Fiddlerman Master vs. Soloist
Fiddlerman will personally test these violins thoroughly before shipping out. The Soloist violin is now made in an exclusive Holstein Violin workshop! After trying hundreds of models, Fiddlerman settled on this one as his dollar-to-dollar favorite advanced level violin.
- Fully hand-carved, beautifully flamed select spruce and maple tone woods
- Hand-carved French Despiau 3-tree bridge (highest grade)
- European Spruce Soundpost from "Alpine Tone Wood"
- 100% Ebony fingerboard, pegs & fittings
- Professionally hand-rubbed, oil-based varnish
- Antiqued select wood - dried a minimum of 12 years
- Strings - whichever strings sound better on the specific violin (most commonly Thomastik Vision strings for the Soloist violins)
- Precisely measured string height for easy and comfortable playability
- The violin will arrive ready to play out of the box
Case: Fiddlerman Quality Oblong Violin Case FC75. Available in Dark Gray or Sand. (3/4 and smaller sizes comes with Core Oblong CC399 Case)
Bow: Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
Shoulder Rest: Fiddlerman Wood Violin Shoulder Rest
Rosin: Holstein Premium Rosin
Mute: Fiddlerman Rubber Practice Mute
Cloth: Fiddlershop Polishing Cloth
Tuner: Fiddlerman Digital Tuner AV10
The Fiddlershop Family
Why is Fiddlershop growing so fast and revolutionizing the string instrument industry? We believe that music and instruments should be accessible to everyone at a price they can afford. Our founder Pierre Holstein (a.k.a. "Fiddlerman") works directly with makers in many different countries to produce only the best for our customers. With over 40 years as a professional violinist in orchestras around the world, he brings unmatched expertise in music and business to everything we do.
We buy our violins directly from the maker - a rare business practice that lowers our cost so we can pass the savings on to you! Every Fiddlerman violin is set up and tested in our workshop to make sure it passes our rigorous 10-point inspection. Our incredibly talented team is here to help answer any questions you have, and make sure your instrument arrives safely.
Lifetime Structural Warranty
All Fiddlerman instrument outfits come with a lifetime structural warranty with free lifetime adjustments on the instrument, and a standard one year warranty on the included accessories. To learn more about our warranty policies, you can read about them here.
45-Day Hassle-free Returns
If you are not happy with your Fiddlerman instrument for any reason whatsoever, simply return it within 45 days. Read our full return policy here.
Buying an instrument online is often a mistake, but Fiddlershop are the exception to the rule. I couldn't be happier with my Soloist, which arrived in the UK in perfect condition. It hasn't magically made me into a better player (pity!), but it has given me an instrument I want to pick up and play at every opportunity. I would recommend Fiddlershop to others, both for the quality of the fiddle and the clear, reliable service.
As a professional guitarist, band leader, recording artist and singer-songwriter for 52 years, I am well acquainted with fine instruments. The evolution of Asian luthiers over the past 35 to 40 years has not escaped my attention. When I decided to purchase a Chinese made violin from Fiddlerman I didn't give a second thought to the quality of workmanship that I expected to receive. My first mandolin was Chinese made, and while not as finely constructed as my recent privately commissioned one, the materials used and the playability were satisfactory, especially for 1/6th the price of a custom instrument. Chinese companies like Eastman, Loar, and D'Angelico have all evolved to match the abilities of highly skilled luthiers in the States and in Europe while matching or even exceeding the quality. They have access to the all same materials but their labor costs allow their instruments to be sold at a much more attractive price. After hours of watching product videos provided on the Fiddlershop site, YouTube reviews of their offerings by independent voices, and reading articles on the internet about the shop, I chose the Fiddlerman Soloist for my first (at age 70, probably my only) violin. I am not disappointed. The entire package is complete and of the quality I had hoped for. The construction is clean with no observable flaws. The maple is nicely flamed and the spruce grain is tight. The ebony pegs and chin rest, along with the cut of the bridge and set-up, are well executed. The included shoulder rest and the Holstein pernambuco bow are fine. Since I am a violin beginner and currently working through Book One, I cannot make comparisons with other violins I've played since I haven't played others, but I have friends who CAN play, and I will say with confidence that my Soloist sounds lovely in the hands of an accomplished professional. Thanks to Clare and Fiddlershop for the video of my violin being played and for assisting me with my purchase.
