.

238-Amati-Alard-1649-front and back

238-Amati-Alard-1649-sides

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(SN:239 – S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Joseph Guarneri Del Gesu Violin-1730-Russian Spruce

ABOUT Giuseppe Guarneri ‘Del Gesu’  ranks today as one of the two greatest violin makers of all time, although the marked difference between the appearance and sound of his instruments and those of Stradivari makes comparison almost impossible. Some simply prefer Stradivari, and some prefer del Gesu. Giuseppe trained with his father. The earliest known insruments that are entirely his own work date from the late 1720s, but it was not until 1731 that he began to insert the label with the monogram IHS. He seems to have been strongly influenced by the Brescian school, and his work combines the best of the Cremonese tradition with the stretched C-bouts and exaggerated f-holes of Maggini and da Salo. Tonally, his instruments retain much of the sweetness of a Stradivari, but have a seemingly unlimited depth and darkness of sound, irrespective of the pressure of the bow. It is the later instruments that have come to represent all that is characteristic of del Gesu the unbridled creativity, the astonishing disregard for the details of workmanship, and the sheer daring of design and construction that are the natural conclusion of the deeply ingrained individuality of the Guarneri family. The rapid spread of del Gesu’s fame in the mid-19th century was largely due to the patronage of Paganini, who played the ‘Cannon’ of 1743 for most of his career.

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Varnish:           Italian antique varnished
  • · Top:                Excellence Aged Russian spruce dried for 20 years
  • · Back:               Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15years
  • · Fitting:           Ebony  or rosewood fitting
  • · Fingerboard: Advance Ebony
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce
  • · String:            Synthetic string
  • · Bridge:           France Aubert bridge
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 355mm; lower bout: 208mm; upper bout: 168mm; middle: 115mm.

SN:239 S$1890-Guarneri Del Gesu-1730-Russian Spruce

SN:239 S$1890-Guarneri Del Gesu-1730-Russian Spruce

239-Guarneri-1730-sides

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(ON ORDER – S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Stradivarius Messiah of the year 1716-Russian Spruce

About the Original Stradivarius “Messiah” Violin:

The Messiah is considered the greatest surviving Stradivari violin by most leading experts. Thickness graduation maps of the “Messiah” violin show similar characteristics to those of the Betts (1704), Cremonese (1715), Tuscan-Medici (1716), and other Golden Age Stradivarius violins. Top plates are generally thin (2-3 mm), with the thickest areas (3-4 mm) occurring between the c-bouts and the f-holes. Back plates have a central concentric zone of greatest thickness (4-5 mm), in which the center of thickness lies distinctly left of the centerline in the Cremonese, Tuscan-Medici, and Kashininov violins. The thickness pattern on the back of the Messiah violin is almost identical to that of the Cremonese violin, including asymmetrical center of thickness points located more than 30 mm left of center. The Original “Messiah” Dimensions: Body length 355mm, Upper Bout 167.5mm, Center Bout 108.3mm, Lower Bout 208mm.

The Dimensions of this copy of the “Messiah” violin are:

– body length: 355mm; lower bout: 208mm; upper bout: 167mm; middle: 116mm.

105-Stradivari Messiah 1716-front&back2105-Stradivari Messiah 1716-sides

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(ON ORDER by request) Copy of Giovanni Paolo Maggini Violin-1630

ABOUT THE INSTRUMENT: Loud, roundness, responsive. This gorgeous instrument delivers a powerful, mature tone with great projection and response. The instrument is crafted carefully giving players a wide variety of tonal qualities with the highest standards of playability.

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Varnish:          Italian antique varnished
  • · Top:                Excellence Aged Russian spruce dried for 20 years
  • · Back:              Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15years
  • · Fitting:           Ebony  or rosewood fitting
  • · Fingerboard: Advance Ebony
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce
  • · String:            Synthetic string
  • · Bridge:           France Aubert bridge
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 360mm; lower bout: 215mm; upper bout: 170mm; middle: 120mm.

93-Maggini-front&back93-Maggini-sides

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SN:218 S$1890-Copy of Joseph Guarneri Del Gesu Violin of the year 1730

(SN:218 S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Joseph Guarneri Del Gesu Violin of the year 1730-Russian Spruce aged 20yrs.

