Personal Connection

An excellent violin for a music lover and advancing student!

I just received this violin a few days ago, and I love it already! It was packaged securely and arrived in great condition.

I love my Zhu 909 violin! Of course it will require some break-in time, but it's perfect for my advancing practice and performance and keeps me playing.

Its sound and projection are great, and I feel I can connect with my instrument so well. When I play it it vibrates against my chest and it feels like singing!

I played a Sun 100 violin before, it is very nice too and we got it from Fiddleheads, but as I advanced I felt I needed a more responsive instrument.

This Zhu 909 has amazing projection and the sound is rich and full; I'm sure the sound will become even better as the instrument matures. The violin sings for me. It has an amazing voice.

When I turn music on, the body and the strings of the violin vibrate and it feels like it has a heart of its own. It allows for a wide range of emotion and expression -- perfect for and advancing violinist!

The projection is amazing, thank you so much for the wonderful instrument and the music it produces!

Rhiannon, thank you for the wonderful "customer service", I would call it the Friendliest Advice for the young musician! Rhiannon replied to all of my questions and kept me informed, and I appreciate it very much.

I really recommend this shop to anyone who loves music and cares for our planet -- Fiddleheads is also Eco Friendly. It's friendly to everyone :) Thank you a hundred times for your kindness and love of violin, music and people!

Hope this inspires someone! Thank you!

Vereya

September 2, 2021

Great packaging, product and service

I got the parts and attached them to the chinrest and all is fitting and well!!

Everything was packed so cutely!

Thank you and I'm hoping you are doing ok healthwise. Let me know if you visit Mount Rushmore/Crazy Horse!

February 12, 2021

An incredible journey with the best possible guide

I love music. I have been longing for a new violin since I was 12 years old, but my mother and I have never been in a financial position to make my dream come true. I've been playing the same couple hundred dollar student violin my mother first rented out for me in 4th grade. I am very excited to hear how my sound is able to progress.

When I was listening to sound samples I did adore the depth the guarneri pattern brought to the lower strings. When I play pieces by myself I always pick romantics with love-sick highs and guttural lows that are sooooo much fun to drag out and dramatize. Dark, buttery romance is beautiful. I [felt] torn between having a nice high or a nice low. But in life the maker himself obviously preferred the guarneri pattern for a reason, so I trust his instincts.

After reading [reviews] I think my heart is set on the 909. The flame on the 907 is definitely more dramatic, but I don't really mind the softer look. As long as it plays beautifully it doesn't matter- I will fall in love with time. I didn't think my boyfriend was overly handsome until we had been together for a while and I had fallen for his personality, and one's violin can be likened to a spouse, right?

Wow, I totally just rambled, I am sorry! Something about your personality and passion for music makes me want to open up to you right away about my experiences. As the woman currently selling me such a vital part of my life I feel like you need to understand where I'm at right now. Oooooooh I am so excited!!!

[UPDATE: 1 month later] Omg omg omg!!! Love it!!!!! Woohoo!! I am so in love. I'm getting those first date jitters already..... like going out with a guy who's just too handsome!! The chin rest is such a lovely color of brown too.

I was playing quite a few pieces before, but off memory..... Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, that one was almost performance ready with my partner when lockdown started. I have been playing at about a grade 4-5 level as far as I know, with no real structure before my first year of lessons [last year].

I love the way the G and D strings can pull at an audience's heart as much as anyone, but I play a violin, not a viola- seldom do I get the privilege of playing so low for extended periods of time. In an orchestra setting I need the upper register to be able to sing for me.

I've been loving practicing.... Granted, I've only had a couple of days to do so. I definitely did notice the strings need to be broken in, I was doing some scales and couldn't go up past the second octave because it was just so painful bwahaha. The low B on the E string was so scratchy and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong so I decided it must be the strings. But just a few notes after that, D natural and the E harmonic sound so lovely!

I can't wait until she really starts to sing!! There's so much resonance there. Playing in tune has never been so rewarding. I am sure it will improve too, I have much faith and determination!

My previous violin would resonate when I was in tune but it was never as obvious as this one. It is my favorite part of music. The satisfaction of hitting the notes just right. I will definitely keep enjoying playing in tune.

