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Sound Profiles
Functionality (Orchestral > Solo)
  • We asked: is the instrument better for ensemble playing or best for solo performance?
  • We took turns playing and listening to decide whether the instrument was more well-suited to blending with others, or if it is more likely to stand out.
  • Some instruments may sound sweet under your ear, but can get “lost” from an audience’s perspective.
    • These may work better for fitting into an ensemble.
    • The sound could be really attractive, but rather introverted.
    • When we play in larger groups it’s about the overall sound.
    • Individual instruments don’t need to stand out: have you ever listened to a choir where somebody’s voice cuts through and dominates unpleasantly?
  • Others might sound less pleasant under your ear, but the sound carries clearly to your listeners.
    • These can lend themselves best to solo performance or playing in a trio/quartet situation where you really need to be able to make yourself heard more distinctly.
    • We might say these are more extroverted.
General tone (Bass > Treble)
  • Bassy character or treble (ie, deeper or brighter tone)
  • Sometimes we say an instrument is “warmer” (more bass) or brighter (more treble).
  • It may be a violin that sounds almost “viola-ish” so we lean more towards “bass” on the scale.
  • A cello could be very bright and not as ‘boomy’ or big sounding on the lower strings, so we count it as more “treble” in character.
    • The standard Stradivari pattern gives the most characteristic violin/viola/cello family sound.
    • It’s quite bright and speaks out well as an instrument designed to dominate the room.
Depth of sound (Rich & Textured > Direct & Clear)
  • We asked if an instrument had more complex tones or if it was more outspoken and direct.
  • Some instruments will have a real richness in the overtones, giving a great sense of interest when we try them.
    • They probably will be slightly more introspective as well, but we can find this “depth” even in a solo instrument.
    • A good example of this is found in the Guarneri violin design, which offers a rich and intriguing character, yet we find lends itself well to solo performance.
    • The Stradivari pattern has a great blend of beautiful tone and brightness. It is brighter and clearer than the other popular designs.
Important notes regarding our sound profile
  • With every model we judged the instrument itself, not comparing it to any other instrument or price range.
  • Therefore, a $300 violin is assessed via our 3 categories based on its own voice and not compared with say, a $3000 violin.
  • It is our hope that our Sound Profile can help you find the type of voice you’re seeking, whether the instrument range is beginner, intermediate or beyond.
  • Our advice if you’re searching on our website is to filter by your preferred price range / performance level and select those instruments that suit the general character you desire.
  • This should reduce the wide number of options, helping narrow selection down to two or three instruments, making your trial process less complicated and less stressful!
String Instrument Sizing Guide
This guide is intended to give you a rough idea of the size of instrument your or your child will require. Please note that this is a rough guide only. For best results, you should consult with our string experts or your teacher before purchasing or renting.
One of the most important tasks we find ourselves undertaking at Simply for Strings is to size a student for their instrument. Whilst we always check sizing when you purchase an instrument, it is also important to talk to your teacher first about their thoughts on the appropriate size instrument. It is important to remember that we always err on the side of caution when it comes to instrument sizing. Unlike clothes, you cannot ‘grow into’ an instrument. If the instrument is too large then you will find yourself in severe pain when practising or performing. This often leads to a decrease in practice (and interest), which inevitably leads to the player choosing to forgo learning an instrument. Play pain-free and start with the right size violin, viola, cello or double bass from Simply for Strings.
Measuring Guide for Violin & Viola

Measure in centimeters from the neck to the middle of the palm.


Directions for Measuring: With the player’s arm fully extended and parallel to the floor, measure in centimetres from the neck to the middle of the palm.

1/16 35 - 38 CM 3 - 4 YRS
1/10 39 - 42 CM 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 43 - 46 CM 5 - 6 YRS
1/4 47 - 51 CM 6 -7 YRS
1/2 52 - 56 CM 7 - 8 YRS
3/4 57 - 60 CM 9 - 11 YRS
4/4 > 60 CM 11 - 13+ YRS

Directions for Measuring: With the player’s arm fully extended and parallel to the floor, measure in centimetres from the neck to the middle of the palm.

12" 53 - 55 CM
13" 55 - 59 CM
14" 59 - 63 CM
15" 63 - 65 CM
15" 1/2 65 - 67 CM
16" >67 CM

Directions for Measuring: Sizing cellos is slightly more complicated than sizing violins and violas. The student should be seated at the edge of a chair such that the knees are bent at a ninety-degree angle (feet flat on the floor). The upper edge (back of cello near where the neck joins the body) of the instrument should rest in the centre of the chest (on the sternum) and the C peg should be slightly behind the left ear. The knees should lightly grip the lower bouts ensuring that the corners do not dig into the side of legs. (Corners should be slightly above the inside of the knees). The student should be able to reach both ends of the fingerboard with ease. The chart below shows approximate sizing by age.

