I modeled my 7/8ths violin after a 1566 Andrea Amati. This violin would have been considered full sized 450 years ago, but today we would consider it to be a 7/8ths. It's one of my best sounding violins. The tone is rich and dark on the lower strings and transitions to clear and focused on the upper strings. The volume is strong without being overbearing. The response is immediate and it is set up to play easily.
The amber varnish pays homage to the early days of violin making whereby colour was not added, but occurred naturally from the main ingredients and the cooking process. This varnish is handcrafted in small batches by a varnish maker in upstate New York who uses old world techniques and the highest quality natural ingredients.
The spruce sound board is very fine grained and resembles the original violin. It comes from Log 241 which was harvested in Northern British Columbia. Wood from this log is no longer available, which is a pity because my best sounding instruments were made from it.
Well balanced medium width flamed Slovakian maple from the Tatra mountains completes the instrument.
A 7/8ths violin has a shorter string length. When people try to play one after being accustomed to a full sized instrument, they quickly discover that their intonation is slightly off. They immediately decide that the instrument is not for them instead of giving themselves time to adjust to the new situation which opens up the possibility of more comfortable playing.
The limited demand for 7/8th instruments means that there is a limited choice of available violins in that size and most are of lower quality. High quality 7/8ths violins are extremely scarce. This violin was finished in 2011 and remains with me because my focus has been on full size violins and cellos and I simply haven't made time to show it around. Hopefully I will be able to make time this fall to heighten the visibility of this high performing violin as I am sure there is a player out there who would find this to be their ideal instrument.
In the meantime, it's here in my studio and is priced at $4000.