Violin/Geigen Bass Violin


I just picked up a violin that I would like to know more about.  The tag states the following:
Main Violin
Geigen Bass und Violincello
Made in West Germany

It also has the hand written notes:
Model E 4/4
ser # 10662

how is this instrument different than a few others I have found online that also include "Karl Miesel" on the tag?


Hi Eric,

Thanks for your question.  Main Violin is a shop in New Jersey.  Geigen Bass und Violincello simply means "Fiddle, Bass, and Cello".  So, it sounds like you've got a factory violin, made in Germany, and sold through Main Violin.  I really couldn't tell you anything about the model or serial number, but I'm sure you could call Main Violin and ask.  Factory instruments of this kind range widely in quality and price, as do violins found with the Meisel label.  However, all would be classified, in general, in the BEGINNER violin category (from no value at all up to a couple of thousand U.S. dollars - probably around $250 average as a used instrument, or $500-$600 new).  At this level, the quality of play is going to be primarily determined by the quality of the setup - i.e. the carving and fitting of the bridge, nut, and sound post, choice of strings, etc.  The setup and adjustment are typically done by the shop that sells the instrument.

I'd recommend contacting Main Violin to ask them what this originally sold for, what it would currently be worth, and what they would sell this model for, new, today.  That should give you some idea as to the comparative value (assuming good condition).  But, again, at this level of instrument, it's really the setup that is all important.  So, you might like to take it somewhere else for an appraisal and a tonal adjustment, where they can check the setup for you and make any necessary adjustments.  Stick with violin shops (not general music stores) for this sort of work, if you want quality results.  

Hope that helps.

Best Regards,
Jim Fisher  


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James S. Fisher


Please Note: For an accurate appraisal of your instrument's value or history, I must advise you to take it to a local luthier or string shop for an evaluation. It's really not possible to do this with any accuracy via email.

However, I am happy to answer other questions about violins, bows, violin playing, and violin/bow repair. I can also talk with you about what bows, rosin, strings, cases, shoulder rests, etc. might work best for you and your particular instrument. (There are some great new products on the market.) I've taught violin and fiddle playing for the past 18 years and will answer questions about playing and technique.


I've been studying the violin for over thirty years. I started teaching in 1996. In addition to my training at Lebanon Valley College and at the Violin Institute, I handle violins, bows, and customer questions of all sorts on a daily basis in my shop - J.S. Fisher Violins,


I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Lebanon Valley College, as well as certificates in violin repair, violin maintenance, and bow rehairing from the Violin Institute at the University of New Hampshire.

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