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421 of 434 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected
I wrote this review for the person who knows nothing about violins at all:

This violin is of much higher quality than I ever imagined. It is not, of course, even a good violin by professional standards, but it is a very solid beginner's instrument. I bought it for myself, though I am not a violinist, but I have been playing guitar, bass, and keys for more than...
Published on October 27, 2011 by Zachary Buser

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175 of 193 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing for $59
My granddaughters started learning on some child-sized versions of this violin. I play a little piano and clarinet and couldn't resist trying out their violins. I had so much fun with them that I decided to order a full size version. How could you go wrong for $59? Well I don't think you can. My copy (the body) is nicely made. True the fingerboard appears to be...
Published on October 25, 2011 by Terry D. Peterson


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421 of 434 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than I expected, October 27, 2011
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This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Satin Antique Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin and Extra Strings (Full Size) (Electronics)
I wrote this review for the person who knows nothing about violins at all:

This violin is of much higher quality than I ever imagined. It is not, of course, even a good violin by professional standards, but it is a very solid beginner's instrument. I bought it for myself, though I am not a violinist, but I have been playing guitar, bass, and keys for more than six years, and I have played violins before. My ex-girlfriend lent me her first violin when we were dating, and it was really, really horrible. This one is pretty close to her current violin, which was a pretty decent student model. I did a lot of research before buying this one, and I'm really glad I did. It is rated highly by violin teachers and other violinists, but very lowly by people who have no idea what they are talking about. I have read that a lot of violins under $100 don't even have a sound post, which is a crucial part of the violin and absolutely cannot be discarded. You're almost better off with a violin that has no neck. The bow you're playing with has a lot to do with the tone you will produce. I have been playing some simple melodies on this violin, and it is not difficult to produce decent tone on it with the bow it comes with. The only two problems that I have had with this package are the rosin and the shoulder rest. Both are absolutely terrible, but not very expensive to replace with better products. The rosin is round, chips very easily, and is extremely difficult to use. I bought "Super-Sensitive" rosin from the Musical String Co. which was only three dollars (and I bought it from a luthier shop in Costa Mesa). You're going to want a rectangular rosin set in wood, that makes it much easier to use. Then theres the horrible, horrible shoulder rest. I was completely incapable of properly holding the instrument using the shoulder rest it came with. I replaced that with an Everest shoulder rest for eighteen dollars, and it is very comfortable. The case it comes with is just fine; it is a hard case and has straps on the back so it can be worn as a backpack. The violin also comes with an extra set of strings, and an extra bridge (I believe violin bridges are made of balsa wood, but I know that they are very fragile) which is great for the beginner who may snap the bridge when trying to put it on. Also, it is not difficult to snap the strings when first tuning them (you have to do so very slowly and gently) so an extra set of strings is very handy for the beginner to keep on hand. You will notice some cosmetic damage to the violin, some very minor dents and scratches, but I have seen nothing major on mine that I did not expect on a $60 violin outfit. Also, if you look VERY closely, the neck on my violin is angled just slightly to the right. I'm sure there are other measurements on the violin that are far away from industry standards, but this model is close enough that it will not hinder a beginner's learning. It comes assembled (although the bridge and sound post might fall out in shipping, but that not a big problem) but you will almost certainly have to take the pegs out at put some rosin on them so they'll hold the strings at the right tension. If you try tuning it before that, the pegs will just roll back to their original positions (this is normal for all violins).

I rated this violin at 5 stars not because it is truely a five-star violin, but because for $60 (almost the cheapest violin I've ever seen) it is a really, really great package. It is definately good enough for any beginner to learn on, and if you're looking at a $60 violin, that must be what you're looking for.
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264 of 289 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality/price ratio!, June 21, 2011
This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Satin Antique Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin and Extra Strings (Full Size) (Electronics)
Great violin? No. As nice as the ones the music stores rent for $25 a month, yes. Comes with tons of accessories that would cost you $30-40.
As a violin teacher, I like to have these on hand for cheap entry level instruments, or rent for $10/month. That way a student doesn't have to get into a year contract at a local music store if they aren't sure if they want to stick with it or not.
A great way to get started on the violin for VERY little money. After owning this violin for a year or so, the student can decide to invest in a nicer one, and pass this along to a sibling/friend/Craigslist.
Only disclaimer is: make sure you have someone who can setup a violin for you (the case with all violins, regardless of quality). They are NOT instruments that can be played right out of the box, and if you have a store do this for you, it's probably a $30-45 fee. Find a violin playing friend that will do it for free for you :)
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137 of 148 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review done by a music teacher, June 14, 2012
This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Satin Antique Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin and Extra Strings (Full Size) (Electronics)
This violin--to be honest is very cheap. Not just in cost but in quality.

