Kenmore Violins has introduced a
line of rental instruments with an emphasis on quality and sound. These
are selected and set up by a professional violin maker. Prices are low and terms are friendly
(two-month minimum, then month-to-month). 80% of rental payments can
apply to purchase as a rent-to-own plan.
These instruments are
appropriate for young students and adults (fractional instruments can be
traded in for the next size; refurb fee applies to cover bow rehair, new
strings, cleaning, touch-up, etc).
Rates (starting Jan 3,
Violin (¼ or smaller, $30/month; ½ or larger, $35/month)
Cello (1/4 size, $52; ½ or
Bass not available
is free; Strings and bow rehairs are discounted 25% for rental customers
Our new fleet of instruments is mostly
European-made or carefully chosen Asian, with high-quality strings (D’Addarrio, Pirastro or Thomastik),
and hand-carved bridges. Full-size violins come with German Wittner tailpieces with built-in
tuners (Perfection Planetary Pegs are an option on some fractional violins and violas). Bows
are properly made (not cheap fiberglass!) and fun to use; often
Pernambuco, Brazilwood, and JonPaul or Glasser
carbon fiber). Cases are upscale fabric models by Core, West Coast, or Bobelock (we don’t use cheap thermoplastic cases).
Our rental program is of modest
scale so that we can guarantee fine quality and careful attention to
that we do not profit from our Instrument Rental Program. 100% of income from the rental program
goes to pay our overhead costs. We
limit the size of the rental fleet to the point that it pays our bills.
required for rental: $200 vn, vla;
Our take on
Teachers and others may suggest that you to buy
chain store insurance for your rental instrument, and it sounds like a
great idea because children can sometimes damage or lose things. However, we do not recommend that you buy the rental insurance from
chain music stores. It is expensive, yet it may not cover major damage or
loss (according to many sad stories related by customers who came to us
after bad experiences at chain stores).
It is not actually “insurance” (true insurance is licensed by the
State’s Insurance Commissioner); so it is often called a “damage
wavier”. But the definition of
“damage” is left to music store personnel who clearly have a conflict of
interest because they don’t want to lose money on lost, damaged, or
destroyed property. The only way that they can stay afloat if they must
honor a lot of damage claims is if the instruments are essentially worthless to start
with (sadly, this is often the case with stores that push you to buy
And you do not need insurance to cover simple
maintenance; the store is responsible for providing you with something
However, the good news is that you can add your
rental instrument onto your homeowner’s policy with your professional
insurance company. These agents routinely write legitimate coverage for
musical instruments. They will likely provide decent service if you have
a loss because they view you as a valued customer if you already insure
your autos and home with them, and there is no conflict of interest
because they are a third party. Your rental contract gives them all the
information they need regarding item value.
I should add that some children (youths, and
adults) are irresponsible and destructive because of a lack of discipline
or other problems. Insurance is not a way to avoid responsibility for
such behavior and perhaps the person should learn to care for things that
do not belong to them, especially expensive, fragile musical
instruments. We understand that
people have problems (many of which are not their fault) but we prefer
that you do not rent with us until such problems are resolved.
We offer written appraisals for
insurance purposes. This document
estimates the retail replacement cost, and is required by insurance
agents to pay a claim for a lost, stolen, or damaged musical instrument. Photos and description are included.
Violin, viola, cello: $125
note that we do not offer free verbal appraisals for your
instruments. These items are not
liquid assets and have no fixed value.
All those “Antiques Roadshow” episodes were extremely misleading!