A larger cello

It was time to step Andrew up to a 3/4 size cello and we had been putting it off for a few weeks. Partly, I forgot about the “need” to get it done. Thursday he was complaining about one of his strings and how it didn’t sound right. I told him we’d take it on Friday after he got home from school to the violin shop up the street and at least find out what was wrong with it. If it was free or cheap to fix, we’d get it done there. If it was a broken string we’d just go ahead and take it back to the violin shop we’re renting it from. It is quite the drive down there so it has to be a good reason to go down there. String replacement is free with our rental contract.

I called the place we’re renting from on Friday afternoon to see if they had a 3/4 size cello on hand. She explained that they did but that they would not have a delivery to the school until 2 weeks from now. OK, I must confess that 2 weeks of listening to Andrew complain about this string not sounding right wasn’t enticing at all. I asked how soon I could pick it up and if I could pick it up on Saturday…I wanted to press the issue that this happen quickly and not at their leisure. She said that they did have one there that they could prep for me. I told them I’d be there to get it when they opened Saturday morning (this morning).

Friday was a busy day so getting to the violin shop slipped the mind, etc. Not to worry because we’d have the new one in less than 24 hours. Just went about our evening. It had been a long day for me.

We got down to Lisle Violin Shop shortly before 10am this morning. I couldn’t remember when they opened, but remembered it was later in the morning. I guessed 10am. Well they opened at 9:30am. Good thing to remember.

I have to say that I think “increased” competition in town is good for anyone if it yields positive changes. I can’t be sure if that’s what caused the change in the shop or not. It doesn’t really matter. All I can say is that this experience in the shop was not the same as the first time I went in. I totally dreaded going in there again. A necessary thing all the same, but didn’t mean that I wasn’t dreading every minute of it.

Why? Because I shouldn’t have a little yappy dog yapping at my ankles when I walk into a place of business that is not related to animals in any way, shape, or form. Nope. Shouldn’t happen. There was a general appearance of disarray in the presentation of the instruments, books, and other supplies. It was dusty and musty and just overall unpleasant. I’ll confess, my opinion was that it was a “rat trap” and if they weren’t one of the very limited places to select from and we weren’t building up a fairly sizable credit toward purchase with our rental fees…

Anyway, we walk in and the shelving had been moved so that it lined the walls instead of being haphazardly placed. This opened up the shop which isn’t very big, but made it feel at least double the size it felt from previous experience. The instruments were also displayed where you could admire their beauty. I have to say that the 1/8 size violins are so stinking cute! It was NOT the same quality of store I had walked into previously.

The level of customer service from the people working was about the same (not wanting to be helpful, but having a job to be such). There was one worker was pleasant and even cleaned and polished the cello for Andrew. They had put it in a crappy looking bag that I was appalled by. Before I could open my mouth and say “that shoulder strap is frayed, can we get one that will actually last the time we have the cello?” I hear Kyle saying, “there is a hole in the side of that bag.” I didn’t even see that, it wasn’t very big.

I don’t know if the lady heard Kyle (he wasn’t very loud) and she was talking at the same time as him. She also took the cello from Andrew and took it back in the other room. She came back out with a newer bag (the bags are rented with the instrument) and the cleaning supplies. She then cleaned the markings off the cello, etc and carefully placed it in the new bag. Totally pleasant experience unlike the guys that work there and had just minutes before tried to dismiss us and get us out of the store.

I was a little upset that the cello itself wasn’t ready to go when we got there. Evidently there is a whole slew of things they do before they return cellos to the rental world once returned. We’re currently renting a used instrument. They had it taken apart in the back. They build violins and such in there. Evidently they had did a regluing process on the seams of the one we were getting. They had to literally put the strings on the body itself. It was neat to watch them line the bridge up and string it and get the tuners on it and everything. I was just upset that they had even posted note that I would be coming at opening and it wasn’t ready to go. That aside, it was interesting to watch even if it was from way across the room.

So I cannot say that I preferred my experience at Lisle Violin Shop, but it did ease my mind about just sticking it out and continue our rental contract with them. I was really not certain I wanted to deal with them again after the first in shop experience. Fishburn Violin Shop is just much more enticing and comfortable. That being said, Lisle Violin Shop did surprise me today with the changes that had been made. Change of this kind is always good.

Andrew got to practicing on the new cello right away after returning home. It brought a smile to my face.

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