Fiddleheads FAQ/Help Center

 

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General Shop Questions
Why aren't there star ratings in product reviews?
I made the conscious choice to not employ "star ratings" for my products but have better rating options. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Is this website secure?
Fiddleheads' site is hosted on a dedicated server and operates via the customizable and secure Magento 2 platform. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Who runs Fiddleheads?
Fiddleheads was created by professional symphony violinist and teacher Rhiannon Nachbaur in 1997, who still runs the shop to this day. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What is an "outfit"?
An outfit includes the violin [or viola] paired with a bow, case and rosin for a combined and discounted "outfit" price. You will save more considerably money purchasing the outfit rather than the violin, case, bow and rosin individually. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Where can I get help with ordering and first-time purchases?
We make ordering easy with our instructions page and many other site tools. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Where are you located?
Fiddleheads is located in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada but ships instruments safely to customers around the world. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
I'm overwhelmed with all the awesome product options! How can I narrow down my choices?
We have added many advanced and detailed features to this site to help our customers refine their search by various product attributes. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do you offer private or group lessons?
We're sorry, Fiddleheads doesn't offer lessons at this time. But we are happy to provide a list of other teachers for you! Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What awards have Fiddleheads and Rhiannon earned?
Fiddleheads and Rhiannon have won and been nominated for multiple awards for business, customer service, creativity, environmental practices and classical musicianship since 1995. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What should I look for when buying my first violin or viola?
Rhiannon's article, "Instrument Purchasing for Newbies," covers a range of questions and considerations in this realm. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
How long has Fiddleheads been in business?
Rhiannon started "Rhiannon's Violin Studio" the day she immigrated to Canada in 1997 then violin sales commenced in 2002 under the name "Fiddleheads Violin Studio." Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Why is Fiddleheads the best source for Zhu instruments?
There are many reasons why Fiddleheads can be trusted to provide the best quality Zhu instruments. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Does the instrument ship direct from you or from a fulfilment warehouse like other violin shops do?
Don't settle for something picked off a shelf and thrown in a box by someone who can't even pick out a tune. Fiddleheads won't ship your instrument from a massive warehouse or fulfilment centre like most other shops. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Can discount codes apply to instruments taken on trial or invoiced outside the site?
Yes! Should you take instruments on trial or be invoiced directly by Rhiannon and not through the site, we are happy to honour your request to apply a coupon code discount. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
There's lots of violin lingo in the product descriptions. Where can I learn what they mean?
I love teaching and sharing my expertise, so I created my super dooper awesomely helpful Violin Terms Glossary for all to enjoy. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Appraisals? Do you offer appraisals via email or in person?
Because there are so many factors involved, we regret we no longer offer appraisals in any form. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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Policies
What are your Green/Eco/Environmental Policies?
Owner Rhiannon Nachbaur is a passionate environmentalist who has initiated countless eco-policies and green practices in her business and personal life, many of which are explained on our "Green" page. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What are your Inclusivity & Benevolence Policies?
At Fiddleheads everyone receives Equal Treatment regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs systems, or neurodivergence. Our Woman-Run Business asks that customers Respect Our Generous Goodwill and Expertise and act with Courteous Behaviour. Fiddleheads also acknowledge our use of unceded Secwepemc (First Nations) Land. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What are your Promotions and Trade-In Policies?
Fiddleheads discounts nearly every product in our catalog. Additionally, we take some instruments back on trade. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What are your Pricing, Currency & Financial Policies?
Our Financial Policy includes information about Currencies, Tax, Brokerage & Import Duty, and accepted Payment Methods
What is your Refund Policy?
Returns and cancellations don't happen very often at Fiddleheads, but when they do we follow these policies and guidelines. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What are your Financing/Payment Plan Policies?
It is at our sole discretion to accept weekly or monthly payments and to whom we are willing to offer this flexible service, totally interest-free. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What is your Trial Policy?
Our Four-Step Trial Process is as simple as this: 1. Contact us, 2. Make a 50% deposit, 3. Enjoy the instrument 14+ days, 4. Keep it or send it back for a refund. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What is the shop's Mission Statement?
