It may seem strange, but we decided when we started the website not to offer sound samples! I am a professional player and also a recording engineer and a producer – I spend much of my life recording violins, and my main observation drawn from this experience is that the recorded sound is totally different to what is heard by a violinist. Since the most important thing about a violin is how it sounds under the ear, and how much it inspires the player, I feel that sound samples are a distraction. Also, I’m very aware that they are easy to manipulate, and that they are often used to sell violins which don’t actually sound good at all in reality. In addition, even if the sound samples are produced in an unbiased way, what you hear in any recording is 1) the player, 2) the room, 3) the recording equipment and 4) the violin. One very popular violin website uses different players for different levels of violin, and does quite a lot of manipulation of the recordings.

I believe that the only way to know if you like a violin is to play it! So I try to help people to narrow down their choice by discussing their preferences, and then the customer has a 14-day period after purchase to decide if they want to keep the violin.

However, I sometimes do comparative recordings for interested customers – if I’m discussing specific instruments with someone it can help to do recordings (under identical conditions) which highlight the differences between them.