MSV Instrument Reviews

These are reviews from customers who have bought new MSV instruments. You might like to also look at reviews from violinists and reviews from viola players.

How to to contribute a review.

Laura Macleod, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

image link MSV 37 Stradivarius Pattern Violin

A violin for exams, concerts and auditionsMarch 2017
I have had my violin for nearly 5 years now. It has helped me through all my exams, concerts and auditions with its resonant tone. I feel it is on a par with more expensive instruments that I have heard – I really love the sound it makes. I am now looking forward to making more music with my violin and I am very excited to be on a path to a career as a performing musician. Thank you!
Laura Macleod, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Helen Mason, Jahn Quartet

MSV 132 Guadagnini Simpson 1777 Cello

Nov 2016
I wanted the best cello I could get for my limited budget. I had been looking for about a year with no success & travelled many miles to try cellos that weren’t good enough. The “good enough” ones were too expensive though. Martin sent one of his new MSV cellos down to me on trial without me having to go up to Scotland to try different instruments. It has a really big sound and I’m playing more confidently as I was always scared of breaking my ancient cracked cello, as it broke in 2014 from over-work! My quartet colleagues keep commenting on “my stronger bottom” i.e. more resonant C string which really makes a difference in the quartet.
Helen Mason, UK

John Grant, Borland Ceilidh Band

image linkMSV89 Left Handed Violin

Playing fiddle left handed on a custom-made instrumentApril 2015
” Just to let you know that I will most definitely not be bringing the fiddle back for a 14 day refund. After playing my entire life with a converted right handed fiddle, to finally not have to play against the grain is astounding.

I was trying to describe it to a friend today and wrote: It’s been a strange journey. Playing a converted right hand fiddle has been akin to playing all my life with gloves on. I didn’t realise it at the time and just put it down to not being as good as others. Suddenly everything seems possible and I can achieve subtlety – which was before unachievable. More details

Hilde Schroeven-Deceuninck, UK

image link MSV 73 Stradivarius Molitor Violin

Every string vibrates through the violin into my body...May 2014
“First of all thank you for organizing such a swift delivery: it arrived just after lunch time today. Which of course kept my nerves going, so my husband has sent me immediately pictures.

Waw! 3-fold waw! It looks stunning with all the rosewood fittings on, absolutely what I had hoped for. I do enjoy very much that there is no artificial effort in making it look “old”; it is not, so why fake it? More details

Jonathan Polson, UK

image link MSV 109 Stradivarius Pattern Violin

Sept 2014
“Firstly can I extend my utmost sincere gratitude … for providing an instrument of such utter beauty. I have had chance to play the violin in various settings, from large concert hall to small chamber ensemble and always, without fail people comment as to the sound that this wonderful instrument makes. I cannot understand how an instrument that was made so recently can possess such a mature and complex tone, especially in the high registers. It simply soars and sings with such ease and such purity, it can almost be overwhelming at times. More details

Jennifer Williams, Scotland

image link MSV 03 Stradivarius Pattern Violin

My violin instructor enjoyed the new violin2013
“I could not be more proud of this instrument – those close to me will testify that I am eager to extol its virtues to any and all who will listen! I even asked my violin instructor to play it so I could gain a greater understanding of its range and potential in more experienced hands than my own. (So beautifully crisp and clear!) I am pleased to say that my initial admiration of my violin has only deepened with knowing it better. It is a pleasure to play, inspires and challenges me, and I’m eager to grow with it and into it as I progress. My confidence has improved already. :) It’s a dynamic instrument that is not only absolutely beautiful to look at but possesses great presence and personality. More details

Karen Harper, Scotland

image link MSV 12 Stradivarius Pattern Violin, Artist Model

Karen Harper, violinist2012
Karen Harper

Alastair Macfarlane, Scotland

MSV 54 Viola

My new handmade viola is best value for money2012
“The viola I bought some months ago from Martin – instrument no. 54 – is a beautiful instrument to look at and a great pleasure to play. I have owned five or six violas and would say unhesitatingly that, of all of these, this is the best value for money and looks of all of them and performs better than many much more expensive violas I have seen and tried in shops up and down the country. More details

