Orchestral Buying Guide


Glossary of Terms
All musical instruments produce sound as they vibrate, and the volume and quality of the sound is determined by the resonance. To resonate freely, the wood must be free to vibrate, so, for this reason, we offer first violas made only of solid wood tops and backs, where the wood is pressed into shape. This delivers the benefits of solid wood without the costs associated with higher priced instruments which are carved into shape. We do not offer violas made of plywood as their resonance and tone is severely limited. Also, as solid wood ages, it becomes more flexible producing an even more beautiful tone. The sound of plywood will not sweeten with age.
Spruce tops and maple backs and sides provide the best combination of woods for stringed instruments. In addition, look for ebony hardware on your violas and cellos. Ebony is an extremely hard and dense wood which resists wear and is ideal for stringed instrument hardware (fingerboards, tuning pegs, and tailpieces). Lastly, all violas and cellos offered by MUES are shop adjusted to provide the best playability available!


Student Orchestral Instruments

Beginner violins, student violas, beginner cellos and student upright basses are instruments carefully crafted out of affordable, but durable enough to withstand the use of a child. Student violins, student cellos and beginning upright basses come in sizes from 1/16 size to 4/4 size. All violas are measured in inches from 11” to 17.5”. First violins, first violas, first cellos, and first basses are often crafted with a spruce top, maple sides and back. The fingerboard, endpin, chinrest, tuning pegs and tailpieces are made out of ebony, which is a very strong, pleasant sounding tone wood that enhances the overall tone of student violins, beginner violas, student cellos, and beginner upright basses. Beginning orchestral instruments are usually made in either China or Romania and come with either a fiberglass or brazilwood bow.

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Step Up & Professional Orchestral Instruments

Step up violins, professional violas, intermediate cellos, and upper level upright basses are crafted with better quality materials, and finer craftsmanship than their student counterparts. Much more engraving, and careful attention to detail goes into the makings of professional violins, step up violas, upper level cellos and professional upright basses, especially on the top, which is carved spruce. These instruments are well intonated, and resonate with a warm, loud, and vibrant sound that can fill an amphitheater. These instruments are usually hand crafted in either Italy, Romania, or Germany by expertly trained luthiers

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