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).
Violin (¼ or smaller, $30/month; ½ or larger, $35/month)
Cello (1/4-1/2 size, $50; ¾ or
Bass not available
is free; Strings and bow rehairs are discounted 25% for rental customers
Our 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).
Unlike most chain music stores who cater to young
beginners, our full-size instruments are suitable for good adult players.
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: $100 small
violin; $200 ½-4/4 vn, vla; $300 cello
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). 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 have a conflict of interest because they don’t want to lose money on
lost, damaged, or destroyed property. This tail ends up wagging the dog
because the only way that they can honor a lot of damage claims is to
rent instruments that are essentially
worthless (often low-grade or
older damaged instruments).
And you should not need insurance to cover simple
maintenance; in our opinion, the store is responsible for providing you
with something that works.
The good news is that you can often add your rental
instrument onto your homeowner’s policy with your professional insurance
company. These agents routinely write 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. 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.
offer written appraisals for insurance purposes (maximum value limit
$10,000; we feel it is improper for us to appraise instruments in price
ranges higher that we actually sell in our shop). This document estimates retail
replacement cost, and is required by insurance agents if you submit a claim
for a lost, stolen, or damaged musical instrument. Photos and description are included.
Violin, viola, cello: $175