Luis and Clark Carbon Fiber Violins

September 20, 2007 at 06:49 PM · Luis and Clark carbon fiber violins.

Hi folks, Does anyone out there own one of these Violins??? If so could you give me your opinion of them?? I am considering trying one out to see if I like it. I hear good things about them, but I was interested in hearing comments from people who own one, or have tried them out.

Thanks! Molly

Replies (77)

September 21, 2007 at 10:02 PM · I have one and like it. It took me a little while to get used to the slick surfaces & different feel of where the neck goes into the body of the instrument. Since it's smoother than normal, you might have a tendancy to over shoot position shifts until you get the hang of it. I like the sound and the fact that it's lighter than a wooden instrument. It's easy to clean - a little windex is all it takes.

September 21, 2007 at 11:29 PM · Molly-

If you get one to try out, let me know. I've been wanting to try one. :)

Hope all is well, btw!

-Bill

September 21, 2007 at 11:48 PM · I have one. These are very very good instruments. They have excellent sonority, projection and brilliance. Some people that tried mine felt that it was too "cold" or "bright" like carbon fiber bows. But for summer outdoor gigs or anywhere with lots of humidity changes, this is perfect.

It won't be the "next Stradivarius" but I think it's playability and value is equivalent to some of the finer modern Italian violin makers. (I'm sure there will be criticisms for this but I'm a big fan of technology).

September 22, 2007 at 01:25 AM · Hi, I own one also, and I agree with the previous posts. The L&C carbon fiber violin is highly resonant, and extremely responsive. For me, it did take a little time getting used to the violin's neck, but that isn't a major difficulty. The sound does tend (to my ear) toward the bright/brilliant. It hasn't the dark and complex sound that some wooden instruments can have. But on the other hand, I think that a traditional violin with the capabilities of the L&C would be considered quite good.

September 22, 2007 at 01:44 AM · If Song-Duk likes it, then it really says something. I wish I had good reasons (e.g. outdoor gigging or playing under blinding spotlights) to shell out money for one.

September 22, 2007 at 03:36 AM · I agree that they are a tad bright and cold. However, I would LOVE to hear one strung with heavy gauge pure-gut strings, even the E-string. That could make quite a difference.

It is a safe assumption that this technology will continue to improve over the years, just as CF bows have gotten a little better. Now might not be the best time to invest in one, unless it is indeed specifically purchased as an "outdoor" intrument, or unless you already own a fine wooden violin and have the money to experiment.

September 22, 2007 at 07:58 PM · I have played both the violin and the viola and liked them both. I thought the sound quality was great and the playability was very good. The viola was exceptionally responsive and had a huge sound. If I was richer I would buy one in a heartbeat. Not having to worry about humidity and dryness would be wonderful.

December 2, 2007 at 07:45 AM · Which strings did you use it with? Did anybody try it with gut strings, because gut strings usually makes warmer sound.

January 8, 2008 at 08:56 PM · I just purchased a Luis & Clark violin and the whole buying experience was absolutely perfect. Lous and his staff spent considerable time discussing their instruments and I am very pleased with the instrument. The violin is very responsive, easy to play and produces and a very pleasing tone. While I just got the instrument, I need more time to explore the sound, but I would say that it is very comparable with modern italian instruments. It is extremely lightweight and has almost a retro look to it. In conclusion, I would seriously recommend comparison of this instrument with any modern luthier violin.

January 8, 2008 at 11:54 PM · I have a Luis & Clark viola which I usually play when I have an outside gig or when I just feel like playing it.

John--I being a violist use and Obligato C, Dominant G and D, and a Larsen A

January 9, 2008 at 08:02 AM · Eric, do these L&C violins sound more or less the same or did you notice any significant differences? Thanks.

January 11, 2008 at 12:58 AM · Reading all of your compliments, I couldn't stop wondering, would the L&C CF violin be a proper instrument for a serious student?