The Construction and Materials of this Violin:

  • · Vanish:      Italian antique varnished
  • · Top:            Excellence Aged Russian spruce dried for 20 years
  • · Back:          Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15years
  • · Fitting:      Ebony  or rosewood fitting
  • · Fingerboard:  Advance Ebony
  • · Soundpost:     European spruce
  • · String:       Synthetic string
  • · Bridge:      France Aubert bridge
  • · Purfling:  Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin are:

– body length: 355mm

– lower bout: 208mm

– upper bout: 168mm

– middle: 115mm.

118-Joyee-Guarneri-1730-210413-frontbackfull 118-Joyee-Guarneri-1730-210413-sides 118-Joyee-Guarneri-1730-210413-back&sides

 

 


ABOUT JOSEPH  

GUARNERI DEL GESU: Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu ranks today as one of the two greatest violin makers of all time, although the marked difference between the appearance and sound of his instruments and those of  Stradivari makes comparison almost impossible. Some simply prefer Stradivari, and some (notably Paganini) prefer del Gesu.

Giuseppe trained with his father, Giuseppe Guarneri filius Andreaand assisted him from about 1714 until 1722. In that year he left his father’s house to get married, and seems to have forsaken violin making for a few years. The earliest known instruments that are entirely his own work date from the late 1720s, but it was not until 1731 that he began to insert the label with the monogram IHS (‘Iesus Hominem Salvator’: ‘Jesus Saviour of Man’), which gave rise to his nickname ‘del Gesu’. He seems to have been strongly influenced by the Brescian school, and his work combines the best of the Cremonese tradition with the stretched C-bouts and exaggerated f-holes of Maggini and da Salo. Tonally, his instruments retain much of the sweetness of a Stradivari, but have a seemingly unlimited depth and darkness of sound, irrespective of the pressure of the bow. He reached his pinnacle as a craftsman in the mid-1730s, and produced some ravishingly beautiful instruments, such as the “King Joseph” of 1737. However, it is the later instruments that have come to represent all that is characteristic of del Gesu — the unbridled creativity, the astonishing disregard for the details of workmanship, and the sheer daring of design and construction that are the natural conclusion of the deeply ingrained individuality of the Guarneri family. The rapid spread of del Gesu’s fame in the mid-19th century was largely due to the patronage of Paganini, who played the “Cannon” of 1743 for most of his career.  (excerpted from Four Centuries of Violin Making by Tim Ingles.)

SN:215-Copy of Nicolaus Amati Violin from the year 1670-description and photos

(SN:215 S$1890) Master Violin-Copy of Nicolaus Amati Violin of the year 1670-Russian Spruce aged 20yrs

THIS VIOLIN is a copy of Nicolaus Amati’s ‘Grand Pattern’ violin, which is slightly larger than the models designed by his father and grandfather. Today, these larger instruments, measuring about 35.6 cm. in body length, are particularly well-regarded by professional violinists because they produce a larger sound, more suited to modern concert halls, than the smaller models, which are still ideal for small chamber settings.

115-Amati-1670-front back full 115-Amati-1670-sides

 

 

ABOUT

NICOLAUS AMATI: Nicolaus was also known as Nicolo. His father Girolamo perished in the plague in 1630, as did many other violin makers including Nicolo’s main rival to the North, Giovanni Paulo Maggini of Brescia. At the same time, the demand for instruments of the violin family was growing, and Nicolo — still unmarried and childless — was, for the first time in the Amati family, forced take in outsiders as apprentices.

Starting in the early 1630s, Nicolo trained a succession of makers who would go on to expand violin-making in Cremona and throughout Italy. These included Andrea Guarneri, the first of the Guarneri family of makers and Giacomo Gennaro. While there is no documentary evidence that either Francesco Ruggieri or Antonio Stradivari worked in the Amati shop, it’s clear that they studied Nicolo’s instruments intently and attempted to duplicate his models and working methods. The same can be said of Jacob Stainer in Absam.

Finally in 1649, at the age of 54, Nicolo sired his first son, whom he named Girolamo in honor of his father. When Nicolo died in 1684, at the age of 88, Girolamo II inherited the shop and attempted to maintain the Amati supremacy, but with much less success than his ancestors.

Nicolo is considered by many to be one of the finest craftsmen in the history of violin making. Virtually all of his instruments are made with unerring precision and attention to detail. Nicolo is also famous for introducing the so-called ‘Grand Pattern’ violin, slightly larger than the models designed by his father and grandfather. Today, these larger instruments, measuring about 35.6 cm. in body length, are particularly well-regarded by professional violinists because they produce a larger sound, more suited to modern concert halls, than the smaller models, which are still ideal for small chamber settings.

