This Web Page is for factual Information* regarding Violins, Violas and Cello's, their Making, Repair, and General Information without any bias to sell you anything.
I am a retired professional violin maker and repairman with over 35 years experience in the retail market of sales, repairs, appraising, and the making of bowed string instruments. I graduated from the Chicago School of Violin Making in 1980 under the teachings of Master Violin Maker
I am glad to answer any questions you might have regarding repairs, instrument making, sales, and rentals. I cannot give you an accurate appraisal or estimate of repair costs since I don't have the instrument in front of me. I do however have a database with information on more than 25,000 instrument makers. I have photos of many of their labels and also thousands of photos of their instruments in my archives. In addition, I have an extensive reference library to research makers. If you would like me to examine pictures of your instrument, I will be glad to try, see the Contact Me page for more information.
I have included a section under instrument care that has repair prices from my former business; this is only to be used as a reference as many shops will have different and possibly higher prices. I will also probably forget to update this when those prices rise.
There are many web sites out there with information on violins, some are good and many are full of untruthful and misleading information provided by dealers and internet sites that just promote their own products. Any outside links that are provided on my site are for informational purposes only and I am not connected to them in any monetary way, nor do I necessarily recommend their services. You will never see any instrument or accessory, of any kind, for sale on this site.
These pages have received so much traffic that I have had to go to a paid web hosting service. Even though I now have to spend money to bring this 100% free information to the public, I feel it is that important to help educate people and also so that costly mistakes can be avoided.
* Obviously with a project of this size there will be a few things that will be opinion-based, like string sound and rosin characteristics. These opinions are offered for guidance, but your personal experience may be different because these products will produce differing results on different instruments with different players.
I hope that these pages can be helpful and I will add more information as I can, I also welcome any recommendations for additional information which I will add if factually relevant. I also welcome any questions. Please see the Contact Me page.
I have also started a Yahoo group called
Education and Employment
Awards and Publications
Currently in the works - an extensive affordable e-book for the novice violin maker and repairman with hundreds of pictures and drawings. Publishing date estimated in 2015-16.
Links that are provided below are listed as they have some great information, I am not connected to them in any monetary way nor do I specifically recommend their services.
Violin Society of America - Violin Makers Society, but anyone can join
American String Teachers Association (ASTA) - professional
Chicago School of Violin Making - one of three professional violin making schools in the US, where I learned the craft
American Federation of Bow and Violin Makers
Good & Free Online Violin Making Manual - To abbreviated for the novice
Robert Cauer Violins Web Site - Lots of great Information
A Guide to Choosing Strings - Your first stop should be the violin store as two violins of the same brand will sound different with the same strings.
Summer Music Programs - Worldwide guide to summer programs
Free Sheet Music - free is only legal if it is not under Copywrite
Printable Scales - one, two and three-octave scales
The Violin Channel - Lots of information on current events in the violin world
Find a teacher - online or local - I always recommend local first as it is best that the teacher has a
My Former business, Lashof Violins, now run by two of my former employees. I no longer have any monetary connection.