I am a believer in technology too... only if it were a bit lower in the price...

January 11, 2008 at 07:58 PM · It is all a matter of personal preference. I took the instrument to orchestra rehearsal(community orchestra- not professional) and most of the players didnt care for the look as it is pretty unique in that respect. Hence, I think that persuaded them into not liking the sound when they played it. However, I took into consideration that the ones that did not like it were generally average amateur players. We have an extremely talented violinist, Cynthia, that absolutely loved the sound after playing it for about 10 minutes. Her playing ability was far better than everyone else,...and she could see the potential in the instrument. I think the CF violin begs to be played. When Cynthia played, the instrument really translated her ability into some amazing sound. As a side, I am totally happy about not having to worry about the humidity issues with wooden instruments, especially in the cold, Wisconsin snowy winter days like last night! Everyone else was fiddling with dampits and the like- so that is a BIG plus in my mind.

I say give L&C a call to discuss your specific situation and see if it a good fit for you!

January 11, 2008 at 07:07 PM · My concern is that the CF instruments are like the CF bows: wonderful in so many respects, but they can't compete with wood in terms of basic tone.

I sure would like to hear one live (without paying the shipping!)

February 16, 2008 at 01:48 AM · I just had the opportunity to try both the L&C violin and viola. The pianist I play with went with me. When I compared my violin (a decent instrument with a fairly big sound) to the L&C, both my friend and the owner thought the L&C sounded bigger and mellower than mine. They both favored it substantially over mine. For me, the sound was nice in the lower strings, but thin in the E string. I had a hard time getting a consistent sound from the E. They both said it sounded fine to them.

When I played the viola, we were all impressed. The sound is just huge, and sweet and balanced across all strings. I should mention that I'm not much of a violist, and my experiences with various violas come mainly from shopping for one for my son in the $1,000 to $3,500 range. Compared to all of those instruments, this one is in a whole different league.

I'm going to talk with Luis and Stephanie and see what they think about the E string trouble. The owner has tried many different strings and not solved the problem (it bugs him, too). If I were in the market for a viola, I'm pretty sure I'd get one of these.

February 19, 2008 at 02:52 AM · Apparently there is E string trouble, but also G string trouble, and D string trouble too (wolf tones).

March 4, 2008 at 10:26 AM · People said that carbon fiber violins and bows sound the same,so what carbon fiber bow that you think go best with Luis&Clark violin?I ask this question cause I can only buy the violin and bow through the internet.

March 4, 2008 at 05:03 PM · I have a L&C CF violin and use a Coda Classic bow. I also have a very nice French bow that sounds equally as nice with the L&C violin.

March 6, 2008 at 04:13 PM · Hello everyone,I live in Vietnam and want to buy a good violin,since there is no good luthier in Vietnam,my only choice is Luis and Clark(cause it won't need to be repaired in...1000 years or so?).I have sent Luis and Clark an email on 03/03/2008 and they haven't answered me yet(is it because I use Yahoo mail???).Can any one here tell me how to buy a Luis and Clark violin,and if there is any shop in Hongkong,Bangkok,Singapore or Australia that sell it?

March 8, 2008 at 05:42 AM · PS:Does their brown one show the carbon fiber texture like their black one?

March 18, 2008 at 09:17 PM · no the brown one actually has paint over the CF. I have a black one...pretty nice...still playing with strings.

March 19, 2008 at 07:38 AM · I'm going to buy a Luis&Clark violin,but I have never seen it in real life,but I think many people choose the black one,so the black one must look better than the brown one,right?Although with the picture on Luis&Clark website,the brown one look better.

March 20, 2008 at 01:05 AM · For the Vietnamese poster: I don't think L&C are available in any shop. They do all their business thru their own establishment. (I did see a used L&C once advertised by a Nashville shop, but it's been sold).

If they don't respond to your emails, you might try the telephone, at least for first contact. I think a CF violin would be just the thing for SE Asia. Monsoons and all that.

