A string instrument will only benefit from a correct set-up. This set-up involves all parts of an instrument that can be adjusted to the personal needs of the musician, such as the peg box, strings, bridge, fingerboard, neck, string holder, end button (for violoncello and bass), bass bar and bow (re-hairing and correction of the balance point).

 These are the most common treatments during an annual maintenance: 

  • Scraping and re-polishing of the fingerboard
  • Cleaning
  • Adjustment of the peg box
  • Any necessary small retouches on the varnish
  • Check the strings, if necessary new strings suggested
  • Check the place of the sound post, look for ideal sound together with musician
  • Re-hairing of the bow
The three different steps:

The first, and least expensive, procedure on an instrument during a set-up is the bow and the strings. Changing the strings or re-hairing the bow with quality hair can already make a big difference in the sound of an instrument. Scraping and polishing the fingerboard can also improve the player’s comfort and intonation significantly.

The second procedure is the inspection of the sound post: location, size, width, etc. Add to that the re-cutting of the bridge. The bridge has an ideal cut for every type of instrument, which improves the sound.
These two procedures are reversible and relatively simple, with often amazing results.

The most radical procedure is the resetting of the neck, which changes the ‘appui’ (distance sound board - fingerboard) and makes the fingerboard height projected to bridge lower or higher. Some instruments benefit from changing the bass bar. This will influence the flexibility of the sound board and therefore the sound as well.


The studio offers an extra service for the reparation, restoration and re-hairing of bows. Naturally we always use fresh, unbleached horses’ hair.
The hair length depends on the season: in winter time longer hair that can shrink a bit, during summer shorter hair that can expand a little. A good re-hairing doesn’t use too much hair. This would increase the risk of breaking the frog. It also reduces the sound quality. More hair means less sound quality. The musician will need more rosin to compensate this, which only aggravates the situation.
Advice and consultation are free.

Tips to check whether or not your bow needs re-hairing:
  • a lot of broken hairs on the play side


  • need for extra (too much) rosin to get the necessary grip, this also shows on the instrument
  • the length of the hair is not adjusted to the season: too short is dangerous for the tip and the curve, too long is dangerous for the end and the frog

  • re-hairing should happen every six months (for professionals when needed). This corresponds with the changing of the seasons (during winter time the temperature and the humidity will drop, and will pick up again around April)
  • something soiled the hair (oil, cleaning products, etc.)

  • bugs in your case can eat the hair: immediate inspection of your case is needed. Lavender oil or a cube of cedar wood can work miracles. Especially old cases that are upholstered with felt are often a breeding ground for these bugs. This shows through the hard skins of these bugs in the case and when the hair is broken in a straight way (bitten). With normal wear the hair will break in different places.


5–6–7 May 2016, Amsterdam


The first International Darling Contemporary Bow Making Competition
& Cuvée Darling 2016 Amsterdam Exhibition of Contemporary Bows and Instruments

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5th to 7th February 2016


We are delighted to inform you that I will be exhibiting at Musicora from 5th to 7th February 2016, at the Grande Halle de la Villette (Paris) and would like to take this opportunity to offer you an invitation to visit us at the show.
Find, click on 'Ticketing'

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