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I wanted to upgrade to an intermediate cello, not having anywhere local to visit, then came across Cardiff Violins and decided to buy by mail order. I found the staff extremely helpful, sending me both sound files and images along with opinions on several cellos. I have to say, the outcome is first class. A wonderful cello, expertly set up and safely delivered. Highly recommended. Thanks a bunch.

Kevin, York

Thank you, Cécile and everyone at Cardiff Violins, for keeping my instrument at its best.  Even though sometimes I play jazz in unusual places: here's me and Jo Davies (guitar) from FiddleBop playing on the top of Bryn y Crug, near Brecon. This was for a local charity. It was a lovely sunny day if a bit windy at times.

David Favis-Mortlock, Builth-Wells

My violin by Laura Vigato which I recently purchased from Cardiff Violins is very beautiful , well set up and easy to play. It is very even across the strings, and one can produce different tone colours quite easily.  There is great depth to the sound and at the same time the upper registers are very clear, and the sound carries easily. It is modelled after a del Gesu of 1741, who was strongly influenced by the earlier makers of Brescia where Laura herself practices her craft. The instrument is developing into a true concert violin, and I commend this maker to those players looking for an instrument of great potential.  

Warner Titterton, Steyning, West Sussex

I stumbled across Coruss hair whilst investigating creative ways to refurbish some of the bows I hadn't been using. I use D'Addario Helicore Octave Strings on one of my instruments, strings that require a slightly different approach to playing, as they're thicker with medium tension. The combination of viola bow, Coruss hair and Andrea cello rosin turned out to be the ideal solution. Coruss hair enables loud and strident playing. The attack is quicker and the tone much richer. On the lower strings, Coruss cuts out unwanted overtones. Overall, I was surprised by the dynamism of Coruss hair and most delighted by the colour range. Recording in Penzance I was able to ship my bows using poster tubes. Communication with Cécile was a delight! If I lived near Cardiff, I'd be a regular.

Olivia Willson-Piper, Cornwall
Noctorum, MOAT, Atlantæum Flood

What a marvellous instrument (Eric Jackson violin). I'm so glad I travelled all the way from the Middle East to Cardiff to play your wonderful violin.  Having played in orchestras from the age of  7, I went on to lead most orchestras I played in right through my Masters of Music degree until now, in Doha, where I lead the Doha Community Orchestra whilst at the same time act as Head of Music at Doha College, Doha Qatar.  Having extracted every bit of sound of my old violin it was time for an upgrade. I had no idea new violins could sound this good.  In fact, it was so good my partner (a cellist) was so impressed with the violin sound that he played your cello and didn't want to play another after hearing it (he's now saving up).

Katrina Elliman, Doha, Qatar
Doha Community Orchestra

My cherished, life-long friend was warmly welcomed at Cardiff Violins, but this 18th century cello by William Forster was fragile. The belly was found to be collapsing inwards and a lower edge worn away. A careful diagnosis suggested several restorative options, and the resulting four-month program of sensitive conservation has completely rejuvenated this cello. The workmanship is immaculate. The instrument is more responsive, and I can now achieve a far wider range of tone qualities. It wants to speak or even to sing.  Cecile and Chris have been marvellous throughout the whole process and Katja on the day I collected my cello. They gave me the feeling we were doing this together.  It was also good to meet Mick who had done much of the work.  I felt more than a customer; the whole process has been a very special experience.  Thank you, Cardiff Violins.    

Jane Durham, Devon

The Vieuxtemps Del Gesu copy made by Paul Harrild is, in my opinion, an excellently crafted violin with fine tonal potential. Altogether an impressive achievement.

Emanuel Hurwitz

I've been looking for a new viola for a while now, after studying for 4 years in Cardiff.  I knew that Cardiff Violins would certainly be one of the shops worth looking in. I was not disappointed. Joe, one of the staff members had heard I was searching and sent me a lot of information on their instruments, and invited me to come and have a look.  Upon arrival, a wide range of violas were set out, and I was able to try them at my leisure. One in particular, a lovely Paul Harrild, stood out for me but was unfortunately out of my price range. Paul and the staff at Cardiff Violins were more than helpful in offering funding advice and working out a situation to enable me to purchase this instrument. Next year I hope to start auditioning professionally and this will hugely assist me. I cannot say how grateful I am, it is a beautiful viola!

Beth Fuller-Teed