Of course I'll have to message you with some pictures and updates on this violin's life, as it is somehow just as much your baby as it is going to be mine... strangely enough, I also feel odd about closing communication with you. We must be long lost sisters or something :P

It is nice to talk to somebody about string instruments and music. I haven't had this in a very long time. I am vastly enjoying your wealth of knowledge and experience!

I'm excited to practice again tonight. I'll have to go to Kamloops just to buy new rosin when my cake runs out.

Seriously though, thank you for this amazing transaction.

I will be sure to write a very nice review [about your service] one day when I am bored after a two hour long session of scales.

December 15, 2020

It's such a joy to do business with a woman that has so much passion about her art and excellent customer service

I'm a 59 year old woman who recently retired in August. I have wanted to learn how to play the violin for over 30 years, but decided to wait until I retired so that I could dedicate time to learning. I started violin lessons a couple of months ago on a cheap violin to make sure I would commit before making a good purchase, and now I'm hooked.

Rhiannon, I knew I had the right gal and the right violin shop after reading your reply! You've been so awesome and I truly appreciate your help!!!!!!!

I've been doing the internet search the last few weeks at night during my 'wine hour' and the more searching I did the more confused I became. Then I came across your website and was thoroughly impressed with all the reviews and comments I read! I just wish I was much closer and could visit in person.

My 'Baby' arrived about an hour ago..... it's so beautiful!!!

I did play a few minutes and the sound is so much nicer and wow what a difference a good bow makes as well!!!

Love the case. Tina said I need the name tag for when I start touring! (she had a good laugh after that).

Violin sounds amazing and really enjoying playing it. All about the Christmas music now.

And thank you for the gifts!!! My partner and kitties thank you for the gift of the violin mute! Tina is going to start making Xmas cookies next week and will be using the violin cookie cutter.

Again thanks for your lovely emails, it's such a joy to do business with a woman that has so much passion about her art and excellent customer service!

November 25, 2020

I never knew that I could have so much fun and so much confidence in a shopping experience!

It's here! My new baby has arrived! I'm so happy.

First off, I've inspected and everything looks and feels to be in perfect condition.

Second, IT'S GORGEOUS! I'm sure it would be able to serve as a lifetime instrument, and the certificate will be a bonus to have and for when I eventually pass it on.

Earlier I thought the higher models were beyond me. I horseback ride and beginners are started on simple equipment because, though expert models allow for more technical expression, these same characteristics allow for more mistakes. I have found it similar with friends who figure skate, pro-level skates are "too much boot" for novices.

And so, Rhiannon, I was pleasantly surprised when you freely suggested all the way up to the 909! I also thought that if I got the 903, 905 or 907, then sooner or later, I will wish I had gotten the 909.

My only hesitation was that the 909 would be the second most expensive single object that I own, so there's this slight twinge in my chest. But then again, Lifetime Instrument. The testimonials you sent me were encouraging too, I loved it when they gave sound/tone descriptions.

Back to violins, you definitely don't have to worry about bursting my bubble regarding Zhu's work. It's rather that I don't have any faith in my own ability! I am the type to play through a piece, make one slip or grind and cry because, "Wow, I suck. I can't trial a violin adequately with these skills!" LOL

My first impression of the violin was: “Gosh, it's so light!” To be entirely honest with you, I thought "can such a light thing be good quality"? Then I plucked the strings and ohhh, it's realllll. LOL! WOWZA. MAMMA MIA.

I gotta tell you, Rhi. I was afraid that my lack of skill was the problem and I feared that I would get a $4k instrument and not be able to make it sound better than my $600 outfit. But I was wonderfully wrong!

Just during tuning, the sound was much richer. Then I played a few scales... and the fourth finger sounded even better than open string! Shifting never felt so good before. I'm sooooo happy! I had time to play for near an hour and my arm and neck barely felt anything, which it totally would have [been a problem] with my old violin.

So far, the shoulder rest feel quite comfortable, I will definitely send you an update after the instrument and I have partnered up for a month or two :)

Thank you so much for your patience, helpfulness, and dealing with my moods. :) I'm so glad to have picked your shop for this purchase.

