West Wind Strings
Hand-made traditional (and non-traditional) Violin-family instruments for sale; Specializing in the Viola and the Double Bass (though violins and celli are available as well).
New (and used, when available--I do take trade-ins, with some provisions)
Remember that Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri once made new instruments. If a modern instrument is a good, luthier-made instrument when new, and is carefully maintained, its value goes up, not down: it is a good investment. This is especially true for a relatively unknown luthier-- as the maker's reputation increases, so does the value of his/her instruments. The same is less true for factory-made instruments, as no single luthier built them. My instruments are currently at very competitive prices--in fact, I am one of the lowest-priced American makers of hand-made instruments in the country. But my instruments receive good reviews from all who play them. As my instruments become popular and my name is no longer unknown, my prices will also increase. The value of my early instruments will increase to reflect the new prices as well. For this reason, I always offer 100% trade-in for undamaged instruments bought from me, when trading up to a more expensive instrument.
All my instruments are numbered, dated, and signed. I supply a photograhic and detailied provenance document with each of my instruments.
Set-up can be classical or fiddler-friendly
I do make 5-string fiddles, and the set-up is different for a fiddler, as a rule, than for a classical player.
Wood can be domestic or European
Fine instruments can be made of a variety of woods. Stradivari occasionally used willow or poplar, though the majority were maple. There have been some very good violins made from Big Leaf maple, but the European maple seems to hold the lead in terms of tone for violins, specifically. Violas, celli and basses, however, evidently because they are larger and tuned to lower pitch, work just fine with domestic maples. Of the domestic Maples, Red maple seems to be closest to the qualities of the European maple. Red amaple is native to Michigan and other places in the eastern US and Canada.
There is a ready supply of very fine domestic (Big leaf) maple and (Sitka and Englemann) spruce here in Oregon. I have enough domestic wood stockpiled to last for years. European wood is available, but I do not stock much of it...I purchase it as needed.
Repairs; Free estimates
I have done nearly every kind of repair imaginable, from simple, routine adjustments, to open seams, to cracks and missing wood, including neck-grafts and breast-patches. Some repairs I can make literally invisible, others I can only make a sound, strong repair, in a workmanlike manner. There are restorers out there who can literally make all repairs invisible. They specialize in restoration of very expensive instruments. If you have that sort of instrument, I may refer you to those restorers...it will cost much more, but I want you to protect your investment.