I received my Fiddlerman Soloist via FedExp today 9/13, and after playing it for a good 40 minutes or so, here are my observations: 1.) The Soloist Violin: Appearance: I chose the yellow/brown Soloist. I love how they did the varnish on this violin! I love how the varnish "plays" with the flame of the maple back. What I mean is that, depending on where sunlight or any other light hits the back of the violin, there is almost like a holographic effect where some "flames" will be more pronounced than another. I am very impressed by this. I wish I had a better way of explaining it. The flame on the maple back of my Soloist is more on the finer side than what I've seen in pictures or videos from Fiddlershop. My Soloist has very distinguishable marks on it, which kind of reminds me of some of Lorenzo Storioni's violin backs. The Setup: I can turn the pegs very smoothly without any issues - which is very important to me. As Fiddlerman promised, their 10-point adjustment checklist is top notch. Everything looked very good and properly adjusted. I'm very happy with it. The Sound: Very smooth. Not too dark, but not bright either. At first, I really didn't like the Vision strings too much. Under my ear, the Visons sounded "metallic". Maybe because I'm used to Obligatos. But I guess the strings started to settle down, and I started hearing overtones, and the violin was resonating so beautifully. Even my wife commented on how smooth, deep, and powerful it sounded. I am really happy with this violin, and maybe I'll stick with the Vision for now, and see how it does. 2.) The Bow: Appearance: Very nice. If you don't look at the stamp near the frog on the bow, you won't be able to tell that it is a yellow sandalwood bow. The Feel: The YS bow is just a tad heavier than what I'm used to. My current bows are around the 59-60g range. I'm sure the YS bow is a little over that. However, it was very responsive, and once I got the proper tension on the bow hair, I started loving it! It produced a very smooth and focused sound on the Soloist. I had no problem doing sautille, martele, and spicatto on it. The bow is on the firm side, but not too firm -- just the way I like it. The YS bow also did very well with my Scott Cao. I just needed to get over the "weight" shock of the bow. But once I got over that, I started loving the bow. 3.) The Fiddlerman Shoulder Rest Appearance: Very nice looking shouldrest. Quality of the material is also very decent. The Feel: I'm still trying to figure this one out. I use Kun Voce Carbon Fiber shoulder rest. But so far, once I was able to find the right fit and adjustment on the Fiddlerman shoulder rest, it seems to work nicely. 4.) Holstein Premium Rosin I'm still evaluating this rosin compared to what I am using now. But so far, I'm liking it. 5.) The FC100 oblong violin case Appearance: Very nice. The case had it's own violin bag as well, but I like the Fiddlerman violin bag better. The Fiddlerman violin bag that came with the outfit is made of better material, I believe. 6.) Customer Service and Shipping Experience: Clare was very professional and helpful to my questions. I received my Soloist on time, and without any damage. It was very well packed. Other Thoughts: I'm very sure I will have hours and hours of enjoying my FM Soloist. I will have no qualms bringing this violin to performances or when I play in church. My other violin is a 2002 Scott Cao stv1500 made by their ex-luthier Ken Su (Scott Cao didn't have any signature series back then, and Ken Su had gone to open his own shop, and won the VSA violin competion in 2014). Although I love my Scott Cao, I promised my daughter I will give it to her when the time comes. I bought the Soloist for myself in preparation for giving her the Scott Cao. I started shopping for a violin that will not break the bank to keep my wife happy (lol). I chose this violin just by listening to the youtube videos. In my case, I know enough to know what I want to hear, and what I am looking for. Although I don't necessarily recommend doing this to everyone, Fiddlershop has proven to me their integrity in marketing their products. In short, I trust them! And I was not dissapointed! I'm a very happy camper!
I cannot thank Michael, Pierre and the fabulous staff at Fiddlerman for helping me make an amazing purchase of a custom soloist violin. I watched the Fiddlerman videos then came across the Alison Sparrow reviews on YouTube. I settled on the soloist and contacted Michael and Pierre regarding a 7/8 size soloist. Michael checked with their makers and let me know the custom size was something they could do. I was so anxious but Michael and Pierre were patient and so helpful in guiding me in the purchash of the custom violin and bow. They even sent me an email to let me know it was on the way. From the moment I ordered to the moment I drew the bow across the perfectly tuned strings, the experience with Fiddlerman was extraordinary! The customer-centric staff made every aspect of my experience wonderful. Did I mention the totally decked out case? My soloist violin has a case as luxurious as the tones it sings. Whether novice or pro, you cannot find a company more determined to provide expertise and excellence than Fiddlerman. Thanks Michael, Pierre and staff.
My (12 yo) Grand Daughter has a 15 year old starter violin that belonged to her aunt and, it needed several repairs, but she refused to let it go. After several emails and calls to Clare at The Fiddler Shop, I decided to purchase the Soloist Violin for my Garand Daughter. When the violin arrived, my Grand Daughter would not even open the box. Several weeks passed and I finally convinced her to at least take it out of the box and see if she liked it. Well, she did at least open the box, take it out of the case and hold it. I could tell she was not quite sure how to react to the violin. She was excited, but also a bit reluctant to admit it. It has been almost a month since the violin arrived and my doubts have been removed. Angela finally took her new violin to both of her instructors last week; both of them said it was an “AWSOME” violin. They asked where she got the violin. I could tell by Angela’s reaction to their question, that she was now the proud owner of her new violin. Now we can send her old violin to The Fiddlerman for the repairs it needs. Who knows maybe the old violin will serve another generation of our family. Thank you, Clare, Pierre and the entire team at The Fiddlershop for all of your outstanding service and support. JWD
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