Your Guide to Buying a Used Stentor Violin

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Your Guide to Buying a Used Stentor Violin

The violin is a firm favourite for music lovers and learners across the globe; anyone can learn from any age and enjoy an instrument that is easy to get to grips with and sounds beautiful. Having said this, many beginners suffer from a less enjoyable learning experience and a poor quality sound because they do not do the research beforehand and purchase a good quality violin. This buying guide explores the violin, why Stentor violins are a good option, and how to get hold of a used Stentor violin.

A Short Violin Guide

The violin is the smallest member of the violin family, and since the Baroque period, the violin has played a crucial role in music, art, and entertainment. Played with a bow, the violin exploits the principles of resonance to produce a clear sound, and the shape and materials of the violin provide its unique high-pitched tone and timbre.

It is a highly dynamic, expressive, and versatile instrument, which is why it can be found in many different music genres and is used for different effects. Traditionally, a violin plays in the first and second orchestra sections.

Origins of the Violin

The modern violin has a complex and intriguing history. Few things are known for sure, but the instrument is known to have first appeared in northern Italy during the early 16th century Renaissance.

There is plenty of evidence to show the creation and spread of stringed and bowed instruments across many different ancient civilisations, and the violin appears to borrow, develop, and refine the ideas from these earlier instruments. For example, the violin has similar features to the rebec and the lira.

Initially a low-brow instrument, the violin’s status surged during the Baroque period, and demands by classic composers and performers guided new changes and refinements to the instrument henceforth.

Parts of the Violin

Main Body

Top (spruce), back (maple), sides (maple). Inside: bass bar and sound post

Resonates to provide a loud and clear sound

Neck

Maple

Base of the playing area

Fingerboard

Lies on top of the neck (ebony)

Playing area

Peg-box

Includes the nut, the tuning pegs and the scroll

Anchors and tunes the strings. Scroll tunes the sound

Bridge

Maple

Anchors the strings. Carries the sound vibrations to the body

Tailpiece

Ebony or alloy

Fixes the strings. Adjustable tailpieces can modify string height and intonation

Bow

Wooden stick and bow hair (synthetic hair or horsehair)

 

Strings

Filament or wound steel

 

Used Stentor Violin Buying Guide

Stentor is a violin manufacturer that sells more violins around the world than any other brand. Created in established manufacturing plants in the UK, Europe, and China, Stentor violins are well known for the balance they provide between economy and a high standard of manufacture and craftsmanship.
Basic violin models from Stentor are extremely popular with beginners and intermediate players, and better model lines are available for advanced players. Stentor violins are the most recommended violin to learn with, and with high quality materials, many players purchase used Stentor violins with no compromise on playability or enjoyment.

Types of Stentor Violin

Stentor Student I Violin – This is the cheapest Stentor option and the most popular violin for beginners. Hand carved and complete with good quality pegs and fingerboard.

Stentor Student II Violin – Offers better quality and tone that the Student I thanks to the ebony pegs and fingerboard.

Stentor Conservatoire Violin – This is a good violin to consider for students in the intermediate grades. Offers better action and intonation for better playability and a better quality sound.

Stentor Andreas Zeller Violin – Made in Romania, these violins come with ebony fingerboards and pegs, hand carved body sections and an adjustable tailpiece.

Stentor Messina Violin – The Messina is suited for intermediate and advanced players, handcrafted from selected maples and narrow grained spruces, and hand varnished.

Stentor Elysia / Arcadia Violins – These violins are designed for young professionals and advanced players. Diligently handcrafted with premium, selected materials, and hand varnished.

Finding the Correct Violin Size

Stentor violins come in a range of sizes to suit players of all sizes and ages. The largest size is 4/4, which is roughly 23” in length and suitable for ages 10/11+. The 1/10 size violin is roughly 15” and suitable for children aged 3-4. There are ten official violin sizes, from 4/4 to 1/32, though the smallest sizes are harder to find.

Violin

Length

Age Range

3/4

22”

9-11

1/2

20”

7-9

1/4

19”

6-7

1/8

17”

5-6

When buying a used Stentor violin for a child, the correct violin size can be found by measuring the length between the child’s neck and the middle of the palm. Have the child stretch their arm outright in front of their body to take the measurement. The length of violin chosen should not be any longer than this measurement, and it may be slightly smaller.

Adults almost always choose the full-size 4/4 violin, though a special 7/8 size Stentor violin is available for smaller adults or for adults with small hands. Bow lengths also come in different sizes, and the correct bow size for each violin length is provided below.

Violin Size

Bow Size

4/4

29.5”

3/4

27”

1/2

24.5”

1/4

22.5”

1/8

19.25”

1/10

17.75”

Used Purchase Considerations

It is cheaper to purchase a used Stentor and as long as the following considerations are followed, the same quality can be gained.
The two most important considerations for buying second hand are the condition and the set up – make sure the violin is in good condition and has been treated with care, and make sure that the violin is set up properly.
Check with the seller to see how long the instrument has been played for; if it has been played for a number of years without re-adjustment, a specialist may have to be employed to set it up again. Always check to see whether the sound post and the bass bar (found inside the body) are intact and functioning properly.
New Stentor violins come with bows and cases as standard, but this is not always the case, so check with the buyer beforehand – the case is very important to keep the violin protected.
Cheaper bows are made from brazilwood, while more expensive bows are made from pernambuco.
There are many optional violin accessories to purchase alongside the violin, and the most important is rosin (a resin which is rubbed onto the bow before playing) and a neck rest. The neck rest makes it more comfortable to play, though a sponge also works very well.

Violin Aftercare

Violins are delicate instruments and need to be treated with care. The biggest issue is keeping the wood from contracting and expanding with changing temperature and humidity, so when storing keep in a moderately humid and stable environment away from direct sunlight. It is very good practise to remove any neck-rest straight away at the end of playing; closing a violin case on a violin with the neck-rest still attached is a very easy way to break it. Strings should be replaced at least once a year; more frequently if the violin is played very regularly.

Buying a Used Stentor Violin on eBay

To find a used Stentor violin on eBay, the first step is head to the eBay homepage. On the left side, the All Categories tab expands to show every major category – click on Musical Instruments. Then click on the Violin link under the stringed instruments category. All violin-related products will now be listed.
The listings can be made more accurate by clicking on the search filters on the left side of the page: Violin type, condition, size, price, location and seller. For example, a new acoustic full-size violin or a cheap used violin .
There are no brands available to select under the search filters, so to find a Stentor brand violin, first head to the violin page and then use the search box above the listings to search for a Stentor violin. Then select the used filter on the left side.

Conclusion

Stentor violins are a highly popular violin manufacturer, offering violins that are both of a good quality and affordable for beginners and advanced players alike. The violin is a marvellous musical instrument and with a Stentor violin, playing enjoyment is assured.

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