BUT overall, not too horrible. Especially if you don't have an option on renting one, or if you don't mind buying one to have.

It isn't perfect, but there are some decent qualities about it. I'm very persnickety about instruments, my woodwind instruments cost well into and beyond thousands of dollars range, even my beginning ones.

This little guy, for what I want it for--learning the basics (fingering, bowing, proper care) is PERFECT for anyone.

Here are my notes about this violin:
1. The appearance of the violin is alright. It isn't anything special. In fact, it looks as if paper has been placed over the wood frame, and painted to look like it has groves, or actual wood designs.
2. The bow is acceptable, it works well enough for a beginner (young and old). It takes some effort getting the strands to be tight enough. I had to do a lot of pushing in and turning of the screw to get it to do its job. Once I had that settled and had enough rosin on it, it looked pretty great! And it even helped to produce a decent sound.
3. The tuning pegs are just awful! BUT how to prevent slipping:
-Remove pegs (untwist them, get the wire off.
-once the pegs are removed, rub them over the rosin. Make sure the cover the part of the peg that sticks into the violin with rosin. You will want the pegs to look white, or at least dusted white.
-Once pegs are covered with rosin, re-insert pegs/restring violin. PUSH THE PEGS IN ALMOST AS FAR AS THEY WILL GO!
**The rosin prevents slipping. The pegs are not in all the way to begin with, but with out the rosin, they will not stay pushed in.

After that is done, carefully tune the violin. YOUR VIOLIN WILL NOT STAY IN TUNE WITH NEW STRINGS! You will need to tune each string sharp, about a whole note sharp. With all strings (violin, guitar...) the tuning will slip for a while because those strings are not use to being 'pulled' and they will slip on their own.

Tune it sharp, let it sit. Retune it sharp, and let it sit again. Do this often the first day. This will help your violin stay in tune while you attempt to play it. the strings need to be stretched enough so they will not slip and become flat.

Most high quality stringed instruments don't need to be fussed with so much, but since this is not high quality, you will need to be patient and work with it longer before you can start.

Now, here are my final suggestions:

Do not buy this violin if you are serious about learning. Pay more money for one.

Do buy this if you 1. Can't rent one (no option to) and 2. If you have a beginner who is a little rough on things. If they like it, have them use this until they get a little less violent, or have them use it at school. Kids destroy their instruments at school, I can't tell you how many instruments I repair while working. You can buy a nicer one, but only allow them to play it at home, during lessons, and for 'chair challenges' at school. It will keep the nicer one safe, while allowing them to still learn how to play.

In the end, if you really don't like it, re-sell it or return it, or hang it up on your wall as decoration. They look awesome as a decoration.

This is not a marvelous instrument, but it is exceptable if you or a child want to get an understanding or feel for the instrument before spending more money. This instrument will do the job, but it isn't perfect. Make sure to take care of the pegs first, or you will hate this instrument!
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175 of 193 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amazing for $59, October 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Satin Antique Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin and Extra Strings (Full Size) (Electronics)
My granddaughters started learning on some child-sized versions of this violin. I play a little piano and clarinet and couldn't resist trying out their violins. I had so much fun with them that I decided to order a full size version. How could you go wrong for $59? Well I don't think you can. My copy (the body) is nicely made. True the fingerboard appears to be painted wood rather than ebony and true the fine tune adjusters don't work extremely well and true that the bridge (both of them that came with the kit) folded nearly in half when the violin was tuned but all that aside, this violin sounds very nice to my untrained ear and for a beginner is easy to play in terms of finger action on the strings. I've read complaints about problems with tuning and pegs slipping. I had that problem with the violin too at first. However, now after two weeks of use the violin's strings have stretched and for the past few days i can pull it out of its case without needing to do a complete retune. As for the bridge, I did have to order a new one. I did not order one from this seller. I spent $15 on an adjustable bridge. That solved the problem and greatly increased the violin's ability to stay in turn. Sound quality was also improved. So I guess with the bridge my new violin cost $74.00. Even at that, it's a great value and perfect if you don't want to invest a lot of money seeing whether you or your kids like playing. The case is great, you get an extra set of strings and as mentioned two bridges. You also get a shoulder rest that is cheaply made but works. I think the complainers are expecting perfection at this price or are impatient with the violin while it settles in being tuned. If you are not expecting a Stradivarius and you spend a little time (and a little extra money) you will realize this is a very good value.

