THIS IS AN ARCHIVE PAGE
Between 2009 and 2017, Martin Swan Violins made about 150 instruments in collaboration with luthiers in Reghin. We are no longer doing this, but have left the page live for the benefit of those people who are already lucky enough to own an MSV instrument!
Check details of these instruments, look at photos and read reviews on the Register of New Instruments made for Martin Swan Violins.
A great violin is only great in the hands of a player…
Does it make great music? Does it inspire you to new heights? Does it bring fresh ideas to your performance? Does it make you want to play?
- Two models of violin
- A 40.5cm viola
- Two cello models
- A Stainer baroque violin
- A hardanger fiddle
Our aim is to produce quality of tone using traditional forms and working practices, without the prohibitive price tag of “named maker” instruments.
A fine violin needs great wood, a good model, individual thicknessing, successful arching, and a supple varnish … easy to say, but surprisingly hard to achieve!
Our craftsmen belong to the Hungarian minority in Reghin, Transylvania – they use hand tools to reproduce classic Cremonese patterns by Stradivari, Guarneri and Guadagnini. Each violin is made entirely in the white by a single luthier, finished in oil varnish by a specialist artisan in our Budapest shop, then set up and adjusted by a luthier who plays the violin to a high standard. In this way we maintain the quality of work at every stage of the process.
After all of this, the violins are graded for sound and priced accordingly. Most are graded as “Standard” and are suitable for conservatoire students or advanced amateur players – they have excellent playability and a classic European sound. A few don’t make the grade and are offered as student instruments. Outstanding violins suitable for professional players are graded as “Artist” – we are particularly proud of these instruments.
We always have Standard violins for sale through this web site;
Artist violins are subject to availability.
Our MSV instruments are played by classical and traditional players, professionals and keen amateurs. In tonal quality these violins are amongst the best handmade instruments currently available, and for a serious player they represent unbeatable value for money.
You can read customer reviews here or, if you would like to hear someone playing one of our violins, you can try recordings by Jani Lang, Rona Wilkie, or Morag Brown – all 3 are great traditional musicians (one Hungarian, two Scottish). Perhaps you feel you can’t learn anything about the quality of a violin unless it’s Paganini, in which case … just enjoy the music!