The New Advantage


When shopping for an instrument, investigate the advantages of a contemporary instrument versus one made over a hundred years ago. Remember, the instruments of Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari were all once new. Your new instrument, made by a reputable luthier, is a solid investment. There is no question of provenance- you know where and when the instrument was created. You own a very high quality instrument for a very reasonable price. The value is sure to increase, as the craft of instrument making today is at an all time premium level. Many consider this time period to be the return of the golden age in violin making due to intense scholastic study of historical precedence and modern developments. During the classical makers’ lives, violin making was a practical, working method that over time, somehow became a guarded secret. Presently, this art has resurfaced again as a seasoned practice.

Commissioning an Instrument
“New makers have a distinct advantage on the classical makers: they can build for today’s players and today’s halls, both enormously changed in the last 50 to 100 years.” (Violin Owner’s Manual, String Letter Publishing, 2001) read the article (

If you know and love the sound that Jon creates, consider commissioning an instrument made specifically for you. A commissioned work can include your favorite aspects of an instrument, and meet your demands as a modern player.

In this process, you work with Jon to help select the wood, the model, the color of the varnish, whether or not you want it antiqued, a one or two-piece back: the list of possibilities is extensive. The most monumental (and thrilling!) part of this process is your discussion of sound. If you want more focus, quicker response, or a fuller bass sound, you can now ask that such qualities be carved in to a young, healthy instrument. Working with Jon, you are also creating a personal relationship with your maker, which is impossible to do with a luthier of an antique instrument. Upon completion, the label reads your name. This is a truly individual instrument, that is as beautiful as you imagined, and performs to your specific expectations. Could you find a more perfect position from which to make music?


I’ve been playing a Jonathan Cooper Signature Model violin for six years now, and it continues to amaze me every time I pick it up. It’s perfect for both acoustic and amplified performances as well as studio recordings. The violin has great balance: a powerful, warm low end along with clarity and brightness, a combination that is rarely found. I highly recommend Jonathan Cooper’s instruments to anyone and everyone.

Alex Hargreaves
Berklee Global Jazz Institute
Mike Marshall’s Big Trio