March 20, 2008 at 01:25 AM · I really do not remember hearing any great music in Vietnam---except one of the guys had the guitar down pat---and EVERYONE LOVED him !

Yes,a carbon fiber violin would fit in nicely !

March 20, 2008 at 07:06 AM · Someone else had asked, and I am curious too. Would this be a suitable instrument for someone pursuing serious studies and needing a higher level instrument?

March 20, 2008 at 04:50 PM · I think this is the proper instrument for a touring musician, or one who must play outdoors, or who lives in an inhospitable climate. I think that for the money you could find a better wooden instrument for higher studies, and at the same time avoid the negative attitude that a CF violin might produce in teachers and other players.

Not to say they are bad instruments, but they are certainly not everyone's cup of tea, which is a factor a student ought to take under advisement.

April 5, 2008 at 08:42 AM · I have just received my Luis and Clark violin,just like everyone who own a Luis and Clark,I love it,I think it is very good for its price.

No matter what you think about carbon fiber violin,you should definitely give it a try.

April 6, 2008 at 04:56 AM · I'd love to give one a try but these people don't reply to inquiries. What kind of outfit is this?

April 6, 2008 at 10:07 AM · Luis and Clark are very nice,they reply all of my email before I buy their violin.

Their email is having some problem,try this "luisleguia at hotmail dot com"

What do you mean what kind of outfit?If you mean model then they have only one model.

April 6, 2008 at 05:19 AM ·

April 6, 2008 at 05:54 AM · Juda, your help is appreciated, but you are probably doing Luis & Clark and all their customers a disservice by putting any of their email addresses on a public forum in plain.

Email address harvesting robots scan the internet for email addresses and whenever you post an email address in plain, it is almost guaranteed to end up in address databases which are sold to spammers. Then the owner of the email will get hundreds if not thousands of spam messages per day and often find themselves unable to filter out the genuine inquiries, eventually having no other choice than to abandon the email address altogether.

So, next time you want to let other know of an email address, please do us all a favour and obfuscate it in a certain way, for example, jack@dicknharry.com could be efficiently obfuscated as ...

jack.DELETETHIS@dicknharry.REMOVETHIS.com

or simply

jack at dicknharry dot com

you get the idea ;-)

thanks

April 6, 2008 at 10:02 AM · Thank you Benjamin,I really didn't know that.

There was some problem with Luis and Clark's old email,so Stephanie Leguia told me to use the hotmail email.

April 8, 2008 at 09:04 AM · I found out that with the Luis and Clark violin,I don't have to use a shoulder rest.I think the reason is the light weight and the shape of it.

And did the email I gave you work,Alan?

April 9, 2008 at 02:53 AM · Dear Juda,

I'll let you know. If they get back to me.

April 10, 2008 at 02:11 AM · Juda, they got back to me. Quickly.

I'm scared.

April 23, 2008 at 04:21 PM · In March,I asked Luis and Clark about their violin and they tell me that they will increase the price to about 5500$ in April,that's why I used all my money to buy one when it is still 4900$.

I just checked the price today on their website and it is 5539$.

Bravo,I made a right decision.

April 24, 2008 at 12:15 PM · Juda, well done :-)

Maybe when you have played the violin for a while and find the time, you might want to give us a review here. I think it would be interesting to many of us. There was one poster who said the L&C had issues with the higher pitches, I'd be interested to hear from somebody who actually owns a L&C if this is really so and if so what exactly those issues are.

June 22, 2008 at 04:17 PM · Hi all, I'm also interested in the L&C violins, so looking forward to any feedback from current owners. Would also be interested to hear if anyone has set these violins up with gut strings?

