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What’s New?


 Thank you for visiting our page!  We are a small, family-owned neighborhood shop in the old European tradition.  We love the violin family and the 18th Century lore of famous makers, craftsmanship, and classical music.  We also follow and play British Isles and North American fiddle music, and many other World musical traditions.  Our motivation and passion is sharing the love of music and the tradition of fine craftsmanship. 

We have been in the violin business since 1993.  We began in Montana, and moved to Seattle in 1997.  Our business model is modest.  We cater to a small local group of mostly amateur musicians and students, whom we get to know personally and help to attain their musical goals over a period of many years.  Our services are primarily sales of instruments and accessories, repairs, adjustments, student rentals, and new making.  Also, we are known internationally for our research into acoustics and technical details of famous classical instruments.

We don’t do mass marketing, and we are not an expensive, elite shop.  Most of our customers are children and amateurs.  We plan to stay small.  We prefer to spend our time at the workbench, making and repairing.  We specialize in violin, viola, cello, and bass.  There are no huge cash registers, no slick trained sales staff, no advertising.  We’re sorry if there are woodchips on the floor, but this is a busy workshop.  When you enter the showroom you may be surprised at the number of instruments of all sizes and colors, and our workshop is full of instruments in many stages of construction and repair.  We have hundreds of bows and a selection of cases and accessories.  We screen our products in order to offer those that meet our customers’ needs and offer reasonable value.  We are violin makers rather than sales people; and we love to answer questions in considerable depth.  We will not suggest that you make a purchase unless you ask.


Please read customer reviews of our products and services, going back to the 1990’s.


COVID-19 Notes: 

We are open normal hours and you do not currently need an appointment.

Please wear a mask, keep 6 ft distance, and limit numbers in the room to 4 people.  Hand sanitizer is available upon request.  We can also meet your curbside, by request.


IMG_2124.jpgLately we have been labeling instruments as to country of origin.  We have choices from USA, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Bulgaria as well as carefully chosen instruments from Asia.


Please read our Instrument Care page:  Care & Feeding of Fiddles


Please read our cautionary note:  Avoiding Low-Quality Instrument Woes



2020: We have been making violins.  We just finished a 1715 Strad copy and a 15” mezzoviolin (a large-body violin with close to violin string length; not a viola).  We think of this as a “souped-up violin” with deeper sound and more power).  We made a Guarneri del Gesu model that just sold to an excellent teacher.  Our Facebook page gives sporadic reports of our violin-making progress, and occasional philosophical ponderings (we make an effort for these posts to be non-lame).  Please follow and comment, so that we know that you are out there!  You are welcome to visit the shop, no appointment is necessary.  We would love to meet you.




2020 Guarneri del Gesu violin, bought by Gillian!


1715 Strad violin finished in May, 2020, ready for varnishing!


1715 “Cremonese” Stradivari

Varnished with crackle and patina, June 2020



Getting underway with a 15” mezzoviolin with sloped shoulders.


Roughing out the Bosnian maple back with a gouge and rubber mallet.


Outside arching is finished and purfling inlay is installed.


Getting started on the top.



Day 20:  Top is glued to ribset



Finished in 3 ½ weeks!



July, 2020.  The aging and varnishing process is done!  We like to think that this is the oldest violin made this year!



Aug. 2020: Beginning our fourth 2020 violin!

Stradivari 1704 “Betts” model (cast of original top shown on left; our new spruce top is shown on right)

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Carving the scroll, comparing to photos and measurements of originals.


Finished!  Weighs 399 grams.  That’s consistent with fine classic instruments.


Dec 2020

Our work on classic thickness graduations of a Stradivarius violin is included in a new poster in the Dec 2020 issue of The Strad (elite glossy magazine from London, England)!  We constructed a color contour map of thickness values in millimeters.  Hot colors show thick, and cold colors show thin.  Do you see the point on the top (lower left) that is 1.8 mm thick?  That is unacceptable to modern makers.  And the central area of the back is disorganized, asymmetrical, and unevenly done.  Yet this treasure is worth millions of dollars.  To many, Stradivarius violins represent “perfection”, unattainable by today’s makers.   Uh, not so much.

As with many things, real data and popular narratives are in conflict.  What to do?  How about correcting the narrative? 


“It Ain’t What You Don’t Know That Gets You Into Trouble. It’s What You Know for Sure That Just Ain’t So”     --attributed to Mark Twain (and others)




We sometimes make things that are different and unique, like this violin with a flamed redwood top.  Spectacular (and great sounding)!

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We occasionally make copies of rare historic instruments like this 15” 5-string mezzo version of the 16th Century Linarol lira da braccio (right photo).  The original is one of the greatest treasures of the National Music Museum. Our copy had planetary geared pegs for easy tuning and sympathetic understrings for extra resonance!  It was purchased and is proudly played by a Seattle Early Music performer!



We currently have a selection of three antique Norwegian Hardanger fiddles, all over 100 years old!  These should be in a museum, but we would rather see people playing them.



We do extensive restorations and repairs.  Folks, we’ve seen everything… Cellos broken in car accidents and dropped on airport tarmacs.  Violins that were sat on, run over by cars, soaked in floods, thrown off a Homecoming Parade float, stabbed by music stands, chewed by animals, neglected for generations in attics, and smashed on a fence post by an angry little brother. 

We bring them back to life!



We have a small, but good quality selection of student rental violin, viola, and cello.


Thanks again for visiting!

Please email any questions!  We would love to hear from you.