The construction

  • · Vanish:             Italian antique varnished 
  • · Top:                   Excellence Aged Russian spruce dried for 20 years 
  • · Back:                 Selected Seasoned Flamed Maple Back dried for 15years 
  • · Fitting:             Ebony  or Rosewood fitting
  • · Fingerboard: Ebony 
  • · Soundpost:    European spruce 
  • · String:             Synthetic string
  • · Bridge:            Aubert bridge
  • · Purfling:        Hand inlay

The Dimensions of the violin as:

–  body length:355mm

–  lower bout: 206mm

–  upper bout:166mm

–  middle: 117mm.

ELECTRIC VIOLINS Available Now

Featured

ELECTRIC VIOLINS:                  (Click here to go back to “New Violins”)

Do you want to PRACTICE LATE AT NIGHT? Well now you can practice anytime, anywhere using the S$390 to $450 SILENT ELECTRIC VIOLIN or almost new Fender FV1 electric violin for $690 (usual retail of S$1177). The silent violin is solid so it makes very little sound. You listen through headphones which are provided for the Solid Electric Violins. All models include a case, bow, rosin, and lead.

All Silent Solid Electric Violins come with the following accessories:

– Available Strings2u Model EV1:SOLID for $450: with headphones and a large 1/4 inch output for  a more dependable connection to a speaker. It features three controls on top: volume, treble and bass. Also, it comes with 5 strings to play both viola and violin music.

ELV4-big-small-frontback

 Available Strings2u Model EV2:SOLID for $390: with headphones and a large 1/4 inch output for  a more dependable connection to a speaker. It features two controls on the left side: volume and tone.

ELV5-big-small-frontback

-Available: almost new Fender FV1 electric violin for $690 (usual retail of S$1177): the Fender FV1 electric violin comes in its original case (hard case with soft-style exterior, lined in plush velvet fabric and velvet blanket) with bow, shoulder rest, headphones, rosin and straps. This electric violin has an excellent sound which can be controlled by the easy to access volume and tone controls to the right of the bridge. It is a very well-reviewed violin coming in a stunning gloss black finish.

EV-Fender-FV1-ElectricViolin-case&violin

-Available Strings2u Model EV:HOLLOW for $390:  If you want a normal acoustic violin that you can plug in to play with a band through a speaker or P.A. We have available a normal acoustic violin which has been fitted with a pickup under the bridge and on the side it has controls for tone and volume and a 1/4 inch output for a lead. Also, it comes with 5 strings to play both viola and violin music. This model does not have a headphone output so it does not require a 9 volt battery.

VIOLIN MULTI-EFFECTS PROCESSOR for S$150: An electric violin really sounds best when it is run through an effects processor. This is because an electric violin can tend to sound too “scratchy” or bright.  The Multi-Effects Processor will WARM UP and SMOOTHEN OUT the sound.

This $150 MULTI-EFFECTS PROCESSOR is small enough to fit on your pants belt or strap. Here is what it can do: It will output to a 1/4″ normal guitar lead and also has a HEADPHONE OUTPUT. There are 40 DRUM patterns built in to play along to. The EFFECTS that are included are EQ, REVERB, DELAY, CHORUS/ FLANGER/ PHASER/ TREMELO, DISTORTION/ OVERDRIVE/ CRUNCH/ FUZZ/ METAL. It has a TUNER, TONE and VOLUME controls and it is powered by two AAA batteries or an adaptor which is included. Also, it is small (12.8cm x 8.4cm x 4.5cm) and light (160g) and clips on your belt or strap. You listen through headphones which are provided. If interested, please call Peter on +65 96611413 and photos will be sent to you.

Mandolin in Sydney

ABOUT THE MANDOLIN: For those violinists reading this, you may not know that Mandolin is a near relative of the violin. If the violin was the mother and the guitar was the father, then the Mandolin would be their son or daughter!!!

How is it possible you ask? Take a violin neck, tuning and strings, add frets and put it on a miniature guitar body and voila! – out pops a Mandolin. Now that makes the mandolin incredibly easy for a violinist to learn if you can “pluck” up the courage to put down your bow and “pick” up a plectrum (otherwise known as a pick).