We don't just sell violins. We take the time and care to educate our buyers in making the best decisions for their music and family. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What is the school's Mission Statement?
Fiddleheads inspires players to understand and express the richness and beauty of music. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What are your School/Lessons Policies?
The policy covers all Fees based on frequency and duration, Billing, and Attendance. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Where is the Privacy Policy?
Fiddleheads is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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Violins & Violas
What size violin/viola should I buy?
Ours is the most referenced size chart for violins and violas on the web! Symphony violinist and teacher Rhiannon Nachbaur of Fiddleheads Violin Studio has expertly compiled sizing charts with detailed instructions to assist violinists in selecting the correct sized instrument. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Is a bow and case included with this instrument?
Because there are so many options in instruments, bows and cases we give our customers choice. We sell our instruments alone (shipped in special nested violin/viola shipping boxes) or as an "outfit," which sees the instrument paired with a bow, case and rosin for a combined and discounted "outfit" price. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do your new violins have to be "broken-in" for sound? Does the sound improve with time?
Yes, all our new violins will mature tonally with time, care, and play. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What is a viola?
A viola is similar to a violin in that it shares three string pitches and is held under the chin. But the instrument is a fair bit larger, sizes are measured in inches rather than fractions, and it tends to play the harmonies, reading from a different clef. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What is "setup"?
Setup is what breathes life into an instrument and makes all the difference in playability and enjoyment of learning and making music. Fiddleheads has the superior-sounding instruments due to many factors, one being our expert setup and diligent testing. Read more about what our setup entails: Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What's the difference between a Stradivarius and a Guarnerius Violin?
These two most famous models of violins were invented hundreds of years ago! Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What about 1/32 size violins?
Rhiannon, a seasoned teacher, knows you don’t need a size smaller than 1/16. Kids grow so fast. That said, we can custom order a different size if needed. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Other violin shops didn't know what dangerous chemicals were used on their cheap violins. Are your student violins safe to be handled by children?
Our student level Fiddleheads Edition Sun violins, like most other proper, quality violins, have an oil varnish finish and we are not at all worried about harm coming to those who handle them or any of the violins we sell. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Is my violin a real Stradivarius worth millions?
We are sorry to say, but it's highly unlikely. There are millions of Strad copies and some are quite convincing. Rhiannon wrote a cited article on the subject. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do you sell the higher model Zhu workshop 912, 914, 916, 918, 920 or 925 instruments?
We can provide any of these models by special order for you, gladly. However, we think your money is better spent on one of our European bench violins. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Why are the strings or fittings in the photo different than the description?
Some instruments are photographed before the strings or setup is completed. Rest assured, the info is what is included in the Description and Details tabs. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
A violin I liked is no longer on the site. Is it still available?
If you can't find the instrument you saw during your last visit for sale, it may have found a player. But don't worry, you have other options. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
How do I special order Zhu instruments in other models, sizes, or with different fittings?
We can gladly bring in these instruments in a variety of configurations via special order. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What's the difference between a violin and a fiddle?
Simply put, they are pretty much one and the same, with the primary difference being the style of music and not the instruments themselves. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Is there a difference between a 1-piece and a 2-piece back?
There is no tonal difference. It's simply a matter of aesthetics. Fiddleheads makes it easy to narrow down instrument shopping by 1- and 2- piece backs. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
How can I make my violin quieter when I practice so I don't annoy my roommates and neighbours?
There are two primary methods I can recommend to temporarily reduce your instrument's volume. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Why doesn't the neck have any stain?
Violin necks are not finished because a finished surface can become becomes sticky from sweaty hands. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
When will Fiddlestix outfits be back in stock?
These have been discontinued as they were only carried as part of an economic recovery program for our customers. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Is your instrument wood naturally seasoned or dried in a kiln?
Fiddleheads provides a superior wood seasoning environment than other shops: No kilns and a 100% naturally-dry maturation environment makes all the difference. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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Bows
Can this bow be re-haired?
Yes, all our bows can be re-haired by a qualified luthier. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Which size should I use for my 7/8 violin?
Select 4/4 size as it is close and a better fit than going too small with a 3/4 size. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What's the difference between violin and viola bows?
