Buying an erhu can be a daunting task if you do not know anything about the instrument. Heck, it can also be a daunting task even if you have been playing for quite a while. There are so many variables on the erhu that affect the erhu in various ways.
In this series of blogposts, I will try to give you as much information, in the simplest way, to help you decide on which erhu to choose. Information will be given to the best of my knowledge and some opinions are subjective. References of course will be made to the erhus that we sell at our Erhu online store.
The price of the erhus that we sell varies from US$164 to US$2082. The more expensive erhus are usually made of better wood, better snakeskin or by a famous maker. It usually, though not always, converts to better tone and playability. There are certainly cheaper varieties out there but we find that there is no point in getting those because they are just a pain to play. You will go away thinking the instrument is too difficult to master when in fact it is the fault of the instrument itself. The barest minimum would be our synthetic skin erhu priced at US$164. The most expensive erhus currently are Indian small leaf sandalwood erhus that cost at least US$5000.
Here are some of our erhu recommendations from different price range:
Between S$200 – S$400
Rosewood Erhu by Shanghai Dunhuang
Cheap erhu does not have to be bad. This is one of our best selling erhus for beginners. If you can, upgrade to a Shanghai professional bow. It makes a significant difference.
Between S$401 – S$600
Ebony Erhu by Shanghai Dunhuang
Ebony gives the erhu a mellow and warm tone. Responsive and well constructed by Shanghai Dunhuang.
Between S$601 – S$900
Aged Rosewood Erhu by YKM
Our best selling aged Rosewood Erhu. Superb tone at an unbeatable price. Lots of schools are using these.
Between S$901 – S$1400
Premium Aged Rosewood Erhu by YKM
Another aged Rosewood erhu by YKM. This time, with better wood and better snakeskin, hence a much better tone.
S$1500 and above
Premium Aged Rosewood Erhu by Hu Han Rou
Excellent workmanship and tone.
Ming Qing Aged Rosewood Erhu by YKM
Rich, warm and sweet.