Help

Top 10 FAQ's

The items listed below represent the most common cateogories of questions submitted to our site. If you need help, checking the list below is a good beginning. If you still need help, do not hesitate to contact us.

  1. Advice
  2. Appraisals
  3. Donations
  4. How to Make a Violin
  5. Purchases/Sales
  6. Repairs
  7. Trade
  8. Vendors
  9. Violin Makers
  10. Website

  1. Advice

    Q. Can you offer me advice regarding "______"?

    A. Advice is cheap. In fact, it's free. I am always pleased to advise you in any way I can. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. If I don't know the answer or can't help you, I'll try to find the answer or find someone who can help you.

  2. Appraisals

    Q. I found a "Stradivarius" violin. How much is it worth?

    A. Oh boy, this is one of my favorites! I get this one so often I have sprinkled the answer liberally about the site. But since you're here not there, I'll say it again. It's most likely not a genuine Stradivari and it's value is probably less than $1000. Many people do not realize that copies of all the great violin makers, including Stradivari, were mass produced in the 1800's. I don't like to crush your hopes, but it's a fact. The copyists weren't trying to make forgeries, they were merely satisfying the demand that existed at that time for the great early makers. Most of these copies are very good violins, but not good enough to warrant the millions of dollars a genuine Strad would command. On the other hand, Stradivari (and his helpers) did make over 1000 instruments and only 2/3 are accounted for. Most scholars agree that the rest are lost forever, destroyed by war or the ravages of time. But there is an infinitesimally small chance you have the real deal. I suggest you take your instrument to a good local dealer, in person, and satisfy your curiosity. By the way, here's an excellent violin makers list, arranged by location.

    Q. I have a violin that was my dear old mother's. Can you tell me how much it's worth?

    A. Without seeing your violin or a photo of it, not really. Any violin that "works" is worth at least $100--sight unseen. Other than that, I can only suggest you take it to a local violin maker or dealer and get an appraisal. If you would like me to appraise your instrument, I'd be honored.

  3. Donations

    Q. Do you ever donate instruments?

    A. I have been known to donate instruments that are less than stellar to a worthy individual or cause if someone can tug my heartstrings. But I don't have a huge pile of these laying around, so chances are slim. Nevertheless, you are always welcome to inquire.

  4. How to Make a Violin

    Q. How can I make my own violin?

    A. If you'd like to tackle the violin making process from scratch, please see my "how to" page. There are also some other good violin making references out there like the one from Derek Roberts. Or you can buy one of the violin making books I've listed. In any case, we shall always welcome one more violin maker to the craft!

  5. Purchases/Sales

    Q. Would you like to purchase my instrument?

    A. Generally, no. But we do offer a consignment service that will allow you to submit your instrument to us for possible sale.

    Q. How can I buy an instrument or service from you?

    A. We offer a variety of sales methods. You may contact us through this web site, by mail, phone or email.

  6. Repairs

    Q. Would you be interested in repairing my instrument?

    A. Absolutely! Please contact us for more information.

  7. Trade

    Q. Would you accept my instrument in trade and apply its value towards the purchase of one of your instruments?

    A. No. But, we do offer you the option of consigning your instrument to us for sale. You could then use the proceeds to purchase one of our instruments.

  8. Vendors

    Q. Would you like to buy ________?

    A. Generally, no. I have a full list of suppliers with more waiting in the wings. I am in the business of selling, not buying. However, I am not a harsh man and will entertain all proposals. Please don't be too miffed if I don't reply.

  9. Violin Makers

    Q. Where can I find a list of reputable violin makers?

    A. Well, I can't speak about reputations, but I can provide lists. We've moved our popular Violin Makers Listing to its own site. For other violin maker lists, try our violin related links page.

    Q. Why did you move the Violin Makers Listing?

    A. Before moving the Violin Makers Listing, we were getting about 400 unique visitors a day, and it seems about half were looking for that list. Another quarter of the visitors were looking for one of our articles and the other quarter or so visitors were actually interested in the instruments. By moving the Violin Makers Listing, we've refocused the site on the instruments and articles while offloading some of the bandwidth to our other site.

    Q. Where can I find information about a violin maker by the name of "______"?

    A. I know most of the violin makers living and dead very well. But no one knows them all. There are, however, a few things I can recommend. You can search using Google to see if you get any results. Most likely you've already tried that and it will only work if the maker has a web site or someone has written about him or her. So, another method is to purchase a database of violin makers. I have one listed on this site and although I haven't tried the database myself, it sounds pretty good. Another method is to go to one of the violin forums and post a general question. Someone may have heard of your maker and can help. I've listed the Maestronet Forum on our violin related links page.

  10. Website

    Q. How many visitors have you had? I don't see a counter.

    A. We were among the first of the violin makers on the web back in December of 2000 and have averaged 3000 unique visitors a month over the years since. We do more now, but less then. I have switched web hosts a number of times and lost my original statistics each time. I could plug an approximate number (a little over 250,000 I think) into a counter and call it good, but two things bother me with that approach. One, it's not accurate. Two, it requires that you have Java enabled. I have designed this site so that if you have scripts enabled and trust me to use them, I will. But if not, I don't want you getting errors or not being able to see key information or to navigate the site.

    Q. I found an error on a page. Are you interested in fixing it?

    A. Oh my goodness yes! We have rigorous quality control in place, but no one is perfect. Any errors or problems you experience with our website, we'd love to know about. Please contact us anytime regarding this issue.

    Q. Are you interested in exchanging links with my site?

    A. No! We are always open to listing any worthy site and we appreciate any site which lists ours. But, we feel a tit for tat link exchange is unethical. All links on our site are ones which we feel have merit and we can therefore recommend. That being said, if you still want to hazard the question, please contact us.