Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you just sell violins?
A: No! We sell violins, violas, cellos, bases, and all the strings and accessories that go with them. We also have a full repair shop to fix up any string instruments you've got. Last but not least, we have a full rental program for all of our instrument types.
Q: Is the coffee really free?
A: Yes, it's hot and free for your enjoyment.
Q: What can you tell me about my violin?
A: Very little with having it in hand to inspect. Strange as this concept sounds to most American consumers, the label inside the violin usually tells us very little. There is a now 400 year long tradition of placing purposefully misleading labels inside violins to increase their value in the marketplace. For instance, there were literally hundreds of thousands of violins imported to America bearing a facsimile of the famous "Stradivarius" label. These were not meant to purposefully deceive, as it was the tradition in Europe that when you made a copy of something, you copied everything including the signature as an "homage." Only an expert skilled in knowing what to look for can comment honestly about the old instrument you found in the attic or under the bed. We here at Violins, Etc. have several staff members skilled at identification and authentication, and further have long standing relationships with internationally recognized experts as well.
Q: Do you repair or restore instruments?
A: Yes. From changing a string to a complete restoration, we've got you covered. In fact, if it has anything to do with a violin or violin family instrument, rest assured we can take care of it.
Q: Do you re-hair bows?
A: Yes indeed. A re-hair for violin, viola or cello with standard Mongolian horse hair is $50 plus tax. Bass bows are naturally more expensive and we offer either bleached, salt and pepper or coarse black hair at $65. Stallion horse hair is available for all instruments for a few dollars more and is preferred by professionals for its strength and durability. These prices do not include any bow repairs, such as replacing a broken tip (bows cannot be re-haired with a broken tip,) replacing thumb grip, etc. Allow at least 7 working days for turnaround. We do have loaner bows, when available.
Q: Why are 3/4 size basses full size?
A: Yes, it can be confusing. While we have fractional designations for other members of the violin family ( a 1/4 violin, a 15" viola, a 3/4 cello,) the bass is a whole other story. In fact, it's not technically a member of the violin family but actually an over-sized bass "gamba," a line of instruments that fell out of fashion in classical music by the late 1700's. All you really need to know is that most adults play a "3/4 size" bass and that the size designations refer to the string length rather than simply the size of the instrument.
Q: Why are cellos and basses so much more expensive than violins and violas of the same quality?
A: They're simply bigger. It takes craftsmen much more time, effort, and wood because of the size and that all adds up.
Q: Will you buy my old instrument?
A: If you have a high quality instrument, not a student model, we would be happy to discuss the possibilities. We may be able to consign your instrument, or purchase it outright from you. The value of your instrument is most affected by how it sounds, so if it's not in playing condition, you will usually need to have it repaired for us to assess its value. We are happy to give you an estimate of any repairs that may be needed.