Based on 1 Reviews
Reviewed On: 04/08/2011
I have been playing a Karl Joseph Schneider Premier Artist Antiqued 16.5 inch Viola for ten months now, and it continues to exceed my expectations. My KJS viola has been played by several string teachers and professional violists. All have been surprised that Shar markets such a fine instrument for such a low price. Their comments have included the following: Very easy to play. Uniform tone and volume from string to string and note to note. Excellent tone when played in higher positions. Full range of easy to play harmonics. A four or five thousand dollar viola might not produce a better sound! This Karl Joseph Schneider viola is a German-made instrument which uses a mass produced back, top and neck. The secret to the great sound is that the mass produced spruce top undergoes final carving by a highly competent luthier. I ordered two identical 16.5 inch KJS Premier Artist violas for my home trial. The two violas appeared to have been carved by two different luthiers, but the sound of the instruments was virtually identical! I liked the maple wood grain on one of the two violas so much, that I decided not to order any additional home trial instruments. A big selling point for me was that the necks on these violas are slightly wider than the necks on other 16.5 inch violas I have tried out. Shar ships these violas with budget synthetic strings. This is a big mistake. These violas beg to be strung with Obligato strings. I have gone one step farther and have been stringing my instrument with Eudoxa non-rigid A, D, and G strings. I have been using Olive non-rigid 218C92 C strings, which are a good match for the A, D, and G Eudoxa strings. On averge, I practice one to two hours a day, including a good deal of time in tone building exercises. After ten months, the tone quality of this instrument continues to get better and better, with no end in sight! Unfortunately, the Eudoxa and Olive gut strings are quite expensive and do not last nearly as long as Obligato strings. It has been genuinely fun to hear how this viola has matured in such a short time. I am very satisfied with my purchase. Professional musicians who occasionally play viola may want to give these instruments a serious look.
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