Monday, February 13, 2012

When is it time for a tune-up?

While instrument maintenance is a subject that we have discussed in the past, it's never too soon for a reminder...

Here at A. Cavallo Violins, we really care about keeping your instruments in the best condition. Players performing on their instruments every day often do not notice incremental changes in adjustment and condition. Therefore it is always wise to have your instrument looked at by someone on the outside.

Here are a few checkpoints:

1. What it the health of your strings? Some strings go dead before going false, and you may have not noticed it over the course of weeks or months. (We sell strings at the same price as all major on-line sellers, and never charge for installation).

A Badly Managed Bridge!!
2. Is your bridge properly placed and straight? Keeping your bridge straight is a skill all advanced players should know. The multiple pounds of downward pressure or a bridge will warp it if it is not maintained.

3. Does your instrument have any openings or cracks? Sometimes even a very small open seam that is hard to see can significantly affect your tone. The smaller the opening, the less cost of repair!

4. Are the fittings in good shape? Fingerboards recurrently need re-shaping, tailpieces can be cracked and the improper length or weight, tailguts can be in danger of breaking, and peg shafts can become warped or out of round. All of these things can severely impact your playing, and are often easy and inexpensive to fix.

We must see each instrument before estimating cost and time necessary to complete each repair. Unfortunately it is impossible to estimate from a telephone call or pictures.

We pride ourselves at having trustworthy repair and restoration staff that includes Mark Womack, Dirk Henry, Cesario Amesquita, and Dane Anderson doing work for us. Many adjustments and repairs can be done by the next day because of our resources.

As always, we recommend a humidifier for your case and never ever leaving your instrument in a cold or hot car.

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