Good violin repairer at California Bay Area?

Edited: February 27, 2018, 5:13 PM · Hi guys. I'm wondering if there are some good violin repairer that you guys recommend? I am not familiar with the Bay Area luthier, having moved here from New York. I have a modern Cremonese violin (made in Morassi's shop by one of his associates) that needs some touch up on the varnish. I'd appreciate some input. Thanks you very much for your suggestions!

Replies (5)

Edited: February 28, 2018, 8:55 AM · Ifshin Violins in El Cerrito (just north of Berkeley). I've had all my work done here (invisible!!!). Ifshin has his own off-street private parking lot--rare in these parts and a special perk.

Rolland Feller - downtown San Francisco - not far from the performance venues.

These are the best known.

Also well known in the San Jose area are Stevens and Kamimoto.

Joan Balter in Berkeley is also respected by many.

Loveland Violins in Santa Rosa, if you are as much as 50 miles north of San Francisco (but he lost his home in the fires - so may not be working regularly - call or email the shop first.

At one time or another I have visited all these shops.

A more recent arrival in aSn Francisco is Jesse Maschmeyer Violins, on Van Ness Ave. near the performance venues. I have not visited his shop. but he has good Yelp reviews.

February 27, 2018, 10:08 PM · In addition to Ifshin and Roland Feller, if you live in the South Bay, another possibility is Kamimoto Strings in San Jose.

I've had lightweight work done by Ifshin and have had two violins restored, one by Roland Feller and one by Kamimoto. I'm happy with both restorations.


March 9, 2018, 7:01 PM · I second Joan Balter. She hasn't done more for me than make a bridge, but she has a great background, has been around a long time, and I trust her judgement. During the summer she's luthier to the Aspen Music Festival.
March 16, 2018, 5:43 PM · Joan Balter is excellent, honest, and inexpensive.
March 19, 2018, 8:48 PM · Mick Loveland is my go-to guy plus he has a beautiful shop and a small but very impressive gallery of 19th Century Western Art on the same floor. Nice folks indeed.

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