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#121 lyndon

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:34 AM

Nonado is talking about "top" violin workers in Beijing, not the average factory worker. Wages in China have been rising rapidly during the last few years. Average pay of a Honda factory worker in China is over US$500 per month. And there are regional differences. Wages in Beijing and Shanghai are much higher than other parts of the country. US$800 per month for a top violin worker in Beijing sounds reasonable to me.


first, from what ive read the violins arent being made in beijing, the top violin makers earning 800 a month in china run there own buisness employing workers who dont earn, 800/month or even close, which is exactly what i originally said

just read an interesting discourse on how different things were 100yrs ago in 1910, seems the average hourly wage in america in 1910 is comparable to the 2011 wage in china, with the top jobs paying 5000/year and hourly wage being 25c an hour in 1910, that is
Taylor's Fine Violins, Redlands, S. California
Specializing in the research and restoration
of baroque, transitional, and modern violins.

http://www.violinist..._johann_taylor/
(violin shop ad, with links to instruments for sale, pictures of
violins I restored, and recordings and pics of my clavichords)

#122 Craig Tucker

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:40 AM

Yes, all is well ....I just wanted to say on the subject of Chinese violins being crap.... upon further reflection ...I recall just recently having a discussion with a world class maker.... A very world class maker, who told me that they are currently buying whites from china for varnishing here,and that built to the designed model, the work fills a niche in the market and has quality ...enough to put their name on


Glad to hear it and thanks for the early morning greeting!

I had virtually the same conversation with the owner of a world class "violin dealership", a few years back, which opened my eyes to some interesting things about the violin trade, I simply did not know previously. Their Chinese products were sold in the $4,500 - $6,500 range.
They were ordered specifically with thick fingerboards and thick tables, and were re-barred here and graduated individually - new fittings and strings were put on, and they were also re-varnished in house, then paired with a new case and an appropriate bow - and, as anyone who can actually think, might expect - they were quite good for the price asked.

I don't understand the thought process behind wholesale, sight unseen, "bar none" condemnations, either. It seems a manic push towards a condition of intentional self-blindness or something of the sort.

It seems so unreasonable a stand, that what is even more odd to me, is that such a thing would even warrant serious consideration or debate... Oh well, different strokes, I guess.

 ... Another pleasant valley Sunday,

Here in status symbol land.


#123 Craig Tucker

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:52 AM

They were ordered specifically with thick fingerboards and thick tables, and were re-barred here and graduated individually - new fittings and strings were put on, and they were also re-varnished in house, then paired with a new case and an appropriate bow - and, as anyone who can actually think, might expect - they were quite good for the price asked.



If it isn't immediately apparent, their variation on this theme, was about importing custom white violins instead of completely finished violins.

And finishing, and setting up, "in house".

 ... Another pleasant valley Sunday,

Here in status symbol land.


#124 Jeffrey Holmes

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 10:54 AM

I believe a couple members will notice that certain posts on this thread were either edited or deleted this morning.

This board is for discussion of instrument related subjects. The rules of the board specify that flaming is not allowed. I try to be light handed in most cases, as discussions can be productive even when there is a bit of "heat"... however, when there are repeated themes and/or the line is crossed (in my opinion), I feel I must step in.

For those members (you know who you are) that are crossing the line repeatedly: It matters little to me if you are "wrong" or "eight" when flaming. It's still flaming. It's still disruptive.

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#125 moonboy403

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 11:56 AM

I had virtually the same conversation with the owner of a world class "violin dealership", a few years back, which opened my eyes to some interesting things about the violin trade, I simply did not know previously. Their Chinese products were sold in the $4,500 - $6,500 range.


I just want to add that Hans Weisshaar Violins in LA sells Chinese violins from Beijing that are built to their specs for $3k - $4k. Everything including the varnishings were done in China except the setups which were done in their shop. These violins compare favorably to the their own stock of antique German, French, and American made violins in the same price range.

#126 lyndon

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:16 PM

just a note, there are no weisshaars working for the current hans weisshaar violins in hollywood, its operated by georg eitinger? who also runs a weisshaar shop in germany, its no longer run by margaret shipman who worked closely with hans, though last i heard she still worked there.
Taylor's Fine Violins, Redlands, S. California
Specializing in the research and restoration
of baroque, transitional, and modern violins.

http://www.violinist..._johann_taylor/
(violin shop ad, with links to instruments for sale, pictures of
violins I restored, and recordings and pics of my clavichords)

#127 Craig Tucker

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:29 PM

I just want to add that Hans Weisshaar Violins in LA sells Chinese violins from Beijing that are built to their specs for $3k - $4k. Everything including the varnishings were done in China except the setups which were done in their shop. These violins compare favorably to the their own stock of antique German, French, and American made violins in the same price range.



