Cheap Instruments vs. Quality Instruments Here at The Loft, we are often asked: "What’s the difference between your violins and the ones we see on the internet for $49.99?” The differences are important and easy for trained eyes to observe but somewhat difficult to explain without experience. We’ve chosen four major differences that set our instruments apart.
Four Major Differences in Instruments:
1. Quality of the woods and components. Violin construction has evolved very little in the past 400 years. Instrument tops are still made from spruce while the back, sides, neck, and scroll are cut from maple.
If a violin has inferior components the sound, structural integrity, and playability will be compromised. A poorly made violin will be prone to warping, cracking, going out of tune, and just plain sounding bad. A beginning student needs a reliable instrument!
2. Quality of the set up How a violin is “fitted” is also important. Proper bridge height, fit and curve; fingerboard shape and curve; tailgut, tailpiece and fine tuner adjustments; properly fitted pegs; and soundpost placement are just some of the necessary details in fitting an instrument. Many educators agree that a student learner needs a violin that is set up even better than a professional.
3. Quality of service, repair, and follow up. Owning a new violin and beginning a lifelong adventure of learning music requires a solid support team. When things go wrong with the instrument-- and things often can go wrong-- having a skilled team to care for your instrument is critical. Violins are still fragile instruments and require care and maintenance to stay, “fit as fiddles."
4. Taking the next step – Trade in/Trade up. You aren’t going to be a beginner forever. We hope you continue to enjoy the violin and move on to bigger and better things. Look for a good violin shop that has a wide selection of instruments in many price ranges from all over the world; preferably both old and new instruments.
Questions about getting your first violin:
Question # 1: Why does my child need a good instrument if they’re just starting?
A poorly crafted and fitted instrument is a recipe for frustration. The difficulty and struggle to make a “bad” violin play well will hinder a student’s progress and not reward their hard work . A properly made and fitted violin will give the student the BEST chance of success and reward.
We have a specialized purchaser on staff who has worked as a performer, educator, and instrument specialist for over 20 years. Likewise, our team of luthiers have studied the craft in verified instrument repair programs.
Question # 2: What’s the advantage of investing in an instrument if my child may quit?
A good rental program should allow you to keep your equity but also have the flexibility to opt of the contract at any time. Look for a plan where 100% of your payments apply toward the cost of owning the instrument. Also be sure to find a program without a set contract period-- you don't want to be locked into keeping an unwanted instrument.
Our plan assures 100% equity towards 100% of the cost of the instrument, but you may return an unwanted instrument at any time during the rental program.
Question #3: Should I invest in the highest quality instrument possible for my child?
Our quality student instruments are crafted to provide the best learning opportunity for students. Often, older and more expensive instruments come with, “quirks” that require a skilled and adaptable technician to produce the best sound. A good student instrument is like a reliable car; good, solid, and will get you there safely.
To ensure the best learning experience, we choose instruments designed for student players and set them up for ease of use with reliable strings and bow selections. Each instrument is inspected and set up individually.