Why Choose a Contemporary Instrument 101: Condition

Condition is a Main Factor in Determining Whether an Instrument Will Maintain or Increase its Value. This is One of the Many Reasons to Choose a Contemporary Instrument.

There are many reasons to choose a contemporary instrument over an antique but today we will look at one of the most important aspects of all:


The condition of an instrument is the single most important factor in determining whether it will maintain or increase its value. Provided, of course, that the authenticity of the instrument is not in question.

How is condition determined?

Instruments for sale should come with a condition report provided by either the seller or an expert in the field. The condition report will list historical damage to the instrument and the repairs that have been carried out. There are many different ways in which an instrument can get damaged (general cracks, sound post cracks on the back and front, bass bar cracks, woodworm, etc.) and some of this damage can devalue your instrument by more than 50% of its original value.

violin repair london
Clear Sign of Woodworm Damage in the Inside of a Violin

Buyers should study condition reports very carefully in order to make sure they are making a wise investment. When the time comes to resell the instrument, the next buyer will undoubtedly want to make sure they are not putting money into a damaged violin.

This can of course be tricky as many instruments come without a condition report. This is particularly true when buying at auction (which should only be done by experts) as the instruments are sold “as is” and there is little time to make sure you are not investing in a damaged instrument.

This is where contemporary instruments come in

When purchasing a contemporary instrument, the risk of damage is either non-existent or extremely low. Of course, it’s possible for a modern instrument to have damage but we make sure to only select instruments in perfect condition at MyLuthier. If the instrument is well crafted and has been well maintained, there should be no reason why it wouldn’t be!

This is a vital part of investing in an instrument and many players, who are perhaps buying an instrument for the first time, overlook this aspect. We encourage anyone looking to buy any instrument to ask the seller for a condition report, and if they don’t provide one, to show the instrument to an expert in the field who will be able to help you out.  

About the Author

Ariel Lang is a Violinist and one of the Co-Founders of MyLuthier.co. He studied with Jack Liebeck at the Royal Academy of Music. As a freelance musician, he focuses on performing with small chamber ensembles such as the United Strings of Europe and O/Modernt.

Ariel Lang
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