[UPDATE: 1 week later] You really are giving uncertain and overwhelmed violin shoppers like me such relief and peace of mind.

In fact, when my mother saw your email replies, she declared: "This person puts so much effort in her work and service, she's definitely not an online fraud."

I'm excited to report back to you on how I'm doing with the Zhu violin :D It's been a week now and I think this is what others mean when they talk about the instrument "opening up".

Wow, the strength of the vibrations and projection are definitely a class above what I've experienced before. It sounds warmer and more "smooth/relaxed" then when I first got it. I'm not sure why, but the finger positions are slightly different from my old violin so I have been working hard on playing in tune again. But man, when I do, it feels and sounds sooo good!

I may not have given the instrument and strings enough time to settle yet, but I currently feel that the G string is a little too thick sounding while the E string sounds too thin. Excuse me for not knowing the proper terms to explain, but for my personal preference, the G string's sound seems... unfocused. Like if we were to imagine its' amplitude graph, the peak would be super spread out. In fact, the tuner often has trouble telling what note I'm playing on the G string when I'm trying to check a finger placement.

As for the E string, I wouldn't say its painfully piercing, rather just... thin. It feels like it lacks substance, solidness. If I bow more firmly, then it does improve but also becomes a little shrill to my ears. It would be nice to have warmer, richer high notes.

On the positive side, the A string is solid and I am IN LOOOOOVE with the D string. The sound is so warm yet also vibrant, it really sings! When I play, I can't help but happily sway all over the place lol.

Now that I have a decent feel for the violin, I will write my review for Fiddleheads in the the coming week. It will definitely be solar levels of glowing review.

[UPDATE: 2 weeks later] I really enjoy such long and information-filled letters. Thank you so much for your advice, it really gives me peace of mind going forward :D

The fact that strings and the instrument 'mature' and 'open up' is so interesting, it really feels alive in a way.

Currently, I'm very pleased with how the E string sounds significantly warmer and less 'wimpy' (lol) than before.

I've never been so motivated to practice. I really liked all the information you generously shared despite me not really being a student of yours. It's fascinating to read all this knowledge about these seemingly simple instruments, all these techniques and little improvements that make big differences.

Thank you so much for your advice, it really gives me peace of mind going forward :D

[REVIEW: Google, 5 stars] I never knew that I could have so much fun and so much confidence in a shopping experience!

In my first email to Rhiannon, I was nervous to purchase an instrument entirely online, and so wrote a lot regarding what I was looking for. Her reply completely surpassed my expectations with its friendly warmth and wealth of information. It was truly as if I had walked into a physical shop who's owner became a good friend within minutes.

Over the following few weeks, Rhi patiently answered my piles of questions and gave me plenty of help and time for my indecisive self to choose the best violin for me. I certainly had not expected to learn so much during a shopping process!

I've had my Zhu 909 for a few weeks now. It arrived in perfect condition along with the gorgeous deluxe case and a couple other accessories that I'd ordered.

It's my first violin of this quality and I have never enjoyed playing as much as now. The instrument continues to open up, constantly sounding even richer, warmer and brighter.

Rhiannon was flexible with bundling and payments and continues guide me with her effective advice and good humour.

For anyone who read this long review: If your searching for a quality violin or viola, send Rhiannon an email and give Fiddleheads a try!

November 23, 2020

The single best customer-experience I have ever had

[REVIEW: Facebook, 5 stars] Fiddleheads Violin Studio (and Rhiannon) have recently provided what may be the single best customer-experience I have ever had (online or in person)!

In searching for a new case for my Mandolin, she helped source an AWESOME choice...and went out of her way to get it to me in advance of vacation.

But it wasn't the case itself that made the experience so magnificent. It was "Magnificent Rhiannon"!

Her rapid responses, world-class expertise, customer-orientation, friendly (and witty) service, and genuine care and concern were truly unique - and rarely seen in business (or humanity in general).

I would send ANY prospective customer her way. I would recommend her HIGHLY to anyone! Please, please, please...if you need help with fretless stringed instruments and gear, CALL HER IMMEDIATELY!

