PO Box 882, Elkins, WV 26241


Phone Hours; 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Eastern Time, Monday through Friday and occasionally on Saturday.

Fiddles, Violins, and Bows, contact us...

Page Updated 10-7-2020

Please Visit our Home Page for links to our banjos, guitars, mandolins, and more.

Smakula Fretted instruments is on its way back to regular business. As you know, we have been shipping instruments and parts throughout the pandemic. We are again accepting banjo, guitar, mandolin and minor fiddle repairs. For the safety of our staff, we can not invite people into the shop, but we do have a covered porch to use for repair drop off and pickup, as well as a place to test instruments we have for sale.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we all work through the details of the new normal.

Please stay safe.

Bob Smakula


Circa 1930 Ernst Heinrich Roth Copy of Amati.
This very nice fiddle is really worth checking out. The one-piece curly maple back is stunning and has matching curly maple neck and ribs. The varnish is a rich orange amber color and the scroll is accented with a black line around the edge. The interior label reads copy of Nicholas Amati made by Ernst Heinrich Roth and has an additional "Germany" stamp on the paper label. The inside center of the back has a brand (yep, kind of like cattle) reading Ernst Heinrich Roth, Markneukirchen and a serial number. I suppose I could get the exact date of this instrument's manufacture if I was willing to spring for the 65 Euros (about $75, USD) the Roth company requires per email to look up instrument records. But that knowledge will not change the fact that this is a great fiddle and well worth the modest $3,000 price. And by the way, the price includes a really cool faux alligator covered case. Stock Number G23. Sorry, Sold. Photos

2002 Cliff Hardesty. 2002 Clifford Hardesty #153. The late Clifford Hardesty of Coshocton Ohio made fiddles. Definitely not violins. This 22 year old example of his work has a spruce top with curly maple back and sides. Has a great full tone that penetrates in a band situation. The instrument is in excelent original. We offer it with a featherweight case for $1,600 Stock number O31. Photos

1930's Gibson V-15. When you see the Gibson name attached to a musical instrument, you rarely think fiddles. But most Gibson enthusiasts don't know that Gibson made violins just before and during World War II to keep their Kalamazoo, Michigan workers busy. The V-15 was their economy model instrument with painted purfling and other basic features. Being from Michigan though, this basic wood has very attractive figure. Smooth and balanced tone with plenty of volume. This dark red/amber finished instrument is $1,200 and includes a vintage hard case. Stock number O33

1920's Stradivarius copy made in Czechoslovakia. Central Europe was responsible for exporting millions of "Stradivarius" violins to the US from the mid 1800's through World War two. Many just had reproduction Stradivarius makers labels that confused those that inherited the instruments from long passed relatives and were hoping for an extra million or two US Dollars when they sold Granny's fiddle. As far as we know, Antonio Stradivarius did not have a summer home in Czechoslovakia in the early 1700's, so this instrument was not made by his hand. An interesting color scheme with most of the instrument being a dark red, but the edges, up to the purfling, are natural. Tone is full and bright. Good for square dances and jam sessions. With a featherweight case, this fiddle is $850. Stock number P-55. Photos

1900 7/8 Size Strad Copy. It is not too common for us to have a 7/8 size fiddle. Musicians that have small fingers, or just feel uncomfortable with a full size instrument pick these up soon after they are made available. This one has an honest label indicating that it is a Stradivarius copy made in Germany. The back, ribs, and neck are made of bold figure curly maple. The top is fine grained spruce with a few solidly repaired cracks. This instrument has good bass tone, and with our expert set-up, it plays like a dream. The price is $850, including a hard case. Stock Number P36. Photos

1920's Unmarked Stradivarius Copy. Finished in a dark amber varnish, this fiddle has great tonal presence. Bright, precise, and with a strong bass. As with all our fiddles, the Jesse Milnes set up is right on. With a featherweight case this one is $800. Stock number P-52 Photos

1920's Amati Copy. Lightly figured maple back, sides, and neck, but a great smooth even tone. The high end carries well, but is not shrill. Don't let the reflections in the pictures scare you, the condition is very good, but it's so shiny, you see all the stuff in the yard mirrored in the finish. A nice instrument at a nice price. $800 with a featherweight case. Stock Number P37. Photos