Lorna Carter, UK

image link MSV 68 Cello

Grade 5 to Grade 8 on a cello by Martin Swan ViolinsNov 2012
” We bought this lovely cello for our son Adam when he was grade 5; he has recently achieved 140 in his grade 8. Many people have commented on its beautiful rich tone on all strings. We are very pleased. Thank you!”
Lorna Carter

Jani Lang, Scotland

MSV 10 Guarnerius Pattern Violin

A new violin that sounds and plays like a top violin2011
“Martin came to my rescue when I needed a new violin. He wasn’t just very helpful but gave me an unbelievable price on an amazing Hungarian violin. Being a Hungarian, it was a very funny coincidence and I have no doubt that without Martin’s help I would have never been able to own such an outstanding instrument. I can’t explain how much difference it makes to play on a violin that sounds and plays like any old Italian/French etc. top violin. Not to mention all the compliments that I receive from my audience and fellow musicians on my violin. Now I own an instrument that will stay with me for all my life …”
Jani Lang
Band Website

Chris Law, UK

image link MSV 15 Stradivarius Pattern Viola

“Having lost my viola in a burglary, I had spent an unsuccessful summer looking for a new instrument before I came across Martin’s violas. The quality of sound was in a different league to the other instruments (of the same price and more) that I had tried, and I instantly fell for the viola. It has a wonderfully edgy sound in the lower register, and beautiful lyrical higher notes. I’m so happy to be able to play such a fantastic instrument.”
Chris Law, UK
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Cat, USA

image link MSV 51 Stradivarius Pattern Cello

Getting the best set-up for a new cello2011
“The entire experience of working with Martin has been a delight. He is invested in not only making superior instruments, but also making real connections with musicians – matching them with the right instrument and sharing the passion we all feel for music. He was generous with his communication and time at every stage. As the cello was being made, he asked perceptive questions about what I would most like in the instrument. Once it arrived he worked meticulously with me to give the cello the best set-up possible at my end and helped me understand what kind of settling-in process new instruments go through. More details

Lieu Wee Ling, Singapore

image link MSV 08 Tertis Model Viola

Viola used for ABRSM viola grade 72010
“I got the viola from u a year ago… my daughter like it a lot… had attached a photo of her with my wife n son after a concert… she had passed her ABRSM viola grade 7 recently with distinction…”
Lieu Wee Ling
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Deirdre Morrison, Scotland

image link MSV 16 Guarnerius Pattern Violin

A violin which shines in performance and recording situations2010
“I couldn’t be happier with this beautiful instrument – exceptionally resonant and responsive with depth and clarity on all strings. Intonation is very true. Shines in both performance and recording situations.”
Deirdre Morrison
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Allan Green, UK

image link MSV 27 Guarnerius Pattern Violin

The best sounding instrument I have played2010
“My violin arrived safely no problems or damage.

I’m afraid I don’t agree with your assessment of its tonal qualities. When you said, “I can’t pretend that these are the best-sounding instruments we’ve made,” I think what you actually meant was this is the best sounding instrument we have ever made…!

It is certainly the best sounding one I have played. Although I am certainly no expert I was on a £4,500 Nicolo Croce and a More details

Rona Wilkie, Scotland

image link MSV 01 Stradivarius Pattern Violin

2012 BBC Young Traditional Musician2009
In 2012 Oban fiddler Rona Wilkie won BBC Young Traditional Musician playing on the first ‘MSV’ violin we made. Having grown up in a musical family, Rona was introduced to traditional music as a baby, and grew up being simultaneously trained in both Highland fiddle style and classical music. She became interested in singing when she attended Gaelic Medium Primary School. Rona led fiddle group Gizzen Briggs for several years performing at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in front of the Queen and First Minister in 2004. More details

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