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By: Nathan Weiss
Jay Haide stringed instruments are well known on the market today for their high quality and affordability as lower and midrange, handcrafted instruments. But if you try to locate Jay Haide to tell the violinmaker that you appreciate his work, you’d be hard pressed to find him. This is because there is no “Jay Haide”, violinmaker. “Jay Haide” is the brand name of these instruments, taken from the names of Jay Ifshin, a master maker from Berkeley, California and Haide Lin, another master craftsman from China, who set up the workshop to produce the instruments.

After producing violins, violas and cellos for their own shop, word spread and demand for their instruments grew internationally. Jay Haide began shipping instruments to Europe, Australia, and Japan as well as throughout the United States. This required a larger workshop, whereby several makers were brought in to work only on their specialty skill, such as scroll carving, rib bending and varnishing.

The result was a consistent production of hand-crafted, higher-end instruments that are affordable for students, intermediate players as well as advanced players. Instruments are modeled after old, high quality French and Italian instruments made by such masters as Balestrieri, Guadagnini, Guarneri and Stradivari and are crafted from high quality maple and spruce.

Jay Haide violins are available in three models: The student model is called “101” which is priced for serious students who desire a violin that possesses a brilliant tone but is affordable. Model 104, the Jay Haide intermediate violin is crafted for a more advanced player and possesses a warm, full tone. The last model, the á l'ancienne violins, are for advanced and professional players using the highest quality wood and crafted by the most senior violin makers in the shop. These violins are antiqued to look like older vintage master violins and possess a superior sound.

Jay Haide violas are available in three models: Model 101 is for student and intermediate players. The Model 104 is for serious intermediate players and the á l'ancienne model is for advanced and professional players. Violas crafted by Jay Haide are modeled after violas by Stradivari and Maggini, while Jay Haide cellos, which have the same model numbers, are available in the Stradivari model and the Montagnana model.

Violin shops that offer Jay Haide instruments for sale often make them available as part of an “outfit” that includes a case, a bow and some basic violin accessories. Most dealers will make Jay Haide instruments available home trial before purchase.

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