Player's impression oc carbon fiber viola

October 2, 2005 at 01:05 AM · I just played on a Luis carbon fiber viola about an hour ago. It was incredible. Gorgeous sound! Now I am lusting for it and I am a violinist.

I do play a lot of outdoor gigs and often on ships. But the viola was really lovely. I left the shop only after playing the theme from the Umbrellas of Cherbourg(sp?)

Replies (13)

October 3, 2005 at 06:43 PM · Hi Michael,

Thanks for posting. I looked again at the Luis and Clark website. Can you talk about some of the details?

It looks like the fingerboard and neck are epoxy-carbon composite, no wood. Is this true?

What is the neck-body joint? Is it all molded / epoxied together, or can the neck be re-set?

Tailpiece looks to be Wittner, and it has a maple bridge?

What is the nut made from? Is it ebony, or composite?

How about the pegs, and the peg-box? Are they ebony? Do they run in holes reamed in epoxy/carbon, or is there a maple insert? Or do they use the geared pegs?

If there is any contact between the carbon and the strings, I am concerned that the strings will corrode very rapidly due to galvanic current.

The light weight certainly sounds interesting.



October 3, 2005 at 10:15 PM · The fingerboard and neck are composite, no wood.

The neck-body joint appeared to be molded together but I didn't look closely nor did I think to ask.

I didn't notice the tailpiece particularly but it did have geared pegs which were quite nice and worked great.

Sorry, I didn't notice the nut; I believe it was also composite but I am really not sure.

I also don't know about the carbon/string contact as I was busy playing and enjoying it.

You have asked excellent questions.

You can get specific answers by calling The Violin Shop in Anchorage, AK at 907-277-9115.

November 2, 2005 at 11:04 PM · I got a chance to try a carbon-fiber viola a while back, too. I wrote a little bit about it here.

I thought it was nice, but not exactly what I wanted for myself.

March 8, 2006 at 05:12 AM · Hi Everyone,

I bought a Luis & Clark carbon fiber violin in December - violin #25 actually. It wasn't my intention to get a newfangled instrument. I was simply looking for something in its price range and kept an open mind about carbon fiber instead of wood. After the violin arrived, I was blown away. It is incredibly resonant, with a warm "round" sound that is very nicely balanced from string to string, and up and down each string. Perhaps the only criticism I can level at it (if this is a criticism) is that it sounds too "perfect" -- it doesn't have the uniquely individual idiosyncracies that every wooden violin has. The instrument does take getting used to. Luis removed the heel of the neck, so the landmark for 3rd position is gone. And, the back of the neck is very smooth, unlike a wooden instrument's (which is not varnished there). But at its price point, the L&C violin was definitely the best instrument I tried. And it's nearly indestructible.

I recently tried a L&C viola as well. The carbon fiber viola is an even bigger improvement over a wooden instrument (to me anyhow) than is the carbon fiber violin. It's very responsive and resonant. However, it comes in only one size (16"). I'm 5'2" with smallish hands and I could play it, but just barely.

The L&C carbon fiber instruments are definitely worth trying. They might not be for everyone, but I do enjoy mine.

March 8, 2006 at 03:13 PM · Hi,

Does anyone know of a violin shop nearish to St. Louis where I could try one? (Chicago would be close enough - I'm up that way sometimes.) Considering that a large percentage of my students are ages 3-7, a durable instrument is rather appealing for when I am teaching. I don't want to order one without having a chance to try it though.


March 9, 2006 at 04:43 AM · I suggest you contact Luis & Clark via their website. The address is Stephanie Leguia, who handles the business end of things, will find a way for you to try an instrument. I was able to try a viola recently because she put me in touch with someone who owns one here in NYC.

March 9, 2006 at 05:15 AM · Thanks for your reply Joyce. Actually, I spoke with Stephanie this morning before I sent the post. She was very helpful, but when she heard that I live in St. Louis, she mentioned that she didn't know of any instruments in my area that I could try. They do have a 100% money back guarantee, but I would still love to try it before deciding to purchase it.


March 9, 2006 at 09:21 AM · Hello

What is the price range of carbon violas (Luis&Clark or Quintus)?


March 9, 2006 at 12:52 PM · Those viola players have hijacked this site again...

March 14, 2006 at 03:53 AM · Luc,

Luis and Clark:

Price of Cello: $5,839.00

Price of Viola: $5,200.00

Price of Violin: $4,900.00

I didn't find the Quintus prices on their website (

March 14, 2006 at 07:57 PM · Is Josh Bell holding one of the violins on these album covers? If not, what the heck is it?

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

March 14, 2006 at 08:05 PM · It's a guitar-shaped Strad. Sweet sweet sound, but rather small in my opinion. He played it for awhile. I think he's switched two times since then. Both Strad's......

I guess he's a Strad guy. :)

April 1, 2009 at 07:27 PM ·

There weren't any folks in my area for me to try it out either.  Stephanie shipped me my violin, and after trying it out, I couldn't put it down, so I HAD to buy it.  LOVE IT!!!!  And, I want a viola too, but I just don't have the $$$ right now.

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