March 2019
This my second violin purchase from Martin and yet again he has paired me up with a violin and bow that are a joy to play and are just what I envisaged buying. My first violin and bow from Martin helped me rediscover the joy of violin playing after a long break. Almost five years later I contacted Martin again, as I was now looking for a violin with more consistency of tone in the upper registers of the strings.

I visited Martin’s wonderful new premises/home in Wells and and as we’d discussed my budget beforehand there were about 10 violins laid out for me to try. After a quick discussion about what I was looking for, I was left to it and I played the violins for about an hour, while Martin occasionally popped in to check I had what I needed – at one point he found me an extra shoulder rest so that I could switch easily between violins while comparing them. I really liked 2 of the violins and as I couldn’t quite decide between them, I asked Martin to play them for me, so that I could hear them at a distance. At this point Martin also told me a bit more about their provenance and what he liked about each of them. I was pretty sure by then that I had made a decision, but Martin left me again to have another play on both violins and I then knew that the 1941 Karel Vavra was the right choice for me. When Martin returned to the room he said he thought I’d choose that violin right from the start! After a very unpressured and satisfying 2 hours I said a slightly sad farewell to my previous violin and came away with the Vavra.

I was also looking to exchange my bow, and I tried a few bows which were outside my budget, but which gave Martin an idea of what I was looking for. Sure enough a month or so later, 3 bows (including a baroque bow that had taken my fancy) arrived in the post for me to try and I’m now the happy owner of a beautifully balanced Kurt Dölling bow and a DVE baroque bow.

Thank you Martin for making the somewhat-scary significant purchase an enjoyable experience. I’m sure my violin and bows will give both myself and a variety of audiences in Lincolnshire much pleasure for many years to come.
Zia Roberts, Lincolnshire, UK

A violin with consistency of tone