Update 2-8-12: I've now had this violin for several months. I'm slowly teaching myself how to play and I'm still terrible. That being said, the violin continues to sound better. As of this date, I've purchased new strings (Dominant and Piastro for the the "E" string.) I have also purchased a new bow because the horse hair kept falling out of the one that came with the kit. With the adjustable bridge, mentioned above, and the new strings and new bow, this is a pretty nice instrument for $69 plus upgrades. I've had several good violinists play it and confirm that it has nice sound and is easy to play. With the new strings and bridge I have had very little problem keeping the violin in tune. I may upgrade to something else in the future, but in its souped up version, this is pretty decent for the money.
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59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Introducing a Toddler to the Violin, November 15, 2011
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My dilemma when deciding which violin to purchase for my 2 year old was finding a balance between a functional instrument and one that would not be a significant financial loss if my daughter decided to covertly place it in the dishwasher or feed it a peanut butter and jelly sandwich through the f-holes. These are often opposing goals as student violins are usually of poor quality and it is rarely possible to take your baby into a music shop to try out tiny instruments at her leisure. So, I was left to make my decision on the internet. Imagine my delight when I opened the package and found this impossibly tiny, sturdy and beautiful violin, fully assembled. The fact that it was fully assembled was important because although I have played the violin for almost twenty years, it is a little tricky to string and glue the bridges on these small scale violins and they are often shipped with the bridge unattached. Even if you are accustomed to tuning string instruments, it will probably take some time to do it properly because the pegs are absolutely tiny. Here are a few important considerations ...

SOUND- This is not a Stradivarius, but when properly tuned it sounds better than a lot of the larger scale student violins I have seen, many of which are quite expensive. There was no hissing or buzzing- common with cheap violins. It is resonant but somewhat muted in volume ( due to the size) ... some might consider this a good quality because a toddler repetitively bowing on her E-string loudly can be maddening no matter how much you will tell her it is "lovely."

DURABILITY-No one gives a small child an instrument with the expectation they will destroy it but it will be dropped accidentally, it will occasionally be misused for play, and there is a reasonable probability that it may be the victim of a temper tantrum. This violin feels tough and well constructed. Unless it is deliberately smashed in heavy metal fashion, it will probably remain intact. I would like this to be a hand me down and it has the potential to withstand the test of time if it is well cared for.

SIZE- A 1/16 size violin is tiny. It is an appropriate size for most 2-3 year olds. If you are purchasing a violin for a child who measures for a 1/16, you may want to consider going up a size, especially if you are choosing an expensive kit.

PRICE- At the current price point of $56.99, you can't go wrong with this violin for a small child. Many violins at this price point are unusable , but this one should meet the needs of a toddler. If I were purchasing for an older child, committed to staying with the instrument several years, I would consider making an investment in a professional quality instrument, but this is an appropriate price point for the unpredictable nature of a two year old.

SET UP-The violin arrived fully assembled and strung. It of course needs to be tuned and the pegs may need to be pushed in because of humidity and temperature changes expanding/contracting the holes.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great first time violin, October 6, 2011
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My 12 year old daughter wanted a violin just out of the blue. Violins can be very expensive, yet being able to purchase a new one with colors to choose from for a fickle 12 year old girl at this price was an easy decision.

The package came quick with everything expected, and the violin was not cheaply made. Yes if she ever learns to play, most likely she'll gravitate to one that will cost more, but for the money every parent can afford to by their kids an instrument to keep them interested in music and learning to play.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good starter Violin, comes with lots of stuff, December 7, 2012
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Length:: 2:28 Mins

This is intended for a Toddler and as you can see from the video it is a 1/16th Violin so it is very small.

Sizing Info based on arm length:
3-5 year old 1/16 - 14"
4-5 Year old 1/10 - 15"
4-6 Year old 1/8 - 16.6"
5-7 year old 1/4 - 18"

You can find more specific sizing information on the Internet.

