Altarwind – Are They Good Starting instruments for US buyers?

An often asked question from beginners looking to purchase their first hurdy-gurdy is “I live in the US, should I buy an Altarwind?”. Let’s look at some opinions from members of the community on the instruments, problems with depreciation, and price comparisons.

Reviews from Altarwind owners

We reached out to several community members that have owned Altarwind instruments, here are a few anonymous responses we got back.

Response #1

Response #2

Community Response to Altarwind

As Reddit is the only hurdy-gurdy community you can view without joining private groups or signing up, we have compiled a short list of threads you can quickly find through the search feature, and read comments about Altarwind instruments.

Join other various hurdy-gurdy groups and do a search for “Altarwind” for additional threads from other communities.

Depreciation

Hurdy-gurdies are notoriously expensive, and many potential players are worried about losing money if they don’t enjoy the instrument they buy. Luckily, because of the long wait times most hurdy-gurdy makers have, they retain their value after purchasing.

Unfortunately this is not the case for Altarwind instruments. You can find a post made back in October of 2020 on the “Hurdy Gurdy Community” Facebook group asking for experiences re-selling Altarwind instruments. Here are 5 experiences selling used Altarwind instruments:

1. “I paid around $2200.00 and was able to re-sell it in mint condition at around $1100.00.”

2. “I paid a little over $3000 and sold it for $2000 in good playable condition with good strings. Just some scratches on the back.”

3. “Well…I had a couple…I bought new and sold for around half price.”

4. “I bought one for 4200 and sold it for 3500.”

5.”I bought one for $2400 and sold it for $1300″

As you can see, typically these instruments tend to lose 20-50% value

Model comparisons

Here we do some price comparisons on Altarwind models vs similar European instruments.

We often hear that buying from Europe is too expensive due to shipping costs and import fees. However, this is often unfounded. If you do research into shipping prices for gurdy-sized packages, you’ll find (depending on where you are) shipping instruments throughout the US, as well as from the EU to the US are similar in price. Shipping from the EU to the US does incur around a 4% import fee for the buyer, however.

Make sure you research into shipping costs and import fees before investing your money into an instrument!

Altarwind – The ‘Madeline’

Price: 1,095.00 USD + shipping
Strings: 1/2/1
Additional Features:

  • Geared tuners
  • Adjustable bridges
  • Hardwoods
  • Drone/trompette capos
  • Soft case included


Robert Mandel – Symphonia

Price: ~775.00 USD + shipping
Strings: 1/1/1
Additional Features:

  • Friction tuners
  • Plywood
  • Additional features available upon request

Altarwind – ‘Merry Wood’

Price: 1,985.00 USD + shipping
Strings: 1/2/2
Additional Features:

  • Geared tuners
  • Adjustable bridges
  • Hardwoods
  • Soft case included
  • Additional features available upon request

KNYS Instruments – Catnip-B

Price: 1,300.00 USD + shipping
Strings: 2/2/2
Additional Features:

  • Geared tuners
  • Adjustable bridges
  • Plywood
  • Soft case included
  • Additional features available upon request

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