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144 of 149 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Instrument For Starting Out
My teacher was more than pleasantly surprised when I brought this MV400 to him for setup.. Which by the way, was nothing more than tuning the strings. The action, tuning pegs, bridge and sound post were all matched and aligned properly. My instructor was pleased to note the violin had inlaid purfling as well as a solid set of strings. In fact, the strings (according to...
Published on December 29, 2011 by M Cannon

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106 of 128 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for
I am a strings teacher in the public school system (California) and one of my students received this as a gift for the holidays. I tuned it up for her to play and here are my thoughts. Its nice that she got something but I would have preferred something just a little better. The violin seems heavier than it should be and that always suggests poor quality wood. Yes it...
Published on January 3, 2012 by Trinka LaBlue


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144 of 149 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Instrument For Starting Out, December 29, 2011
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This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin, Extra Bridge and Strings - Full Size (Electronics)
My teacher was more than pleasantly surprised when I brought this MV400 to him for setup.. Which by the way, was nothing more than tuning the strings. The action, tuning pegs, bridge and sound post were all matched and aligned properly. My instructor was pleased to note the violin had inlaid purfling as well as a solid set of strings. In fact, the strings (according to his trained ear, not mine) are higher quality and sound than a "Red Label Super Sensitive" set I purchased. The bows are of various weight and quality, with one being a better option than the other in this starter kit. I do recommend purchasing a different rosin for a darker tone.

The instrument is not perfect, nor is it professional grade but for the beginning student (or in my case, the returning student) but a better value will likely not be found. I will be able to make it sing for a few years to come. My instructor labeled this violin as a "grade 7 or 8 level instrument." Not absolutely beginner, but for a new violinist with room to grow.

It meets its advertised quality but obviously isn't meant to be an orchestral instrument. With that, I give the Mendini MV400 4/5 stars for you or your beginning student violinist.
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60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great beginner instrument, June 5, 2012
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This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin, Extra Bridge and Strings - Full Size (Electronics)
This is the first violin I have ever bought, and I am a complete newbie to playing the violin. I decided I should give it a try since I have a few years of guitar experience and want to learn something new. Package came in the mail today and I'm extremely impressed with what I got.

I'll write a very detailed review because I did a whole lot of research before buying a violin, and I think that anyone else shopping for their first violin should know everything they need about the product they are planning on buying.

The violin case is very high quality, medium pocket in the front to hold accessories, but too small to hold any sheet music. The main compartment is secured by a zipper and a single velcro tab by the handle. Upon opening the case the two bows are securely held in place by a rotating l shaped plastic piece. The violin is under a violin shaped velvet cover that Isn't held in place by any velcro, but the neck is secured by a velcro strip. At the top of the main compartment is a small door with a compartment where the strings, bridge, and rosin are found.

The violin was severely out of tune out of the box (as expected) and, as always with a new string instrument, took a while for the tuning to stay put. Some tuning pegs are a little hard to turn, and others rotated back to where they were originally, but I figured out that pushing them in or pulling them out affected the stiffness. Is this normal for a violin? I discovered the fine tuners worked wonders because it was hard to get the right pitch. The surface of the violin had no scratches or visible damage anywhere, The only thing I could see a person having a problem with is that the neck is made of a much lighter colored wood than the body, they don't match at all.

The included rosin worked as I would expect rosin to. After scoring it with a knife as a few reviews here suggested, it was not too hard to apply it enough for the bow to grab the strings enough to easily make a sound. I had a hard time figuring out how to work the shoulder rest, but that isn't too much of an issue.

all in all, it is a beautiful instrument and I am very, very satisfied with the tone and quality. If you are planning on buying your first violin, this set will be the easiest and cheapest new violin you can find. I highly suggest this violin.

