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Peter Miln

Cardiff Violins is a fantastic shop. A Dickensian treasure trove of instruments with the highest standards of personalised customer service. It was the first port of call in my search for a new violin and bow. I did not have a budget in mind as I had no idea what I would need to spend to get the instrument and sound I wanted. Above a certain figure, the new roof would have to wait a bit longer. So I was let loose in the violin room to try whatever I wanted. I felt like a child in a sweetie shop. Four and a half hours later I was still in there and had found and tried the David Bittner violin (c.1870) that I ended up buying. By this point I’d had a lot of help and guidance from Magdalena, Chris and Cecile. They struck the perfect balance between offering help and leaving me in peace to try instruments in private. I returned a week later to take the violin home to try, by which time I had some other instruments to try for comparison. But it was the Bittner violin that I kept wanting to play. Having bought the violin and had a skyinbow pick-up fitted by Chris, I returned to find a bow. This took a couple of visits but I found one that did exactly what I wanted, made by Manoel Fransisco. The whole process was great fun and very enjoyable.