Stentor II or Zeller(6 Posts)
We are looking to buy our daughter a violin. Her teacher has suggested a Stentor II or Zeller. She will be taking her Grade 4 this year and looking for something to see her through Grades 4 & 5.
Does anyone think one would be better than the other. We'll probably be using a music workshop suggested by teacher. They have also suggested a Prima(?) and have suggested that whatever decision is made, DD can have violin for a couple of weeks to practice and play in front of teacher before committing to it and us paying.
The Zeller is usually considered more on a par with the Stentor Conservatoire. Also at around £200 is the Hidersine Piacensa model - they're not so well known but have a mellower sound than the Stentors, which I personally prefer (it depends what you like - my 'good' violin is very rich and dark, more like a viola in timbre).
The Stentor II is usually cheaper, if your budget is limited, and the Prima 200 is in the same range. If you get either of these, you'll probably need to make sure the shop sets them up well (i.e. proper violin shop/luthier job) and upgrade the strings, which negates some of the saving.
Consideration - what size instrument is your daughter playing? If she's already on a full size, you may want to actually invest more.
Basically, go try them all out.
Also, see if you can buy through the school as sometimes you can get out of paying the VAT if you do that (not an issue for me as I'm in Jersey where we don't pay it anyway).
Can I suggest you look at Gliga violins? I think they are extremely well made with a gorgeous tone, and are very well priced. If your daughter is going for Grade 5 I wouldn't consider a Stentor - it will always sound dreadful, and though a Zeller is nice, I honestly think the Gliga is significantly richer. If your daughter is working at that level, encourage her with a lovely sounding violin. For my DD it has made a huge difference in her playing.
You can buy them online through Elida trading. I was very sceptical about buying over the internet, but my local music store had such a limited stock. I heard about them through an ABRSM forum and the reviews were excellent. Anyway, good luck.
Sorry - I know nothing about violins but can I add my support for the Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme (also known as "buying it through school"). If your daughter is state educated and has a lesson in school or plays in school or at a LEA music centre then if you buy through the LEA you save the VAT. My LEA charged a fiver for administration so there is a point below which it's not worth the effort.
I will now return you to more knowledgeable posters.
I'd check out Cardiff Violins and Caswells, if you can. Or any more local violin shop. The key is usually to buy the best you can afford, with luthier set-up and good strings. As I said, if a full-size, you may as well splurge a bit (though I got to grade 8 on a £400 fiddle).
Gligas are reputable but I haven't heard one live.
Thank you for your replies - I am looking into all of them. The chap I've spoken to was recommended by my daughter's tutor and seems genuine in that he's willing to let her have the violin for a couple of weeks before deciding, as he feels it's important that both her and her tutor are happy. He puts better strings on etc. He's also suggested somewhere else to buy with a "proper" shop front as he feels it's important to get the most suitable violin for the player.
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