HOW I LEARNT THE MANDOLIN: Other than playing classical music I have been known to belt out a few fiddle tunes in my day. I first became interested in the mandolin while I was fiddling Irish and Australian jigs and reels in my student days. The guitarist in the folk band had a mandolin he used for the folk melodies. He and I were both surprised that the first time I picked up a mandolin, I could play any music he put in front of me! What a pleasant surprise! Even better, he gave me his mandolin on my next birthday -thanks Dave!

If you can play both violin and guitar then guess what? You can play the mandolin! No serious practice needed

THE MANDOLIN is NOT a UKULELE!!!

– this might be stating the obvious, but they are not the same and here is why: a Mandolin has 8 metal strings tuned like a violin: GGDDAAEE (from low to high strings)

mandolin_fretboard

WHEREAS, a Soprano UKULELE has 4 nylon strings tuned like a guitar but five notes lower: GCEA (from low to high strings). The 4 strings are tuned exactly five notes lower than the 4 highest strings of the guitar. So instead of E as the highest string, the Ukulele has A which is 5 notes lower etc.

HISTORY OF THE MANDOLIN: The Mandolin is actually a very historic instrument dating back to the 14th Century when it was called the Mandore!

The following is extracted from Wikipedia:

Mandolins evolved from the lute family in Italy during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the deep bowled mandolin, produced particularly in Naples, became common in the nineteenth century. The original instrument was themandore, which evolved in the fourteenth century from the lute. This mandore was the soprano lute.

mandolin (Italian: mandolino) is a musical instrument in the lute family (plucked, or strummed). It descends from the mandore, a soprano member of the lute family. The mandolin soundboard (the top) comes in many shapes—but generally round or teardrop-shaped, sometimes with scrolls or other projections. A mandolin may have f-holes, or a single round or oval sound hole.

Modern mandolins with a round back, originated in Naples, Italy in the late 18th century. They have four pairs of metal strings, which are plucked with a plectrum.

At the very end of the 1800’s, a new style, with a carved top and back construction inspired by violin family instruments began to supplant the European-style bowl-back instruments, especially in the United States. This new style is credited to mandolins designed and built by Orville Gibson, a Kalamazoo, Michigan luthier who founded the “Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Co., Limited” in 1902. Gibson mandolins evolved into two basic styles: the Florentine or F-style, which has a decorative scroll near the neck, two points on the lower body, and usually a scroll carved into the headstock; and the A-style, which is pear shaped, has no points, and usually has a simpler headstock.

These styles generally have either two f-shaped soundholes like a violin (F-5 and A-5), or an oval sound hole (F-4 and A-4 and lower models) directly under the strings. Generally, Gibson F-hole F-5 mandolins and mandolins influenced by that design are strongly associated with American bluegrass music, while the A-style is more associated with Irish, folk, or classical music.

A photo of the F-hole F-5 mandolin  is pictured at the top of this page.

Below is a picture of the A-style mandolin:

What Size Violin Do I Need? – Fitting the violin by arm length

THERE ARE TWO METHODS OF DETERMINING WHAT SIZE VIOLIN YOU OR YOUR CHILD NEED:

METHOD 1:

A. MEASURE YOURSELF: Measure in inches, the length between your neck and the middle of your left-hand palm (when your arm is fully extended just like holding a violin).

B. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SIZE VIOLIN: Match the Violin Size given below with the measurement you have just taken. If your measurement is in between sizes, get the Violin Size that is below your measurement.
Violin Size – Arm Length in inches:
4/4 – 23 inches
3/4 – 22”
1/2 – 20”
1/4 – 18 ½”
1/8 – 16 ½”
1/10 – 15”
1/16 – 14”

METHOD 2:

If you don’t have a tape measure, there is a fast way to check:
A. Hold the violin in playing position on your left shoulder (preferably using a shoulder rest).
B. Extend your left arm further and with your left hand try to wrap your fingers all the way around the SCROLL (see diagram – wrap your fingers around the curled, round piece of wood at the end of the neck).

C. If you can see your finger nails wrapping around the scroll, then the violin is the right size and not too big for you. However, if you can wrap the fingers around without needing to straighten your elbow and arm, then the violin is too small for you and you need to try the next size.

(photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Avoiding Climate Damage to your Violin

HEAT DAMAGE: Many years ago in Kuala Lumpur I left my beloved “Didion” violin in the boot of the car when I went from the Music School to a party. The problem was, I forgot all about it till I remembered around noon time the next day. Kuala Lumpur can be extremely hot and that day was. When I opened the case I was horrified to find that not only had all the strings come loose but the whole top of the violin had come off as the hyde glue had melted. Actually, if the glue had not come unstuck then the wood would certainly have cracked which thankfully it hadn’t. This is why repairs need to be done only with animal hyde glue and never with other glues. So I sent my violin off to London with a friend to have the top reglued.

At that time, I didn’t have my equipment to do the repairs myself. So what is the lesson that I learnt? NEVER, ever, put your violin in the BOOT of a car. Why? You might forget all about it like I did, and melt the glue. I recommend that you always take the violin with you when you leave the car in case someone breaks in and steals it. While we are on this subject, its also important not to put the violin near an airconditioner, a heat source, or an exterior wall. This will avoid extremes of temperature. 

ABOUT VIOLIN DAMAGE: LOW HUMIDITY causes CRACKSIn America this is a real problem as their humidity can be as low as 10-15%. So if you are traveling to a cold country you will need an HUMIDIFIER in your violin case. This contains moisture like a sponge and releases the moisture to humidify the air.

HIGH HUMIDITY causes WEAK SOUND: In Singapore, we don’t have the problem of low humidity and cracks, however, we do have the problem of high humidity causing weak tone. The solution is DEHUMIDIFIERS. Fortunately, if you leave your violin in a room that regularly has airconditioning, this problem is solved. An air conditioner dehumidifiers the air.

TYPES HUMIDIFIERS: There are two types of humidifiers: 1. those that go in the INSTRUMENT (e.g. “Dampit”  from $7.50 to $10 each) and 2. those that go in the CASE. Cases often come with both an hygrometer which measures the level of humidity and an humidifier which corrects dryness. An in-case humidifier often comes in the form of a small tube filled with water-saturated material that releases moisture at a controlled rate. For those with a D.I.Y. aptitude, you can insert several holes in a small plastic canister and insert a sponge inside which you will need to keep moist. This can be mounted inside the case with Velcro.

DEHUMIDIFIERS: For those who live in humid climates around the equator, you will need a DEHUMIDIFIER in the case. These usually consist of silicon gell or silicon pellet packets which absorb the moisture from the air in the case. They need to be placed in the microwave occasionally to remove the moisture that has been absorbed. 

(Reference: Strings magazine, October 2002, No. 105. “Drying Times – How to protect your instrument from climate changes” by Richard Ward)

More than just a bow

10 WAYS TO JUDGE THE QUALITY OF A BOW – or How do I know if my bow is any good?

Let me just start by stating the obvious. It is the bow which produces the sound on the violin. Obviously, not all bows are created equal. I continue to be surprised how using a different bow can make the same violin sound either incredibly better or much worse. You can get your perfect sounding violin without upgrading your violin by just upgrading your bow.

10 WAYS TO DESCRIBE A GOOD BOW:

SOUND: strong core, a lot of high overtones, a strong middle range

VOLUME: loud, low, focused, good carrying power

WEIGHT: light (ideally around 60 grams)

BALANCE: good balance not heavy at the tip or the frog

STRING CONTACT: even over the whole bow, including the tip, in the middle and the frog

BOUNCE: good over the whole bow, with good control

STABILITY: is stable along the whole stick, not breaking out to the side in the middle

STIFFNESS of wood: good, stiff at the frog, middle and tip

AESTHETICS: nice tip, frog, beautiful wood, mother of pearl, gold , silver, nickel mounted

FEEL: is comfortable in your hands.

Most professional violinists will have more than one bow in their case. One bow will be for medium tempo and the other lighter bow for faster tempo. It is important to mention that professional bows are made of pernambuco wood.

In the bow-making business it is usual to refer to some species other than Paubrasilia echinata as “Brazilwood”; examples include Pink Ipê (Handroanthus impetiginosus), Massaranduba (Manilkara bidentata) and Palo Brasil (Haematoxylum brasiletto). The highly prized Paubrasilia echinata is usually called “Pernambuco wood” in this particular context.

Reference: These tips come Chapter 11 of “A Bow on the Couch” found at https://www.andreasgrutter.com/a-bow-on-the-couch/