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Does the worth/value of a violin increase with age and usage

 
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pizzazzman2000
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Joined: 09 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:36 pm    Post subject: Does the worth/value of a violin increase with age and usage Reply with quote

Hi,

I would like some general information on the worth/value of violins. My query is: Does the price of a violin actually increase with age and usage?

This may sound like a silly question because, as we know, the price of a second-hand refrigerator,car, washing machine, etc. will always be less than that of a brand new one.

However, someone told me that an old/used violin will already be seasoned and finetuned, and hence produce sound quality superior to a brand new one. And professional violinists use violins which are decades old, for this reason. Is this information correct?

I know that some of the worlds most famous violinists use violins which are a few hundred years old.

And my final question is, I need to buy a violin. One friend of mine is selling his 2 year old used violin at a slightly lower price than that of a brand new one. Of course, since it is second-hand, so I expected that he would charge say half-price for it. But he told me that this violin is already used and hence fine-tuned and seasoned. So he should actually charge more than the market price for a brand new one.

Would you recommend that I buy the second-hand violin from my friend, or spend a little more and get a brand-new violin?

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by pizzazzman2000 on Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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FiddleDoug
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Joined: 08 Sep 2007
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Location: Hilton, NY

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't give any information about the maker, or value of the instrument.
For the average, run of the mill, production violin, the value decreases with age and usage. For a really high end, well known maker, it could increase in value. You could certainly check Ebay to see what used instruments are going for.
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Benedict White
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also add that an old violin would not be appreciably worse to play unless it is set up badly so there would not be much benefit in buying a new one.

You can always ask to have a go at playing his and see how you like it.
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pizzazzman2000
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

Thanks very much for your valuable help!
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kurtdaniel
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it depends what sort of violin music and price level you are talking about, if its the sort of violin that's ?100 or less new then I can't imagine that they mature with age/usage.

Last edited by kurtdaniel on Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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pizzazzman2000
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:55 am    Post subject: thanks everyone Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your valuable suggestions!
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byacey
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Joined: 29 Mar 2008
Posts: 105
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No intentions of sounding like a smart alec, but my Dad has a saying that holds true: "

Something is only worth as much as what someone else is willing to pay you for it."
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tomigv
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Location: lee/s summit mo

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That staement must be a canadianism , I/ve heard the exact same comments when we lived in BC , but not here in the midwest Very Happy
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polkat
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Joined: 16 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As FiddleDoug said, info about the maker (real info, not just assumed label info) can have a direct bearing on the value. Generally, poorly made instruments will still be poor a century or more later. Whereas, well made instruments of good materials, but with no particular lineage will often improve with age. Original quality of materials and workmanship is the key there.

Still, it's weird though. I've seen one or two factory made instruments imported to America just before the turn of the last century (and originally sold through Sears for maybe $14) that were very good players, yet because of their history sold very cheaply.

If you think you might have something of value, I suggest you get it appraised. A good luthier can do this fairly cheaply. But if it's an old factory import I wouldn't expect too much.
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
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Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are looking for an instrument to play... the most important part is to try as many violins as you can to see what you like or don't like... if you are not yet a player take the violin to your teacher or another experienced player to evaluate.
If you are just starting to learn, most any instrument will do... for the first month or two.
Will the instrument sound better after ageing and use... maybe yes, maybe no.... all depends on the quality in the first place and the set up of bridge, strings, post etc. As the saying goes in our business, "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"
Cheers, Mat
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ctviolin
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

byacey wrote:
No intentions of sounding like a smart alec, but my Dad has a saying that holds true: "

Something is only worth as much as what someone else is willing to pay you for it."


Yes, for me this says it all too.
No smart alleciness about it.

In the right market, with the right buyer and seller, the selling figure will change immensely of course - sometimes without apparent reason. but very often prices are established by this method, much like in any market...

I like a bottom line dependant on sound, playability and apparent construction quality - so my bottom line (or selling price) is usually determined by such things as these.

I don't really sell collector violins (though I do occasionally repair them) and I sell what I do have, or what I buy, dependant on mainly these three factors.

In order to make an adequate profit to stay afloat.

Other than that - I'm not really concerned about what a violin might be worth in the "collectors market". Anything that I have a question about the value of, I take to my friend who is a professional dealer, with adequate knowledge of the collectors market.

The "collectors market" is not really my market, (where $10 might be overpriced and $100,000.00 might be underpriced) has never been my market, nor will it ever be my market, I believe."

Excepting my own violins - which are waaay the most expensive pieces I ever end up selling.
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