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1 East Diamond Ave. Ste F Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the links below for answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions we hear from customers.

Can I get directions to your store? What's your e-mail address?
Click Here for Information.

What is your store's history?
Click Here to Learn More About Our Staff, Background, and History

My son's violin needs a new bridge. Why do I need to leave his instrument at your store to have the bridge fit when other stores say it only takes less than 10 minutes to change the bridge? Stores that say they can install a bridge in under 10 minutes while you wait (rather than having you leave the instrument for a custom-fit bridge) are probably using a product called a "self-adjusting bridge." These thick bridges have moveable feet and come in generic heights (extra-low, low, medium, and high) and require little skill to install. Just as no two trees are exactly the same, no two instruments have the exactly the same dimensions--there are no generic measurements of extra-low, low, medium, or high in violin-making.
In addition to height and thickness issues, self-adjusting bridges muffle the potential sound of the instrument. The feet of these bridges fit separately into the body of the bridge (see the image to the left). Because of this design, the transfer of sound from the strings through the bridge to the top of the instrument is slowed; when the transfer of sound is slowed, the instrument sounds muted.
When we custom-fit a bridge (using quality bridge materials), we cut the bridge feet to match the individual instrument's top shape and fit the top of the bridge, accounting for the following: neck height, fingerboard sweep/shape, nut height, etc. We also spend time customizing the bridge to bring out the best potential sound of the individual instrument--removing mass/wood from different areas of the bridge to bring out the lower strings/higher strings or adjusting to match specific tonal requests from the player.

Well, he's only a kid, does an individually fit bridge really matter? Let's face it, the violin is hard enough to play in tune without having to fight a bridge that is poorly fit! Especially for small fingers, a bridge that is too tall can make it very hard to press down the strings and play in tune. A bridge that is too low will constantly buzz and make it frustrating to practice the instrument.

What kind of instruments and bows do you sell? Do you sell instruments over the internet?
Click Here for Information.

How do I pick a violin or bow?
Click Here for Tip on Selecting an Instrument.

I have heard some stores pay teachers commissions after a sale, do you participate in this practice?
Click Here for Information on Violin Sale Ethics

Do you have recommendations for a private teacher?
Call us and we can fax/e-mail you a list or go to the MCYO teacher site for a list of local teachers represented by students in the orchestra. Click Here for the List.

How can I tell what kind of string is on my instrument?
Click Here for the String Color Code Chart

How does your rental program work?
Click Here to Learn About Our Rental Program

There are so many rental programs out there how I decide which plan is right for me?
Click Here for Questions to Ask Before You Rent

What kind of Composite bows do you sell and can I order one?
Click Here to See Which Composite Bows We Offer

Do you do repairs and do you do the work on site?
Click Here for a List of Repairs and Prices

Do you offer appraisals?
Click Here for Appraisal Information

How are violins made?
Click Here to See Our Violin Making Photo Diary

How do I care for my instrument?
Click Here for Maintenance Advice?

How do you determine where a bridge should be placed?
Click here for Useful Instrument Measurements

What is the best way to humidify my instrument? Does my bow need humidified?
Click Here to Learn About The Precipitube Humidifier

Do you have a guarantee/warranty?
Click Here to See Our Warranty Policy

What do your customers have to say about your shop?
Click Here to See What Our Customers Have to Say About Their Experiences at Lashof Violins