If you are looking for a reputable violin store in Philadelphia, consider Fegley Instruments & Bows in Reading, PA. Founded by the late James E. Fegley and his wife, Margie, we have been home to the stringed instrument business since 1979. Today, Fegley’s is owned by Joseph P. McDevitt, a luthier who continues the Fegley’s tradition by making, restoring, and selling the finest stringed instruments and bows.
- New handmade violins, violas, cellos and bows
- Vintage stringed instruments and bows
- Restoration of antique violins, violas and cellos
- Minor and major repairs of stringed instruments
- Violin setup
- Soundpost adjustment
- Bow rehairing
- Rental of superior quality instruments
When violin players reach a level of artistry that demands the very best instruments and bows, we are here to offer them. Joe was trained at the prestigious North Bennet Street School in Boston, where he studied with Roman Barnas. He worked with Marco Coppiardi, a master violin maker from Cremona, Italy, and attends the courses offered by Hans J. Nebel, a world-renowned violin restorer. His practiced hand enables him to craft the finest violins.
The quality of the wood used is the most important factor in how a violin sounds. Richer, more complex sound comes from certain grades of wood. The best violins are hand-carved, use high-quality, aged wood, and are set up by a real luthier. Owning your own violin will give you confidence as you embark on a lifelong adventure of making music.
When testing a violin:
- Know what you can afford and test violins in that price range.
- Play with a good bow, and test the instrument’s resonance and volume potential.
- Play scales across the entire range of the instrument.
- Try out what you actually play. If you’re an orchestral player, play orchestral material.
- Test the sound near and far. Many instruments can sound great under your ear, but do not project as well as other instruments.
- Check the setup, making sure the pegs and nut fit well, the neck is at the right angle, and all the fittings are set up correctly.
- Ask what kind of wood the violin is made from. This affects the sound tremendously. If the chin rest on the violin you are looking at is made from plastic, it’s a good sign you should move on to the next one.
- Listen for buzzes and other acoustical signals of a poorly constructed or damaged instrument.
- Test several violins in different environments to compare the sound.
Fegley Instruments & Bows has an extensive and continually expanding collection of fine instruments in our inventory. We also offer a selection of fine violin, viola and cello bows. Our goal is to be the most complete violin store in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, New York and the surrounding area, providing the best possible service to every customer, from beginner to soloist.