Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the questions below to read our answers. If you don't see your question listed here, please contact us for assistance.
Orders, Shipping & Returns
Instruments & Gear
Orders, Shipping & Returns
How long will it take to receive my order?
We strive to ship orders out the same day we receive them. Exceptions are for orders placed through our website over the weekend (which we ship out the following Monday) and orders placed after 3pm Eastern time, which may ship out the next business day. Tracking info will be emailed when the shipment leaves our building.
We offer FREE GROUND SHIPPING within the lower 48 United States as well as optional expedited shipping methods via UPS and FedEx. The only way to guarantee a particular arrival date is to upgrade to expedited methods, e.g. UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air or UPS 3-day Select. That said, the following shipping map for UPS Ground transit times from our location is quite reliable in all but the busiest shipping seasons (namely the week before Christmas).
International shipping transit times are as follows:
- UPS Worldwide Express - Delivery in 2-4 business days
- UPS Worldwide Expedited delivery times:
- Canada: 2 days
- Mexico: 3 days
- Europe: 3-4 days
- Asia / Latin America: 4-5 days
- FedEx International Priority - Delivery in 2-3 business days
- FedEx International Economy - Delivery in 5-6 business days
Why am I unable to place an order online?
We apologize if you are having difficulty getting an order to go through on our website. It may be due to your connection speed, unusually high traffic on our website, or some other technical problem. We request that you contact us to complete your order and to notify us of the issue you are having so that we can work to quickly resolve it. To speak to a sales representative during business hours call 919-806-3311 or toll-free 866-900-8400. You may also email to firstname.lastname@example.org at anytime or message us via our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Why doesn't my coupon code work?
If you entered a coupon code and received the message "The coupon code __ is not valid" it may be because one or more of the items in your shopping cart does not qualify for the discount. Please refer to Special Offer Details page for general product exclusions and specific promotional exclusions.
If you've read the promotional exclusions and believe that your order qualifies for a coupon code, please contact us at 919-806-3311 or email@example.com so that we help you get the best possible price or explain why an item may not qualify.
What is your returns policy?
We offer free returns within 30 days of purchase.* Follow the link to read our full returns policy and read instructions on how to return your items to us.
Do you ship to my country?
We ship to most countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. We are unable to ship to a small handful of countries due to US trade restrictions or a lack of shipping service.
You can find out whether we can ship to your location as well as receive shipping cost estimates by clicking 'Add to cart' on a product page and then entering your country and postal code in the Shopping Cart. Shipping cost quotes do not include customs/duty/VAT, which may be due upon receiving your shipment. Check with your local customs authority to find out how much tax or duty you will be charged.
For more information, please visit our International Orders page.
Can I try before I buy? Do you send instruments out on approval?
We don't offer a traditional violin shop approval program, however, we are happy to help you narrow your choice down to two instruments and send both. You would pay for both upfront, then return one of them within the terms of our 30-day returns policy for a refund of the purchase price (less shipping).
For help narrowing down your choice to one or two instruments you can contact us by phone, email or social media for personalized advice, or read our helpful buying guide articles. You can even visit our shop to audition our many instrument models in person! We are conveniently located near the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) and East Coast drivers can make their way to us via I-85, I-95 and I-40.
Are products covered under warranty?
Many of the instruments and gear products we sell are covered by a manufacturer warranty. Please refer to the description of the product in question. Some manufacturer warranties, with links to their pages are provided here. If you are having an issue with your instrument, call us right away for guidance. The solution may be a simple one!
Instruments & Gear
What are the extra strings on a 5/6/7-string?
Modern, ever-changing string technology allows string manufacturers to make good sounding short scale strings that allow string instruments to dip into lower ranges. Adding a fifth string to a violin gives it the added lower range of a viola C. A sixth string goes a fifth lower to F, and a seventh string lower still to B-flat. There is even such a thing as an E-flat string for violin, that goes a half-step lower in range than the double bass!
Cellists can explore extended range as well, adding a low F string, or a high E string on top, to lessen the need to go into thumb-position. The 6-string NS Design CR cello gives you both low F and high E strings, with the standard A-D-G-C strings in between.
If you don't think you can get used to anything other than 4 strings but still want to delve into deeper ranges, consider octave strings, which are designed to fit your instrument’s scale length but sound a full octave lower. Read our article on 5-string to learn more.
