Ordering a Custom-Built Instrument
Because of the many possible variations in shape and dimensions of a viola, and the difficulty of finding all the desirable characteristics in an existing one, many clients have chosen to have me custom-build an instrument that uniquely combines all their preferences. I have had good results with this approach and I try to make the process both collaborative and risk-free for the client.
After extensive discussion of tonal goals, physical parameters and conformation of the player, I create or adapt a pattern with the appropriate string length, body size and shape to match the player's requests. Other details, such as the style of scroll or varnish, can also be specified. If the player wishes to proceed I usually request a downpayment to secure the order, and give an estimated delivery date.
On completion of the instrument, the player is able to try it comprehensively to make sure it fulfills their expectations before completing the purchase. If for some reason it is found to be not as expected I prefer to rework it or to make another revised version to test; otherwise I will refund the deposit.
Under no circumstances will the client be somehow obligated to purchase a custom-made instrument that is not what they were hoping for.
I service and adjust my own instruments on an ongoing basis and I value the direct contact and feedback my clients provide. As a player, you benefit from my having a personal interest in the performance of your crucial musical tool.
If the opportunity of participating in the creation of your ideal viola appeals to you, please get in touch to discuss possibilities.
I have always tried to strike a balance between keeping my instruments generally affordable and pricing them fairly to reflect their quality. Please contact me for a quote.