Friday, August 31, 2007

String A Smart String Business Website

We know that we've been a bit delayed on posting some of our repair work and projects but we will get to to them soon. We've had plenty to document with the camera but just haven't had the time to post. The best repair work that's come in this week is a piece of an 1/8th size violin scroll that has broken off from the peg box. Will show you the damage!

Speaking of repair work, we'd like to point a shop website out there that's doing similar things to what we are doing here on the blog. That is, photo documenting their repair and restoration work.

The website was started by Upton Bass String Instrument, Co. The company is more known for its work on string basses but they also deal with other instruments as well. It has a main website but cannot house and format their portfolio of repair work photos. Thus, was created.

The website has tabs for each string instrument repair that you might be interested in. Each on has big detailed pop out photos, even some in x-rays, and the latest completed repair projects. It's a good thing they included a bow section as well, as this is often the one area that a player can protect himself from bad practice with a little bit of knowledge.

Other tabs on the site features their repair staff. A quick glance at the bios will not only tell you if they have received training, but describes which method they have been schooled in for repair. You can even find out what it takes to become a repair man in the FAQ's.

Being impressed with the site, we had to contact somebody at Upton Bass to see if they similar blogging goals in mind like ours. We did get a response back from them saying:
"...I never intended stringrepair to be a blog...but honestly I started it before there were "blogs"! Originally it was just a way to keep owners informed of what we were doing to their instruments. It evolved...and it is still fun to go in and write about the repair process once completed."
[Eric Rene Roy, Luthier]
Technically, String Repair is not a blog like us but the goals seems to be relatively the same. In our blogging goals post, we hoped that this blog could be a " tool to educate" and "create debate". Perhaps this Q&A from their site sums up what we feel is so great about them.
"Q: Why is Upton Bass GIVING away all of this information?

A: Although pictures can speak 1000 do not give you the years of hand & tool skills that must be acquired through professional training and daily practice to complete these repairs. What we can demonstrate in 100 pictures might actually take a year to complete. Some key steps are sometimes omitted or shown from distracting points of view. Not every repair is as cut and dry as we present it...and sometimes we debate as a group the best possible way to achieve the results we are striving for while taking into consideration many different factors. Our goal with this site is to create an informed instrument owner who is aware and appreciative of the amount of work and training these repairs take, and hopefully to ultimately entrust us with the work they need."
We're glad to have found another shop that's adding a layer of transparency and education to the string business. Typical small violin shops try to represent their business practices by posting estimates for repair, maintenance fees, and some educational or bio information to bolster the credibility of their repair work they do. These guys have taken a step further by actually showing how your money is spent for the service being performed and educating customers.

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