Even though there are thousands of good factory instruments available on the market today, there are still compelling reasons to purchase a handmade instrument or to commission a new instrument made to your specifications. Your hand-made violin, viola, or cello can incorporate many of your preferences about style, sound, and appearance, and it can be a good investment as well.
We hand-craft violins in many sizes and models. Please email for more information.
We hand-craft violas on a geometric design similar to a Stradivari alto, and in sizes from 15″ to 18 1/2″. Other sizes by request. Please email for more information
We hand-craft cellos in traditional and modern styles, beginning with, but not limited to, standard B-form instruments with a body length of 750 mm. It’s the specialty of the house! Handcrafte Please email with inquiries or special requests.
" I have long been an admirer of Robert Spear’s work and for over a decade have played exclusively on Spear violas. His latest viola (#116) successfully balances the issues of playability and tone production that are of major concern for violists. Many of us, while seeking a big viola sound, recognize the physical risk involved in playing large instruments. This model combines ease of balance, quick response, and a shorter string length with a remarkable richness of tone and projection. The sound is artistic and complex. It is a delight to play! "
- Roberta Crawford Coordinator of Strings, Binghamton University Associate Director, Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble
" I had a lot of fun playing the new instrument (#116). First of all, it's SO easy! I've never picked up a viola before and been able to play in tune so easily--especially double stops, which are a breeze (why is that?). With my Caressa bow, which I haven't used for 10 years or more, the sound became more focused and clear. It really makes the C and the A sound quite special. I've never played violin, but with this instrument I feel like I would have the mobility and flexibility to play like a violinist. It is SO easy to hold. (I'm not having any trouble at all with 1/2 position, either--much easier than my regular viola).
- Melissa Stuckey, professional violist
" On a recent visit to Bob Spear's magic workshop, I had the pleasure of trying out his new design for a viola (#116) on which the shoulders have a steeper slope. The immediate effect of this was to make the higher positions more readily accessible. I could easily imagine a LOT of violists liking this. I've tried other violas on which similar experiments have been tried. The problem with them is that the luthiers did not seem to have a firm grasp on precisely what needs to be altered elsewhere on the instrument to adjust for changing the shape of the shoulders. Apparently Bob has figured this out. I felt like I was holding something quietly radical in my hands.
- Clifford S. Young, Princeton Symphony Former Principal, Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra Former Principal, Opera Gezelschap Forum
Hand-crafted, built-to-order instruments for bass players by a bass player. In body sizes 1200 mm, 1166 mm, 1133 mm, and 1100 mm. Other sizes by request. Four and five-string models available. Also ask about our bassettino with a body length of 935 mm. Tuned in fifths with two octave below the violin, it’s the modern replacement for the G violone.
We hand-craft instruments for players with special requirements, mostly violins and violas but any other by request.