Home ] [ News ] Services ] Teachers ] About ] Terms ] Directions ]
PERMANENT NEW ADDRESS:  10 Camp Hill, West Malvern  WR14 4BZ - Directions
Please phone before visiting: 01684 562947
These links take you down to the relevant paragraph:
Carbon Fibre Promotion - Cases, Bows, Violin & Cello Pegs, Cello Endpins, Discount.
Noise at Work Regulations - string players are at risk of hearing loss!!
Musician's Ear Plugs - high fidelity earplugs protect hearing while preserving clarity.
Take It Away - interest free credit for buying instruments.
New Publication on Conservation & Restoration of instruments.
For the whole month of March 2009, there will be an exhibition and promotion of carbon fibre products for musical instruments . All the items on display will be either new products or not widely available. 
CASES   [Carbon Fibre Promotion]
There will be a variety of carbon fibre instrument cases from various manufacturers , including the ACCORD range of handmade cases from Croatia, leaders in this field and not widely available. These cases are the strongest available, yet incredibly light. (typically under 3kg). Don’t worry if your instrument is an unusual size or shape, some cases such as the ACCORD cases, come in 4 different sizes or else can be made to size to fit your instrument.
BOWS   [Carbon Fibre Promotion]
There will also be a display of carbon fibre bows from the highly respected American company CODABOW . These bows are of very high quality and reasonable price. Only recently available in this country, these bows are truly unlike any other carbon fibre bows you might have tried. They have been designed to mimic the sound and feel of the best Pernambuco bows and to avoid the slightly “synthetic” sound sometimes associated with carbon fibre. You should definitely try these, particularly since Pernambuco has been listed on the CITES register of endangered species and all international trade in the timber banned.
You may have seen these advertised in this month’s STRAD magazine. These pegs although made of composite materials, look exactly like traditional pegs. However, they have gears concealed inside the head, in a ratio of 8.5:1. This means that the adjustment is 8.5 times finer than with a wooden peg. These pegs turn easily,cannot stick or slip, and since there is no friction, there is no wear or stress to the pegbox, and they do not alter as temperature and humidity fluctuates. If you struggle with pegs- this is the answer.
CELLO ENDPINS   [Carbon Fibre Promotion] 
There will also be some carbon fibre cello endpins and spikes, including the new carbon fibre version of the STAHLHAMER bent endpin.
DISCOUNT   [Carbon Fibre Promotion]
As I mentioned, all of these items are either new or not very widely available, so I do hope that many will take this opportunity to visit and see what’s on the market, compare models and prices etc and generally browse the market and keep up to date. However, should anybody wish to make a purchase during March, I have good news for them. The suppliers of all these products were asked for a temporary discount on their retail prices for the month of March and all who have responded so far have agreed.
There have been a number of newspaper and magazine articles lately on hearing loss amongst musicians. This is because of the expiry on April 5th of the transition period associated with the enforcement of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which impose legal duties on employers and the self employed to protect themselves, their employees and other workers, from damaging noise levels. This is not just a problem for rock musicians. A 2006 Danish study showed over 27% of orchestral musicians already suffering hearing loss including tinnitus, hyperacusis and diplacusis. A three year study of the Houston Symphony Orchestra found universal hearing loss in the violinists left ears, and at least one of the London music colleges is now issuing high fidelity ear plugs to all new students.

Hearing loss is gradual and creeps up on us unawares, which is why the new regulations require employers to offer hearing protection at average daily sound levels of 80dB, and makes their use compulsory at 85dB. Few of us listening to music at an average 85dB for eight hours would consider it loud enough to damage our hearing, but it is. This is the level of sound in a noisy restaurant or coming from an office matrix printer, or of normal shouting. Our own instruments can often be causing us harm. One study 1showed average noise levels for personal practice exceeding the upper 85dB compulsory hearing protection threshold, for Violin, Viola and Cello, with the Double bass just below the lower advisory level at 79dB. For violinists and violists, wearing at least one ear plug in their left ear would afford them a high degree of protection.  An exhaustive work on this topic, called (1) A sound Ear II ,may be downloaded from the website of the Association of British Orchestras. See also and and from the Health and Safety Executive a free publication Protect your Hearing or Lose It. INDG363.  There is also a free and confidential 5 min. computerized hearing test available on 0844 800 3838 or online at 

Normal foam ear plugs are not appropriate for musicians. They reduce sound levels entering the ear but they do so unevenly, losing mostly high frequencies, and turning the world into an indistinct low frequency mumble. After a lot of research, I have now in stock some high fidelity musicians earplugs, which I and all the commentators I have found, consider to be the best on the market, short of having expensive earmoulds fitted. These are called ER20s as they reduce sound levels by 20dB without affecting the clarity or relationships of the different frequencies. We can still understand and enjoy music, but without the risk of damage. These earplugs are infinitely reuseable and cost £14.99 per pair. They are the most popular musicians earplugs on the market and they definitely do not inhibit the ability to play music, in fact they make it easier to hear during loud passages. Here is a comment from one professional musician who has allowed me to quote them. “—I was amazed! Not only do they dampen the sound—but my hearing immediately became more focused. The plugs seemed to act like a filter so that I was able to react quickly and critically to bow speed/pressure etc and therefore make much better decisions about how to go about playing each phrase. The clarity was wonderful- so much so that I began to wonder whether for years I have only been “half-hearing” That’s a pretty worrying thought for a musician! Practising has now become a more pleasurable experience all round.”
For those who have not come across it, this is a scheme sponsored by The Arts Council and the Musical Instruments Association intended to assist those wishing to play a musical instrument, but who might be put off by the cost of instruments. The scheme will allow you to apply for up to £2000. Of interest free credit for the purchase of any kind of musical instrument. You’ll need to pay a deposit and then pay the rest back in 9 monthly instalments- completely interest free. Hibernian Violins is proud to be one of the participating stores all of whom have had to fulfil strict criteria, undergo training and be personally vetted before acceptance. See 
NEW PUBLICATION  on  Conservation & Restoration
You may have seen an article by myself in a recent STRAD magazine, concerning the cleaning of musical instruments. This was intended as a small taster for a much more ambitious publication currently in it’s final edit in Canada. This will be called The Conservation, Restoration, and Repair of Stringed Instruments and Their Bows. Not a catchy title but This three volume work is destined to be a landmark publication and will certainly be the largest, most comprehensive, the most inclusive, the most up to date and probably the most authoritative book on the subject ever published. It is described as “A wide ranging collection of articles dedicated to the theory and craft of preserving stringed instruments and bows by over 130 of the field’s leading artisans, scholars and conservators.” I am proud to be a major contributor to this publication not just because of it’s scholarly nature but also because all profits from the sale of the books will support the research, educational, and reforestation activities of the International Pernambuco Conservation Initiative. See
Home ] [ News ] Services ] Teachers ] About ] Terms ] Directions ]
address: 10 Camp Hill, West Malvern  WR14 4BZ
telephone: +44 (0) 1684 562947
fax: +44 (0) 1684 562947
page last updated: 20 April 2014    web design: Hills Arts.