Know Your Luthier

Don’t take our word for it, read about what some others have said…

Testimonials of Fegley Instrument and Bows

“I didn’t know what to expect on my first visit to Joseph McDevitt and the Fegely Violin Shop. But I was delighted to find a bright young man who was generous with his time and knowledge and Amazed at how reasonable the cost was compared to some shops I’ve used in my 40 years of playing professionally. I can’t thank Joseph enough and I’ll certainly be back!!!”

-Ted the Fiddler


“Joseph McDevitt has demonstrated his skill as a luthier on two of my violins. On one, he cut and adjusted a new soundpost and trimmed the bridge and turned a thin nasal-sounding instrument into one with a deep resonant projecting voice that is now a delight to play. On the other he demonstrated his artistry by matching and blending the varnish on a bare patch on one of the ribs to look like the original. Joe now provides maintenance for my entire instrument collection. And those in the market for a new instrument would do well to commission one from Joe. His meticulous workmanship provides impressive sound at a very reasonable price. We’re lucky to have an artist with his ability in the area.”

-Max Robbins, former concertmaster with the South Orange Symphony Orchestra

Violinist, violist and connoisseur and collector of fine string instruments and bows

“Joe is a master violin maker, that is dedicated to the craft as much as he is to his clients. I had the chance to spend time with him both while he was in school and after when he helped me with several restoration projects, it was his presence in the shop that made these time consuming projects possible. I am looking forward to seeing his new instruments, as I believe will be some of the best contemporary instruments that are out there. If you are looking for a modern instrument or maintenance work on your vintage instrument I can wholeheartedly recommend his shop.”

-Marco Coppiardi



“Joe McDevitt is a young master! His cellos are finely crafted and have a rich sweet tone. They are even, clear, responsive, and easily handle an array of dynamics. Any cellist, professional or student, would find playing his cellos extremely rewarding and an excellent muse for creating beautiful music.”

-Christina Stripling – Cellist


“I take my 1809 Cremonese violin to Joe McDevitt for maintenance and he has not only kept it sounding its best, but has made some terrific improvements to the violin for me! Joe has also been extremely helpful with my students who have gone to him for help with violins and bows.”

-Todd F. Sullivan




 “What is there to say about Joseph! As he attended one of my Advanced Violin Repair Courses it was obvious to me that Joe was well trained… quick study… and a very clever smart young man. With this I encouraged him to return to my restoration class the following year, which he did! I contacted thereafter his former teacher, Mr. Roman Barnas, at North Bennet Street Violin Making School and congratulated him on a “student-well-taught”!

Keep up the good work!”

– Hans J. Nebel


“I consider Joe McDevitt to be one of the best luthiers I know. His instruments have the power as well as offering a spectrum of tonal colors capable of satisfying the most discriminating players. He’s a real Berks County gem!”

-Christopher Collins Lee


“Fegley’s is the place to go! We purchased our son’s violin one year ago and had a wonderful experience. Joe helped us find a high quality instrument that fit our player’s ability within the price range that we discussed. His service is prompt, and he is ready with a loaner so that we don’t miss a beat!”

-Laura Harkin

“I bought a violin, 2 bows and a case from Fegley’s. Joe McDevitt has carefully and timely repaired and refurbished my fine violin and both bows. He has explained each step to me and made recommendations for my violin’s care as I use it frequently. I had a tour of his studio and got a history of several instruments he has made. Two of my friends have bought violins Joe has made and each one sounds incredible.”

-Brian Taras

“Fegley’s may be hard to find, but we won’t go anywhere else since we found them a few years ago. Their service is superior. Fegley’s has a wide selection of violins, violas, cellos, bows, and equipment, and the deep knowledge to help their customers. Luthier Joe McDevitt is truly an artist and a joy to work with. My daughter plays on a violin he built: it’s a beautiful instrument and the sound is warm and wonderful. She feels a unique connection to the instrument.

This is a great little business you can feel very good about patronizing and expect to get great prices and great service.”

-Gareth Houk

“I’ve been a loyal client of Fegley’s Violin Shop for 25 years. The prices are quite reasonable (downright cheap by Main Line standards) and the workman excellent. I bought my last violin from Fegley’s and have been informed by several different experts that it was a real bargain for a fine early 20th century instrument by a famous maker. And repairs, rehairings, adjustments, etc. are always done in a timely manner. I would recommend them without hesitation.”

