Instruments, like many other objects, are in the best state when they are new, and that is when they perform the best. So if you’re looking for some brand new Cecilio instruments, we have a guide on that. Beginner instruments especially should be as new as possible, but you can be lucky and find a great second-hand violin for a decent price.
Purchasing a second-hand violin is up to your decision, but there are some things that you need to consider when making the choice. Before starting the whole process you should have a clear idea about how you intend to use that violin. Here are some other things to take into consideration when buying a used violin.
Is it still working well?
When you’re not an expert you have a hard time assessing the condition of an instrument. If you’re a beginner you will be happy to know that an instrument for you requires less attention, but it still needs to be in perfect working order. That’s because you don’t want to learn to play such a difficult instrument on a poorly-made or broken violin.
When going to your local music store, talk to the seller and see if all the instruments have been professionally checked and repaired. It’s best if you can see the details yourself and you can assess the quality of the instrument.
Pay a closer look at the bridge and strings and check how old they are. If they’re more than a year old chances are the seller doesn’t take too much care of the instruments sold. It’s better if you call an expert in to help you with the assessing process.
Look at the pegs, check them for cracks, or turn them slightly to see if they get stuck. Also, make sure the violin has sealed seams. If the instrument needs repairs, make sure its price reflects that, so you don’t have to pay the full price of it and then spend some extra on repairing the violin.
Buying a second-hand violin online is more difficult. That is mainly because you won’t be able to see if the instrument is in good shape until it reaches you. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, ensure you can send it back if needed before purchasing it.
Whenever you get the chance, play the violin to see if you like its sound. There’s nothing pleasant in playing and practicing on an instrument you dislike. Additionally, look at all other parts of the violin. The bridge should be straight, not warped, the fingerboard should be straight as well and it should have no cracks.
If you see anything wrong with the instrument, make sure that thing can be repaired. A violin without a full set of strings may not appear to have many issues, however, this can be a sign that the instrument hasn’t been checked in a while, and probably for good reasons.
Check the value
When you find a violin, whether it’s online or in a shop near you, start doing some research and find out how much that instrument usually costs. You will find out that some people sell the violins way more expensive, or cheaper than they should sell them for.
There are certain websites that can help you with checking the prices of each violin. You can ask people on forums about the price, and you will be surprised how nice and helpful some random strangers can be. You can also compare the prices yourself with those of the instruments that are being sold on eBay or Craigslist.
Of course, there is no specific manner to compare an old and a new instrument, although they can be the same model. But as you expect, you should pay less for a violin that has been used before, unless it belonged to someone famous. Nonetheless, you can physically compare the looks, feel and sound of a new and old violin, if you have the chance to get two instruments like these.
What’s most important to remember is that purchasing a used violin is a matter of experience. If you have already played the instrument for a number of years you probably know how it should look and sound and you will be better at assessing a violin when you see it for the first time.
But if you don’t have that experience don’t get downhearted. Players that don’t feel comfortable with checking the value of a violin can still find a reputable music store that can be trusted and that sets up its used instruments with care. If you don’t trust yourself find a person that you trust and ask them to have a look at the violin you like.
What about its history?
It’s always a nice thing to know where the instrument has been, especially if it’s a really old one. It adds to it uniqueness and its history may be something that suits your style or inspires you. But more than that, knowing where the violin has been and how it has been treated has some other advantages.
First of all, you know whether it has been played recently. A violin that has been staying in a closet or on a store shelf for too long collecting dust will require more attention and probably some more money spent on repairs.
If you’re fortunate enough the seller will be able to tell you all the details and all the events that the violin has gone through, be them good or bad. Some people will try to hide bad things that had happened to the instrument, so if you sense you’re dealing with a person like that, better walk away.
However, there are some sellers, including the ones that sell their violin online, that will be more than happy to provide you with all the details you want.
Purchasing a violin that you can’t hear or feel may not seem like a good idea. And it often isn’t, but you can make it work if you’re patient enough and you don’t jump on the first violin that comes in your path.
On sites like eBay, you can find second-hand violins for prices as low as $20. These aren’t the violins that you should be looking for; they will probably sound horrible, or mediocre if you invest in them a lot. Experts recommend not buying your violin online, as you never know if the seller can be trusted. And in the case of online shops, only a few of them will let you send the violin back.
Never buy a violin that you can’t send back or at least ask for a replacement with an identical instrument or one that’s close to your initial purchase. When you find a seller that allows you to send the violin back, test the instrument as soon as possible.
Ask an expert to give you some advice, if you’re uncertain. Also, be careful with those instruments that have been produced abroad. Sending a fragile violin from a continent to another is a difficult task and sometimes the instrument gets damaged on its way to you.
Don’t forget that a second-hand violin will most likely have some small issues that you need to address. So be prepared to spend some money on repairing and reconditioning your new violin.