Cheers! :)

June 23, 2008 at 01:37 PM · This post goes back a ways! In April, I got to try the L&C that David Greely of Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys bought. It has a big sound, on the bright side with a little bite or crust. Not a bad thing in a fiddle for Cajun. David likes it a lot. All the traveling & touring they do makes an instrument that won't be going crazy (with temp & humidity changes and playing outside under tents) especially inviting. Out of my $ range for a travel fiddle, though. Sue

June 23, 2008 at 02:07 PM · I have not heard the violins, but did hear one cello in performance. It was disturbingly monotonic, and the volume range limited. The player was being expressive, but none of that was coming out through the instrument. Tonally it was very similar to the first Ovation guitars, which were noted for being very even, but colorless. I can understand the travel value for popular music, but that particular cello was sadly miscast for classical.

July 28, 2008 at 11:49 AM · Just came across this through googling.

I always thought the demo sounded monotonus like Michael mentioned, maybe something related to the sound under ear and sound audiences're listening? Maybe at first glace the sound is rich, big and powerful. But upon listening closely, I think it lack of that subtle nuances as well as color changing. The dynamic seems also limited as well. Was it over responsive or something?

I've also watched the making of their Cello on youtube, and I've noticed one thing - there's no mention of bassbar fitting, so no bassbar for Luis and Clark? Anyone can clarify this?

July 29, 2008 at 09:43 PM · To digreess, I've always found th Ovation guitars to be very uneven in sound. All that I've played or heard were louder on the lower strings, becoming progressively softer as the strings got smaller. The only ones I heard that I liked were heavily equalized. I will say that the version with the Carbon fiber top is the best of the lot-such as it is.

July 30, 2008 at 11:56 PM · I've never liked Ovation guitars, but much better players than myself--John McLaughlin, Adrian Legg, and others--have done some great things with them. But, I think they'd sound better on an exceptional all-wood instrument.

August 24, 2008 at 12:43 AM · I am waiting for the Quintus company (on Gracestrings.com website) to come up with their version of the CF violin. I have seen and heard several of their cellos and they are in my opinion the best CF instruments in the market. They also look beautiful. One of my friends has a black cello with gold purfling that she bought years ago when they just came out.

I really don't like the look of Luis and Clark instruments. I have seen their violas and cellos, the brown ones, and they are plain ugly.

August 25, 2008 at 10:19 PM · While I think it's good that Quintus give the traditional design for those that want it, personally I think it's rather boring to have the same old shape. If you are going to use modern materials then why not have a new design? Also, the Luis and Clarke are corneless for tonal reasons.

September 8, 2008 at 05:22 PM · I just bought an unpainted violin from luis and Clark (i.e. the black one). it's brand new and i have only played it for a few hours. Here are my initial thoughts.

I had a pretty lousy violin before, out of which i managed to coax some nice sounds. When both myself and my old violin were really warmed up, we could sound pretty good together.

I don't have to work nearly as hard to get good sound out of the carbon fibre violin. less work is always nice.

I did notice that the carbon violin literally does not get warm (temperature wise) like the wooden violin. The carbon scroll remained cold to the touch throughout a 3 hour rehearsal. In that sense there is an organic responsiveness to the wooden violin that is in some ways more satisfying for the player. I'm not sure, however, that it's a meaningful difference for the audience.

There is a strange sort of surround sound feeling when i play the carbon violin. I feel a little more detached from the sound. But listeners didn't pick up on that issue at all.

September 8, 2008 at 08:11 PM · This is like asking me if I would prefer a nicely aged Provolone, or individually wrapped slice of American cheese..Which do you prefer? I am buased, of course.

September 9, 2008 at 02:29 PM · That's like saying I prefer wearing nice tweed jackets rather than a raincoat when it is pouring with rain.

As somebody who frequently has to play outdoors having to deal with sun, rain, temperature changes and humidity I can say that a wooden instrument is not always appropriate. You don't go off-roading in a limousine, mountain climbing in a tuxedo or feed truffles to elephants!

January 10, 2009 at 06:48 AM ·

Some of the primary factors and reasoning that went into my buying a violin was the whole weather/durability thing, and the money thing, and the what you get for your money thing as well.

Also, I had the oppurtunity to try 3 different LaC violins and hear 2 LaC Cellos in action. Two of the violins are owned by students of my current teacher, and he owns one himself (so the teacher issue is not mine...). One of the cellos was owned by a student in an orchestra I play in, and the other by a seasoned professional, former concertmaster of fourteen years at Florida Phil, and while he has a very nice wooden instrument, he swears by the cf as well for many of the reasons above, as well as, believe it or not the sound and the volume. Of the violins I tried, my teacher's is the nicest. The sound was really very good, and in my opinion achieves a bit more color than some reviewers seem to have grasped. It projects very well, the tone is very balanced, but the G string, while effective, is not as good as the others. Overall the response is quite good as well. And another plus for my teacher-no wolfs. His violin has none. I played every quarter tone on that instrument with and without vibrato in 4 different dynamics with varying degrees of bow speed- it's wolf free as he got it. Mine has only one, the second octave B flat on the g string, but then again, the g string is the culprit in terms of overall quality. The whole g string thing could also improve with a different string, as the stock combo is dominants with a pirastro e...  

After weighing all of the issues, I decided to get one. I've had it for awhile, and honestly I haven't gotten bored, and it has become my main instrument, at least at this time for the reasons stated above. But honestly right now I think the only reason I'd go for a nicer wooden instrument is if someone loaned me one indefinitely or I suddenly came into a lot of money.

As for playability and design, which I haven't adressed... this may or not be annoying for some people, but the cornices on my wooden instrument quite frankly got in the way. Looking back, the circumstances under which I came to own that instrument were not entirely ideal, and some of the issues I've had with it can be explained by that I think, but the cornices-definitely an issue. Also... varnish.... my poor violin's was pretty weak. I talked to my luthier/repair guy and he looked it up. Apparently it was made overseas in a shop just as the ownership of the business was changing hands, somewhere in the transition my instrument didn't get the best varnish job, I think it has only one or two layers, can't remember, but it's wearing out and it soaks up a lot of grit.

Both of these problems are eliminated with the cf. the "varnish" hardened poly-eurethane I believe, and it provides for a glossy and beatiful finish that isn't in a position to suffer as much as a wood varnish may. Also, if you look at the pictures out there, you'll notice that there are no cornices. I find this very helpful coming from my other instrument. While cornices can be avoided without sacrificing much of your right side posture, I always worry about smacking mine, maybe it's just me.... but that's not an issue anymore, nor is hurting the varnish. Heck All I'm worring about now is fingerprints :).

As for the feel of the finish as a fingerboard, I'll be honest, at first I worried that when I got sweaty or nervous I'd be slipping and sliding around like crazy. But it really wasn't a problem. And in fact, I can also say with complete honesty that I've adjusted just fine to the different feel, and I wouldn't put it past any experienced player to do the same without  problem.

Final verdict for me:

Definitely worth the money, sound is really great and much better than what I had. Many of the playability questions are muted after spending a good couple of days with the instrument.  I was fortunate to have a protracted experience with the instruments and, as this is not the case for many people, do to the practice of L a C and the number of instruments out there as of yet. It won't break unless you do something really dramatic, it's weather resistant in every way (except tornado of course, and probably tsunami of large height :-]  ) and it's fun to play.

In any case I wholeheartedly agree with the advise of checking with your teacher-to-be. It could make all the difference as to whether or not it would work and all.

Best of luck all,

fiddlinmatt

January 10, 2009 at 06:53 AM ·

Matt, please do not crosspost, thanks.

January 10, 2009 at 07:23 AM ·

I covered most of my opinions in my first post to another thread, which was copied to this one, but I have found 3 things that I can adress from this thread.

As my copied post makes clear, I just bought a violin from LaC, unpainted (with the black weave pattern), and I have carefully reasoned through the decision.

