Friday 5 October 2012

Secondhand Violin outfits for beginners - New V Old?

As the season gears up and parents search for affordable violin outfits it can be hard to decide whether to choose a new or second hand violin outfit. People will tell you "oh "old" is always better" or "The second hand ones are "played in"" and this can be highly misleading. First of all the Old V New debate about top master-made instruments was recently resolved in an experiment that came firmly down in favour of new! but even if the converse were true, the fact is that when you are talking about student level instruments, a few years of playing will not transform a mediocre instrument, or even particularly affect a decent one. It simply isn't the case.
Second hand outfits can be a GREAT option; but not because of the old "played in" chestnut. Essentially what happens when you choose a second-hand outfit is that you trade off having a new bow and case for a saving of at least €35 on the outfit. The standard and sound of the violin remains all but unaffected.

So what to choose? Well if you can get a second hand in good condition, it's a great buy. You need to make sure that the violin is structurally sound, the bow still works and the case is in good condition. Otherwise you will lose the advantage of saving money by having to replace one or both of the accessories at a later date. So, try to get one that is in overall good condition - this is why we insist that any of our instruments presented for trade in MUST be in good condition. Otherwise it has no value for the next purchaser.

New outfits have their own set of advantages. The model of violin may be a different model, a newer and better one. More likely it will be very similar to the last model, but the bow and case will be new and are less likely to have any problems. It is very much a toss-up though, Especially in the smaller sizes, if there's a good second hand available, go for it!

New outfits start €155 Second hand €120

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