Violin and viola bows are very similar, but can be distinguished by their frogs. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Does this bow have real or synthetic hair? How is it attached?
All our bows have real, quality horse hair and are haired using a standard wood plug. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Why isn't my bow making sound?
Bow hair needs sticky rosin dust applied to the hairs can grip the strings and cause them to vibrate. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do you sell Baroque bows?
Yes, we sell Baroque bows and in various levels and different woods. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What's the difference between light and dark rosin?
These are typically appropriate for different climates or seasons. Dark rosin is softer and stickier, thus easier to apply and more appropriate for use in cold, dry climates, hence is used in winter. Light rosin is harder and better in humid, hot climates and in summer. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
How do I tighten a bow and how tight do I make it?
I wrote a helpful article about this very subject as these are common questions. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do your bows have a round or an octagonal stick?
We sell both styles of classic bows, plus Baroque bows! Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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Cases
Is this a soft or a hard case?
All of our cases are hard cases, with varying levels of strength and protection. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Which size should I use for my 7/8 violin?
Select 4/4 size as it is close and a better fit than going too small with a 3/4 size. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do you have suggestions to taking my bow out of the case without snagging the hairs on the little clip that secures the bow?
Be sure you are opening the bow spinner (the hardware than holds the frog in the case) removing the bow slowly and that your bow hairs are not too loose and dangling. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Does this case accommodate a Bonmusica shoulder rest?
A Bonmusica can fit inside this case, but it depends on how you have the rest configured. Note we identify our cases which accommodate a Bon Musica rest and share this in the layered navigation on the left and in product details. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for instructions how to search.
What is the long plastic tube in my case for?
This is a string tube, which was designed for gut strings but is also helpful at storing other strings. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What happened to Bobelock cases? Has the quality gone downhill?
Fiddleheads will no longer sell Bobelock cases owing to a steady slide in product quality and distribution issues. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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Accessories
Which size should I use for my 7/8 violin?
Select 4/4 size as it is close and a better fit than going too small with a 3/4 size. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Can I recycle my old strings?
Yes, some cities have string recycling programs. Or you are welcome to stick them in an envelope and mail them to me and I will be glad to see they are recycled appropriately. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Is a Fine Tuner the same as an Electronic Tuner?
One is a tiny mechanism for adjusting the pitch on your instrument, the other is an electronic device that tells you if the string is in tune. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Comparing Evah and Evah Gold, how is the average string response? Do Golds degrade faster? Which do you use and prefer, Rhiannon?
From Rhiannon: I personally prefer the BIG, robust sound of Evah Golds, but for me they perform at their peak for about 3 months of symphonic playing. During my off times from symphony I use regular Evahs, saving the Golds for big concerts. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What are gut strings and are they really made from cat guts?
No, these are not and never were made from the tummies of kitties. They are, sadly, made from tissue of other animals but thankfully there are kinder and superior synthetic options available. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Where can I find instructions how to use your electronic tuner and metronome?
These instructions can be viewed and downloaded from our PDF Library. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do you have recommendation for affordable gift ideas?
We have a whole category of recommended "Gift Items" in the "Cases and More" category. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What is peg compound and do I need it?
Peg compound both keeps pegs in place and makes them easier to turn. If you have a new instrument from Fiddleheads, you won't need peg compound for some time. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What small items do you have for stocking stuffers?
We have a whole category of recommended "Stocking Stuffers" in the "Cases and More" category under "Gift Items." Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do I need instrument polish?
If you have a new instrument from us, you won't need polish for some time. But you may like to have it on hand for future maintenance. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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Shoulder Rests
How do I fit/adjust my Bon Musica Shoulder Rest to be most comfortable?
The place where straps rest on your shoulder is the most natural place for things to sit and feel comfortable. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
My Bon Musica is too tight/small. How do I adjust the "angular section" they talk about in the instructions?
The bent metal section needs to be gently straightened to get wider or bent to be narrower. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Does your Bon Musica shoulder rest work for lefty violins?
Yes, the Bon Musica can be used for right- and left-handed violins. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Where do I find Bon Musica instructions?
