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The EVS Setup | Electric Violin Shop

At Electric Violin Shop, we've made it our mission to serve the amplified strings community. In addition to the information on our site and the wealth of knowledge our expert staff shares with you on the phone, we add considerable value to each instrument we sell. Rather than send you a factory sealed box or unopened case, we personally handle each instrument before sending it on to you. Why? Because we believe that you deserve the best possible playing experience from your instrument, right out of the box.

We start by carrying instruments from only the highest quality makers, but to guarantee an equally great playing experience for each of our customers, we insist on inspecting and adjusting every instrument we sell, a service we include in the regular price of the instrument. Read on to learn about our invaluable shop adjustment and how EVS is raising the bar on quality in our field.

With every instrument we sell, we take the following steps to ensure the best playability possible:

  • Measure the string heights and adjust to a median-height classical action
  • Check string clearance at the nut and examine the fingerboard for consistency and string clearance.
  • Lubricate the string slots on the bridge and nut with graphite (pencil lead) to allow strings to glide freely through. This prevents bridge lean and early string wear.
  • Test pegs and tuners for smooth function. All wooden friction pegs receive a peg compound treatment to ensure smooth turning and a reliable hold.
  • For active instruments (those that require a battery) we insert the battery, turn it on and test all knobs and functions.
  • For active and passive instruments (those that don't require a battery) we plug them into an amplifier and do a full play testing, where we evaluate for the proper feel and amplified tone. Bowed and pizzacato playing through an amplifier can reveal any problems with the instrument that weren't uncovered in early steps of the setup.
  • Last, we examine the instrument's finish for blemishes. If it looks good, we polish it and put it in stock to be sold.

That is what we do, for free, with each and every instrument we sell at Electric Violin Shop. Occasionally an instrument will cross our work-bench that requires a little more attention. The following are some of the things we have done to bring instruments up to our high standards prior to offering them for sale:

  • Re-planed fingerboards
  • Raised, replaced or reworked nuts
  • Raised low bridges
  • Re-crowned bridges with poor curvature
  • Re-bushed pegs
  • Replaced tailpieces or tailguts
  • Replaced bad strings
  • Replaced faulty or defective electronic components
  • Soldered bad or loose connections
  • ...and more

Watch our setup process in this short time-lapse video...

Raising the bar for quality

EVS founder Blaise Kielar rehairs a bow in 1978

EVS founder Blaise Kielar rehairs a bow in 1978

Our efforts, adjustments and improvements during the setup process continue to benefit our customers, but our words and advice have travelled upward, too, to the makers of the instruments and gear we carry.

As one of the longest-standing independent dealers of electric bowed strings, we have the ear and the respect of the makers whose instruments we sell. When we notice an issue of tone, playability or appearance consistently occurring with a particular model, we make it known to the maker and provide advice on possible solutions. At our suggestion, instrument manufacturers have improved the quality of components from tailpieces to circuit boards.

Not only are manufacturers following our advice, they often solicit it! A number of products have come to market at our suggestion and we are currently consulting with designers on more that are in development today. We've used our strong relationships with manufacturers and our position of influence in this market to continue raising the bar on the quality and diversity of products available in order to better serve the string playing community.