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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Violin, November 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin, Extra Bridge and Strings - Full Size (Electronics)
The violin is in perfect condition. I received all of the accessories as advertised. You even receive their Web page for maintenance and beginner's violin instructions! Wow! I didn't expect that! The case is very nice and sturdy. Remember to scratch the top of the rosin because it's smooth. You have to get it started. I did that and the rosin worked wonderfully! I made my first sounds on a violin! I am a musician, but I've never played the violin...ever! I am sooooo excited about my purchase. I couldn't be happier! I would write more but I want to get back to my Brand New Violin! You will be very happy if you purchase this violin. I know that I am. Thank you seller for such a wonderful transaction! Oh...did I mention the fact that the violin was shipped and received with lightening speed! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!
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106 of 128 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You get what you pay for, January 3, 2012
I am a strings teacher in the public school system (California) and one of my students received this as a gift for the holidays. I tuned it up for her to play and here are my thoughts. Its nice that she got something but I would have preferred something just a little better. The violin seems heavier than it should be and that always suggests poor quality wood. Yes it may be handcarved but any wood can be "handcarved". Strings are replaceble and should be replaced with something better. If it had come with better quality strings that would have added $15-$20 to the price. The bow is very poor quality and I predict (based on my over 20 years experience with cheaper instruments) that it wont last more than 1 year before it becomes tired and won't tighten. The horsehair is not set into the bow properly using glue rather than compaction. A better bow would run $70.00. The case is typical but doesn't fit the instrument well so will cause the instrument to get knocked about and thus out of tune. The lacquer on the instrument is so thick and glossy that the bridge doesnt stay put. When bringing it up to pitch I discovered the A string peg felt "spongy" which suggests to me that its just a matter of time before it breaks off. A new peg and the cost to fit it will run $20. So overall a better instrument could have been purchased for about the same "investment" of money. You get what you pay for.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really impressive for the price: I'm an experienced violinist, September 26, 2014
This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin, Extra Bridge and Strings - Full Size (Electronics)
Length:: 0:36 Mins

I am an experienced (though not professional) violinist and this is spectacularly good for the price. This video of me playing a bit of Strauss on it to show what it sounds like.

Granted, it is a cheap violin, so you have to expect a cheap violin. It's fairly lurid bright orange, the case feels like it's made of polystyrene, and the feel is cheap all over.

HOWEVER, it plays remarkably well. Well enough that I actually actively enjoy playing it. I bought it because I am travelling at the moment and didn't want to bring my normal violin with me. I'm not a professional violinist but a serious one who has been playing for 34 years. I was not expecting this violin to be enjoyable to play - I was just expecting it to be adequate. But I can make a quite nice tone on it.

I read a lot of the reviews of this violin and some of the problems reported might be because of variations in factory production, but might also be because you have to really know how to set up a violin in order to get it working properly.

The first time you tighten the strings is quite hard work and quite painstaking. You have to take your time, go gradually string by string and you have to expect the pegs to slip a lot at the beginning. There is a method to getting them to stick where you push and twist at the same time. You also have to adjust the bridge as you go, because if you start with the bridge upright, it will start tilting when you tighten the strings.

The other thing is the bow - you have to spend about 10 minutes applying rosin the first time you use it. One of the other reviewers says that their child's violin teacher says the bow is unusable. I'm not sure what this means - I can use both of my bows perfectly fine. Granted they're not fabulous, but what are you expecting? This is a violin set with two bows, two sets of strings, a shoulder rest and a case for $100. My normal violin bow cost something like $1000 all by itself 20 years ago, and really serious violinist probably spend $50,000 on a bow. So after putting rosin on this bow for about 10 minutes, I got a pretty good sound out of the violin, although yes, the bow hairs are not very even and they're a bit thin.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, September 6, 2012
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This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin, Extra Bridge and Strings - Full Size (Electronics)
Hey guys, I'm William - 14 years old and I bought this violin for my freshman year and just received it a day ago. So this is my initial review of the instrument and how I thought of it.
*Arrived exactly on time - 2 day shipping as promised.
*Came with all accessories advertised - set of violin strings, bridge, rosin, 2 bows, case (and backpack straps), and shoulder rest.
*Package that it was shipped in was well protected, I think - basically there's an outer case to hold the inner case to hold the actual case of the violin. Between the outer and inner case, it was insulated with tons of paper for protection.
*First impression - WOW! The finish looked much nicer than my previous instrument I bought in store which was like $428 (I was size 3/4 at the time, had to upgrade to 4/4 hence buying this)
*Instrument 'looks' detail - The instrument looked amazing to me, but I noticed like the black line that 'outlines' the violin was faded on some parts, but no big deal; you wouldn't even notice it unless your actually STARING at it close up. The picture of this violin on Amazon at first to me, looked...horrible, it looked to 'bright'. But trust me, looks so much better when you see it with your own eyes.
*Tuning - My G peg, at first I thought it was loose because it kept winding backwards every time I tried to tune it; turns out I just had to push it in slowly as I tune. I had luck tuning the other strings without breaking it, but then I popped my G-string attempting to tune it *sigh* so I used the new spare one in the packet. Oh yeah, new instruments/strings will constantly become out of tune even after you just tuned it because the string is still adapting/stretching, so you will probably tune it 8+ times a day for 1 or more week.
*Shoulder Rest - The shoulder rest that came with this was...uncomfortable, so I just used my shoulder rest from my 3/4 violin since the pad is bigger and more 'cushiony'.
*Bows - Bows, eh...their O.K.
*Soundpost came intact - This is my first time ordering a violin online, so I was extremely worried about the soundpost not being attactched since it's getting banged around in a truck, but it came intact - YAY!
*Bridge - My bridge came set up with my violin already, I didn't have to install it.

