Hand Tools Archive

Re: jumping to conclusions...

david weaver
If they're well made, there's no difference in a $20K violin vs. one that's $100k other than the ability of a builder to manage relationships with buyers. Even if you buy 400 year old wood to start, there just isn't that much cost in making them.

I talked to a couple of symphony players here (two married symphony players in this area get summers off and make about 3 bills together if they don't take on any additional work).

Not surprisingly, they have some expensive violins. I wanted to pick their brains about what made them good and they really don't have a clue. They just know they like them. I'm sure they have not touched sandpaper or studied anything about it in quite a long time. One of the two was enamored with one of the violins they got because it had a birdseye back.

Interestingly enough, baking wood has become very stylish with guitars because it moves the wood into a similar timbre vs. very old wood. While talking to the two, they mentioned a builder who had supplied wonderful violins to a few people they knew, but he was accused of baking tops, and figuratively run out of town as a seller to any of them going forward. They said the violins were wonderful sounding and open, but it wasn't appropriate to help the wood along in such a way.


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