Where to find a Stroh violin in New York
June 8, 2007 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Is there any shops in New York City where one could find a Stroh violin, aka Phonofiddle or violinophone?

I'm a lapsed violinist, looking to get back into it, and I was thinking of dropping some flow on a Stroh violin. But I'd really rather play one before purchasing, so I'd rather buy from a shop than through the internet. I'm in New York for a while, so I'm hoping that I might be able to find a purveyor of unusual instruments. Any ideas?
posted by 235w103 to Shopping (7 answers total)
I don't know of any shops that have it, but let me point you to a couple of folks that probably do:

1) The omniscient and omnipresent blogger of this site lives in Budapest and sells Stroh (and other) fiddles from Transylvania. He's a New Yorker and would surely know where to find Stroh fiddles in New York:
http://horinca.blogspot.com/ (and I do urge you to follow his blog for all things musical and culinary eastern-european and other eccentricities). He is a walking encyclopedia of everything and anything, so do contact him with any questions.

2) I've seen Lugarshz, a young New York-based musician and circus artist, play a Stroh fiddle, so he might know where to find them here:

Contact information on both websites above.
posted by barmaljova at 4:36 PM on June 8, 2007

posted by 235w103 at 12:00 AM on June 9, 2007

Hmmm... barmaljova has me a bit wrong... I sell them when I can get them... and I don't have any now. And getting them demands a bit of travel into the depths of Bihor County, Romania to meet with the makers who all live out of range of cell phones... these are never facotory made. My blog post on Transylvanian vioara cu goarne includes a link to my youtube page with some videos of these fiddles being played in Romania. These are rarely found in shops - you have to know the makers, although there is are usually a couple for sale in the Folk Music shop on Andrassy Ter in Budapest for about $500.

I have heard about Thai manufactured Stroh violins being made but I have also heard they are made from aluminium and not up to par, at least compared to the Romanian made ones.

American retailer Lark in the Morning offers Thai made stroh violins on their website, but these are made out of aluminium and folks who have played them say they sound like crap.
posted by zaelic at 7:52 AM on June 9, 2007

Ahh. in New York? Try calling the fine folks at Musurgia, a rare instrument dealer in Brooklyn. I don't see any in their catalog on line, but if it exists in New York, and its for sale, they will know.
posted by zaelic at 7:57 AM on June 9, 2007

Damn it! I was just IN Budapest!
posted by 235w103 at 9:01 AM on June 9, 2007

Well, better luck next time... know anybody who will be in Budapest later this summer or fall? I'll be down in Bihor late August or so.

If you know anybody in your local folk dance scene, especially folks into Hungarian, Romanian or Gypsy fiddle styles, ask around if anybody wants to part with a vioara cu goarne. Lots of folkie fiddlers visiting Budapest or Romania fall in love with them when they see them, but after a year or so fall deeply out of love with them and might be willing to sell.
posted by zaelic at 9:42 AM on June 9, 2007

Actually, try emailing me. If I know where you are located inthe US, I may know somebody with a Romanian stroh who might let you try it.
posted by zaelic at 9:44 AM on June 9, 2007

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