I have 2 Violins that I use most of the time. One was given to me by Tony Martin, a fiddle maker and restorer who used to live in London. He is now living back in Ireland near where he grew up in Co. Mayo. It was in very bad condition when he found it but he thought it might suit me. He pieced it together and set it up and, sure enough, I really enjoyed the sound it made and loved playing it. It’s history is in some doubt – so many people have given me so many conflicting reports that I think it better to not even guess about it here!. I have played on it for most of my adult life. For nearly all of that time there has been a gradual shift in the position of the neck. Every few years I have had to have it repositioned, initially by Tony but in later years Jeff Manthos in Portland Oregon has done most of the work on it. This kind of repair can only be done so often so in the late 90’s John Dilworth of London said he would make a new neck for it. He took off the old neck (which was not the original) and made a new one for it. The fiddle responded beautifully and it is a pleasure to play once more. Thank you, John.

The above is a violin I play that was made by Jeff Manthos whom I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Jeff made this violin in Portland, Oregon in 1995 and it has a very strong, rich, clear tone. It is very comfortable to play (which in itself is fairly unusual for a new instrument) and I have used it for numerous recordings and concert performances. It is modeled after a Sanctus Seraphin of 1743. Seraphin (1699-1758) is considered one of the finest makers from Venice, having a distinctive style of his own. The violin is slightly asymmetrical in shape in keeping with the original instrument, and has been antiqued in appearance.

The pegs and fittings for this instrument were made by Eric Meyer of Portland, Oregon.