How do violin cracks affect value?
Posted 27 January 2007 - 09:21 PM
of the instruments? I've been advised that a crack in line with the
e string, from the rear edge to half the
length of the tailpiece, can be responsible for a 30% decrease
in the instrument's value. Does it matter if the tone is not
compromised? Does appearance matter?
Posted 27 January 2007 - 10:13 PM
I suspect an instrument from the 19th c. or earlier, of value at least a few $1000, with a competently repaired crack would hardly have its value affected at all. On the other hand a recent fiddle worth $500 might lose even more than 30%, depending on who the prospective buyers and the seller are, and on whether the repair was in line with the instruments value, or outstripped it.
Posted 27 January 2007 - 10:24 PM
Posted 27 January 2007 - 11:00 PM
I'll assume that by "in line" you mean basically right
underneath or nearly so and running parallel with the E string.
Soundpost cracks can be the worst. They can be repaired, and
aren't always fatal...but at the same time, sometimes a soundpost
crack is almost fatal.
If you wanted to find a crack that could devastate the value of the
instrument, a soundpost crack on either back or belly could do it.
Since a soundpost exerts pressure in that area, a repair
there will also be under constant pressure, making it more likely
to open up again.
However, I'll include the same caveat that Andres did, and perhaps
someone more knowledgeable than myself would care to chime in.
Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:21 AM
was running parallel to the tailpiece and directly towards the E
adjuster from it's starting point at the rear edge of the violin.
The end of the crack never got to the bridge, but stopped alongside
the center of the tailpiece. This is well above the soundpost. Is
it still considered a soundpost crack if it never reached the
Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:33 AM
se...but at this point I will definitely have to defer to the more
knowledgeable members of this forum. I'm a player with an
ever growing working knowledge of the ins and outs of violins...but
I am ill qualified to get into some of the minutiae and specifics
of repairs and damage. (i.e. just how close does it have to
get before being considered a soundpost crack?)
From my own limited knowledge, your crack may be easily repairable,
depending on how close to the soundpost it is. (Remember,
your soundpost is set behind the bridge ever so slightly) It
is possible that without repair it may continue to propagate
further into the instrument, eventually becoming a bona fide
The impact in monetary value to your fiddle honestly depends
entirely on the fiddle itself, as Andres alluded to.
Posted 28 January 2007 - 12:54 AM
saddle toward the bridge. It should be attended to promptly,
lest it become a soundpost crack. A soundpost crack is
defined as a crack that runs over or very near to the sound post,
either on the front of back of the instrument.
$1500 to repair a crack such as you describe, that goes about
halfway up the tailpiece, is way high, in my experience. We
routinely do such repairs for $80 to $250, depending on how much
labor is involved.
"You'll love the way you sound"
Posted 28 January 2007 - 06:22 AM
However if the crack is on the bass side it might get in trouble with the bass bar and cracks low on the instrument are thus often more serious on the bass side.
In any case even a sound post crack doesen't affect value much at all on a valuable instrument, whereas I'd say an inexpensive instrument with a badly repaired sp crack often IS affected somehwat.
Posted 28 January 2007 - 07:04 AM
Posted 28 January 2007 - 09:53 AM
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