1880's "Old Dutch Violin". With some of the nicest handwriting ever seen on a repair label, J.S. Dales of Lincoln, Nebraska proclaims that he "repaired ad corrected" this "Old Dutch Violin" in 1894 and 1900. Not sure what he did to it, but it is a nice looking and woofy sounding instrument with a growly G-string. Worth a shot. And if I have any stroopwaffles, I'll be glad to share as we play this old fiddle. $800 with a corduroy lined vintage hard case. Stock number P66

1920's German Made Strad Copy. A great factory made Strad style instrument. Clear bright tone with a healthy growl. Finished in an amber/orange varnish, the curly maple back is iridescent and well worth the price of admission. With a hard case, this fiddle is $800. Stock Number P38. Photos

1920 German Strad Copy. With the Stainer stamp on the back, you would think this fiddle would be one of those squarish, boxy shaped fiddles. Nope. Definitely a Stradivarius pattern. It's a little crude, and quite a bit of honest relic'ing has gone on over the years, but the bottom line is it sounds really good. Price is $750. Stock number P-63 Photos coming soon.

1930's Carlo Alberi, Imported by B&J. With a name like Alberi, you would think this was a violin made in Italy. Hmmm, I wonder why it looks nearly identical to the Made in Nippon fiddle listed below. Probably the same reason many modern instruments have brand names that don't exactly match with their country of origin. Still, I have always liked the better Japanese made fiddles. Always a good even tone and very respectable craftsmanship. This one is $700 and includes a featherweight case. Stock Number P41. Photos

1935 Anthony Benicewicz. Homemade instrument from Baltimore, Maryland. Back could be beech with maple sides & neck with a spruce top. The extra long F-holes make this instrument distinctive. Tone is loud and woofy. Very good condition with a featherweight case and priced at $650. Stock Number P43. Photos

1920's Slingerland by Harmony. According to the label, this instrument is " Exact Copy of the Famous Antonious Stradivarious Cremona Violin. With their copywriter spelling Stradivarius Stradi-Various, my planned argument that this is not an exact copy falls to pieces. This Stradivarious violin was manufactured solely for the Slingerland's Correspondence School of Music, Chicago, Ill. by the Harmony Company. Before Slingerland was an international banjo, then drum icon, they ran a correspondence music school where, for a certain amount per week, you would get lessons by mail with an instrument included. Thus the many thousands of inexpensive banjos with the Slingerland name on the market. This fiddle has a pressed top of spruce, pressed maple back with maple sides and neck. We bushed the tuning peg holes installed new pegs, an ebony fingerboard, bridge, Wittner ultra tailpiece, and Pirastro Cromcor strings. Fun to play with an even tone that will get better when it's new owner plays the heck out of it at post-pandemic jams. Price is $650 and includes the original blue alligator cardboard case, or a new featherweight case. Your choice. Stock number P67

1930's Made in Nippon (Japan) Strad Copy. I have always liked these instruments. Well built with Asian maple, they consistently have a decent tone. I describe this one as pleasingly precise and bright. The finish on this instrument is a dark brown/amber color. In excellent condition with a case it is priced at $650. Stock Number P45. Photos

1920's Stradivarius copy. German made and imported by Lyon & Healy. Dark orange amber finish with a strong growly tone. With featherweight case, $650 Stock Number P-51. Sorry, Sold. Photos

1920's German Made Strad copy. The bright orange-amber finish if this instrument matches the bright tone. If you need a good fiddle to carry the top end of a square dance band and be heard over the banjos and guitars, this fiddle is for you. In very good condition with a featherweight case. $600, Stock number P-58. Sorry, Sold. Photos

Circa 1930 Maggini copy, made in Germany. Amber to natural finsh. Well adjusted with new ebony pegs and a Whitner fine tuner tailpiece. Bright, yet old sound. With featherweight case; $450. Stock Number Y-21 Photos

1990's Mathais Thoma. This decent student grade fiddle was made in Romania. It had a burnt orange finish and a pleasing even tone. Price is $450. Stock Number P44. Photos

1960 Karl Herrman. A decent factory fiddle from the mid 20th century. Finished in a pleasing burnt orange varnish and has very nice curly maple back and sides. $400. Stock Number Y-25

1960's John Juzek. The Juzek shop makes a wide variety of violins. From the top grade listed above, to the solid student instrument here. Though not a big voice, this fiddle plays almost effortlessly and is a great place to start fiddling and violin collecting. Of course it makes sense to climb the Juzek ladder and eventually buy all we have, Price is $300 with a hard case and we'll throw in a decent bow Stock number Y-24 On Hold.

