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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just writing about my approval order from Shar.

Yesterday a violin, three bows, and a case arrived here:
Karl Joseph Schneider Premier Artist violin
Albert Richter "VB100" bow
Finkel Hybrid "Conbrio" bow
V C Jeandel bow
Passport-Humidi violin case

The first thing I noticed about the violin was the nicely done varnishing. This is top-notch work. The bridge: Maybe it moved during shipping. I find it hard to believe that someone would misplace a bridge on such an instrument.
Ok, on to the sound. The low-end was full, booming, round. Perfect for the first few measures of the Overture of Egmont, the main theme of Rach 2 Mvt 1, or something to that effect. E-string upwards sounded a bit too simple for my taste. The instrument as a whole sounds more like a viola. Not that it's bad. It's just not my preference.
Compared to my violin, well...I could call this a fiddle. It lacked the authority of my violin, which is more of a "serious" instrument. It's good to know I'm not playing on complete crap! :lol:

That brings up another question. I don't think I'm allowed to change strings on an instrument that's not mine. My violin has Obligato on it, while this instrument has Dominant. Could changing strings make a violin sound thousands more expensive? My violin is nowhere near the price of the Premier Artist, but it still puts up a fight.

Ok, bows:
The Richter was really weird. I liked it but it was weird. It drew a kind of singing tone, which sounded great on the E-string, but the other three sounded a bit dull. It's fairly agile. I find if very forgiving of sloppy bowing technique.

Conbrio: This has a clear focused sound. It's a little tip-heavy. A bit harder to bite.

V C Jeandel: Wow...This feels light, but it doesn't have a very confident sound. More flexible than the other two. This is my kind of bow.

Just for fun: No-name octagonal underhaired thing with lots of plastic on it. The stick is so flimsy that it can't withstand some strong bowing (the stick touches the string). The sound is fuzzy, empty. You'd have to overtighten it to get some decent tension on the hair.

Edit: Oh ya, I forgot to compare these to my bow. My bow sounds like the Conbrio. It's a bit heavier and less flexible than Jeandel. Plenty of bite, with decent power. However, my bow costs more than any bow listed here.
 

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Harvey, you are one lucky ******* if you can consider buying that crap from Shar for all that money. Are you wicked wealthy or something? Shar is good for several things: quality sheet music, quality accessories, awesome customer service, and decent cases. Shar is DEFINITELY NOT the place to be buying violins that come in the mail from.

If you want a quality case, go to http://www.Musafia.com/ . That is where I got my case ( http://www.musafia.com/Enigma1.html ) from.

If you want a quality violin, go to a luthier who knows what he is doing, not one that mass produces them for thousands of people. A violin is a work of art and is wrecked when copied that many times over and sold at extremely high prices.

Bows are a different story. They are not as important as the instrument, but are very important nonetheless. You should still go to a luthier for them, because they will have better quality bows.

I asked my local luthier the same question you have about the string changes. You are definitely allowed to change them, as long as you put the originals back and the bridge upright as it was before you changed them. Every (well made) instrument reacts differently to the type of strings used, no matter what quality. One instrument could sound amazing with Evah Pirazzis and like crap with Dominants(well maybe that is going too far; let's just say Wondertone Golds), while another could be the opposite.

If you want better deals on a wider and better range of strings and sheet music, go to Southwest Strings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Uhh...I wasn't considering buying anything at all. :lol: They offered a free 7-day trial, so I took it. That's all.

But really now, I marked my level as "Advancing," according to their description: Advancing players concentrate on agility, accuracy and clarity in addition to the development of a wider range of dynamics and tone colors. Don't you think "Advancing" players would know when they saw crap?

They sent me crap (except for the Conbrio bow, which they didn't make anyway) so I'm a bit annoyed, and a little offended.
 

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hey, how did you set that up? is that what flex/rental plan is? Could you tell me all about the procedure? I am thinking about doing that for a new bow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It was a trial program. I don't think they rent bows. Not sure though.
Start here: Linky

For bow trials, you have to pay $15 (their free trial thing ended).

I say you should choose the highest skill level, to minimize the chance of getting crap.

Keep in mind you still have to pay shipping on the way back (that is if you don't buy the bow).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Taking back the thing about sending me crap:
I know they worked hard on making the instrument and bows, but in the end it was still unsatisfactory.
 
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