The STN1550, or ‘Conservatoire’ model from Stentor’s range of hand-carved violins is an intermediate violin designed for students who are looking to progress and develop their sound. Generally marketed as the next model on from the Stentor Student II, this violin features flamed maple back and ribs, ebony fittings and is finished in a Shellex varnish, giving the whole instrument a developed, sophisticated look.
Stentor have been a household name for orchestral string players since the founding of the company by Edward C. Doughty, a professor of music and teacher of the violin, who registered the name in 1895. Since 1960, over one million young musicians have now begun their music careers with a Stentor instrument. They are renowned as the foremost wholesale distributor of acoustic musical instruments in Britain. In 1995 they opened their first wholly-owned subsidiary factory in Taixing where they employ local skilled workers to make violins, cellos and other stringed instruments. The finished products are shipped to thirty countries and receive excellent reviews from teachers worldwide, naming them the best ‘budget’ student instruments on the market.
There are a number of features which make the conservatoire stand out from its contepories, the student I and the student II. The first is the Shellax varnish, which gives a much glossier sheen to the instrument and also brings out the quality of the tone woods. Secondly, this instrument has ebony inlaid purfling which can prevent the spread of any cracks as well as being an ornate decoration. Finally, this instrument is fitted with a higher grade string than the Stenetor student I and II, incorporating synthetic gut strings which can vastly improve the tonal qualities of the instrument.
The Stentor Conservatoire is supplied as an outfit with rosin, and wooden octagonal bow with ebony frog and white horse hair. The hard moulded case is oblong, and therefore has more space for accessories inside and out, with external pocket suitable for carrying A4 sheets of music or manuscript paper. The interior has plush teal lining, two bow holders and a hygrometer to measure the humidity within the case.
Specification at a glance
- Finely hand-carved spruce front
- Solid, carved, flamed maple back and ribs
- Solid, finely carved, Maple neck
- Shellax™ varnish finish
- Ebony fingerboard and pegs
- Inlaid purfling
- Alloy tailpiece with integral adjusters
- Teka pattern hardwood chin rest
- Synthetic gut strings
- Good wood bow with natural white horsehair and full mounted ebony frog
- Deluxe oblong lightweight case with integral cover, carrying strap, music pocket, hygrometer and case blanket