New Cremona SV-175. We offer these new instruments as an alternative to costly repairs on older student fiddles. We have been consistently impressed good quality and decent tone. The top is carved spruce, maple back, sides, & neck with ebony fingerboard, pegs, & nut. We fiddleize then before we sell by leveling the fingerboard, adjusting the bridge to fiddle specs, and a new set of D'Addario Prelude steel strings. The outfit includes a good case, rosin and wood bow. Only $300. Stock Number Y16. Photos

1840-1900 Strad Copy. More violin label funny business. The scrawled writing in the bass side F-hole says made in 1840 and bought in 1900. More likely it was made in 1898 and bought in 1900. One of the millions of German instruments imported to the United States from that era. Kind of a cheapie, but has a cool archaic sound that reminds me of fiddlin John Carson. $275 with featherweight case. Stock number Y27

1950's Juzek, 3/4 size. A superior instrument for the serious young student. EC, HC & Bow, $500. Stock Number Y17. Photos

1990's Scherl & Roth 3/4. These fiddles are numerous, but rarely seen in great condition like this one. Perfect for a young student needing the next size bigger from a 1/2 size fiddle. Price is $150 and includes the original case, rosin and a bow. Stock Number Y18. Photos

Violin Bows

New Glasser Fiberglass violin bows with real horse hair, many sizes, the best for the least $45

CFX Braided Carbon Fiber violin Bows Snake wood or ebony frog with fleur-de-lis inlay; $80

CFX Braided Carbon Fiber violin Bows Black infused with sparkly red or blue strands, ebony frog with fleur-de-lis inlay; $120
Photos of CFX Bows

New Jacques Remy Pernambuco bows, made in China, 60 to 62 gm $320

J. LaSalle LB-13 Brazillwood octagonal violin bow. $40

J. LaSalle LB-17 Select Brazillwood octagonal violin bow. $60

Many used Pernambuco bows, 57 to 70 grams, $125 to $650

Guide to Abbreviations and Physical Condition;

New; An instrument that came to us from the manufacturer. It has never been owned by a consumer and has it's full warrantee.

Mint; As the instrument came from the factory. No blemishes at all

Near mint; Almost as it came from the factory

Excellent condition, a very clean instrument that has a few minor blemishes

Very Good Condition, reasonable wear for its age.

Good Condition; plenty of player wear.

Plus or minus indicates the condition is half a grade better or worse.

Hard case is either made of laminated wood or ABS plastic. Hard cases offer the most protection for your instrument. The disadvantage is they are heavy.

Original Hard Case, the hard case purchased with the instrument when it was new.

Softcase refers to a chipboard (stiff cardboard) case,

Original Soft Case; The chipboard case sold with the instrument when new.

Gigbag is a padded cloth bag. Usually with shoulder straps.


We ship most of our instruments via UPS. Cost to ship a mandolin or fiddle is $20 to $40. Cost to ship a guitar or banjo is $25 to $60. The cost of insurance is extra. We will be happy to quote before shipping.

Small goods like banjo heads and other parts cost $8 per order for Priority Mail shipping in the continental US no matter what the order size. The cost of orders headed out of the continental US will be quoted before they are shipped.

Sales Tax
We are legally obligated to charge 6% West Virginia sales tax on anything purchased here at the shop or shipped within the state of West Virginia. We do not charge sales tax on orders sent out of state.

To Order
Call us at 304-636-6710. For payment we accept checks, wire transfers and MasterCard & Visa. If you prefer Paypal, please send us an email requesting a Paypal invoice.

Occasionally a customer will let us know that the "Contact Us" button will not work on their computer. If you have that problem, please use sfi<at>smakula<dot>com You will have to change the <at> and <dot> to @ and .