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What to watch out for in used instruments?
What to avoid buying a used viola? Where's a good place to look?
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March 7, 2015 - 7:34 pm
Member Since: January 17, 2015
Forum Posts: 10
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Someday, not anytime soon - for now I'm very happy playing my 'silent' electric viola while I learn how to play the damned thing! - but eventually I would like to get a decent acoustic viola. A used student model would be fine, or better still, a nice instrument that is cosmetically beat up but still playable. I don't ever expect to perform in public, so it would be strictly for my own enjoyment and obviously I will never need an expensive viola. Anyone have any tips on buying second hand instruments in this category? What are the things to look for and what things to avoid?


FWIW, I live over a hundred miles from the nearest music store, and while there are some pawn shops closer I don't think I've ever seen a viola come up for sale. You see fiddles now and then, and even stand-up basses, but not violas. Chances are I would have to buy online.


March 8, 2015 - 1:06 pm
Member Since: July 7, 2013
Forum Posts: 138
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Have you checked out the student models over at Fiddlershop? Mike is great helping with any question and Fiddlerman have a bunch of videos of the instrument. I recently purchased an intermediate level instrument and so far love it... 

March 8, 2015 - 2:27 pm
Member Since: January 17, 2015
Forum Posts: 10
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That's certainly a thought. When I finally do buy one it will probably be in the $150-200 range, so a student model if it's decent would certainly fit the bill. And I would much rather give Fiddlershop the business than Fleabay!

March 20, 2015 - 4:07 pm
Member Since: October 2, 2011
Forum Posts: 541
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We would love to find a viola at that price range that we feel is consistent and adequate but for now, your best bet, and it's a c--p shot, would be something like a Cecilio.

We don't test and adjust them because our profit margins are so low that basically the extra shipping costs would reduce the chance for us to be competitive. As is now, all dealers seem to only dropship the Cecilio violas.

Cecilio Handmade Rosewood Viola CVA-400

Cecilio Handmade Ebony Viola CVA-500 

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