Yes, exactly - thanks, moonboy.
There are many variations on a theme in this game. It's sort of like buying a car, where a particular price can be expected for a particular quality of product, and where the main consideration, isn't really nationality.

I expect that, very soon, even set-up will be at a consistently higher standard, and I am sort-of surprised that it already isn't.

 ... Another pleasant valley Sunday,

Here in status symbol land.


#128 moonboy403

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:36 PM

just a note, there are no weisshaars working for the current hans weisshaar violins in hollywood, its operated by georg eitinger?


Yes, its is now owned by Georg Ettinger.

#129 Michael Richwine

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 12:00 AM

first, from what ive read the violins arent being made in beijing, the top violin makers earning 800 a month in china run there own buisness employing workers who dont earn, 800/month or even close, which is exactly what i originally said

just read an interesting discourse on how different things were 100yrs ago in 1910, seems the average hourly wage in america in 1910 is comparable to the 2011 wage in china, with the top jobs paying 5000/year and hourly wage being 25c an hour in 1910, that is

On the contrary, the best factories and individual makers are mostly in the Beijing area, many of them in Pinggu and Donggaocun. Just to be sure of my facts, I wrote my colleague who is staying at a factory in Donggaocun at the moment, and he said that the average workers in those two towns make $300 - $400 per month, working a six day week, and he confirmed that top workers can make twice that or even more. Many of the workers live in the factory dormitories with their families. Wages in Beijing proper are higher, but so are living expenses. Cost of living and living standard are well below current U S standards, but not all that much different from what my Mom grew up with in coastal North Carolina in the 20s and 30s.

The article linked to above addressed wages in 2006, in the Fengling factory in JiangSu province, several hundred miles south of Beijing, where prevailing wages are much lower, but still much better than work in the countryside. Judging by the product I have seen from them, they are one of the factories making the lowest of the low end products - the $50 an under violin outfits. Three observations: 1. Things have changed a lot even in the last five years. 2.FengLing is hardly typical of the musical instrument industry in China. They are more of the bad example that people pick out to criticize and generalize from. 3. You can't judge living standards in China by translating their wages into dollars. It's all relative. Example: In Germany in the late 60s, a friend of mine who was an engineer at Pfaff made about $250 a month, about 1/6th of what an equivalent position paid in the States, but he and his family lived well and ate well, compared to the standards I had grown up with.

I may have a little different point of view from many, but I think that as long as one has freedom from danger, freedom of choice, sufficient food, shelter, access to medical care, and something worthwhile to do, that is sufficient. Material goods are a burden to me, and certainly largely unnecessary in general. I don't consider the glut of cheap material goods to be much more than a waste of resources. In other words, I don't find a lack of cars and televisions, gewgaws and gimcracks, to be deprivation. When I was a kid in Kansas (not that long ago), a family had to be fairly well-off to have even one car, and there was no television, or even air conditioning in houses. Farm houses might have an oil stove in the living room in addition to the kitchen stove, but generally had no insulation or central heating, no heat in the bedrooms, and no interior plumbing other than a pump at the kitchen sink. They had only recently gotten electricity due to the REA. Not that far ahead of present conditions in China, yet we didn't suffer; that's just the way the world was. We had a good time, and never felt poor or deprived. So when I look at China, I ask - do people have enough to eat, shelter from the weather, medical care, and some choices in life? I think the answer is, "more than they have had in at least 50 years, and continuing to improve." There's a lot to criticize about present day China, but I think it's helpful to have some current facts, and some perspective, before one forms opinions.
Michael Richwine
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#130 old-violin-house

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:00 AM

@bongeo on your 2009 post at #11. The strings on all Vecchio models are steel core, aluminium wound. The E string is a naked steel string. These strings were chosen because after selling directly to buyers online for 3 years from 2006, buyers wrote to us to tell us they don't really like the Dominant strings we put on some models. So we our our buyers and found many buyers prefer to keep prices down and decide strings for themselves. So now we put steel core strings on all Intermediate, Advanced, Concerto and some Concerto+ models. We now only use Opera perlon strings, Tonica and Dominant on some Concerto+ models and most Master models.

Over the years, I find most of the time when buyers are less happy with their purchase is because of a mismatch of expectations. I'm always taking a look at how I can tweak the descriptions to improve on them so please know we are always improving. This is also the reason why we're going to revamp our main website to make it more useful for everyone. All our violin models evolved from buyer's feedback. Keep them coming.

