Question by Haley Lam: Is Bellafina a good brand or company to buy instruments from?
I’m planning to buy a 5-String Violin, but I’m not sure if they are a good brand or company or not
Answer by dlashof
The 5 string may be ok, but in general those are not good instruments. You should not buy a violin based on brand name but rather on sound. One might be good the next absolute junk, that is the problem with instruments in that price range.
A 5 string violin that costs less than around $ 400-500 is not worth purchasing; just putting quality strings on them doesn’t solve the instruments problems. The quality of the parts and sound make them a waste of money and will cost you more in the long run. These cheap instruments are made with cheap materials. The Maple that is used in the instruments is softer than it should be making the pegs wear the holes in the peg box prematurely. In addition the back also being made of this soft maple makes for a dull unappealing sound. The top which is made of inferior spruce creates an unfocused sound and is weaker and more susceptible to damage. The ebony fitting like the fingerboard and pegs (if they are actually ebony) are also softer than they should be, making them wear more quickly. The varnish is usually a sprayed on lacquer which is too hard and creates a hard rough sound because it keeps the wood from vibrating. Just the wood used for a proper beginner level violin costs over $ 125, so you can’t get a whole instrument made for anything close to that that is any good.
When you purchase an instrument over the internet, you have no idea what it will sound like. A picture on a web site with a description tell you nothing about how an instrument sounds or how it will hold up. You also have no one to go to if you have any problems after you receive it. A violin needs to be played to see if you care for the sound. If you don’t play yet, you need someone that is proficient enough with the instrument to demonstrate it for you. Internet sites come and go as it is real easy to just rename the site and start over.
So do yourself a favor and save up some money and get an instrument that you will be happy with. The cheap instruments with their poor sound and poor quality will just frustrate you and you will give up, then all of your time and money will have been wasted. You can also rent a violin and a good store will allow a portion of your rent to apply towards the purchase of an instrument. The better the store, the more of your money will apply. Violin stores will typically offer you the best selection, the best quality and the most rental credit. Music stores will have some violins but not the selection or the quality and no one on staff that understands violins, they are very different from guitars. Value for value, you will get a much better deal at a violin store.
If you need to get something off the internet, do yourself a favor and look here
anything they sell will be of a good quality worth purchasing.
As a professional violin maker and repairmen with 35 years experience in the retail violin market, 40 years as a violinist and a onetime teacher, I have seen this subject from all sides. I hate to see people waste their money on these unusable instruments and then having to pay more to make them even function.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!