“…a beautifully made [viola], pleasing to the eye and very player-friendly. The sound was extremely even and impressive with an obvious depth of character which invited exploration. All in all, I have no reservation in highly recommending Mr.McClean’s work.”
Paul Cassidy. Violist, Brodsky quartet
“After playing for many years on a fine 18th century German instrument I tried one of Martin’s violins. I am not normally an impulsive person, but I knew I’d found a real gem and brought it straight away. My playing felt instantly easier all across the range – it has great tonal projection and yet amazingly still has all the subtle qualities and depth of a much older instrument. Since then, for the first time I’ve been 100% happy with my violin. It’s a terrific instrument for just about everything – chamber music, recording sessions, teaching, orchestral work and even playing the odd concerto. Several colleagues have tried it and expressed surprise that a modern instrument can sound so rich.”
Vaughan Jones, Manor House String Quartet
“I love the viola you made. It is really just the lifetime instrument that is not only a joy to listen to but it really is allowing me to improve as a player in a way no other instrument has. I just wanted to thank you and commend you on your skill. Kind regards, Paul.”
Paul Devenny, music teacher and freelance violist.
“Thrilling and exciting to play…. rich and complex sounds…. fine workmanship. Thanks Martin!”
“I received the violin yesterday. I couldn’t be happier. It’s beautiful to look at and thrilling to play. Thank you for all your work”.
Patrick Ferris, ‘The Americans’
“I left Martin’s workshop with an explosion of creativity. The tone of Martin McClean’s violins is unforgettable”
Chris Lynch, ‘Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra’
“‘Addictive’ is the word that immediately comes to mind when describing my experience playing on my Martin McClean violin. In fact, I can say that Martin’s violin is one of those instruments that actually motivates you into practicing. Along with a warm Italian sound, it offers a complex palette of subtle nuances, colors, and overtones, which are some of the characteristics commonly cited when playing on the great Cremonese instruments, including Strads. Indeed, even after two years of having the pleasure of playing on my McClean violin, I am still discovering new things that I didn’t know were possible on it!
“To sum up, you’re basically getting the benefits that usually come with the great Cremonese instruments without paying exorbitant Cremonese prices!”
Joe Ramos III
Buy a recording of one of Martin’s violins
Download an MP3 recording of a recording using one of Martin’s violins
“In my job, I don’t have time to worry if a note is going to sound or not. Martin’s viola is great – a big sound, even-toned across the range, and it speaks instantly. Buy one – they work!”
Richard Guthrie. Violist, Ulster Orchestra
“The joy of a violin that plays effortlessly, with evenness throughout the range, an immediate response sensitive to every nuance and with purity and sweetness of tone – I cannot go back to my 18th century instrument.”
Shelagh McLeod. Professional violinist
“As a London freelance player I first played on Martin’s violin, and immediately fell in love with the rich tone. The instrument has an immediate and responsive sound, with a good quality of timbre in the high registers. It has a pleasing resonance and consistancy of tone, with an absence of any harsh or nasal sounds. The harmonics are pure and overall the violin has a good tonal character. It is a delight to play and I can’t put it down for long.”
“I have been dealing with Martin McClean now for a number of years. The service he offers is both professional and accomodating. His workmanship is of exceptionally high quality and I would have no hesitation in recommending him to fellow musicians and students”.
Joan Hutchman, Cello teacher
A few links to discussions and comments of interest: