The following information about this luthier was submitted on 9/29/2004 via 24.7.30.92 by Clare Chu. It has not been verified by Violinist.com, which takes no responsibility for its accuracy.

Kamimoto Strings

609 North Fourth Street
San Jose, California

Phone: 408 298-8168
Website: http://www.kamimotostrings.com

Builds violins and/or bows? No
Sells? Yes
Repairs? Yes

Opinions expressed below are those of their authors alone.

From Madison McArthur
Posted via 67.100.82.114 on August 24, 2010 at 3:22 PM (MST)
very quaint shop that looks like a cozy house. inside, is jam packed with a great selection of violins from smaller sized instruments to the advanced. very friendly staff. i always see Mr. Lee for repairs on my violin and bow rehairs. highly recommended in the san jose area.

From Jonathan Pak
Posted via 67.121.145.227 on January 27, 2008 at 10:32 AM (MST)
Hi, I work at Kamimoto's and I love it. It's a wonderful atmosphere and I want to give you guys a little introduction to the faces of the workers at the shop.

Current employees:

Jon Li - He is the owner, the bow master, magician, you name it. He's very amiable and is always down to chat with his customers, when he's not busy of course. If you need help choosing or fixing a bow, he is the guy to talk to. Speaks English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Sophia Li - Jon's wife also works in the shop, she primarily handles paperwork but when the going gets tough she works really well with customers, particularly kids. She was a violin player so if the shop is busy she can help you with violin needs. She, like her husband, speaks English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Vincy Li - The daughter! She also handles a lot of paperwork like her mom but is a very accomplished violinist. Very friendly and is always making me laugh. Speaks English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

Jim - I actually don't remember his last name but he's been with the shop as long as I can remember. When I came in as a small elementary school violin player he was there helping me. He does repairs and is super friendly. He makes me laugh way too much. He does a lot of bass work and does some other stringed instrument repairs like lutes and stuff. Speaks English, maybe (Mandarin I'm not sure), Cantonese, and Spanish. He usually works way in the back though.

David Smith - Cello/Bass player. Unbelievably friendly. He is always making customers laugh and he really makes this place a comfortable place to work in. We are always cracking jokes with each other and singing songs randomly in the shop. He also does some minor repair work. He's also teaching himself the violin and is getting pretty good.

Judy Roberts - Cello player. She actually played professionally in Germany for 25 years and has finally decided to step away from the rush of professional musicianship and come to this quaint violin shop. She's pretty, laughs a lot, and is very honest and truthful. She has a vast knowledge about professional life so all you have to do is ask! She's fluent in English and German.

Jason Lee - Jon is actually commissioning him from China to do repairs from the shop. He only speaks Cantonese with a minimal amount of English and does repairs. He, like Jon, is a magician. He does repairs that I don't think are possible.

Jonathan Pak - Me. I'm a 20-year-old student. I'm a former student of UCSD but currently enrolled at De Anza and will later transfer to Berkeley or UCLA for mechanical engineering. So no, I'm not a music major but I am a student teacher for the violin. I love to laugh a lot, chat with, and meet new people. I try to be as honest as I can in the shop and make sure people get the most bang for buck worth for the violin or accessory that they are pursuing. I am fluent in English and semi-fluent in Korean and Japanese. =].

Peter Hwang - My good friend back from my high school orchestra days. He's an amazing violinist and also the king of bows. I say that not jokingly. He literally goes through all the bows testing them out. So if you want advice on a bow and Jon is busy. He can help you a lot. He's currently at UCLA but works at Kamimoto's in the summer. Speaks English and Mandarin.

Danny Sheu - Posted earlier in this. I know him from back in my high school orchestra days as well. He's a viola major at UCLA so his knowledge of the violin and viola is astounding. He speaks English and Mandarin I think. Like our friend Peter, he works in the summer but may be busy in the future with professional music camps because he will be a professional. =]

Retired: Hideo Kamimoto (former owner, though he stills drop by in do some guitar and other random wooden instrument repairs), Susan (forget her last name but she was the nice lady who played the cello, she's retired to Utah), Nori (he is actually very busy and does not work in our shop in anymore due to lack of time, very friendly and has a ridiculous knowledge about every instrument)

From Jonathan Pak
Posted via 67.121.145.227 on January 27, 2008 at 10:28 AM (MST)
[quote]Mark Kagan:
The place is a total ripoff. Dont trust the people. I tried to order Evah Pirazzi string set over the phone (to have them ship it to me) and they said that the NEW price was $95 while Pirazzis sell everywhere for $55. They also gave fake prices per string, and refuted the existing standard prices:(((((((((([/quote]

=[. I know. The string prices were getting absurd, but some of the employees were able to do some major price slashes particularly on the strings. I still think the strings are rather expensive but the Pirazzis are now around $65/set.

To be honest, even though I work here I don't buy the strings here. However, if you are a faithful customer, often times our shop owner lets us throw in some goodies for you. =]

From Jonathan Pak
Posted via 67.121.145.227 on January 27, 2008 at 10:25 AM (MST)
[quote]total rip off.... this shop is not trust worthy. I had a bow worth $1600 and after a rehair, they told me it worth $300 then i went to some other shops for them to look at the bow, and they all agreed its above $1000.[/quote]

Yikes! I'm sorry if that happened. Probably one of the employees who are probably not as good a connoisseur as you may have misevaluated it. I would suggest next time (hopefully there is one) that you ask our shop owner Jon Li for an evaluation cause he is an expert bowmaker.

From catherine matovich
Posted via 24.23.164.134 on December 21, 2007 at 11:43 AM (MST)
I love Kamimoto. I've spent entire days there trying out instruments for either myself or students. I would agree with the folks who posted that the shop is a bit disorganized but - geez - that's the fun of it. Violin shops should never be like corporations. They are quirky throw-backs to an earlier time when folks knew more about a craft than they did about advertising.

From Danny Sheu
Posted via 38.114.142.51 on August 8, 2007 at 3:43 PM (MST)
I actually work part time here, so some bias may occur:

Their repairmen are very thorough in the work that they do, and they are very good at dealing with younger players due to having a large selection of smaller size instruments both for sale and for rental.

The owner, Jon Li, is a skilled bowmaker and repairman, and other luthiers have been known to refer customers to him when dealing with more advanced bows.

From Mark Kagan
Posted via 75.30.225.59 on June 28, 2007 at 12:40 PM (MST)
The place is a total ripoff. Dont trust the people. I tried to order Evah Pirazzi string set over the phone (to have them ship it to me) and they said that the NEW price was $95 while Pirazzis sell everywhere for $55. They also gave fake prices per string, and refuted the existing standard prices:((((((((((

From Karin Lin
Posted via 198.182.56.5 on July 7, 2006 at 4:16 PM (MST)
Fun place, if a little crazy...the instruments and bows are all over the place and you can walk right into the shop where they do repairs. It's not as high-class as Ifshin in Berkeley; you'll be trying out instruments in bows in front of everyone with noise all around you that can be distracting. Very friendly staff.

From boyd x
Posted via 69.107.119.158 on October 14, 2004 at 3:33 PM (MST)
total rip off.... this shop is not trust worthy. I had a bow worth $1600 and after a rehair, they told me it worth $300 then i went to some other shops for them to look at the bow, and they all agreed its above $1000.

From Clare Chu
Posted via 24.7.30.92 on September 29, 2004 at 6:48 PM (MST)
They're a very friendly place, and you can always drop by for a chat.

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