The Yamaha will look more like your acoustic violin, but both are quite ergonomic. In fact, one might argue the NS Design WAV is a bit more ergonomic, despite its unique shape. This is because it has a very advanced shoulder rest system that allows adjustment of height, tilt and angle! The Yamaha SV-130 comes with a detachable Kun-style shoulder rest that is only adjustable by angle and height, and only about half an inch for either. As for tone, both sound quite good. The WAV is passive (no preamp), whereas the Yamaha SV-130 has on-board electronics that power a headphone output (for 'silent' practice). The SV-130 also accepts an auxiliary input, so you can play (or practice through headphones) along with prerecorded accompaniment, or your favorite tunes! For a quiet headphone practice solution, the Yamaha has the edge for the convenience of a headphone jack, though the NS Design can be plugged into another device with a headphone output (such as amp or effects processor) for quiet practice as well. For ergonomics the NS Design has a slight edge due to the more adjustable design and removable upper bout (for unimpeded shifting). In terms of tone and price they are both in the same ballpark. It really depends on your intended use for the instrument, your level of pickiness over shoulder rests and your preference for looks.
No electric violin is truly silent. If you’ve ever strummed the strings of an unplugged electric guitar, you have a sense of the level of sound generated by drawing a bow across the strings of a solid body string instrument. So-called “silent practice” is made possible when a solid body instrument is equipped with a headphone jack. This allows the player to hear the amplified tone of the instrument privately, while the small amount of sound generated by bowing the strings cannot be heard outside the practice room. Read our article on 'silent' instrument loudness comparisons to learn more.
Mics or pickups each work well for separate applications. A pickup generates an electrical signal by amplifying vibrations passed from the strings through the bridge, whereas microphone amplifies the actual sound of the violin. A microphone will therefore generally provide a more accurate reproduction of the violin’s tone, but is more subject to issues such as “boominess” and feedback. Many pickup options are less expensive than microphones and will actually work better than microphones in louder environments, such as on-stage with a band, where extraneous sounds may be picked up by a microphone and higher noise levels can create feedback. If you're still unsure, check out our article on choosing mics and pickups.
Please read this brief article to learn how to amplify your instrument wirelessly.
In short, any way you want it to sound! Through use of EQ and effects, you can drastically alter the tone and sound of your playing, from mild…to wild. One important point to note is that no electric will sound exactly like your acoustic. We often describe electric instruments to customers as “acoustic sounding,” but this term is quite relative, and you should keep in mind that even the most natural sounding electric is still an electric. Use the purchase of your electric instrument as an opportunity to explore new sounds!
Adding effects can be as simple as adding reverb to warm up your tone. They can also change your sound drastically through use of distortion, delay and modulation. You can buy individual effects as stomp-boxes, but for most players we recommend a multi-effects processor that will allow you to explore and even create scores of different tones. The effects processors we carry start at $79 and range up to $499. Read our article for more information about choosing an effects processor.
Yes, yes and yes! Electric instruments use normal strings under normal tension. Therefore, any traditional horsehair bow and rosin combo will work. That said, there is tremendous variation in bow quality, which will affect your tone and technique greatly. We deal exclusively in synthetic bows, ranging from beginner level fiberglass, to carbon composite, to professional level braided carbon fiber bows. These bows are highly durable and provide excellent tone production and feel while saving money compared to the expense of comparable quality wood bows.
What strings do you recommend for fretted violins?
If it's a 4 or 5-string fretted violin D'Addario NS Electric braided core steel strings will provide great tone and longer life with rubbing against the frets. NS Electric strings aren't made for the 6th or 7th strings however, but we do recommend the Super-Sensitive 'Sensicore' perlon-core strings. They perform well on Jordan violins with relatively little fret wear over the normal life of the strings and sound very focused and warm. If it's a 6 or 7-string Wood Violins Viper you're playing, we recommend a special set of strings that mix the aforementioned extended-range Sensicore strings with titanium-wound Helicore D and A strings, which will stand up against wear on the higher profile Viper frets better than their nickle-wound counterparts. View our mixed Viper string sets here.
To find out if an instrument you are interested in has a preamp already refer to the description of the instrument in question. Instruments described as 'active' are already equipped with a preamp. Instruments described as 'passive,' do not have a preamp. Passive instruments may not require an external preamp though, depending on the type of pickup, the quality of its signal, and the amp it is paired with. Having a preamp can never hurt though, and if nothing else will give you better control over volume, gain and possibly tone. Read this article to learn more about choosing a preamp.
If your only intention is silent practice, than a set of headphones will be sufficient, provided your instrument has a headphone jack. If not, you will need some other device, such as an amp or effects processor that does have a headphone jack, which will then require a cable. If you want to be heard by others, you will need amplifier, or the ability to connect to a PA (Public Address) system through a soundboard. This will require at least one cable. Each preamp stage you add between yourself and the speaker will require the addition of one cable. Contact us for assistance with determining the number, type and length of cables required for your performance application.
Some instruments do and others don’t. Please refer to the description of the instrument in question.