Maidstone Full Size Violin (4/4)

Code 190

Ursula Donnelley plays and reviews another Maidstone full size 4/4 antique violin.

This violin has a bright, gritty sound and characteristic of most of the Maidstone violins I have reviewed so far, which make excellent folk instruments. If you are looking for an instrument that is well suited to folk music, of an affordable instrument that would take you to an intermediate to advanced level, this particular make of instrument will do you justice.

I found the instrument to be quite easy to play although my bow bounced a little on the strings at first. However this is not uncommon when you play an instrument that is new to you for the first time. Having listened back to the recording I made, I didn’t notice it as much and the sound was better than it seemed when I was playing it.

The chin rest is quite unusual in that is is very small but also very comfortable. A lot of violins come with huge chin rests that cause the player to get jaw pain, but this one is designed to be as unobstructive as possible.

Overall I found the tone to be pleasant across the entire range of the instrument. Although it doesn’t have the cleanest sound in the world, I do think it is very well suited to folk music and would make a folk musician very happy. It is also perfectly adequate for an intermediate level student looking for a step up from a factory made violin.

Repair and refurbishment notes by Mike Sutton

This is a typical sounding early C20th Maidstone violin. The violin is in very nice condition for an antique student violin. When it came into my workshop there was no structural damage but it had not been played for several decades. After a thorough gentle cleaning with my special formula, I gave it a new modern wider diameter top quality sound post, gave it a set of excellent sounding Pirastro Tonica synthetic core strings and a Wittner lightweight composite tailpiece with integral fine tuners, fitted an antique chinrest. I made a new bridge from top quality aged maple, thinned it to the correct gradients, fitted it and then tuned it to the violin.



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