McFiddles!






1626 George Washington Boulevard 
Wichita, Kansas 67211

look@mcfiddles.com

Services

We offer repairs and restorations for any orchestral stringed instrument or bow. Many common tasks can be estimated immediately, with an approximate time frame for completion. Others might need some more quiet time to assess; if this is the case, we ask that you leave the item for a day or two. We'll provide a receipt, of course; and a formal estimate does not obligate you to have the work performed here. Here's a partial list of shop prices of common jobs. These are routine prices on quality instruments presented; do bear in mind that we are supporting professional work in a 2500 sq.ft retail space. We've absorbed price increases for a long, long time, but the reality is - the current cost of the item, plus the labor involved.....

RESTORATION CHARGES
VIOLIN VIOLA CELLO
BRIDGE
Fractional size bridges, D cut Despiau student blank $46.00 $46.00 $85.00
Regular quality, Despiau 1-tree quality or similar,  $64.00 $67.50 $99.00
High quality, Despiau 2-tree quality or similar $82.00 $86.00 $140.00
Professional violin bridge; Despiau 3-tree or similar $133.00 $137.00 $210.00
NUT
Remove and replace nut; cut to fit, polish and cut slots $46.00 $46.00 $68.50
SADDLE
Remove and replace saddle, cut and fit, polish $46.00 $46.00 $68.50
PEG
Peg set, ebony, cut and fit; polished $88.00 $91.00 $143.75
Decorated pegs will be more according to peg cost.
FINGERBOARD DRESSING, FULL*
Remove fittings; plane scrape and polish; reassemble $72.00 $79.00 $118.50
NEW SOUNDPOST
Cut and fit new soundpost from A1 material $34.00 $40.00 $49.00
BOW WORK
Rehair, including general cleaning and adjustment $53.00 $54.00 $55.00
Mastodon tusk replacement tip plate $85.00 $85.00 $95.00
Bow grip, single leather wrap, around 1" $18.95 $22.00 $25.00
Full sterling silver wire wrap and leather grip $72.00 $75.00 $85.00

Barrow o fiddles

Our renowned advertising photo shown here illustrates the current state of affairs in student violins. Sometimes it's just not practical, given the contemporary cost of labor, to spend more on a repair than the instrument is worth. Of course on occasion we allow customers to restore "Grandpa's fiddle" despite the repair equalling or exceeding the monetary value of the instrument - but this is only when the sentimental value surpasses all.

And just so that you know....the "wheelbarrow" type violins periodically make it to South America, where poor music schools, assisted by enthusiastic amateur repairers are able to give them a second chance!

Restoration Overview

We are more than happy to describe fully the work that we do. Here you'll find some of the procedures undertaken to maintain a quality violin.

We have a fully equipped workshop suite in which we can perform the most exacting restorations. When necessary, instruments are carefully disassembled in order to reinforce damaged ares, or replace damaged sections. The utmost care is taken to reassemble, and gently touch-in the varnish to blend with the original finish. We're sometimes asked, "Will a damaged instrument ever be the same after a major restoration?" The truth is, it's more likely that it will sound better. A "table-off" restoration allows us to carefully secure blocks, linings and other things that might well loosen over years or decades of playing. We often see small seam openings that players never quite have time to have done, so the full restoration scenario gives us just the opportunity to seal everything. Of course, we don't suggest that tops are taken off routinely; in many cases we can now do some careful crack repairs through the "f" holes. We use fiberoptic scopes to take a look around through an endpin or "f" hole to assess problems, and determine the best approach.

Bridge

The cutting of a new bridge involves selecting a new pre-cut blank of a width and type to correspond appropriately to the instrument. The positioning of the bass bar, "f" holes and arching guide us in this. There are several fine bridge makers in Europe that produce laser cut blanks for the trade. A bridge has two feet (with very few exceptions) and these must be cut to fit the top of that instrument perfectly. The job of the bridge is to transmit the vibrations of the strings to the body, and a clean, even contact is essential. The bridge must stand correctly, and a general rule is that the back face should sit perpendicular to the top of the table at that point. Sometimes it does appear that the bridge is leaning backward, but this is normal. Only the front face of the bridge is thinned, and gently tapered to a thin rim at the top. Just around 1mm seems to be appropriate for violins. The elevation and curvature of the end of the fingerboard guides the maker as to correct height overall. The lower string will sit a little higher than the high string, in all of the orchestral stringed instruments. Each craftsman will have his or her favorite final dimensions, and will carefully cut certain areas to create the best result. The bridge heart area is probably the least touched, and the wings and feet, the most. A final touch in the case of a professional bridge might be a very light coat of button polish, and the shop brand, to complete the task.

Dressing, Fingerboard

One of the most overlooked maintenance items might be the fingerboard. With years of playing, tracks appear under the strings, with significant depressions right underneath the finger positions. I fine player will compensate for these problems, but the clarity and response of the sound will always suffer.

In the trade this is known as fingerboard dressing. The luthier will re-establish the correct profile with a small sharp plane, removing the string tracks. If you look carefully, the fingerboard is not flat along the length of the string, it has a gentle concave curve from end to end. This is why the job needs professional care...a subtle balance between the longitudinal concave curve and the latitudinal convex curve which can clearly be seen by the player looking down the fingerboard. A few grades of blocked sandpaper will establish a very smooth surface, and we enhance this with some "0000" steel wool and oil. The fingerboard is then buffed lightly and the job is done. The result gives faster response and a clarity between notes for the player.