Note: 7/8 size cellos are available as well. This can be a useful transitional size or a more comfortable option for those players who prefer a slightly smaller instrument.

1/10 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 5 - 6 YRS
1/4 6 - 8 YRS
1/2 8 - 10 YRS
3/4 10 - 12 YRS
4/4 12 - 13+ YRS

Directions for Measuring: The 3/4 size double bass is the standard size for adults. 7/8 size basses and 4/4 sizes basses are made but they are less commonly used. As a rough guideline, when both the bass and the player are standing upright, the bridge should be approximately at the same height as the large knuckles of the student's right hand. The most important issue is that the instrument is comfortable and that the student can reach the higher registers of the fingerboard without difficulty.
The chart below shows approximate sizing by age.

1/16 3 - 4 YRS
1/10 4 - 5 YRS
1/8 5 - 7 YRS
1/4 7 - 9 YRS
1/2 9 - 13 YRS
3/4 13+ YRS

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Bavarian Violin labelled "Ruggeri" c. 1820

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Workshop copy of a Francesco Ruggeri violin, most likely made in a Mittenwald or Markneukirchen factory (Bavaria, Germany). Beautiful high arching. Petite shape which is very comfortable in the hand.

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Workshop copy of a Francesco Ruggeri violin, most likely made in a Mittenwald or Markneukirchen factory (Bavaria, Germany). Beautiful high arching. Petite shape which is very comfortable in the hand.

To trial this fine advanced violin please book an appointment in our Green Room.

About Francesco "Ruggeri" -

Over the centuries, the family surname has been spelled in many different ways: Ruggeri, Ruggieri, Ruger, Rugeri and also Rogeri. Ruger is the name used on the original instruments’ labels made by Francesco. Francesco (1628-1698) was the first luthier of his family, and after him, four of his sons, Giovanni Battista (1653-1711), Giacinto (1661-1697), Vincenzo (1663- 1719) and Carlo (1666-1713), followed in his footsteps.

His son Vincenzo formed a strong relationship with the Bergonzi violin-making family, and it is thought that Carlo Bergonzi, who was the first and most prominent member of the Bergonzi family as is considered as one of the last of the great classical makers, might have attended the Ruger workshop

Though we do not know much about Francesco’s training, Cremonese violin making at the time was ruled by the luthier Nicolò Amati of whom Francesco is said to have studied under. As well as documentation of a relationship between the Amati and Ruger families, there is a clear influence from Nicolò in Francesco’s instruments in style and construction. The phrase “detto il per” on the label means “known as the Per (pear)” and is said to refer to Francesco’s habit of using pear wood for the construction of his original instruments.

Though typically known for his celli, of his instruments it is said that “He selected fine wood…The pattern is long, rather broad, of beautiful shape, pleasing to the eye; the arching is somewhat higher, the scrolls bigger than those designed by his teacher. Faultlessly modelled instruments; soundholes rather short, tastefully cut; broad, yet hand- some purfling; typical long middle bouts. He applied a lustrous brilliant and transparent varnish deep red, dark-yellow-red, bright-yellow-red or orange” (Jalovec,

Sound Profile


Find your sound! Quickly identify the different tonal characteristics of each instrument brand and model. Our Sound Profile can help you find the type of voice you’re seeking, whether the instrument range is beginner, intermediate or beyond. We gathered six string players and teachers to blindly listen to each instrument and develop our unique and comprehensive Sound Profile. Learn More about Sound Profiles.

Top:Solid Spruce
Back, Neck & Sides:Solid Maple
Tailpiece:Hill Style Ebony with Black Fret
Chinrest:Stuber Style Ebony Chinrest
Bridge:Korolia Violin Bridge - Grandiose
Strings:Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold
Inclusions:Instrument Only
Country of Origin:Germany
The Simply for Strings set up by our expert luthiers is included with your instrument.

At Simply for Strings, our luthiers and staff ensure that each instrument is individually assembled, setup, tuned, and inspected to our highest standards. Your instrument will be ready to play when you receive it—not sent to you unstrung or in pieces as sold by other online suppliers.


  • Shaping and re-surfacing the fingerboard
  • Carving and fitting the bridge to the instrument
  • Carving the nut to professional curvature
  • Fitting pegs
  • Polishing the finish
  • Installing strings and tuning the instrument
  • Fitting and adjusting the sound post
  • Fitting and adjusting the tailpiece
  • Inspecting and pre-rosining the bow


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Trust us! We ship more instruments than anyone else in Australia.

Any unlikely damages during shipping are covered by us. Delivery day is special when you receive a Simply for Strings parcel. All of our orders are packed by our team of musicians in 100% eco-friendly packaging. Investing in an instrument is a big deal - our instruments are carefully bubble wrapped and packed in custom boxes to minimise movement during transit. If anything is damaged upon arrival, we’ll sort it in a jiffy! Whether you're ordering a new set of strings or a delicate musical instrument, every single order is packaged and sent with care. READ MORE

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