I want to thank you and Chris for all the help you gave me yesterday and last week to choose a viola. I was pleased that you had so many instruments in my price range, and that you were able to give me time to try them out. You have a lot of really lovely instruments, including a good dozen in the size range that I need for my relatively short fingers, and I was able to choose a bow and a case to suit. Having played 15 or 20 instruments of yours over two days I found there were at least 10 violas that I would have enjoyed buying, but I was particularly taken by two: firstly one made by your husband, Chris, which I brought home to try out for a few days, but had to eventually admit to myself that it was too big for my relatively little fingers, and then you showed me the one I eventually bought, which was made by Paul Harrild and which I could not help wanting to pick up time and again yesterday after trying another. Paul’s instrument is a gorgeous amber colour, a real beauty to look at, and has the richest tone, even and smooth throughout the register. It has a sonority which is one of the things I would look for in a viola, and a much better C string than many others, then it will sing with that baritone voice through the G and D strings where the sound simply bounces out, and is brilliant (but not strident) higher up the A string. I love it to bits, and my wife is just as pleased as I am!
Perhaps one day I will meet Paul, I would like him to know how much pleasure his instrument is giving. I would recommend Cardiff Violins to anyone else wanting to buy a good quality instrument. I am delighted with the one I bought, and look forward to playing it for decades to come.