What do you do when you need an honest answer to a question?
The answer is two-fold. First, make an effort to collect as much information as you can on your own. Second, have a standard of comparison so you can validate the information you collected.
We can help you with the first part, and your teacher or your colleagues can usually help you out with the second part. We want you to feel free to contact us with all of your questions. Whether it’s evaluating an instrument, deciding to donate, restore or sell, or just trying to figure out if you have outgrown a particular instrument or bow, the staff at Potter’s consists of professional players, teachers and life-long students who can provide a wealth of experience in helping you clarify your needs and then determine how best to proceed in filling them.
Often, the instrument you already have is the best choice for you, but as your playing evolves, your set-up needs for your instrument can change as well. We always recommend investigating your own community and asking your own teacher first about local services and shops before working with somebody "out of town" - even if it’s us!
Also see: Choosing a String Shop
Our dedicated staff of professional instrument technicians use the same fine quality bridges, strings and bow hair for all of our instruments -- from Suzukis to Strads. We pride ourselves in keeping our repair and maintenance charges affordable so that our customers can keep playing at their best.
While we offer some of the world’s very finest bows for sale through our violin shop, even the best bows need to have regular maintenance done in order to produce the superior performance that makes them so valuable. All of our repairs and restorations are done "in house" by the most experienced hands available anywhere.
Evaluating your instrument doesn’t have to cost you a fortune! In fact, we offer our verbal assessments free of charge -- just call ahead so we can take care of you right away when you come in. If you need a written appraisal for your insurance company, or you need to file a claim, we can help you. And we keep a permanent archive of all our files -- more than 45,000 so far!
This is where the word "first-class" means what it says. Only a really great shop with professional luthiers and top-notch acoustic technicians has the resources to accurately diagnose the symptoms and effect the appropriate adjustments on those fine quality stringed instruments and bows which mean so much to you. This is truly the heart and soul of the violin maker’s art. Having the ability to see a coherent picture and sense the optimum balance between projection and depth, tone color and ringing clarity -- despite variations in wood grain, varnishes, strings, bridges, neck angles and historical construction techniques -- is a lifelong passion whose ultimate reward is the satisfaction and understanding that, at last, the best has been achieved.
Our rental programs have been developed with the desires of the teaching community in mind. High quality instruments & bows, the same quality strings and bow hair as our professional instruments, and 100% purchase credit for the first 24 months make our program the most generous in the country!
While The Potter Violin Company does not offer instrument insurance outside of our rental program at this time, we encourage all of our customers to acquire an insurance policy on any instrument or bow in their possession. For customers who are not considered professionals, their ordinary homeowner's or renter's insurance policies should suffice, provided that you have notified your insurance carrier about your instrument. For a small increase in premium, most insurance carriers will "all-risk" coverage with little or no deductible.
Any instrument or bow purchased from the Potter Violin Company is automatically issued an insurance appraisal, but it is up to you to obtain your own insurance. We can assist you in filing your claims with your insurance carrier. If your instrument or bow has been appraised by us, we will provide, free of charge, as part of our service, documentation of damages and estimated repair costs as well as any depreciation that may have occurred.
For teachers and professionals, homeowner's policies will usually refuse to cover your valuable instruments, so you should expect to purchase separate coverage that is specially-designed for your particular needs and risks. These insurance policies are often available at a discount through your employer or other professional associations, such as ASTA.
Certificate of Identification
Handwritten certificate with measurements and photos, accompanied by Potter’s insurance evaluation. We will maintain a permanent archival record of your instrument.
Certificate of Authenticity
A timeless document guaranteeing the authenticity and provenance of your valuable instrument. Always based on the firm opinions of the most respected dealers in the industry; this handwritten certificate includes a detailed description of condition, wood grain & figure, color and quality of varnish and detailed notes on past repair work as well as unusual identifying characteristics. A current insurance evaluation and permanent archival recording are included for $300.