-Ed Pollak

“Fegley’s is an EXCELLENT repair shop. I have taken my husband’s violin for repairs at this shop for many years now. The customer service is excellent. It is nice to be able to drop it off at the shop and know that it will be repaired and serviced in a timely manner. The repairs are always done exactly as described. We have never been surprised by our bills. They provide you with an estimate and it is always right around the target estimate. They are also extremely flexible with appointment times. I’m glad Fegley’s is in this area! We are lucky to have them!”

-Amybeth Travis

“I bought my violin from Fegley’s about 15 years ago. I still only take it to Fegley’s for repair and checkups. Joe McDevitt is very personable and great to work with. I especially appreciate that he communicates promptly via email.”

-Jill Milton

“Joe has been great helping me find a violin for my young student musician, and keeping it in good condition. He is a true craftsman, and his love of his art is readily apparent in even the briefest conversation. All of my inquiries are treated with intelligence and integrity. I am really glad I found Fegleys and Joe; we’ll never go anywhere else.”

-Judy WInemiller

“Fegley’s Violin Shop has been servicing my violin for over 25 years. Impeccable workmanship and friendly convenient service have been hallmarks of their business. Joe and Margie have both repaired my instrument when it was damaged from another violin shop. I am always grateful for the care they take in maintaining the best sound from my violin and bow.”

-Barbara Lanza

“I have a Fegley violin, and every few years I will drop my violin off for a check-up. He takes care of any needs and is extremely friendly. He is flexible with hours and worked with my schedule. He has instruments to use while yours is being worked on, and you get your instrument back in great time! Many musicians have commented on the quality of my instrument.”

-Katrina Fullington

“I have been taking my instrument to Joseph McDevitt at Fegley’s Violin Shop for a few years now and have been greatly pleased by the service and the work he’s done on my instrument! I have purchased a bow, gotten a hand-made new bridge and sound post, purchased new strings, and gotten bow re-hairs. The work is truly top notch, the service is friendly and helpful, and the prices are competitive. Couldn’t recommend more!”

-Laura Sensenig

“Best luthier around!!! I really recommend them! My violin sounds amazing after every check up. I don’t like going anywhere else anymore.”

-Rada Culciar

“Joseph McDevitt has an innate ability to match an instrument to a musicians personality. I felt a bond to my new violin the first time I played it. It is a rare opportunity to own a violin crafted by the talent of such a gifted and promising luthier. It has incredible sound and resonant tones, a pleasure to play. I am honored to be a part of the beginning of it’s life story.”

-Ellen Brown (owner of a JPM violin)



“After playing Mr. McDevitt’s violin for a couple of minutes I just knew: This was the violin I was always meant to play.”

-Keely Houk



“Joe and I have worked together for over 8 years. Each day I see more and more people discovering that here’s someone who knows and loves his work. He is exact and thorough and it seems like he was born to make and repair stringed instruments. I consider myself and Fegley’s to be very fortunate to have Joe as my colleague and true friend.”

-Margie Fegley
(Co-founder of Fegley Violin)



“Joseph McDevitt carries on established traditions with a personal and professional style all his own. My violin never sounded better. In a time of big corporate takeovers, it’s nice to see a hometown guy carry on a local business.”

– Susan McDevitt



“I tried several violins but I kept going back to the one Joe Mcdevitt made. The sound was just so beautiful and the wood had a beautiful grain and color. No other violin had made me want to play like this violin did. I am so proud every time I take it out of my case. I love for people to ask me about it. It’s beautiful.”

-Julianna Foxx. Age 13



Dear Joe,
“Just a short note to let you know how much I am enjoying playing my lovely viola that you made. It is such a pleasure to listen to with the big warm sound and yet is so sweet across all the strings whether playing high or low. It resonates with other sounds around it and is so nicely tuned that playing it lies easily under the fingers even though my violin hands are so accustomed to those intervals after all the years of playing.”

-Margaret – Bloomsburg



“I’ve played on Joseph’s second violin for over four years, and its tone improves every time I pick it up. It has a nice, bright sound that catches the ear and is a pleasure to listen to. The light coloring and polished look adds to its class. I’ve really enjoyed playing on this violin throughout all my musical activities!”

-Rachel Stahl – Violin #2

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