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Shown above is an Elixir 5 string Raven with "Bloodwood" fingerboard and
tailpiece.  The "Elixir" name carved on the tailpiece is optional, or can be personalized.


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A special word about sound from Robert:

Well, obviously, we think they sound great, but you shouldn’t trust what we think or what anyone tells you in print, or from random sound samples heard on the web.  The sound a violin makes and the way in which it produces that sound is an incredibly complex subject.  I spent a long time in the trenches of analyzing top and bottom plates independently, then after the addition of the base bar, after cutting the F holes and after assembly.  I poured over graphical representations showing spectral analysis, experimented with thickness graduations, various carbon fiber weaves, resins, etc.  I looked at Chladni patterns and the various nodes derived from them, determining how to tune the plates.  You shouldn’t care about any of this.  Here’s what you should care about:

  • How does the instrument sound to you, the player, under your ear (when you are playing it)?
  • How does it sound “out front” (from the audience perspective) when someone else plays it for you?
  • What changes might you make to modify the sound more to your needs/liking (a re-cut bridge, sound post adjustment, different strings, change neck angle, etc.).

 For example, we provide our instruments with a particular set of Helicore (some prototypes, sold at a lower price, include other string sets) strings and what we think is a well-cut bridge and properly cut and placed sound post.  Some folks will change all of those things within a month, some will never change them.

Your local luthier/violin make is your best friend. Get to know that person. A good luthier can help you find the sound you're looking for through skilled setup steps, suggesting strings, etc. Any luthier can work on our violins, and we are always available to answer questions should there be any.  

Then there’s the fact that –even though I make violins – I believe that the better portion of the sound quality from any decent fiddle is a direct result of the skill of the player.  A good player will quickly discover any instrument’s particular characteristics and work to optimize them without even thinking about it.  A very good player could perform a concerto in front of a full orchestra on a decent student grade instrument and 95% or more of the people in the hall would never know it wasn’t a golden age Strad. 

We can provide videos, sound files, testimonials and all the other stuff everyone else does – but the sound of a violin needs to please you.  So, what does it sound like?  Pick it up and play it, get someone else to play it, pass it around.  It is – at the same time – a matter of physics, quality and someone’s totally subjective opinion.

And please, always stay in touch. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us.