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What should you consider when choosing between a new instrument and an older instrument?
Reliability and repair time

There are many reasons why students and teachers choose new string instruments rather than take a chance on older string instruments. The main factor is, of course, reliability. Every Prodigy instrument has a full warranty , which means we assume the risk on the reliability, not the student. Used string instruments, by definition, have no warranty from the manufacturer. So there is no one to turn to when things go wrong.

Anyone who owns an older instrument will tell you that having the instrument serviced is simply part of the price of used string instruments. When an older instrument breaks down, the student is the one who suffers. Every hour an instrument spends in the repair shop is an hour the student is unable to work toward his or her goals. It becomes a situation where you have either to rent an inferior instrument until the older one is fixed, or in the worst case, the student cannot play at all. With a demanding rehearsal and performance calendar Ė reliability and repair time should be a serious consideration before you decide .

When you choose a new Prodigy instrument, reliability is no longer a cause for stress in your life.

Beware of myths about older string instruments

The used instrument industry relies on people continuing to believe in the inherent value of older string instruments. Some of them truly are magnificent pieces of work, but itís imperative that you know all the facts before making a decision. Beware of certain lines that may not be completely true. For example:

1. They donít make them like they used to.

Prodigy begs to disagree. Our workshops build Prodigy string instruments in exactly the same manner, using the same techniques as the old masters in 19th century Europe. While many European manufacturers now use automation including machines and robotics in the building of string instruments, Prodigy string instruments are still 100% hand-made. This means quite simply, we make them like they used to . So the main advantage of an older instrument is also found in a new Prodigy instrument today.

2. Older string instruments sound better.

While there are certainly many fine examples of old string instruments that still sound beautiful today, itís not simply because of time passing. An instrumentís sound is determined more by how it was made, and what materials were used , rather than on how long ago its birthday was. Another factor to consider is how well it was repaired throughout its life

3. String instruments get better with age.

Violins are not like wine. They donít inherently become better simply by waiting. And while itís true that a two hundred year old masterpiece violin might be an excellent example of a fine used instrument, the fact is that particular instrument would have produced a wonderful sound the first time it was played .

Unless you know the complete history of a used instrument, you donít know if it has spent a significant period of time without the caring touch of a performer. Abandonment is among the worst circumstances that can befall string instruments. A used violin that isnít played regularly will deteriorate with every passing year.

Like any fine musical instrument, your Prodigy model will go through a breaking-in period. And therefore its sound will mellow and improve as it is played. When you choose a new Prodigy instrument, you will experience its complete history, and be able to pass this information on. This results in a higher resale value for you.

4. Older string instruments look better.

Some people judge string instruments by how old they look. The musicians who choose Prodigy care more about sound quality and playability than whether the instrument looks like it was made a hundred years ago. Appearance is one of our priorities. Thatís why we use such beautiful flamed-maple and spruce. Prodigy string instruments have the appearance and sound quality of much more expensive models . The people who really matter will be judging you on the sound of your music, not on your instrumentís age. See why Prodigy string instruments are such a great value .

How can I ensure my new Prodigy instrument will hold its value?

As much as you have decided to invest in a reliable new Prodigy instrument, youíll certainly become interested in the used market if you decide to sell it. Prodigy wants you to receive maximum value when you decide to upgrade to a larger size, or professional instrument. Here are some tips on how to keep your Prodigy instrument in top condition  for a longer life and a higher re-sale value.

"These instruments are extremely well made and have a beautiful tone quality. I would recommend these violins to any of my fellow performers, teachers, and students."

-Cindy Crumb
Orchestra Teacher
Fairfax, Virginia

"As a teacher of high school students, I am always looking to find excellent instruments for a good price. I can recommend instruments of this quality without reservation. In fact, I'll be using one myself for touring and some of my own performances."

-Eric deWaardt
Violist National Symphony Orchestra


"Excellent playability, mellow tone, subtle response, and dynamic projection make this outfit a definitive favorite with our review team..."
-Strings Magazine
Review of Eastman Strings - maker of Prodigy Instruments

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