Rental Instruments

These prices include tax.

Violins 1/16 to 4/4 Size $21.70 Per Month – $65.10 covers the first three months (required prepaid to begin rent)
Violas 12″ to 16 1/2 Inch $27.13 Per Month – $81.38 covers the first three months (required prepaid to begin rent)
Cellos 1/4 to 4/4 Size $43.41 Per Month – $130.20 covers the first three months (required prepaid to begin rent)
Basses 1/8 to 3/4 Size $54.25 Per Month – $162.75 covers the first three months (required prepaid to begin rent)


What about rent to own?

We have a rent credit program. What that means is we keep track of all your payments under your account (not including tax of course), and allow you to apply a portion of your “credit” towards the purchase of a new instrument. In detail: you can apply 50% of all your rental payments towards up to 50% off a new instrument.

Why not buy? Why rent instead?

In general, even for a beginner, if you are on a full size instrument it is better to purchase an entry level outfit. However, not everyone can afford to purchase a $400 violin, or an $800 cello, not to mention the costs of basses nowadays. In those cases, renting is better. It is also better to rent when the student is on a smaller instrument and still growing, because they will outgrow any fractional instrument purchased. Of course, there is also the cost to maintain these instruments. Rehairing the bow, buying new strings, replacing parts as they wear or are broken. With rentals, all these things have been done before you even get the instrument, and you’d only have to pay to fix something broken while in your care.

If you buy an instrument, or do a rent to own program, you are stuck with the instrument purchased. For beginner students, that means you will often be playing on a smaller instrument (fractional) of lesser quality, and will not have the training to really pick out something nice. To give you an idea; let’s say your student is on a 1/2 size violin. Our entry level instruments start around $400. A high-school level violin (most likely will be able to play a 4/4 violin by high-school) will more appropriately be $1200-1500. Fractional instruments are usually no cheaper than their full size counterparts. So, you are looking at spending $400 for a 1/2 violin, $400 for a 3/4 violin, then $1200 for a 4/4 violin. In a rent to own, trading in will likely not net you much, if anything in return. If you purchase from us, we will always buy back the instrument, however the best we can usually offer is significantly less considering we have to take into account the current value, wear and tear, and re-conditioning, as well as the current cost we can purchase new instruments ourselves. All together, that’s $2000, plus tax, and you now have three instruments, two you have no use for, not to mention string maintenance, bow rehairs, accessories (fitted to each size!), and cases!

Now, let’s say you rent instead, and simply bring in your fractional instrument as the student out-grows it. For our violin example, you have $20/month, $10 of which is “credited” and available to use towards purchase whenever you are ready. Let’s also assume three years on the 1/2 size, two years on the 3/4. Even if you only rent for the 9 month school year, that will net you $450 you can apply towards purchase. Now you are ready for your full size violin. You get that $1200 violin, less 450 in credit, for only $750 + Tax. Year round rent would be even better, getting you that $1200 violin half off for $600. Bonus: you don’t have to stay with just that violin, you can upgrade to a college level, or even professional level and still use all your credit, and you aren’t stuck with too many instruments.

The other benefit to renting is we prepare every rental to last the entire school year. That means when your student picks up their rental instrument, it is adjusted and set up properly.

What’s the deal with setup? And why shouldn’t I just buy an out-of-the-box manufacturer “ready to play” instrument?

To sum it up, unfortunately, you get what you pay for. By definition, a ready to play, setup violin family instrument must contain the following:

  1. Properly fit pegs. This is the number one complaint from teachers, and the most frustrating thing we come across in new instruments. Even instruments direct from our suppliers need to be adjusted, and the pegs are the part that cause students to quit the fastest. There is a very specific, exact standard taper all pegs must meet, and it is different between violin/viola and cello.
  2. Hardwood pegs and fingerboard. Only Ebony is acceptable for fingerboards, being the heartwood and naturally black. NO OTHER WOOD IS ACCEPTABLE for a modern classical violin, viola, or cello. Rosewood is okay for basses, but basses are the exception in most cases. “Ebonized” is NOT Ebony. This is a purposeful deception used by companies, and simply means “mystery wood painted and/or stained black to look like ebony.”
  3. Standard, fit, good quality bridge. A bridge that is too soft will warp and break. A bridge that is too tall will cause excess strain on your student’s fingers and can cause long term nerve damage if not adjusted correctly.

“Ready-to-play” instruments we’ve seen come to our shop for setup usually only cost the customer $75 to $200 if they are “lucky,” however to remove the shortcuts these companies have taken Just to get the instrument playable will on average cost $300-500 depending on the number of things left out. We’ve seen plastic pegs, solo-cup quality plastic on tailpieces, jewelry wire for strings, and spray paint instead of varnish as a finish. Please also note: guitars are made very differently from the violin family of instruments, and we have seen very nice looking “violins” and “cellos” which, from the inside, are simply small guitars shaped like violins with the sound to match.