3-5-2013 Edit:
It's been a bit more than half a year since I've owned this violin. I noticed some quirks in this violin compared to my old store rental violin. First, this violin is obviously of lower quality wood and the strings it comes with has a very...steel sound. My old violin had a warm, beautiful tone. This violin also doesn't stay in tune very well, since I have to tune it almost every day; compared to my old violin which was rare (once a week or once every 2 weeks). Also, the bow has very little hair compared to my old violin's bow and my classmates, which was full and thick; this one is noticeably thinner and of lower quality hair. I use the same rosin on this bow as my old bow, but the hair just doesn't seem to 'hold' onto the rosin very well. Nonetheless, I still recommend this product for BEGINNERS! If you're advancing up to something good, eh, don't get this.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent and very functional violin, December 13, 2012
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I bought this violin for my 6 year old as a Christmas present. He has been asking for a violin for the past 4 months. I occasionally offer him my own instrument so he can saw away at it. He's not making music per se but I appreciate that he has a love for live sound. I decided his interest was genuine so he's going to get this violin. My own violin is an old French made JTL so I have something to compare against.

This violin arrived as advertised. The case is a hard foam zip up unit with the usual top pocket and internal compartment. You would normally keep your instruction book in the top pocket but this pocket is too small for that. The internal compartment is adequate for something like rosin and a cloth.

The violin comes with a set of strings, an extra bridge, two bows, a shoulder rest, and a rosin cake. Nothing was missing from what was advertised. The extra stings look like replacement steel strings. Although there's nothing special about them, it's still nice to have them handy when (not if) your child breaks a string. I'm not sure why you would want an extra bridge handy unless this one is so soft that in the long term the strings will press through and break the one that's currently installed. The two bows are functional but not great. Yes, a couple of the hairs do break off from one end but that's honestly not a big deal. Just break the one or two hanging hairs from the other end. There's plenty of hairs left. A good bow will not have any hairs break off but you have to remember that a good bow will normally cost more than this entire package! The rosin cake is a small and hard. It's difficult to hold and work with but it is functional.

Before playing the violin be sure to rosin up the bow. Since this rosin is very hard you will need to spend anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes rubbing the bow back and forth across the cake. You will quickly see how difficult it is to hold compared to some of the higher quality rosins that come in a wooden holder. Eventually the bow "breaks through" the polished surface of the rosin and the bow gets nice and dusty. When your bow changes from yellow/orange (unrosin'ed) to white (plenty of rosin) then you are ready to use it!

The four strings were loose which relieved pressure on the body during shipping. The violin tunes up just fine. Be sure to press the pegs inward as you tighten the strings. Use the pegs to tune just below the open note. Don't go crazy fine tuning with the pegs! Use the fine tuners to get the last bit. I use a chromatic tuner app on my iPhone and I had no problem getting everything to tune and hold. The fine tuners are a little stiff but not unmanageable. Be warned that the strings will need an initial stretching! Let the violin rest after your first tuning. The strings will stretch and bit and then you will need to adjust the tuning. Perfectly normal.

The strings were not well spaced on the bridge on my violin. It was very easy to adjust their position while tuning.