First, I do believe there is a bass bar but it is not wood, as is the bridge and soundpost, but carbon fiber and is part of the mold of the face of the instrument. This can be confirmed by going to the FAQ they have on their website, which is very detailed.

Second, in regards to the post above describing a poor listening experience with the cello, I really have to say I think it was the player you heard. The instruments are pretty uniform in sound, there may be some small differences, but the quality and volume is consistent overall in my experience. That said, it is up to the player to bring the life of the party. I have described the scope of my experience to date with the instruments in my longer post, and the top class professional who I know who owns a cello, I have heard produce a jaw-droppingly beautiful sound quality. So maybe that means these are instruments for professionals? Or maybe we just need to be careful about our first impressions (No that is not meant as a jab or an offense to anyone posting on this thread). 

Third, my experience with my own instrument thus far has shown the G string to be the lacking string of the four, interms of playability/response and warmth of tone. BUT I still have the string set that it came with a month or so ago, so maybe a different string could aid this issue. As for the higher register/e string issues described above, of 3 violins I have played, one my teachers and two of my friends', my teacher's e string was just great on all notes, he really got a good deal- no wolfs at all either. One of my friend's e's wasn't the greatest, was kind of thin on some notes in particular, and really loud on the 3rd pos. D, so it kind of threw the balance of the sound off a bit. For my other friend's violin, the b natural (4rth finger) was noticeably thin in sound, kind of annoying.

As for mine, I think overall I got a pretty good deal too. I have only one wolf on the G string, and the e string sound is really wonderful. All the notes sing wonderfully, the second octave comes off just a hair less brilliantly than the other notes, but it's fine. The F Sharp (fifth pos. ) is incredible, easily the loudest note on the instrument... sometimes if you are lazy with the bow, it can take on a wolfish quaver, but it really isn't something I worry about, or that happens every time I play it, it's extremely minimal but it is there. In any case the e string is great all the way up, and the G # harmonic way up in the rafters is really loud. What I really appreciate is how all of the notes have a definite ring and sound brilliantly and clearly. There was a lot of extra noise in my e string on my other violin, and many notes did not ring and were hard to make sing in different colorations of tone, didn't respond well with vibrato, etc.: notes such as c #, f nat., g #, d #, c nat. , and b flat.

So you can obviously tell that I'm really a fan, and I'm sorry if I've been a bore, but I really think this is an interesting phenom worth looking into even if you're skeptical.

fiddlinmatt

January 10, 2009 at 07:24 AM ·

Sorry Ben, won't do it again.

April 25, 2010 at 01:09 AM ·

 I just tried a Luis and Clark violin and it was amazing. I compared it to two other top of the line very expensive violins (modern) and it sounded much older and much more resonant. I just performed the Beethoven Triple with the Firebird Stradivarius about 2 weeks ago and I really think they have something special. I was amazed!!! I actually recorded the three violins side by side and put them on my big speakers at home. I did close up and about two rooms away in a big house and the L&C violin was the winner hands down.

April 25, 2010 at 02:11 AM ·

Monte,

Any chance we can get you to post those recordings so we can hear the difference?

June 18, 2010 at 06:41 AM ·

 Hm, reading this only really made me more undecided. Personally, I am a highschool student who wants to continue professionally for the violin, and I'm considering buying one because not only of the sound, but assuming I'm in my college or conservatory's orchestra, I might have to perform in inhospitable conditions and I'm considering buying one as my main violin until I am a professional and purchase, let's say, a more "cultured" violin. 

June 18, 2010 at 06:58 AM ·

 Professor Belknap, did you really feel that the Luis and Clark sounded better than the Firebird Stradivari?  I knew they sounded pretty good but I had no idea they could compare to a Stradivarius.

June 18, 2010 at 06:51 PM ·

What sort of price is the instrument (violin)? Where can one try one in the UK?

June 18, 2010 at 06:52 PM ·

What sort of price is the instrument (violin)? Where can one try one in the UK?