I purchased this Violin for my son for Christmas. He likes this particular musical instrument and we got it mainly for him to fiddle around with. He is about 1 year into his Piano lessons so we probably won't start him on Violin lessons just yet.

As you can see from the video the Violin is very well crafted and is more than a toy. It is small, but just the size for little kids starting out. I mentioned in the video that a girl at his music school preformed on stage with this exact violin and it sounded great. As far as durability, it is an instrument and not a toy so in the case of my son he treats his things very well and carefully so I am not afraid for the violin.

Funny, I tested it out before waxing the bow and thought the Violin was defective since it made no noise. Okay, I am pretty ignorant here, this is not my field of specialty.
That shows you how much I know about the violin, besides loving Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

The video covers more, but so far a good purchase for us.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, not the worst, February 11, 2013
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I was looking for a basic all-in-one starter violin set, and was happy to find this on Amazon for $15 cheaper than other websites. The violin itself is fine, although you do have to push firmly the black tuning knobs while you turn them. It's common for brand new violins to come out of tune easier. The shoulder rest is great, as is the case. The biggest disappointment is the bow became almost half unstrung and completely unusable within 1 1/2 weeks of using it. I've played violin, so I know enough about not over-tightening it, and making sure to loosen it when you put it away. So there goes the $15 I saved, right? One thing I'd like to mention is in many of the reviews for this violin, several people said how disappointed they were that they couldn't play it immediately when the opened it up, that the violin would barely make a sound. When you start with a brand new bow, you have to rosin it really, really well so it can grab the strings and create the sound. We actually tried to use the bow on it first without ever rosining it, and yes, it didn't make a sound. You should always rosin it a little before you begin playing, but rosin it heavily the first few times you use it. In a nutshell, a starter violin is just that - I don't think I'd be thrilled with almost any started violin set. So for now, it works for the kids.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Starter Violin, August 31, 2011
By 
kah00na (Topeka, KS USA) - See all my reviews
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I purchased this violin for my 7 year old son and 8 year old daughter so they could start learning to play. This violin comes with two identical bridges. Neither of them is installed, but if you center the bridge between the notches in the S's on the top of the violin, that is very close to where the music store would install it. The bridge is not a perfect upside-down "U", but rather slanted slightly. The peak of the bridge goes to the side with the thicker strings - looking at it from the base of the violin, it would be your left. Getting the violin in tune was a challenge, not because of the quality of the violin but rather because violins are just tough to tune initially. The fine tuners are very small but still do fine tuning. Before you use them, get it as close as you can to in-tune with the large tuners. The bow seems to be of good quality as well. It had some lumps in the hair at first but as I applied the rosin, they went away. You do have to apply a lot of rosin (also included) on it the first time you use it - probably about 2-3 minutes worth of just rubbing it on. Subsequent times, the amount is more moderate, like 10-15 seconds. The shoulder rest is pretty cheap but it does work. I don't think my kids will use it though because the violin itself is already pretty thick for their necks. The included case can hold a second bow as well. The case is better than descent and comes with shoulder straps attached. My son is already talking about how he is going to wear it when he takes it places. The sound quality is beyond what I expected from such a small violin. The neck is not fully painted, as another reviewer stated, but that is because that is how they all come - it's not a toy either... It must have been that reviewer's first violin. This violin is nice enough that I am not going to let my kids keep it in their room but rather just let them get it out when they practice. I think this violin will probably bring 2/3's of its cost off craigslist once my kids out grow it - assuming they don't destroy it, of course. I went with the original orange standard violin color to try and keep it gender neutral. I'd recommend this violin to anyone with young kids that they are trying to learn. I looked at some used 1/4 violins off of craigslist (including a 1983 Suzuki) and this one is way better than any of them. I'm glad I waited and ordered this one.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great starter violin, November 19, 2011
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I bought this for my 4-year old, who is smaller than my 5-year old by enough that this was the correct size for him. I love this purchase! It is a great package of items to get a toddler started in violin lessons. It has a great tone, and the workmanship seems decent. The included rosin broke into small pieces the first time we used it, but I can get more rosin. My toddler loves it, and gets it out several times each day. I bought one in the full size, and we are starting lessons together. When he outgrows it, I will hang it on the wall, as it is so cute!
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