|Why buy a hand-crafted
When I first started playing violin, I
wondered why everyone wanted a 'hand-crafted' violin. Whewwww-who,
hand-crafted violin, aren't you superior ... I thought. To me it
seemed to make sense to pump them out by machine because it would be
cheaper. The problem is that the quality of the sound coming from
a violin (maybe more than any other instrument) is dependent on the
quality of the instrument. That is to say, if the violin sucks,
the sound will suck too! It is easy to make a terribly irritating
sound with a violin. That screeching, scraping noise is right up
there with out of tune bagpipes; it is torture.
So, why a hand-crafted violin? Each
piece of wood has a different quality, density and tone. Even
within the same tree, these characteristics vary considerably. A
violin maker, technically called a luthier, tests the wood by striking
it and assessing the sound. This is why certain brands of violins
will brag about the types of wood they use. For example, Silver
Creek violins use wood from the Carpathian forests in Europe.
Moreover, many people believe the wood should come from trees that grow
at a high altitude, especially trees that are forced to endure tough
conditions. The theory is that these trees will yield wood that is
superior with regard to enduring the stress of string tension,
etc. Remember, the idea is to create an instrument that lasts
many, many years.