YOU, magnificent Rhiannon, are a caring, loving, empathetic person. You absolutely rock! You have been wonderful to deal with. Thank you so much for being who you are...amazing in every way! I’m certain you will want to help me get going again on a non-fretted (i.e., more “worthy”) instrument, after such a long time of “cheating” on fretted instruments.

Thanks again for all of your patient support and for your great service, Rhi!

August 17, 2020

A bow that is worth waiting for

I can absolutely wait for the bow [delayed by the maker due to Covid-19]; judging from the reviews it's worth waiting for.

I started playing violin a couple of years ago now in the midst of a minor mid-life crisis, and as I've actually stuck with it. I finally get to treat myself to a better bow, so there was no real rush.

It will be that much sweeter when my new friend arrives. [My teacher's] been after me to get a new bow for a while now.

I'll let the old bow that came with my violin know its days are numbered...

[UPDATE] It's here it's here! Hooray!

It feels like I just went from a jalopy to a brand-new car—what a wonderful experience.

It's beautifully balanced and responsive, especially on brushing strokes, and the weight feels luxurious. I'm in love.

[REVIEW: Facebook, 5 stars] Consistently outstanding and personalized service, and I couldn't be happier with the quality and price of my new Voxy bow. Rhiannon is a delight.

Thank you again for all your help, I couldn't be happier. You will absolutely be my first call when it's time to level up my violin—I just have to get to the point in my playing where I truly earn it ... something to keep me opening the case daily. I'll be in touch next time I'm in need of some fun gear. Take good care!

August 17, 2020

Pleasant, efficient, friendly, excellent service

Thank you so much for accommodating my order [with a supplier who refuses to ship to Canadians]. My son will be so happy and it may get to us before he has to go back to Royal Military College in Kingston.

Thank you so much again. My aunt was not wrong when she said you go the extra mile.

[REVIEW: Facebook, 5 stars] Top rate service. Rhiannon is willing to go the extra mile to make your experience first rate. Pleasant, efficient, friendly, excellent.

August 7, 2020

One of the best online transactions I've ever had

[REVIEW: Facebook, 5 stars] How do I begin this, I wonder?

Thank you, Rhiannon, for not telling me to just stick to the status quo. I am left-handed. That is not very uncommon these days. But I also have a deformity in my wrist which would make bowing with it an incredibly laughable sight.

Instead of just shrugging me off and going "sucks to suck", she actually LISTENED to me. And the result? She supplied me with my wooden baby boy, Solomon: a left-handed violin.

I understand that quality comes at a price, though. I would have bought a cheapish 300$ beginner violin forever ago but I know how I am: the plasticky (not sure if that is a word, apologies) cardboard material would discourage me. It wouldn't feel motivating at all, I feel.

I will admit, I was beginning to lose faith once my investigation into Gliga violins fell flat not too long ago. I started to hear that they tend to sound a bit dull right before a shaky purchase.

Corresponding with Rhiannon throughout these tumultuous times [Covid-19] has been a blessing in disguise. As someone who works in retail, I believe in transparency and honesty above all. And from interacting with her, I can strongly confirm that she is a kindred spirit in that formula.

Working together with her was fun, informative, and ultimately one of the best online transactions I've ever had.

She is a spunky, delightful lady who knows how to walk the tightrope of professionalism blindfolded.

Solomon is everything I could ask for and more.

August 6, 2020

A positive experience with a professional, caring violinist from almost 7000km away

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The violin arrived perfectly intact. Rebecca knew how to play her other one so well it was a change but she is getting more comfortably each day. She starts in person lessons with her instructor again in a few weeks so I think that will help her get the full experience the violin can provide for her.

I tell everyone I bought it online but that I really did not buy it from the internet; I bought it from caring violinist that was as attentive to our needs as if I had known her for years.

It was important for me to get her a violin that would perform well for my daughter but I ended up with a violin that will perform and a positive experience with a professional caring violinist from almost 7000 KLM away. That is what I will remember most about the experience.

It was very good and reassuring to see you via Facetime. We felt so positive after the video call. My daughter was very excited.

We will update you on how she progresses with the violin. Thanks. For everything.

August 3, 2020