You are here:

Violin/Paesold PAE 803A violin - full size - 4/4


QUESTION: Could you please provide evaluate this violin about the sound and price?  I need it for a child to play until finish High School?  

If I bring the violin to the shop for evaluation, what is the charge generally?



Without seeing and playing the exact instrument it really is not possible to comment on sound since no two violins of the same brand/model will sound the same. As far as the price goes, you did not mention if it is a new violin or a used violin and where you will be purchasing it from.

A used Paesold 803A will probably be around $1000-1200 from a violin shop, new around $1500-1800 (including a case and bow). From a private seller it should be less since you get no warranty, no trade in guarantee, no choice of others in the same price range, no setup adjustments to get it the way you want. At the violin shop, they typically also sell all violins, used or new with a new case and bow and fully restored if used. Privately you may need to do a few hundred in repair to get it to the same condition; bridge, adjust pegs, new strings, rehair bow, cosmetic repairs.....

As far as an appraisal at a shop, the price will vary widely from one region to another. Oral appraisals/evaluations are more often than not free. A written appraisal will cost anywhere from around $35-100 on this grade of an instrument. Repair cost evaluations will almost always be free. No shop should give an evaluation on sound, and it may be suspect if they do since they really would want to sell you an instrument.  This is why it is always best to have a competent player assist you with any violin purchase and of course you should also like the sound of your own instrument.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Mr. David.  Your answer has given me the idea where to start off.  However, do you mind to take a look at this?

If the information is considered to be private, then do so in your reply.

Thanks again,

Hi again
You didn't ask a question, but it certainly falls within my estimate of a new instrument. Obviously without it in my hands I can't say if it truly is new or anything about the sound.  This can only be done in person.  I never recommend buying a violin without being able to try it out. As I mentioned in my prior response, when not buying from a shop, a discount should be expected because of the reasons I already pointed out.  Only you can determine if the instrument is worth it to you at the price asked and the only way to know how it sounds is to actually compare it to others in a similar price range.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


David Lashof


I can answer questions on violin, viola, cello and bass making, repair and maintenance as well as supply general violin value ranges and information on instrument makers’ assuming the instrument's as labeled. I don't give values for modern makers as many of these modern makers are yet unknown to me. I can only give you feedback based on what information you give me, and no authority on the instrument can know every maker's work that ever lived. I have access to many books on makers and auction prices on over 25,000 makers, as well as having 36 years of experience with selling and appraising violins. Without having the instrument in hand, any estimate over the internet is just a guess as the label inside an instrument is more often wrong than right, so just having that information is not very useful. Pictures can sometimes be helpful but only so much, as the "feel" of the instrument along with small clues in workmanship and varnish cannot be seen in pictures. Any pictures should be high quality close-ups of the top and back. Additional photos of the front and treble side of the neck are also useful. It is always best to have an instrument seen in person at a violin shop that does appraisals. I can also provide advice on bows, rosin, strings and other string instrument accessories. As I am now retired, I have no bias towards selling anything; I only wish to share my knowledge and experience by providing information for those that may be getting confused by misinformation, misdirection or conflicting statements. (While I have seen many thousands of instruments and have performed numerous appraisals; if I have not evaluated an instrument in person, any information I set forth in an opinion is just that, an opinion based solely on what you have provided. Thusly, no financial decision should be based on that opinion, but rather, further investigation should be performed by having the instrument examined in person.)


I am a retired violin maker and repairman with 35 years experience having worked in Chicago and Maryland at 5 different violin shops and music stores including the first violin repairman at William Harris Lee in Chicago, the head repairman at Weavers Violins in Maryland, and in my own shop of 25 years. I have made 160 instruments and have restored countless professional level and student grade instruments. I am an accomplished violinist having performed with semi-professional as well as amateur groups although I haven't played for years and mostly stay away from questions about playing. I have taught violin making and restoration to about 20 students; three of which have gone on professionally and now have their own shops. I know violins from playing, selling, repairing, making and teaching.

Violin Society of America (VSA). American String Teachers Association (ASTA)

I graduated from the prestigious 4 year Chicago School of Violin Making in 1981 under Master Violin Maker Tschu Ho Lee. I also studied with violin maker Willis M. Gault in Washington DC from 1973-75, who was the former owner of the oldest known example of an instrument from the modern violin family, an Andreas Amati Viola.

Awards and Honors
2008 Chester Petranek Award for service to the music community. ASTA award for service. Top All Expert in Violin for 2014 and 2015.

Past/Present Clients
I have worked with many professional musicians from DC area Symphonies as well as players from all over the US. Here are just a few, Leonard Slatkin - Former conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. Doris Gazda - Nationally renowned string specialist and composer. Bernard Greenhouse, Tanya Anisimova - Internationally renowned Solo Cellists. Jody Gatwood, Mark Pfannschmidt, Lori Barnet, Doug Dubé, Judy Silverman - National Philharmonic Orchestra. Robert Blatt, David Hardy, Glen Garlick - National Symphony Orchestra. Eddie Stubbs, Brendan Mulvahill, Nate Leath - Professional Fiddle Players. David Basche, Pat Braunlich, John Knudson, Romano Solano, Ed Ferris, Fred Lieder - freelance musicians.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]