[EDIT] [Flag?]

June 18, 2010 at 11:19 PM ·

In Boston they're around $6,000.  Maybe 5, but that general area.  No idea if they distribute globally.

They are worth trying if you're interested, as they do vary from sample to sample even though they're not made from wood with all of its problems.  

June 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM ·

Thanks. I would like to try one but I doubt that they can be found in London.

June 20, 2010 at 08:34 AM ·

Peter - if you contact Cardiff Violins they have some kind of relationship with L & C and seem to be able to offer their instruments for less than it would cost you to purchase direct.

If you want to try one, your only option, I think, is to try and find a current owner in the UK and make an arrangement with them.

I was in touch with L & C about a cello a year or so back, and found them extremely helpful - they may be able to point you to an owner in your area? You might suggest to them that they find a way to make sample instruments available in the UK - I'm sure they are losing out in sales because it is really too scary to purchase one blind.

June 20, 2010 at 09:26 AM ·

Thanks for that Geoff - I have a friend in Cardiff and will ask her to investigate.

June 21, 2010 at 01:40 AM ·

 The Luis and Clark violin is $6500 on their website, last time I checked about a month ago.  

If you are interested in a carbon fiber violin you can check out the ones that I am making.  I have a Facebook page where you can see what I am working on.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rochon-Violins/112495585429342

Mine are a good bit cheaper since I am just starting out. $1500 for a 4 string and $2000 for a 5 string.  If you want to try one out let me know and I can arrange a trial period for you.

June 21, 2010 at 03:03 AM ·

 Went back and checked and they are $5539 US.

May 17, 2011 at 08:51 PM ·

I came across this thread and thought I would weigh in. I purchased an L&C viola 2nd hand last December. I'm an amateur player in a quartet and an orchestra, so I have a variety of opportunities to play. Prior to getting this viola, I was borrowing a Gagliano instrument from 1775. It is a lovely viola, quite small, with a nice if not terribly loud sound. The first thing I noticed about the L&C is how loud it is.

When I first took it to an orchestra rehearsal, I still had the original strings, tailpiece, etc. and I used the CF bow (Coda Classic) that came with it. The main challenge I found was that although it could easily get loud, I had trouble playing it softly. It would sort of "disappear" and only give me a ponticello-like sound. After changing out the strings to Pirastro and using my wooden bow, it became much easier to play. I then also changed out the original metal tailpiece for a wooden one, and it improved further.

Now, after playing it for 6 months, I absolutely adore i! To me, it does sound a tad bright under the ear. But I've asked my friends and they all say it sounds terrific from a normal listener distance.

The only negative comment I've received has to do with the super-glossy finish. I've had audience members from orchestra concerts approach me afterwards and mention that the stage lights were reflecting off the viola and causing a bit of distraction. I have emailed L&C about this to see if they've had other complaints, and/or if they have any thoughts about the issue.

Overall I'm very very sold on it. It's actually exciting to have new technology in play for the violin family. I have a feeling these things are likely to catch on more and more in the coming years.

May 20, 2011 at 06:27 PM ·

John,

Enclosing the paper may add to the risk, not reduce it. The fumes build and reach flash point for spontaneous combustion; if you keep it in a location the fumes don't stay contained (in a large well-ventilated space, as an example), it will not. A metal container is a good idea, if it is stored in such a manner that if the paper does ignite, and generate heat, the container does not provide an opportunity for something else to catch fire also (don't use a thin-walled container and set it on your music collection!).


NOTE: If you opl a piece of paper and lay it flat, the paper will create the contained space on the bottom side. Make certain ALL sides have adequate ventilation.

If you have a fireplace, maybe let it dry there? That way it is safe either way!

May 22, 2011 at 03:26 PM ·

 Paging Dr. Nagyvary...

May 23, 2011 at 05:56 PM ·

I'm bit of a geek and believer in technology.  Is there any reason, given time, research and advances in technology, a superior (and more consistent) violin could not be built from man made materials? 