Instructions as well as several FAQs how to adjust your Bonmusica can be easily found on this site. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What chin rest and shoulder rest combination do you recommend?
Rhiannon uses a Guarneri chinrest with a Deluxe brown Strad Pad (Velcro Fastener) and a Bon Musica Shoulder Rest altered to have the HKG50 long claw section on both ends... Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
How much space does the 4/4 violin Bonmusica take up in a case?
The fit of your Bonmusica inside the case depends on the configuration of your case and how your rest is adjusted. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do you offer replacement parts for the Bon Musica?
Yes! Fiddleheads sells all the hard to find AUTHENTIC replacement parts! Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do I need a wrench or tools to adjust the Bon Musica?
No, you don't need any special tools. For most people adjustment with bare hands does the trick. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
If I buy a spare long claw (HKG50) for my long neck, on which end do I install it?
The Bonmusica comes standard with the long claw on the chest end, and a short claw on the shoulder end. To give more height for your long neck, you will remove the shorter claw from the shoulder end and install the added long claw to that end so now both are long. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
How can I reattach the foam padding to my Bonmusica?
Though Bon Musica uses rubber cement, Rhiannon suggests you use double-sided carpet tape. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Can I return this rest if I can't make it fit comfortably?
We're sorry to hear that but are here to assist you with adjusting it so it fits comfortably or, if need be, returning it. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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Left-Handed Playing
Do you sell left-handed violins?
Yes! We sell custom, built right from-scratch left-handed violins (bowed with the left hand). Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
My left hand has a long-term injury. Should I play a left-handed violin so I can do fingerings with my good, right hand?
We carry left-handed violins (those bowed with the left hand) to help people like you! Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
I'm left-handed. Should I buy a left-handed violin, one that I bow with my left hand?
Many musicians are left-handed and play the violin the "traditional" way, bowing with the right hand. However, we sell lefty violins for people who, usually due to physiological reasons (nerve damage, missing digits, damage from stroke, limited wrist rotation, etc) or a very strong preference to use their left arm for bowing. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Are your lefty violins just standard violins with the strings switched?
No, our left-handed violins are carved from scratch and are not merely converted right-handed violins. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Why should I buy my left-handed violin from Fiddleheads?
Some shops who claim to provide lefty violins are cheating; only restringing right-handed violins backwards. But Fiddleheads' lefty violins are built right from the start, and are the absolute best for price and quality. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Does your Bon Musica shoulder rest work for lefty violins?
Yes, the Bon Musica can be used for right- and left-handed violins. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do your bows work for lefty violinists?
Yes, they do! Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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Shipping
How do you package instruments for safe shipping?
Rhiannon and Fiddleheads pride themselves on the BEST packaging in the violin industry! Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What are your shipping policies?
Our detailed shipping policies include clarity on rates, methods, packaging and more. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
I want just the instrument. Do I have to buy a case to ship it safely?
No, you don't need to buy a case to ship your instrument safely. We provide specially-designed and reinforced violin/viola shipping boxes which are safely nested within padding inside a larger outer box. But there are discounts for building an outfit with instrument, case, bow and free rosin... Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What shipping method do you use?
We ship all pre-paid orders using reliable and safe Canada Post (arriving as USPS/US Mail in the USA) and trackable parcels can be tracked at CanadaPost.com. Customers can choose the method based on speed and cost. We will gladly upgrade shipping to a faster method as requested.
What are shipping times like?
Most items are usually shipped same-day or within two business days (M-F) of the order being placed, depending on setup delays, number of orders being processed, etc. Delivery times naturally vary depending on the destination, time of year (holidays, weather delays, etc), receipt of new inventory and any other unexpected factors. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Is it safe to ship violins during cold winter or hot summer weather?
Not a single shipment sent by Fiddleheads has been damaged from extreme heat or cold due to our amazing packaging measures. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
What about returns shipping?
Customers are responsible for return shipping costs. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
Do I need to buy shipping insurance?
Fiddleheads acknowledges we are responsible for lost or damaged shipments to our customers resulting from shipping carrier issues. Click/Tap "Read More" to the bottom right for full details.
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