Rental Instruments

These prices do not include tax.

Violins

1/16 to 4/4 Size

$22 Per Month - $66 + tax covers the first three months (required prepaid to begin rent)

Violas

12" to 16 1/2 Inch

$22 Per Month - $66 + tax covers the first three months (required prepaid to begin rent)

Cellos

1/4 to 4/4 Size

$40 Per Month - $120 + tax covers the first three months (required prepaid to begin rent)

Basses

1/8 to 3/4 Size

$50 Per Month - $150 + tax covers the first three months (required prepaid to begin rent)

 

What about rent to own?

We have a rent discount program. What that means is we keep track of all your payments under your account (not including tax of course), and allow you to apply all your rental payments as a discount up to 50% off any instrument, case, bow, or combination thereof! 

Why not buy? Why rent instead?

In general, even for a beginner, if you are on a full size instrument it is better to purchase an entry level outfit. However, not everyone can afford to purchase a $400 violin, or an $800 cello, not to mention the costs of basses nowadays. In those cases, renting is better. It is also better to rent when the student is on a smaller instrument and still growing, because they will outgrow any fractional instrument purchased. Of course, there is also the cost to maintain these instruments. Rehairing the bow, buying new strings, replacing parts as they wear or are broken. With rentals, all these things have been done before you even get the instrument, and you'd only have to pay to fix something broken while in your care.

If you buy an instrument, or do a rent to own program, you are stuck with the instrument purchased. In some cases, stores will let you "trade" up to a nicer version, but they are extremely limited in variety and setup options. For beginner students, that means you will often be playing on a smaller instrument (fractional) of lesser quality, and will not have the training to really pick out something nice. Would you rather have an "okay" instrument, that still will need adjustment to reach its full potential, while paying a premium in addition to higher prices through general music stores, or would you prefer to pick from a variety of different instruments backed up by a trained and certified luthier, with the ability to service your often much nicer instrument at a lower cost? To give you an idea; let's say your student is on a 1/2 size violin. Our entry level instruments start around $450 (around 500-550 for an outfit). A high-school level violin (most likely will be able to play a 4/4 violin by high-school) will more appropriately be $1200-1500. Fractional instruments are usually no cheaper than their full size counterparts. So, you are looking at spending $500 for a 1/2 violin, $500 for a 3/4 violin, then $1200 for a 4/4 violin best case scenario (we don't count instruments with plastic or painted parts as appropriate for school: WAY too many issues for teachers to train with them in any meaningful way). In a rent to own, trading in will likely not net you much, if anything in return.  All together, that's $2200, plus tax, and you now have three instruments, two you have no use for, not to mention string maintenance, bow rehairs, accessories (fitted to each size!), and cases!

Now, let's say you rent instead, and simply bring in your fractional instrument as the student out-grows it. For our violin example, you have $22/month, available to use towards a purchase whenever you are ready. Let's also assume two years on the 1/2 size, one on the 3/4 (about average for our students). Even if you only rent for the 9 month school year, that will net you $594 you can apply towards purchase. Now you are ready for your full size violin. You get that $1200 violin to get you into high school and maybe even college, less 594 in credit, for only $606 + Tax. Bonus: you aren't limited to a "model 100," you can apply your discount to a college level, or even professional level and still use all your rent. Combined with our generous payment plans, you could basically "rent to own" a really nice instrument without any of the drawbacks of a true rent-to-own or lease program. 

The other benefit to renting is we prepare every rental to last the entire school year. That means when your student picks up their rental instrument, it is adjusted and set up properly.

What's the deal with setup? And why shouldn't I just buy an out-of-the-box manufacturer "ready to play" instrument, or that 5-star reviewed outfit I saw online with two bows, two bridges, rosin, tuner, extra strings, ultra light case, and gift card to my favorite all-you-can-eat buffet for $75?

To sum it up, unfortunately, you get what you pay for. By definition, a ready to play, setup violin family instrument must contain the following:

    1.    Properly fit pegs. This is the number one complaint from teachers, and the most frustrating thing we come across in new instruments. Even instruments direct from our suppliers need to be adjusted, and the pegs are the part that cause students to quit the fastest. There is a very specific, exact standard taper all pegs must meet, and it is different between violin/viola and cello.

    2.    Hardwood pegs and fingerboard. Only Ebony is acceptable for modern fingerboards, being the heartwood and naturally black. NO OTHER WOOD IS ACCEPTABLE for a modern classical violin, viola, or cello. Rosewood is okay for basses, but basses are the exception in most cases. "Ebonized" is NOT Ebony. This is a purposeful deception used by companies, and simply means "mystery wood painted and/or stained black to look like ebony." If you are interested in period music, there are other things to consider beyond this writeup. Come visit with our luthier and we can talk for a few hours!

    3.    Standard, fit, good quality bridge. A bridge that is too soft will warp and break. A bridge that is too tall will cause excess strain on your student's fingers and can cause long term nerve damage if not adjusted correctly. *even a nice bridge can warp if it isn't cared for, so it is imperative you check it every time you play*

 

"Ready-to-play" instruments we've seen come to our shop for setup usually only cost the customer $75 to $300 if they are "lucky," however to remove the shortcuts these companies have taken Just to get the instrument playable will on average cost $300-500 depending on the number of things left out. We've seen plastic pegs, low-quality plastic on tailpieces, jewelry wire for strings, and spray paint instead of varnish as a finish. Please also note: guitars are made very differently from the violin family of instruments, and we have seen very nice looking "violins" and "cellos" which, from the inside, are simply small guitars shaped like violins with the sound to match. Please also note: "approved by teachers" stamps we've seen on instruments are not reflective of truly approved instruments. Always check with your actual orchestra teacher first. There are certain brands out there with "student" model instruments. These are often spray painted, have fake parts, and will not be playable or tunable.