Repairs

IMG_8394I have been very fortunate to see many violins, including some of the greatest masterpieces.  Inspired by these instruments, I am always pursuing and expecting the best in my own instruments and repairs. Being both a musician and luthier, I take pride in accomplishing repairs and providing professional set ups on all instruments. From the most painstaking restoration to routine checkups and adjustments, you can be assured that your instrument will receive outstanding service.  I can often accommodate minor repairs and small adjustments while you wait.

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 Student double basses took a tumble. It was great to get them back in time, sounding and looking as good as new! 

Quality Materials

I strive to use the best quality materials at all times, keeping in mind the value of the instrument.  This guarantees a professional end result, and also ensures that a $1,000 repair job won’t be charged on a $450 violin.  I carry a stock of various wood species to match for repairs on older instruments and support local Canadian businesses which supply me with much of my raw material for new instruments.

20140929_154009Preserving history: this violin was repaired in the 19th century and I had the pleasure of fully restoring it 100 years later! The picture shows a faint marking left by the original repairman.

Set Ups

As a musician I have high expectations for set ups- there cannot be any buzzes. The sound and playability are paramount to players both professional and beginner.  Sustainability is also a major concern of mine when setting up a new instrument: there is nothing more annoying than slipping pegs or bridges that break and fall down due to being poorly fitted or made too thin.  All musicians have different needs, so a setup can be adjusted to suit your ability and style of playing.  An orchestral musician will likely have different needs and preferences than someone who plays  jazz, folk, or country .

How Set Ups Affect Sound

Every piece of wood transmits sound differently. It has been my experience that the bridge can have the most immediate effect on sound due to how it reacts with the bass bar and sound post to produce sound. The sound post should fit vertically in the correct position without being forced into place (which often causes cracks in the body of the instrument.)  You can often feel if a sound post is too tight by carefully feeling the back where the sound post is for any irregularities in the shape of the arch. Without a sound post the arch will become distorted and the tone produced would be very poor both in quality and strength.  The bass bar should be slightly angled according to the dimensions of the top , have a flawless fit and be well-shaped. String length is from the tailpiece to the bridge and the bridge to the nut effect harmonics and general response of any stringed instrument. There is an overwhelming variety of strings available today, so it is important to me to make sure that they suit the instrument and produce the type of sound that you are looking for. When performing a set up I keep all of these things in mind and also check for any open seams or cracks, and ensure that the neck projection is also correct. It’s important to focus on the details, while seeing the instrument as a whole. The cumulative effect of each individual part receiving individual attention will create an instrument responsive and enjoyable  to play and listen to.

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