A huge thank you to everyone at Cardiff violins, especially Angharad, who showed great patience and understanding whilst helping our daughter with the very grown up decision of choosing her new violin. The expertise and advice was much appreciated. The whole experience was so enjoyable. She finally came away with a lovely violin, which will be used for many years to come. Thank you from the Reed family.
Mabel, my Ian Ross Cello Mabel is strong, feisty, sonorous and sings like an angel. She is strong yet girly, delicate and kind too, and is the most beautiful extension of my body and soul that I could ever have wished for. However, Mabel can be tenacious, and, particularly in her lower register she will soon tell me if I ask of her anything that I do not play correctly, for Mabel is also contrary and in being the best I could ever have wished for, she seeks to be played with the utmost passion, yet respect and care. Play her without due care and passion and she will respond like a naughty schoolgirl, or as on one occasion, by snapping her A string in a most temperamental manner, in an outburst very unlike myself. So in some ways we are quite different. Her feistiness is offset by my calm, gentle and more placatory demeanour. For, although Mabel, is my musical doppelgänger, those points of difference in our personalities make us the dream team. She is sweet and striking, pretty and handsome all in one, intoxicating and sublime and a master of the most amazing tone. Me, I’m just the very proud cellist that plays this most beautifully crafted instrument created by Ian! One seeks a cello throughout a lifetime that just ‘is’ part of you, an extension of ones physical and mental persona and Mabel is me, my alter ego, my life partner, lovingly created by Ian without me ever knowing, only for me to find her by chance one very lucky day when we came together, and although there were many other possible Mabel’s who tried to come between us, we knew we were made for each other! Thank you Ian. Mabel and I will spend a life time creating music together.
I have had the greatest of pleasure knowing Chris and Cecile for over 35 years after joining the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Their kindness, helpfulness and understanding have been a great support over the years, I have always relied on them to repair and maintain my violin and bows. I have purchased three Benoit Rolland carbon-fibre bows on their recommendation and recently an Arcus P6 bow. I have had the greatest of pleasure playing all four bows thanks to their valuable recommendation. I greatly appreciate their knowledge and expertise and will continue to use their kind service and also recommend them to colleagues and students. Many thanks Bob Bird
After a tailpiece failing causing a minor crack in the belly of my instrument Joe at Cardiff violins took on the job of removing the belly in order to do the necessary repair work. The crack was then glued and studded before refitting and a fresh set up was also done. All work was done to an extremely high standard with meticulous attention to detail and I am so pleased with the result! The violin now sounds the best it ever has and the set up from Cardiff Violins was far superior to the original set up from the maker. Thank you so much Joe!
I am the proud owner of a 2004 viola by Ian Ross. I took ownership in 2007, just after my 30th birthday. I remember it well. I had been playing in Cardiff a lot, with Cardiff Philharmonic and other amateur groups including Cambrensis. Everytime I found myself in Cardiff, I would pop into Cardiff Violins to have a play on some instruments, aware that the one I owned was not capable of me making technical progress. This is not a case of a bad player blaming the instrument... read on. Ian's viola was there waiting for me over 4 successive occasions. It got to the point that I hoped it wouldn't sell, and it didn't, until it came to me. Its sound is captivating. It has an incredibly deep and warm tone throughout, and the A string soars yet remains mellow. Playing it is an experience, it really does play itself. Since taking ownership, I have put myself, successfully, through Grade 8 (I procrastinated) and then the ATCL. The instrument holds it's own in a quartet, pit band, an opera and symphonic setting. I've performed a few recitals on it, in addition to the Telemann viola concerto, and it cuts through the tutti with panache. I've also done the cello solo from the Armed Man on it - he really did write that for viola...
I'm still playing the Luis & Clark violin I bought from you to the exclusion of anything else. Like any violin, having it set up to my personal preference by Cardiff Violins made a big difference (and I still haven't found strings that suit it better than Helicore). The tone is deep and rich, and it can be loud for a smallish body instrument. The sounds available are great. I guess a professional classical player might look for a wider range of tones, but even they would find it very useful for adverse conditions, and for non classical styles, there's nothing missing. This fiddle is always ready to go, whatever the weather. I've played it inside with high humidity, outside in -2 to 30 C in frost, rain and full sun, and it just works and sounds good whatever the conditions. I even play next to accordionists without fear (but I also have carbon bows).
Terrific customer experience, we had a lot of trouble with a package and its arrival due to constraints on UK postal offices (we made a purchase from outside the UK) but Cecile from Cardiff Violins kept a regular and helpful communication channel opened and was responsible for the delivery to finally arrive to us - thank you, fantastic customer focus!
... In fact, of course, all that is of no importance if the instrument does not do what I as a player want. It has a huge sound, open and free, with the nasal edge and the nutty brown sound of an old Italian instrument. This is the best violin, by any maker, that I have played in a long time.