Factory Made vs Handmade - Which Is Better?

In string instruments, not everything expensive is better. There are many factors one needs to consider before one consider a particular string instrument is better than other.

Factory made string instruments are made by several individuals in a production-line format. The materials use are often cheaper and inferior. The work are mainly carried by unskilled labor. The instruments are spray-painted instead of the traditional hand varnish. There is little or no set-up perform on the instruments before being shipped. Consequently, one can say that the factory made string instruments are inferior when compare to the handmade.

Materials – better materials are use in making the violins. The top plate is of quality spruce. The back plate, neck and sides are of Solid maple.
Varnish – the violins are hand varnished which helps to produce better sound;
Appearance – better quality wood together with hand varnish resulted in better appearance;
Maker – the violins are hand made by experienced luthiers;
Durability – less maintenance and service required and could last for many years when properly looked after. Thousands of violins made over 300 years ago are still in good playing condition;
Sound – the handmade violin produces a better tone compare to factory-made violins;
Set-up – when the violins are properly set up,  they are more accurate in tone and much easier and comfortable to play;
Fittings – most handmade violins have ebony pegs and fittings to ensure ease in tuning and also keeping the instrument in tune;
Quality –  In all aspect, it is a much better violin than the factory-made version;
Value – handmade violin maintains its resale value;

When properly set up, a good handmade instrument facilitates and increases the speed of learning. Less time is lost in tuning the instruments during lesson and the instrument stays in tune longer. Also the instrument is easier and comfortable to play. Just imagine the saving in tuition fees if the period of learning can be shortened. One also gets lots of pleasure and satisfaction playing a properly set up handmade instrument.

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