I recently purchased a fiddle from Mr. Royce Burt. It is a sweet toned Amati copy from the 30s.
This fiddle plays like butter, smooth and easy to pull sound from. And boy does it ring! So many overtones that just set it to vibrating in standard tuning and when tuned AEae... I've never had a fiddle come to life like this one does! It was sent with medium Helicore strings, which are not my usual choice, but I like them on this fiddle. Takes little to no effort to bow and I've had to lighten up a little - my previous go to fiddle required a heavy hand on the lower strings and that has become a habit that I'm happy to break.
Took it with me to a mid-1800s log home that my wife and I stayed in during Thanksgiving and played it a lot. My wife regularly said, "That sounds so nice," any time I took a break. This is significant as she never says anything about my fiddling.
Royce was a pleasure to deal with and he was very accommodating. If you're ever looking to get a new fiddle, I heartily recommend getting one of Royce's; you will not be disappointed.
I have a pair of old regraduated fiddles of Royce’s and I have a hard time choosing which I prefer. I’ll second that finding an instrument with Royce was an easy and pleasing experience.
I was playing in a jam at Mohician lodge in January of 20 I believe, and we discovered that three of us in the circle (Clinton Rich and John Farmer and myself if my memory serves me) were all playing one of Royce’s fiddles. Got a kick out of that.
I'll chime in as a recent owner of one of Royce's regraduations...an ~1890's German Strad with lots of dark,'old wood' resonance that I adore. Came with the Helicores, but I have to say that Evah Pirazzis really bring out the sound in a way the others didn't. I've also heard the Chickenman's new fiddle and agree it's a beast.