Friday, January 27, 2017

Soloist - the companion of a solo violinist

Violin! My favorite instrument in the world. It touches my heart. In my opinion it has the most character of any instrument. Though I like happy music, the sad versions are my favorite. And what instrument can convey that feeling better than a violin? I have been a student of this beautiful instrument and music for some time, though in parts at different stages in my life. In no way I am qualified to do a professional review of a violin. I just know what I like. I have heard different violins and players both recorded and live. I can definitely identify something I like. This is purely based on that.

I have been using a Yamaha EV (electric violin) for quiet some time. While an EV is really good, I wanted to get a good acoustic one. I had an old, inexpensive student acoustic violin, but never owned a better one. That's when I decided to get a new acoustic violin. My teacher also recommended to get one. I am a member of Fiddlerman's forum and came to know about his shop and the beautiful violins for sale. After some research, also many samples heard by me and my teacher, I decided to go for the Soloist by Fiddlerman. Yes it is a Soloist from Fiddlershop.

I chatted with Fiddlerman and he picked up one for me from the collection. He played it for me and uploaded the video (link at the bottom). Soloist is an amazing violin. It is beautifully crafted and tastefully varnished. Each and every part talks about quality. The wood has a beautiful light golden brown shade with contrasting tail piece, chin rest and a fingerboard. It is fitted with a hand-carved French Despiau 3-tree bridge. The fingerboard and pegs are ebony. It is installed with a set of D’Addario Kaplan Amo Strings.

Playing this violin is really heart warming. The tone is warm and rich. It definitely feels and sounds like a much more expensive violin than what actually it is priced at. It is much lighter than any violin I have ever used, including my Yamaha EV. Combined with the quality of the violin itself and the amazing Kaplan Amo strings, the warmness and richness of the sound coming from it is amazing to listen. What more do you need?

The quality of each and every part used is really good. This comes with an ebony tail piece with a hill style fine tuner for the E sting. The rest of the strings are tuned with fine ebony pegs as usual with any good violin. The fine ebony finger board is very smooth and beautifully carved for the friendliness of your fingers. The bridge is attached very well to the body.

Fiddlerman includes a fine oblong suspension violin case with the outfit which houses a temperature meter and a hygrometer. The case can hold four bows, includes a Holstein premium rosin, a beautiful Fiddlerman's carbon fiber bow and a wood violin shoulder rest.

As I am more used to the sound of the Yamaha EV, the Soloist is growing on me day by day. She is opening her up. Each day it improves with the sound and warmness of the violin. I am liking it more and more and so is my practice sessions. It is getting lengthier! Here is a picture that compares the Soloist with Yamaha Electric violin. 

Now the last but not the least part. As much I love this instrument, I love the name of it! Yes the Soloist! I am someone who love solitude, as much I love the company of my loved ones and other human beings . And for someone like me, who also love violins, what name on the earth can be more appropriate? This probably could be the one last violin I will be buying for me for the rest of my life. I really don't think I need anything bigger or better. This is going to be one of my solaces in my ups and downs. Yes years to come (I don't know how long, do anyone?) and there could be times I want to get lost in something. I am sure we are going to get older together, in happy and sad moments, which colors the warm but cold, bright but dark journey called life.