Of all the topics I’ve written on over the years, one of the most popular ones remains my review of the Mendini MV 300 violin. Since so many people have found it helpful, I’ve decided to write a follow-up post on some of the things I’ve done to my Mendini to improve the sound.
The Mendini MV 300 comes with generic Cecilio strings. These are all right for starting out, but if you continue to use it extensively, you may want to upgrade the strings. I put D’Addario Prelude strings on mine, and once the strings settled out and kept their tune, the difference in sound was amazing.
Possibly the weakest part of the MV 300 kit is the rosin–it’s not the highest quality, and for a long time I felt as if I was constantly reapplying it to the bow. I switched to Dr. Thomastik-Infeld Dominant rosin, and I didn’t have to reapply it as much. As an added bonus, the notes became a little more distinctive and easier to recognize. I’m using the dark rosin, but I’m sure the light rosin is good as well.
I actually didn’t plan on getting a different bow for this; what happened was that I ordered a carbon fiber bow for the violin I built myself, really liked the sound, and decided to try it with my Mendini. My playing definitely sounded clearer and more precise with the carbon fiber bow, but, honestly, after three years of playing the violin, I now sound pretty much the same with the generic wooden bow as I do with the carbon fiber. So this may not be a quality issue so much as a years-of-experience issue, but I still noticed an improvement in the sound and figured I’d mention it anyway.
If anyone out there was curious as to ways of improving your Mendini, I hope this helps! I can’t guarantee that you’ll get the same results as I did, but hopefully it’s a starting point for your ventures.