Sonny

May 24, 2011 at 12:36 PM ·

From my avatar, you can see that I own both the L&C violin and viola. 

Based on their performance both in solo and in orchestra, based on their ability to travel well, and their uncanny projection, I do not feel the need to own another violin or viola.

---Ann Marie

May 25, 2011 at 02:20 AM ·

 John,

 

this will explain the comment:

 

http://www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=10222

 

 

May 30, 2011 at 04:54 PM ·

 John, 

You have brought up an interesting thought that I have not considered in making a carbon fiber violin.  Might have to try varnishing one after recording it to see how the sound changes.  

BTW I do make a carbon fiber bridge but do not glue it down.  I have considered it for student rental instruments and also gluing in the sound post but will do some home testing first to see how it effects the sound.

I did make a 3/4 size for my son and it has been highly praised by players and teachers.  Working on molds for both 3/4 and 1/2 size to start rental violin production.  Imagine a student violin that won't break unless you drop a piano on it. :-)

Stuart

June 1, 2011 at 08:21 PM ·

 Cool thing is I can try it and if it doesn't work I can soak it in solvent and try again. :-)

The resin I am using right now is good up to 400 degrees F and is about as hard as mild steel, and once cured is chemically inert.  I  would have to roughen up the surface so the varnish has something to hold onto.

I have been playing with making one with Maple veneer on the outside.  I have made a back plate that way but I was trying another "damping" material and over damped it.

Currently I am adding another material (Zylon) in the layers to damp out some of the harmonic ranges and that seems to be working well.

November 19, 2012 at 03:41 AM · Interesting comments about the L&C carbon fiber violin. I have had one for two years now and like it very much, for the reasons mentioned. Mine was purchased at a local violin shop. I would add that it seems less vulnerable to cold as well. However, strings can still change size with temperature even when the instrument itself is stable. For me it definitely is the instrument for outdoor gigs. But, this time of year we don't do that up here (tonal quality suffers when you play while wearing mittens).

November 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM · Do violins in-the-white sound harsh?? I'm not so sure that's accurate.. and I don't think varnish is added for the express reason of adding mellowness to a wooden instrument.

Anyway, wondering if anyone can compare similar price-ranges. Let's say a CF violin and a 5,000 Scott Cao or something like that.

I have a base 16" Roth model viola (1700 Strad model from the 60s) with Helicore strings on it, and it doesn't have quite as much volume as my mother-in-law's CF viola, but it is more full, and that just a base model. My violin (workshop of Cermak) smokes it, but I am probably comparing cats to dogs since I haven't heard a CF violin.

I also wonder if a wooden violin doesn't offer more options in set-up (tension and placement of the sound post and other minor adjustments.) Can't really tell as I haven't worked with CF, just wondering. Any thoughts.

(btw, I am impressed with the CF viola. Playability is stellar: better than the Roth)

November 21, 2012 at 09:28 PM · Maybe you can make carbon fibre instruments sound less "synthetic" by using a soft brazil-wood bow and Obligato or even Violino strings?

November 22, 2012 at 10:02 AM · judging by the making process video, would you say all of them sound the same?? That to me is.. unappealing. It's just great to have a violin that is unique in sound and appearance, has it's own character, these violins wouldnt would they??

November 22, 2012 at 02:06 PM · I tried one @ long and mcquade not long ago and the sound was simply bad. I am not talking about the difference in timbre, but other sound properties (responsiveness, resonance, power, etc) as well. BAD.

Although those instruments do have their place on the market (for outdoors playing and poor / weather volatile conditions, rock musicians, etc.), they are grossly overpriced.

After all, the process of making them is less time consuming than to carve and fine-tune the wooden plates - so there is no justification for that price range.

So if you are looking for a violin, spend some time searching around. There are plenty of decent and even great violins for 5-6K.

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