House of Weaver - Leonard Smith Outfit
From the House of Weaver. Reddish Amber Stradivari Pattern Violin with Gewa BioShell case and braided carbon bow, non-refundable shipping to the lower 48 US states included
Violin alone: $775
One of the issues with importing violins is that the good varnishes are delicate and often do not fare well in containers during shipping. A traditional solution is to import violins “in the white” from major production areas, rework and varnish them in the US, and sell them under a trade name. One of the more successful shops continuing this tradition is the House of Weaver in Bethesda, Maryland. [http://weaversviolins.com/] The Rudoulph Doetsch line currently done by Eastman Strings was developed at Weaver’s. Weaver gets violins from China, Hong Kong, and Europe, and reworks them as required for performance. This reworking includes, depending on the model, shaping the neck, graduating the plates, and fitting and shaping the bass bar. Bill Weaver himself then varnishes the instruments in a thin spirit varnish, something that would not survive shipping from overseas well. The result is a new traditional import violin, not shot in some mysterious lacquer in an unknown shop somewhere far off. Weaver models includ from bottom to top, the Smith, Beck, Henley, Klier, Kono, Baltazar violins. Weaver’s also backs their instruments very thoroughly.
The Leonard Smith model is built entirely by hand in Hong Kong. We get these unset, then in detail plane and polish the fingerboard, shape the nut, fit and polish the pegs, fit a fine soundpost, and cut a nice French bridge. Then we go through basic acoustic adjustments, including setting the B0 frequency and voicing the plates and bar working through the F holes. The result is a consistently responding, balanced instrument that plays easily and predictably.
This particular instrument is typical for the model, with stunning wood, as described below in specifications. After over an hour of detailed adjustment, the performance is very good, with tone, volume, and response balance across the range. Projects well, quite clear and singing. Reasonably versatile, especially considering its modest price. Surprisingly clear, rapid response, decent power, neutral tone. Excellent student instrument. Would make a very nice fiddle, fiddle setup available, no extra charge, just request.
- Stradivari pattern instrument
- Made in the white in Hong Kong
- Varnished in the US by the House of Weaver
- Final setup and acoustic work here in our shop
- Top: Most likely some kind of Asian or Siberian spruce, but China gets imports from Canada.Fine to medium grain, with shading by the reeds. Really quite beautiful. “B” grade.
- Back: Spectacular two-piece Asian maple, 1.5 mm grain, we would call it “AA” grade
- Ribs: Lightly flamed maple non-matching maple
- Neck: Moderately figured maple, one piece
- Varnish: Shaded reddish amber hand-laid and buffed spirit varnish, in the US
- Fittings: Ebony with Wittner Ultra fine-tuner tailpiece
- Bridge: Despiau French
- Post: Standard spruce
- Strings: D’Addario Pro-Arte