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We would just like to say what an amazing experience we had at ‘Cardiff Violins’ yesterday,with our 8 year old grandaughter. We had travelled up from Plymouth as our grandaughter needed the next size violin. Her music teacher had phoned in advance with what was needed and there was four violins ready for her to try. You are in a private room and given plenty of time to try out each violin. We have no musical ability, Megan was extremely helpful and at no time did we feel rushed or pressured in any way. Tavy was given plenty of time to play each instrument. Megan also played for her which was extremely helpful. We cannot thank Megan and ‘Cardiff Violins’ enough and would highly recommend the shop.

Bill and Diane Francis

I'm still being amazed by the Arcus bows I bought some time ago, not only because they make even the most difficult things ridiculously easy, but also because of the sheer range and nuances of tone colours that I am discovering they can produce, not to mention the effortless projection and beauteous sound — whenever I play it seems there is some new delight. The bows have surpassed what I was given to expect from the website      

Nigel Berry, Cardiff

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.

Ann Reed, Goodwick, Pembrokeshire

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.

Dr Karenanne Knight

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

Bob Bird, BBC Welsh National Orchestra

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!

Gareth Davies
RWCMD Junior Conservatoire & CCVGMS

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...

Mark Aitchison

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).

Max Ranken