Not sure whether you need help from your luthier? This might tell you, but if you still aren't sure, just bring your instrument or bow in: We don't charge for an evaluation.
Have us or your other luthier give the instrument a checkup occasionally, to be
sure everything is in working order, and immediately if any of these
The pegs are hard to turn, or turn too easily.
It’s suddenly hard to tune the instrument and keep it tuned.
A crack develops in the wood.
The tone changes, and tuning won’t make it better.
There’s a rattle inside the body of the instrument and the instrument’s “voice” is gone.
The fingerboard feels unsteady or loose.
These are all fixable problems in most cases. Our Repairpage lists some of the most common maintenance repairs that we do; for other fixes, we'll have to see the instrument or bow to give you our estimate.
Because playing eventually wears out the hair, your bow should be
professionally rehaired at least once each year, and any time the hair
has lost its bite (friction), is dirty and can’t be cleaned well enough,
or has lost a lot of hair. See our bow rehairing prices.
Dirty bow hair can be cleaned with denatured alcohol, but alcohol can damage the finish of the stick, so it’s safer to have your luthier clean it. Our charge for this is generally $15 but could be more if the problem is severe (but then you just might want to have us rehair it.)
If the ivory or bone tip on the bow's head cracks or breaks, have your luthier replace it. Our prices for this are $87 for violin, viola, and cello, and $100 for a bass bow.
If the bow’s winding (lapping) and leather grip are worn or missing, have them replaced. We can make you a new leather grip for $25. We charge $77 for new nickel or imitation whalebone lapping and $82 for silver. Gold is at current market price. And it's possible that your awful-looking silver lapping just needs cleaning.
If turning the bow screw slowly in a clockwise direction fails to
tighten the hair, your bow screw eyelet will need to be replaced. This will be about $15-$20 in our shop.
If for any reason the curve of the bow stick has been lost or
distorted, take it to your luthier; the proper shape can be restored. We generally charge $20 to $25 for this.
If your bow breaks, take it to your luthier to see if the bow can be
repaired so that it is playable, although it will lose some of its
value. We can't estimate the cost without seeing the bow.