First impression when opening the box and the case was that this is a beautiful instrument. Nicer than expected and hard to believe that one could get such a nice instrument for so little money. After checking the instrument and tuning it I rosined one of the bows included in the case and began to play.
I was very impressed with the first sounds coming out of such a green (brand new) instrument. I couldn't put the viola down until I had played for at least one hour. In the short time that I played the viola began to open (became louder and easier to play) in sound. The next day I turned on the video camera and made my review posted above.
Pros for this particular viola (CVA-600) is:
- It has a great sound despite its age and complete lack of being played on.
- The look is one of a handmade instrument that costs many times more.
- Real inlaid purfling.
- Large enough case to store a lot of accessories.
- Well working pegs and fine tuners.
The cons are:
- Steel core strings hinder richer sound and make it difficult to play in-tune.
- Two bows with little hair and brittle as well (broke off at least 10 in an hour).
- Badly cut and sanded bridge
- Badly fitted soundpost (will have a luthier refit to hear the difference).
- End pin not fitted deep enough into the end block
- Cheap case (loosely glued fabric in some places reveal thin fabric and Styrofoam)
- Very dusty white rosin (would prefer a stickier higher quality rosin)
- No shoulder rest included
The cons for me are not as important as the pros in this case. The accessories are easy to change but I wish that Cecilio would only include one high quality bow instead of the two included. Secondly, extremely few consumers will be able to set or fit a soundpost correctly. I would suggest that the time given to the makers who fit the soundposts be lengthened and that they are inspected more diligently. Lastly, I feel that the steel core strings should be traded for high quality perlon core strings for an instant improvement.
To summarize my review I would gladly recommend this viola to both beginner violists and more advanced players looking to upgrade.
Thanks for the review, Violaman.
That is a good-looking instrument, and you really make it sing!
I can tell how much you enjoy playing it, too. It makes me want to play all that much more.
In fact ... I'll be back in about an hour or so.
P.S. Where's the Violaman.com hat?
Didn't want to be 100% similar. I am not convinced yet that I am the real Violaman.