3 comments on “Cardiff Arcades Project – Cardiff Violins

  1. What a great shop! I’ve never seen so many violins in one place.

    I have to ask – what’s with the pink and purple and blue violins? Are they for rock groups? Kids? Just quirky artistic sorts? They’re surely not painted. Wouldn’t that affect the tone?

    In any event, it was such fun to look through it all, and of course I did a little more link hopping. I laughed at her Tweet about a hamster feeling not so well because of yoghurt. I wonder if he’d rather have some fermented mesquite beans? 😉

  2. I don’t know much about the coloured violins but have always associated them with the budget end of the market, that is, primarily suitable for beginners. More expensive versions may well exist but, being old-fashioned, I have not kept up with these (or with electric violins either).
    As I explained in a post some time ago, beginners’ violins can offer good value for money, especially when set up properly by an expert and this seems to me to be underlined by the fact that Cardiff Violins see fit to stocke them. The setting up might entail adjustments to the bridge and soundpost, perhaps different strings and even the selection of a better bow and rosin. In the end it is a balance between improvement and cost and what the customers will pay. Although the mysteries of violin varnishes etc. are much discussed in relation to high end instruments (multi-million pound Strads in particular), I doubt that different finishes have much impact on the sounds made by budget instruments. I could be mistaken.

    • Thanks everybody for your lovely comments!

      I don’t often talk on the net but as you are talking about us, I will come with some explainations : we do stock coloured violins because they serve the great purpose of interesting children to music. There are many different coloured violins on the market, many are poor, very poor, but we go out of our way to get good ones to start with and upgrade them to higher specifications to make them comfortable and sound better. We do not want to be seen as purists and we believe that music makes anyone’s life much more beautiful, so anything that will catch the attention of our fashion-conscious children and give them contact with music is just great! Coloured violins are not everybody’s cup of tea, and no, you couldn’t necessarily play them everywhere, as an adult. But why make things formal for children, who will learn so much better if they have fun? Music is a gift that can last a life time. What a pity for a child to miss it just because an adult has decided a violin should be brown. After all, how would you take it if somebody told you you cannot play an electric violin because it is not traditional?

      Regarding the varnish : you would have to be extremely good to hear a difference in the tone production, and our set-ups are designed to bring the best out of the instruments, so if you are looking at a coloured violin for yourself or a child, do not let it put you off, just enjoy the fun you’ll get out of it!

      Thanks again for your lovely comments, it is appreciated!


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