The fiddle reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!
208 reviews in the archive.
Where Purchased: Royce Burt direct
Year Purchased: 2016
Price Paid: 1,500 ($US)
This fiddle sound wonderful under the chin. Loud, bold, sweet & full. I've recorded a few tunes with it and it's tone is far superior to the Gliga Gems I've been using for the last 12 years, not even in the same league. Before purchasing this fiddle, I auditioned a dozen or so violins from $3k-20k. The 923 sounds as good as most of them (ok maybe not the $20k one).
Sound Rating: 10
Haven't changed a thing. Perfectly setup from Royce. Easy to play in all positions. Double stops are a breeze. It has improved my playing immensely!
Setup Rating: 10
The 2 pc back is highly flamed and matched. Very nice. Some obvious antiquing was applied to front and back before being oil based varnish refinished. It looks great.
Appearance Rating: 10
The tuning pegs and fine tuners are easy to turn and the fiddle holds it's tuning while on a stand for days. If something were to ever go wrong, I'd feel confident in sending it back for repairs.
Reliability Rating: 10
Customer service may be the best part of buying a fiddle from Royce. Within an hour of my initial email, Royce called while he was driving home and we talked for a good 30-40mins about this and that and his fiddles. Once my decision was firm, he promptly sent the fiddle to me and I was given a couple of weeks to decide if I liked it. It didn't take but a few minutes to an hour to know this was a great deal and I'd be keeping it. Sent him a check. Since then, he responds to my emails quickly, and when you buy a Royce Burt fiddle, you're getting a good friend with it. CS Rating-11!
Customer Service: 10
I couldn't find any weaknesses. The pegs and fine tuners all turn easily. It also feels solid on the hand & shoulder. very easy to play up in 3rd position. This fiddle has Helicore Heavy Tension strings installed.
Components Rating: 10
As stated in other reviews, Royce buys fiddles and regraduates them to make them sound their best. It's almost an insane exercise to watch all of his videos on You Tube to find one you want because they ALL sound fantastic. I could hear differences, but I didn't hear a single one I didn't like. Even though I wasn't initially interested in any "pretty" fiddle, when he got close to the camera and turned it around to show the back, I was immediately impressed with the excellent flamed matching pattern. One last thing, for the amount of work Royce puts into his fiddles, he doesn't charge near enough. We are lucky to have a luthier like him around to sell us fiddlers great sounding fiddles at bargain prices!
Overall Rating: 10
The buying experience from Royce Burt was one of the most gratifying experiences I've ever had. His YouTube videos practically sell his fiddles, as he is a good player, not in the violinist sense but as a fellow fiddler who plays the same songs us fiddlers do. The hard part is deciding which fiddle you want! They all sound great.
In dealing with him, he is like dealing with friends. Never pretentious, he's there to help you find what you're looking for and goes to great lengths to get you there and make you a happy customer.
If you're looking for an upgrade or even a first fiddle, you'd be amiss if you didn't try at least one of his fiddles.
Just go to YouTube.com and search for Royce Burt. Prepare to spend a lot of time watching and critically listening, you're bound to find something you like.
Overall Rating: 10
'Willie and Tillie Adkins' 19 hrs
'My new to me fiddle' 2 days
'First jam session!' 2 days