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Patrick Crooke, Suffolk

I made the long journey from Suffolk to Cardiff with a shopping list of two items, the first of which, a five string viola, Cardiff Violins appeared uniquely placed to help me with. The second item on my wish list was a fine baroque viola to take advantage of some opportunities that have opened up in that direction, but mostly because I am TOTALLY nuts about unaccompanied Bach!

The two instruments I left with have exceeded my most optimistic expectations in terms of quality and value for money.

The Don Tatum five string viola is a WHOLE LOT of instrument for an amazingly modest price – I’m absolutely loving it.

The Joseph I Ross baroque viola modelled on the Harry Danks Amati has a sound like pure velvet and I fell in love with it as soon as I started playing.

The customer service at Cardiff Violins was outstanding, starting from the previous day when I spoke to the charming Cecile to make the appointment.

I was made very welcome and given all the time and space I needed to really try out the instruments. It was most helpful to be able to call upon the assistance of a member of staff, BLANK, herself a very fine violist to take turns playing and listening.

To summarise the choice and quality of the instruments at Cardiff Violins is superb, the technical aspects outstanding (the instruments are brilliantly set up), and the Customer Service is outstanding. I am so glad I made the journey from Suffolk.