Wood Used on Crappy Violin

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Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Alan Peterson » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:28 pm

Okay, so Jet.com and Amazon are selling the GoPlus "Durable" violin for, basically, lunch money. I'm not buying one, but am curious about this line from the product description: "The head, back and sides of violin are made from Composite Wood".

Where I come from, that means MDF or flake board. What are they talking about?
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Steve Sawyer » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:20 pm

I can't speak to that particular product, Alan, but another (and I think more likely) possibility is hardwood laminate - a fancy plywood. I have a really nice Simon & Patrick acoustic that pairs this stuff on the sides & back with a solid spruce top. Sounds damn good fir a $350 guitar. I gave no idea if it would work as well for a violin.
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:28 am

wow - just looked at the pictures that Amazon has up of these. The picture of the pegbox really says it all. Only 3 strings coming out of it, wood fuzz everywhere, and the nut looks like a wood-chip someone picked up off the floor.
The pic of the back has a big drip of "varnish" rolling down it.
for $36.59 ... why? It's not even playable. A decoration?
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Beate Ritzert » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:53 am

You might have a look on my recent electric violin build thread her in this forum. It has been converted from such a beast, and is am showing a picture of it after initially opening the body: viewtopic.php?p=44657#p44657
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:43 am

I saw your thread Beate - and I'm surprised that one of these poor instruments was good enough to serve as a foundation for what you did. Good job to you!
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Beate Ritzert » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:06 pm

It was a prototype, and i would never use such an "instrument" again. I have had a lot more work to deal with the insufficient material properties than with the mod itself.

It would probably best to buy the cheapest playable violin for such an instrument. Nowadays that seems to be about twice that price, 13 years ago that was about 3-4 times that price.

It would actually be even better to use a defective instrument, maybe an old german student violin with a totally broken top - but these went away to strange prices...

(I still would like to find a way to build such a top without waisting much wood....)
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Mark Wybierala » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:33 pm

We typically sell about 20 or so Chinese-made student violins a year (about $160 retail). All of these go across my bench before sold and generally it takes me about 25 minutes to set them up to MENC standards. The ones that won't set up go back to our supplier. We also have a buy-back and an exchange program. I've been really thinking about using some of these for alternative instruments such as electric violins and maybe even an evil mountain dulcimer corruption. I've fretted one, put a whammy bar on another and considered turning one into a remote controlled boat.
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Beate Ritzert » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:45 pm

*g* cool. But i would guess those student violins are by worlds better than this cheap deco instrument. In order to set up, the construction must at least resemble that of a real violin. To me it would already be painfull to cut an instrument into pieces which is potentially playable.
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Mark Wybierala » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:53 am

Accidents happen. If they didn't, I wouldn't have a job. Not my fault that the school bus ran over the violin...

Occasionally I'll get an instrument in for repair that is just not economical to repair. Sometimes its a bulk acquisition of broken school instruments that have sat in a dusty box for twenty years. I absolutely hate the idea of some unfortunate child struggling to learn on an instrument that is inferior and is a barrier to the development of skills (almost a daily encounter from late August to mid September every year) -- ...cheap deals on ebay for pink, purple, and sparkly violins -- ...Innocent ignorance of parents. I work hard to enable a less fortunate kid to explore music when I can. Always willing to write up a letter to accompany an instrument that can be returned. But sometimes these evil objects end up in my possession and I can have some fun. Maybe some of them could be restored but there are so many.

Here's a full size eco budget cello that has a new life with an alternative music client as a very loud and uniquely warm and deep sounding lap (ha ha) steel guitar. It had a broken and partially detached bass bar and the neck was severely misaligned to the side.
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:01 pm

I love that.

Any chance you have a sound clip?
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Jim McConkey » Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:15 pm

A few years back I hacked a similar cheap Chinese violin to turn it into an electric skeleton fiddle (see my avatar) for our $100 Electric Contest. It wasn't even a decent acoustic fiddle, but does much better as an electric. That being said, it would probably be less work to just build the electric from scratch, but it was a fun project.
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Bryan Bear » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:54 am

Jim McConkey wrote:A few years back I hacked a similar cheap Chinese violin to turn it into an electric skeleton fiddle (see my avatar) for our $100 Electric Contest. It wasn't even a decent acoustic fiddle, but does much better as an electric. That being said, it would probably be less work to just build the electric from scratch, but it was a fun project.


I enjoyed following that thread!
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Re: Wood Used on Crappy Violin

Postby Jim McConkey » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:45 am

Thanks, Bryan!
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