The fittings and fingerboard board do look like they're made of ebony. This is a huge plus and helps the violin maintain mechanical stability. Cheaper violins will have soft wood fittings or even plastic. Stay away from those instruments. Soft woods and plastics are easier to manufacture but they will slip in the violin assembly as time goes on. This is when you hear complains of violins unable to maintain their tuning.

The violin itself is generally of a good build quality. Mine did not have any strange smells coming of out of it so I know the finish is truly dry. The finish on my violin is rather thick but there's nothing I can really do about it. Ideally the finish should be thin so it doesn't dampen the sound. The wood used here is not too thick but thicker than a high quality instrument. Again, there's nothing I can do about this except accept what it is. The wood should generally be thinner to allow for more resonance as I understand it. Other bits like the neck, pegbox, and internal cavity look just fine. My only complaint (if you could call it that) is the nut. It looks like it was shaped with a very course file. So, it looks a little ugly. No big deal.

Now comes the big question. How well does it play and how does it sound? You have to remember that this is a small low cost violin. It will not resonate like a full size high quality player. Despite physics working against this violin, I have to say that it sounds just fine, especially for a young player or a child that wants to screw around with making live sound. The D and A strings sound very nice in the first position. As you get up to the E string and the notes there then the sound starts becoming a bit shrill. It's not bad but it's not great either when compared to a full sized instrument. The G string sounds very dull though and that's where the small size of the instrument comes into effect. It's not a deal breaker. Just understand why it sounds the way it does and you will be OK.

So, the bottom line is that this is a very functional and complete violin. It's not perfect but you can't expect everything from such a low cost instrument. Be sure to tune it properly by pushing the pegs inward as you tighten the strings. Let the strings stretch and then adjust the tuning. Take 10 to 15 minutes applying rosin to the bow. After that, you will be able to make sounds and if the hands are willing and able then you will make music! My adult hands are too big for this violin so I sound worse than usual. :-) With all the pluses and minuses I observed I will give this violin 5 stars because it is still a good value for the price I paid. If this violin was priced higher then I would have looked for a used violin with fewer accessories and with better sound on a classifieds site or an auction site.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbuy, May 21, 2012
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This review is from: Mendini 4/4 MV400 Ebony Fitted Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Rosin, Extra Bridge and Strings - Full Size (Electronics)
I had been looking to buy a full sized violin, at a reasonable price in an attempt to re-learn what I gave up after two years of pretending to be a violin player. The price of this item was worth the gamble.

What a surprise! I may never try to give a concert, but I can't wait for the spare time to drill for a couple of hours with this outstanding, for my purposes, buy of a lifetime. I can hit the notes accurately for my ear, read the music, play tunes I've only heard, using a product that I'm proud that I took a shot at. I was even able to carefully follow the distributor's on-line instructions and with encouragement from a young grandson, set up the instrument for playing with no professional help. That, I may seek from a willing teacher in the near future.

It may be overblown sentiment but it is a thrill just to open the case and after briefly checking the tuning, accomplish something I get a kick out of doing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent value, September 27, 2011
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The delivery was prompt. The finish on the violin was nice but the detail work was a little lacking. There were shavings inside the violin that had to be shaken out and internal label was half stuck on. The peg holes were a little rough. The neck stain was inconsistent and there were still some rough sand marks on the neck. The string spacing on the bridge was also a bit off. Overall though a little touch up could remedy most of these. The sound on the instrument was quite reasonable for a beginner, and the accessories were all decent. In all I think the price was reasonable for what you got.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Your Child's Music Teacher Probably Won't Approve, September 24, 2013
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I bought this violin and had to send it back right after my son's music teacher looked at it. I don't know much at all about musical instruments so I'm going to paste her email to me below:

"We are taking a look at the violin that you bought from Amazon, and it has a several problems. It would take about $85 to get it working adequately for the 6th grade class. The bow hair will not take the rosin. They used a really cheap product and it doesn't work. Both of the bows sticks are very weak. The strings are way too thin. There is a spare set, but they are exactly the same as the ones that are currently on the violin. The body of the violin is not made well at all. The wood is cut too thick, and is mis-proportioned so that the sound is very weak and thin. Our local repair vendors will not work on these instruments due to their low quality. They are essentially not worth fixing.

The shoulder rest is not terrible, but your son said that he was having trouble using it.

The quality of this violin is so low that it would be very difficult to re-sell."
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