In 2001 my love of woodworking found a home in violin making. Although I am a self-taught luthier, I was fortunate to find guidance from Maine luthier Jonathan Cooper when I undertook my first fiddle. I use every source available to me as I continue to hone this craft today.
My instruments are celebrated for their exceptional tonal qualities as well as their antiqued finishes. I begin by selecting the right wood for the project. In some cases I have used reclaimed wood from a nearby barn, or wood chosen for specific properties, hand-selected by me from my vendor in Vermont. I closely model my techniques on the Italian masters, using hand tools, purfling I make myself, and varnishing techniques that give a brand-new instrument the mature look of a revered and beloved old instrument. My clients find themselves delighted once they play one of my instruments, and it is the happy end of many searches for just the right sound.
Unlike buying a ready-made instrument, when one works with a luthier, there are opportunities to tune and adjust the sound as the process unfolds. The devil is in the details, and I look forward to hearing how I can help you achieve your goals for your new instrument. My violins are modestly priced, beginning at $4,000. I also enjoy making 5-string violins, violas, cellos, and double basses and can give a quote to build one for you.
As a musician, I play my own instruments. If I owned a better instrument made by someone else, I would play it. Contact me today for more information or to set up a viewing appointment.
Instruments for Sale
“Working with Don Roy has been a complete privilege… I was looking to buy a violin with a rich, big sound, but couldn’t warrant spending a fortune on an instrument. I’m a classically trained violinist, but I don’t make my primary living playing music anymore, therefore, couldn’t justify investing in a really expensive instrument. I knew that buying a violin from a new maker, could be a way to make my money stretch and get the quality instrument I wanted. So, I was introduced to Don Roy. He came to my home and allowed me to play several violins. He also offered to let me keep them as long as I needed to make a decision. I finally chose an instrument that offered the sound I was looking for, but wasn’t as aesthetically appealing as I had envisioned. He took the violin and refinished the varnish…It is a work of art!
Don continues to call to see how the instrument is holding up, and if he can assist with any fine-tuning, etc. I know, for a fact, that this kind of service doesn’t exist when you’re dealing with the big shops. Not only is Don passionate about his art, but he is one heck of a fiddler, and one of the nicest men I know.”
Carrie Baker – Violinist, Falmouth Maine
“I will soon be the proud owner of Don Roy’s violin #3. It’s full tone and reliability are wonderful. My plan is to grow my skills to explore the fiddle’s fuller potential. At this point, I continue to be surprised and thrilled at the rich quality of the notes. There’s no doubt that I am a better fiddler on this instrument.
As for my dealing with Don, he simply handed me the violin to try out when I told him I was interested in his fiddles. He has never, in the four months I’ve had the fiddle, checked back with me about my decision or, in any way pressured me about it. His flexibility about all of the purchase details has been most helpful.
It’s also reassuring to be buying a fiddle from someone who is himself a wonderful musician and therefore knowledgeable about what is needed by the players of his instruments.
All in all, the processes of acquiring and playing this instrument have been a wonderful experience for me.”
Louise A. Zubrod – Violinist
“I have known Don for many years, a gentlemen and a tremendous Maine fiddler. Many years ago, when he began making violins, I knew he was starting something important that would complete his involvement with this music. Today, not only does he make great violins but he understands what a fiddler is looking for. I was a little shy at first but I finally asked him to build one for my needs since he had heard my playing for years. I was surprised when he called me up just a few weeks later to tell me that the instrument was ready! (No, it’s not old, rare or Italian!) But it is a beautifully old looking instrument, with the sound qualities I had been looking for for so many years, that is, sharpness, quick response and warm tone. It was love at first sight! Since it’s new, Don likes to hear about how the instrument is developing and maturing and I feel like he’s still taking care of it. A whole part of my music is now in good hands!
Don, many thanks for helping me play the music I love…”
Guy Bouchard – Violinist, Quebec, Canada
“I could not be more delighted to be playing one of Don Roy’s fiddles. His craftsmanship and talent are heard in every note I play. There is a rich depth and a vivid response to his fiddles that sound as though they’ve been played for years. In Don’s fiddle I have found a tonal quality that lends itself beautifully to the music. Each time I pick up my Don Roy fiddle I find it hard to put down!”
Carolyn Mix – Teacher/Performer
“I recently purchased a Don Roy violin and have been very pleased with it in every way. The sound has been great in a variety of settings. The instrument has a beautiful tone and shows great craftsmanship. Don made the process of purchasing the instrument very easy and enjoyable. I never felt rushed and was well-informed about all aspects of the instrument before the purchase. I would happily recommend Don Roy as a violin maker.”
Kathryn Pillsbury – Violinist