This marks my first post on maestronet!

-- jehpin :)

#131 old-violin-house

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:38 AM

The above seller claims to deal with a number of small independent workshops in China,to my untrained eye the workmanship and antiquing seem to be a cut above your average Chinese violin.Has anybody ever had any experience with these fiddles and if so what was your opinion regarding tone etc.If I were to hazard a guess I'd say they were factory made but at the top end,maybe Tian ying or Song factory.


My violins are made in Beijing mostly, except for Joseph Ding who is in Shanghai city. He mainly services the students of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Taixing, which is 210km from Shanghai is located in Jiangsu Province, does not have small workshops. They are mostly large factories. I've been there before many times and I have 2 friends who run 2 of them. But their violins represent a different market. They are experts in standardising and maintaining quality over a large production line. You can quite tell from their scroll carvings and varnish, if you've seen enough of them.

The violins, like those found in my shop old-violin-house made in Beijing. The workshops are family owned, having people ranging from 3-20 people. Many of the makers in each workshop comes from the same family, sons, daughters, in-laws, cousins, aunties and uncles, in the same tradition of many Chinese home businesses. When their sons grow up till about 25, they tend to start out on their own, and the cycle begins once more.

Tone wise, I'm not really in a position to commend since I sell violins, I may have a bias. But I hope this insight can give you some idea of what type of violins are made where in China. Feel free to ask more!

Best,
Jehpin :)

#132 martin swan

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:54 AM

Hi Jephin,
Good to see you to Maestronet.
I very much like your approach, and your enthusiasm for violins is exemplary. There is still a lot of prejudice against Chinese violins, but mostly it seems to be down to lack of information. My own feeling about Chinese violins has developed very positively over the last couple of years - much of that is thanks to you and your facebook page (which has gone rather quiet recently .....)

#133 Michael_Molnar

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:50 AM

As for Chinese quality, go to the upcoming Cleveland VSA and judge for yourself. That is, examine the competition entries, not the student violins sold by vendors. Then report back here. -_-

Mike

Stay tuned.


#134 Nicolas Temino

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 06:28 AM

Dear JP, Glad to see you here!

All te best,

N. Temino
World is getting short of genius: Mozart died, Einstein died, and I have a headache.

#135 fiddler59

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:23 AM

I used to really sneer at Chinese violins but I became a lot more educated on the subject and realize now that there are a lot of really NICE violins being made in China. I own and play one as my main 4-string. It is a Del Gesu copy from Amati's Fine Violins. I've played other really fine Chinese work from Cao, Snow and many others. There is no way you can make a generalization that all or even most Chinese work is crap these days. Again, you get what you pay for. I am no fan of the Chinese government but as far as I can see, the Chinese have really gotten there act together making violins in the last few years. In the late 60's and early 70's when I was a young student, I would have loved to have had the choices that are offered now in affordable violins.

David Blackmon
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#136 Todd2

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:27 PM

I have just recieved a Vecchio violin from Old Violin House. For $215 plus shipping (around $60) it is awesome. I also just recieved a highly antiqued (beat up looking) Guarnerius model from Joyee. I was so pleased with the Joyee I brought a second. Both the OVH and the Joyee IMO are great deals. I also have an American 1935 violin made in Indiana by Wm. H. Vietor, two Karl Hofner's (one is the 202 model costing slightly over $700), a Muses chinese copy of the Hellier Strad (such a beautiful violin) and also an unnamed chinese beauty that is reddish in color with birds eye Maple back. I love all my fiddles, and would not want to part with any. I would like to see a blind test done on one of these inexpensive Chinese fiddles and one costing 100 times as much to see what the difference is. I think the difference is less than people would think I believe there is so much prejudice involved just as there was with Old vs. New which I think was partially dispelled by recent blind tests. In the pictures the Vechio is the light colored and the Joyee is the darker colored. Each factory has different ageing techniques and they are both well done. Also an advantage of buying an 'aged' instrument vs. old is the cost, and repair issues. As far as the set up, I don't feel that the nut is too high and as you can see the fittings are first rate especially for an inexpensive fiddle. To me they are playable out of the case as new. I am not prejudiced at all to the builders. If a German or Italian or Chinese made it, if I feel they put their skill and love for the instrument into it I am happy. I also agree with what Michael Richwine stated you can't just look at monthly wages in China you have to see the whole picture of the standard of living. My mother grew up in the USA and did not have running water or indoor plumbing and that was back in the 1940's. But I'm sure she would not change anything (except having to go the the outhouse in the middle of winter!). Also pictures do not do justice to seeing these amazing fiddles in person.

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