MICHAEL GRIFFIN

Luthier's Care

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V  I  O  L  A  S

GRIFFIN 16-inch Model   SOLD        Sept.2020          

The model is broad and generously edged, lending a friendly soft feel to its handling. The varnish is a ​deep, warm red brown, the edges lighter to enhance depth.​ Sound is immediate and full, with great warmth, clarity, and projection.  New orders accepted.

This Griffin model features American red spruce & American soft maple, for an easy, warm, yet powerful and comfortable instrument. Here is its appearance before varnishing. Similar American & European wood choices are available, in one- or two-piece backs.

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       For Sale

1625 G. AMATI  model 

             (16-inch)

It sounds as refreshingly beautiful as it looks, with an easy neck, and a luscious, clear yet warm tone, each string complete with its own full tonal character, yet well balanced. Especially excellent for a player that switches between viola and violin! Thoughtfully antiqued.                (Click front pic) 

(Please see more pics on facebook! click on front pic)


This viola is an accurate copy of the rare, almost untouched, and recently highly documented 41.0 centimeter (16-inch) "alto" by Girolamo Amati c.1625 (featured in The Girolamo Amati Viola in the Galleria Estense: Scrollavezza & Zanre, 2014, ISBN 9788890719424). It is made from premium European tonewoods, including a one-piece back, matching the original. It is thrilling to consolidate my knowledge of the Amatis making tradition, using careful observations made from this resource. It features CT scans that almost exceed the benefits of having the actual viola in hand. It should be said that one is also studying Stradivari's tradition, he himself having learned making from Nicolo Amati. It is educational and stimulating to identify the specific design and making techniques that passed from Andrea Amati, to Nicolo, and all his Cremonese students, birth of Stadivari's foundation from which he soared.

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I continue making my own 16-inch model, same as the previous three well-loved instruments. This next viola, already started, is of American maple of extremely impressive figure and red spruce top. I anticipate its completion late summer 2020. 

Previous violas (SOLD) I've made include back wood of butternut, a softer hardwood that lends a buttery sound and markedly beautiful grain. I'm anticipating trying some walnut after these next violas are completed. Two of my customers each enjoy owning & playing both my handmade viola and violin!