Super Student Sustainable Violins of Nottingham, England.
I am an active published author, having retired from government and university appointments some years ago. One of my hobbies today is violin restoration. As a keen hobbyist in this field, I repair violins, violas, and cellos for The Music Hub Nottingham charity completely free of charge.
I do on occasion sell restored / repaired violins from my large private violin collection. That is the specific purpose of this website, because it enables me to buy a few more instruments in need of repair and restoration to keep my hobby going.
This site and its sustainability aim is complemented by my Super Student Sustainable Violin blogsite - Here
Dr Mike Sutton, Nottingham, UK, October 2022
All violins demonstrated and assessed on this site are completely independently assessed by professional violinists and excellent violin teachers.
This full size (4/4) Louis Lowenthall German (made in Berlin) violin is a superb student violin.
Made sometime between the late C19th and 1920.
Originally owned by a violin teacher, and has clearly been played extensively, this antique violin has a lovely resonant and sweet tone. It is labelled “Special copy of a Stradivarius” and the label bears the “L” in laurels Lowenthall mark. It has a good quality Korollia bridge, tuned to the violin, Pirastro Tonica strings and a Witner composite tailpiece. A new sound post has been fitted.
This lovely advanced student violin is very easy to play indeed and I would recommend it for a serious beginner through to Grade 8 (ABRSM) level.
These highly regarded Lowenthall violins are usually sold by violin shops for well over £1000. I have price pointed this one as for sale at £450 because I want to provide really good violins at the lowest possible price for students and other violinists.
There is something about this violin that I really like. I just can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it is just that it is exactly what you expect a good student violin at a fair price to be.
Further details about this violin, including a written assessment by Nottingham based professional performance violinist and violin teacher Ursula Donnelley, are on my Super Sustainable Student Violins blogsite: Here
Meet "The Stainer Copy", a violin that really wants to be heard.
According to a date pencilled inside, this lovely full size (4/4) violin was made in 1899. The violin is a very well made Stainer copy and was expertly constructed in Germany. I restored it in March 2020.
This Stainer copy violin is for sale for £495.
Since it was demonstrated in the videos below, the powefully sounding violin has been further significantly improved by adding a far superior violin bridge, carefully tuned to the instrument and a brand new ebony fingerboard was fitted. The bridge demonstrated on the violin in this video has a lower action, which is perfect for fiddle players or those performing in noisy settings and it comes free with the violin should the new owner wish to try it as an alternative.
This advanced student level violin - suitable up to Grade 8 ABRSM - is ideal for solo performance and proves you don't have to pay thousands for such an instrument.
Meet "Sunset": A very competent advanced student early C20th violin from the old Saxony violin making area of Germany.
This is a nicely made full size (4/4) Saxony violin with a very lovely even tone. I restored this violin in 2020.
Surprisingly easy to play, this lovely violin is for sale for £455 and comes in a vintage case.
Sunset (so named by my youngest daughter because of its lovely varnish sunset hues) was last owned by a vicar. She told me she was very reluctant to sell it, as she had owned and played it since childhood, but had no choice for reasons she would not go into.
This is an advanced student violin - suitable up to Grade 8 ABRSM.
This full size (4/4) violin is easy to play in the higher positions which makes it well suited to playing more advanced pieces of classical music. There were no extra noises (squeaks, buzzes) which supports this.
This is certainly more of a classical instrument than a folk instrument. If you’re looking for an affordable instrument that will take you to Grade 8 (ABRSM) level, this is a safe bet. This medium-fine Grade 8 student violin is for sale at just £475.
A look thorough the f-hole reveals an old browned paper label reading “Medio Fino” Made in France. Typical of some medio fino French violins made by Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy (J.T.L) it has a plain maple back with no flaming and the same for the ribs and scroll. However, this is possibly not a J.T.L. Medio Fino - although I do also have a lovely one of those in my collection. That said, I have seen this exact medio fino model proclaimed as being a JTL violin on the website of a professional luthier and violin dealer.
There was a crack in the peg box so I first very securly glued this and then fitted the violin with a set of Wittner composite fine tune pegs that remain fixed in place because a small gear inside the peg turns to tighten the string. Unlike traditional tapered wood pegs these pegs put no strain on the pegbox and no fine tuners are required on the tailpiece, not even on the e-string. They are excellent and so easy to use.
The violin came to me because in the past it has had a “sound post crack” and it suffered some damage on its left shoulder. I took the top (table/face) off the violin and found the sound post crack had long ago been securely glued and was holding up perfectly. Nevertheless, I added two “old school” hot hide glued parchment cleats to the underside of the crack just to make it extra secure down the centuries to come. The damaged shoulder was hot hide glued and clamped. Another hot hide glued parchment cleat was added under the damaged shoulder.
The violin plays wonderfully now. And I can vouch for the fact it is very easy to play.
There are several full size (4/4) and also 3/4 size Maidstone violins in my collection, which are now for sale. These violins were mostly made in Saxony (Germany) from the very late C19th to the outbreak of WW2. They were not made by the Murdoc music company but imported by it for sale to children and adults as part of the Maidstone music for the people movement and its orchestral and schools music associations.
All Grade 8 (ABRSM) rated full-size Maidstone violins in my collection, that were made in Saxony or France are for sale at £350 each. More standard (typical) Saxony Maidstones are still a great violin for the price and are even cheaper (see prices below).
A very good Maidstone 4/4 student violin. Suitable to Grade 8 (ABRSM) For sale £350
There are some rare exceptions, not all Maidstone violins were made in Saxony, some were made in France and some in Czechoslovakia. These are superior Maidstone violins, and all of them are quite different. I have some in my collection in full size. Email enquiries about those Maidstone violins are welcome: You can contact me at email@example.com for more information.
This violin isn’t the loudest violin in the world, so would suit an intermediate to advanced student who is gaining their confidence. This instrument would be able to handle Grades 5-8, so would be a great first full size violin for a teenager who has earned their stripes. A quiet violin can be a great thing for a student as often students are put off practising out of fear of disturbing their neighbours. This violin, rated up to Grade 8 (ABRSM) is for sale for just £375.
A nice, sweet sounding, full size vintage violin.
Meet "The Performer" Full Size (4/4) Czechoslovakian 1940-60s Violin
Ursula Donnelley who demonstrates this violin in the video below writes that "If you’re in a loud band with a set of drums and want a violin that can stand out in this scenario, this one would be very good. At the same time, the instrument would suit a confident intermediate classical student. You need to be confident as it is so bright – it is certainly not an instrument that blends in."
Ursuall Donnely says this violin is one she would have liked when she was a student, as she always wanted to be louder than everyone else. This violin is for sale for £250
Mystery Modern Antiqued Violin (full size 4/4)
This violin has a pleasant, sweet, clear but muted tone. It appears to be an antique instrument but is actually made in the 1989s/90s, and although it’s maker is unknown we think it is most likely of Chinese origin.
Suitable up to grades 3-4 (ABRSM), this violin is for sale for £150.