Andrew Carruthers 5-String

Product image 1Andrew Carruthers 5-String
Product image 2Andrew Carruthers 5-String
Product image 3Andrew Carruthers 5-String
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5-string violin by and labeled "Andrew Carruthers, Santa Rosa, CA 2019".  

This instrument is the second collaborative effort between The Fiddle Mercantile and Mr. Carruthers.  In the market of 5-string violins, there aren't a huge number of makers who are making them.  In all reality, the world of 5-string violins and violas is the wild west, and we are still trying to figure out what really makes them tick.  Do you want it to sound more like a violin or a viola?  Does it sound harsh?  Does it sound flabby?  Does the c-string growl?  Does the e-string sound hollow?  All of these are struggles and factors to consider when looking at a 5-string violin, and that's without even discussing playability.  

I brought my experience in dealing with and playing a number of 5-strings by a large variety of makers to Andrew, who is very respected, award-winning violin maker, but isn't afraid to try an experiment.  Through his experience with various models of instruments and my vision of how it should sound and play, we have now finished two instruments.  I am extremely excited with the results, and I think you will be too!  

A little more about Andrew Carruthers:  A native of Oxfordshire, England, Andrew worked at the Lawrence Berkeley Research Labs in California before deciding to follow his passion for building stringed instruments. Returning to the UK, he studied at the Welsh School of Violin Making and Repair, near Cardiff. After graduating he joined the restoration workshops of Bein and Fushi in Chicago to apprentice under the guidance of master cello restorer, Russell Wagner. In 1996 he opened his own workshop in Santa Rosa, California, providing restoration services to the violin trade. Regular clients included some of the world’s leading violin dealers.  Since 2015 all of his work has been devoted to building new instruments for clients across the US and in Europe.  His particular pleasure in violin making is exploring the tonal possibilities of mixing different woods with different instrument models.

Read more about our 5-string collaboration here.


Length of Back- 360mm
Upper- 173mm
Center- 118mm
Lower- 215mm

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