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When Michael @fiddlershop offered me a good deal on an upgrade, I jumped at the chance and was not disappointed. Not only is this viola a work of art, it also sounds fantastic and is very playable. It has a warm & mellow tone and is very resonant. Actually, in terms of sound it was better than I expected.
The antiquing is tastefully done and really adds to the beauty of the finish. The cell phone pics don't really do it justice. The ebony fittings are simple but elegant with the mother of pearl inlays & gold accents. Actually, my only real complaint is that this thing can be a beast to tune, though I'm sure it will get easier with practice. The initial tuning took me less than 5 minutes, but the next day after the strings stretched out I struggled with it for over 30 minutes (to be fair, this was my first time to ever fully tune a viola). Thankfully, the 3rd time tuning was much easier and it's stayed in tune ever since.
Overall I'm hugely impressed with the quality of materials and workmanship. So thanks yet again to Mike, John, Pierre, and everyone at the shop!
Any questions, feel free to reply or PM.