Which Violin Should you buy in the $8000 range? Made in Italy or German?
Posted by Richard Bodinnar on September 07, 2015
Which Violin Should you buy in the $8000 range?
Made in Italy or German?
A Review of the Andrea Schudtz Apprentice Violin and the Heinrich Gill X7 Violin
This review is actually a bit more formal take on the Andrea Schudtz Apprentice Violin and the Heinrich Gill X7 Violin since I have already made a review in video of the same violins. As the film review does not cover some things about the violins, the written review will hopefully shed some light on those unanswered questions or inquiries.
First of all, let me assure you that both violins are fantastic choices for their price tags. These are not the types of violins that will leave you disappointed. On the contrary, the quality of the sound and the stylistic design of the violins will leave you astounded. Both violins are currently within the $10000 price range. As with most violins of the same price range, they share the same qualities and obviously differ in some. Your taste and preferences will always be the factors that decide which of the two would be the best violin for you.
Andrea Schudtz is a luthier known for the superb quality and performance of his violins. He has garnered international acclaim with the violins he has made through the years. Fans the world over have been smitten by the combination of old world patterns and modern ideas that have become trademarks of his creation. Naturally, he has developed a following of apprentices who are masters in their own rights.
The Andrea Schudtz Apprentice violin is obviously done by one of his apprentices and features many of the qualities popularized by Andrea himself. Like the work of the master, the Schudtz Apprentice violin is an extremely well made violin. Its craftsmanship is something that is very obvious even with a first touch and look.
For timber, the violin uses high quality spruce and maple. Spruce is used on the top while the back, sides, and neck are all maple. Ebony practically makes up the rest of the violin’s parts, particularly the fingerboard. Varnishing is also done with expertise to help the instrument sound and look fantastic. The overall result gives the Schudtz Apprentice an aged and very nice look. More so, this violin sounds very old. It is just amazing to hear such an old sound for a violin of this age.
Upon initial acquaintance, the violin right away showcases nice responsiveness. It simply means that with a soft touch, the violin will do your bidding. You can simply make the most out of your efforts with a responsive violin.
If you have seen the video of this review, you should be able to pick out the distinct sound quality of the Schudtz Apprentice violin. It brings some kind of power to the party. Power in this case is not the deafening type. It is the kind of power that is projected to the audience. The Schudtz Apprentice violin sounds even better when heard between spaces.
There are also other sound qualities of the violin that becomes more evident the longer you play it. You can easily hear its deep and warm sounds. In fact, it is very tempting to slow the tempo down when playing this violin to savor the deep and warm sounds.
A very important feature that I always try to check with violins is the consistency of the upper registers. This is a violin that is very consistent when going to the top. Consistency is a very nice asset for a violin of moderate price.
Let me now introduce to you the second violin in this list: the Heinrich Gill X7 violin. First of all, it should be noted that Heinrich Gill has been producing high quality violins since 1952. The current makers of Heinrich Gill violins, master luthier Bernd Dimbath and company, specialize in using tone woods from the Austrian Alps and from other Baltic forests. They use high quality spruce and maple for the X7 violins. The use of superb varnishing techniques allows their violins to look tastefully timeless.
Lately, Heinrich Gill has been using a technology called Acoustic Engineering to provide more consistency to their violins. Previously, it was common to hear people wondering about the pronounced variances between violins of the same model. Right now, violins of the same model are fairly consistent. I emphasized fairly consistent because it is next to impossible to duplicate the exact sound of another violin.
When it comes to sound quality, power is the overwhelming character of the Heinrich Gill X7. It sounds like a king telling his subjects to stand down. This is the kind of power that is extremely coveted by soloists. Effortless power allows them to concentrate on playing beautiful music since they can be confident that they can be heard all the way to the back
Upon hitting some higher notes and playing in the upper register, there is yet again very audible consistency. The magnificent consistency on the upper registers provides some sparkle or brilliance to the sound of this violin. It can be up to the task of playing some virtuoso music as the sparkling D and G strings will be fully utilized.
The violins I have reviewed here share some common qualities like consistency on the upper register. While there are violins that fail you in these spots, these two obviously do not. Physical beauty is also shared by these two. The antique but tasteful look is a common theme between them. Apparently, they also share the same high quality in their craftsmanship that they look far more expensive than the price tag indicates.
The Schudtz Apprentice violin and the Heinrich Gill X7 are also different in some ways. Power is one key difference between the two. While the former is more subdued and projects its power, the latter is just oozing with it. It is the reason why the latter is perfect for soloists.
Although both violins aim to sound old, the Andrea Schudtz Apprentice beats the X7 in this category by a slight margin. It also has a deeper and warmer sound. The appeal of the Heinrich Gill X7 is in the way the violin sparkles, especially with the use of the E and G strings.
Both of these violins get a very solid thumbs up from Workhorse Music!