Twinkle Violins—sizing?

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Elizabeth Jones said: Feb 8, 2007
Elizabeth Jones
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Owensboro, KY
21 posts

This is my first question from the parent side of the triangle! I borrowed a tiny violin from a colleague to see what size I should get for my 2 1/2 year old daughter. My friend’s violin is from the Twinkle line that Shar used to carry.

The label says that it’s a 1/16 size, but I know that it’s smaller than the 1/16’s that my students play.

Does anyone know if it’s closer to a 1/32 or a 1/16? I haven’t found anyone with a 1/32 that I can try out.

I’ve got to buy one for my daughter quickly, before something untoward happens to my friend’s little violin!

Connie Sunday said: Feb 9, 2007
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

There is something on the Violin/Viola FAQ about this, which you may find helpful:

How can I determine the size of a violin (4/4, 3/4, etc.) if the label on the inside is missing? (and other violin measurements)

http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#7

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Elizabeth Jones said: Feb 13, 2007
Elizabeth Jones
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Owensboro, KY
21 posts

Thanks for the link! The sizing chart didn’t list the measurements for a 1/32, so I still don’t know if the violin we have is closer to a 1/32 or 1/16. But I did go ahead and order a 1/32. The Twinkle violin is just her size, and definitely measures smaller than a 1/16. Any bigger would be too big.

Connie Sunday said: Feb 13, 2007
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

PurpleViola

Thanks for the link! The sizing chart didn’t list the measurements for a 1/32, so I still don’t know if the violin we have is closer to a 1/32 or 1/16. But I did go ahead and order a 1/32. The Twinkle violin is just her size, and definitely measures smaller than a 1/16. Any bigger would be too big.

I’ve never known anybody to use a 1/32nd. You can hardly get them. Just IMO.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Laura said: Feb 14, 2007
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
358 posts

Quite a number of kids at my child’s music school use 1/32s. Suzuki violins come that small, and so do Gliga violins (http://www.violinslover.com). If you can’t get one ordered in from your local store, you can often find a decent one online. Just avoid those 19.99 ebay specials—definitely not the same quality.

Elizabeth Jones said: Mar 6, 2007
Elizabeth Jones
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Owensboro, KY
21 posts

Here’s my update: The 1/32 violin that I ordered arrived. I compared it to the Twinkle 1/16, and they are exactly the same size.

Connie Sunday said: Mar 6, 2007
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

PurpleViola

Here’s my update: The 1/32 violin that I ordered arrived. I compared it to the Twinkle 1/16, and they are exactly the same size.

I’m sorry that happened; that’s awful. The only company that I know which sells a 1/32nd is Howard Core. They are wholesalers, however, and you would have to go through a dealer.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Elizabeth Jones said: Mar 6, 2007
Elizabeth Jones
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
Owensboro, KY
21 posts

mshikibu

[box]PurpleViola

Here’s my update: The 1/32 violin that I ordered arrived. I compared it to the Twinkle 1/16, and they are exactly the same size.

[/box]

I’m sorry that happened; that’s awful. quote]

I’m actually glad! I wanted to find one the same size. It fits her well. I just wanted to have our own, since a 2 1/2 year old can be hard on a violin. She just loves it too much!

I am still looking for a better 1/32, though. The one I bought is pretty bad. The bridge is thick and clunky, the G string doesn’t even produce a tone, the fingerboard is too long, the nut it ridiculously high, and it goes out of tune if you breathe on it. But it’s shiny! And it has inlaid purfling! Whoo hoo.

Jennifer Visick said: Mar 7, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Is there a local luthier you can take it to? 1/32 sizes are a pain to tune and don’t sound all that great, but maybe a violinmaker can do something about the bridge and nut.

Laura said: Mar 7, 2007
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
358 posts

The 1/32 we have is 13.5 inches total length. The body is 8 inches. It is definitely a 1/32. There are both 1/32 and 1/16 in my child’s group class, and the 1/16s are noticeably bigger.

It is a Gliga, purchased online through http://www.violinslover.com. They have many 1/32s available, and they are quality instruments. They are made in Romania ( = good workmanship, low labour costs) apparently using wood from a particular region which is well known for making good string instruments. Considering it’s a 1/32 (emphasis on “considering it’s a 1/32″), my child’s violin actually sounds quite pleasant and rich. It honestly doesn’t sound annoying or “nasally”. I observe this by comparing the sounds of the other kids’ instruments as the class teacher tunes them. (So the playing skill of the kids isn’t a factor in this comparison.)

If you get a 1/32 Gliga, get a Genial 1. Or a Gems 2 if you want to splurge. The basic quality you want will definitely be there in those models. I was told by the seller that it isn’t worth getting any higher than that in a 1/32, since any differences in the higher models won’t be noticeable given the small instrument size and the player’s ability at that level.

You will be amazed at the relatively low price. Ours came to less than US$200, everything included: bow, case, shipping, tax, and extra set-up by a local luthier. But don’t be deceived… these “cheaper” instruments are actually better than many lesser quality ones. Again, both our teacher and luthier were surprised how little we paid for such a good instrument. (Once the luthier finished chuckling over how it couldn’t be too serious an instrument at that size, anyway…) Just listening to the other parents in the class, it seems that if they didn’t rent, they paid upwards of $400-$500 for their 1/32 and 1/16 violins.

Extra set-up is definitely required though—the strings and bridge were lousy and needed to be replaced right away. But the basic violin is very, very, good, and we were told that, unsolicited, by both the teacher and the luthier.

As for holding the tuning, I found that even once the extra set-up was done, the violin wouldn’t stay even close to in tune at first. A string would go off by as much as a semitone from one day to the next. However, many months later, it holds its tuning quite well, lasting at least a lesson or a practice. I think the strings have to settle into themselves, or something like that. Not sure quite how to describe it… I’m just a parent in this regard. But I do know how to tune a violin properly by ear… so hopefully you can take these comments in context.

My personal attitude while looking for a 1/32 violin was: it’s going to sound pretty lousy anyway considering how small it is. So might as well look for the best quality I can find in that size, to ease the learning experience. In other words, the smaller the instrument, the more important it is to try to find a good one.

Good luck!

p.s. No, I’m not being paid in any way for saying all of this—I’m just a satisfied customer :) I did a lot of research before taking the plunge to make an online purchase, but I couldn’t be happier with this one. For the price, I’m definitely considering going the same route with my child’s larger violins in the future.

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