What makes 400 year old Stradivarius instruments superior to any violins that are produced today?
NewsTuesday 06 May 2014
Well, they're not that much better. This sort of things is applicable to ALL musical instruments, and nearly all the time, you get what you pay for. A £300 guitar will play and sound like a £300 guitar, whereas a £3000 Gretsch White Falcon cannot be distinguished to anything else.
This topic here is all about craftsmanship. When companies such as Gretsch, Gibson, Fender and Rickenbacker started making their instruments, they were usually being made by the same 5 - 10 workers who had absolutely NO idea what it meant to make guitars but were exceptional craftsmen. Until the 80's and 90's, guitars were handmade, and made with surprisingly high quality materials and woods. Even the duplicates from Asia were amazing instruments, and costs a fraction of the original price. Nowadays, a lot of companies have changed. All the major companies have "affordable" versions of their instruments that are produced and assembled abroad.
Gibson, despite being easily the biggest company in the world for guitars, and also one of the oldest, is now one of the most screwed up in terms of the direction they've gone. Up until the mid 80's, they built amazing instruments that were reasonably priced. They took over the "Epiphone" guitar company and after earning rights to all of their patents, made Epiphone into their "affordable" line of instruments - when in fact, Epiphone was making better looking, playing AND sounding guitars for years before Gibson.
Epiphone exploded in the 90's and not because they were cheap, affordable Gibsons, but because they were DAMN GOOD. Fender started making incredible guitars in Japan that cost a third of what the American’s cost, but sounded just as nice. The Korean Epiphones were actually BETTER than the American Gibson's for a while. But, because they were still manufactured in America, they cost an arm or a leg.
Nowadays, Gibson has essentially gone wrong. They still manufacture great custom instruments but the ones they sell in stock for £1600-£3000 are horrible. Inconsistent, bad stock parts, and overpriced when compared to many other competitors pricing guitars LOWER than those of Gibson. Same thing applies to Violins. The old craftsmanship is sought out, but because the tradition is 300-400 years old rather than 40-50, like it is with guitars, prices are amplified.
Truth is, there are people making violins just as nice as back then. And they cost less than a house.
Find the perfect instrument on musicalads.co.uk