Superlist no. 801

A string thing
Music shops for violin repairs. By Fernando F. Croce

FINDING A PLACE to repair a busted violin often can feel more like pulling strings than sawing them. For those suffering from plucked chords or unfinished wood, save on stress – when the big recital comes, check our list of options for that wounded Stradivarius.

A and G Music Products Co. Located in Oakland for 70 years, this shop installs new bridges and boards but doesn't do finishing work. It also specializes in brass, woodwind, and other string instruments and sells its own string bass. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 564 14th St., Oakl. (510) 832-2452,

Bronstein Music Amending strings since 1946, Bronstein Music has a full-time team working on repairs for the public, school bands, and other stores. "Everything but pianos" could be the motto of this store, which also offers lessons. Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 363 Grand, S. San Francisco. (650) 588-2502.

Clarion Music Center Located in the former Salvation Army church basement in Chinatown since 1982, this shop has always been an inspiration for owner Clara Hsu. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 816 Sacramento, S.F. (415) 391-1317,

Cremona Violin Dealers and Makers Here, restoration work is done on violins, cellos, and other strings. The owner prides himself on having saved violins dating as far back as the 1800s. Individual and mass orders are available (the San Francisco Opera House symphony is a client). Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 1254 Market, Ste. 201, S.F. (415) 861-2202.

Doug Roomian Instruments Though primarily focused on guitars and basses, this store handles repairs for violins (finishing included) and other strings. Open since 1971, it is personally manned by Doug Roomian, a professional musician with years of experience handling various tools of the trade. By appointment only. 651 Morse, S.F. (415) 239-4445.

Feller Roland Violin Makers A self-described "mom and pop store," Feller Roland was founded by musicians in 1977 as a haven for repairing, renting, and selling violins, cellos, bows, and related accessories. The family-owned business specializes in small orders. Tues.-Fri., 1-5:30 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m., 551 Divisadero, S.F. (415) 567-3708.

Ifshin Violins This is the largest store on the West Coast exclusively dedicated to violins, cellos, violas, basses, and bows. Founded in 1981 by Jay Ifshin, it features 14 trained employees and a wide variety of options in repair, consultation, sales, and appraisals. Its work includes yearlong restoration projects and has made a name for the store not only in the country, but also in Europe, Japan, and China. Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 1633 University, Berk. (510) 843-5466,

San Francisco Violin Shop Exclusively dedicated to violins, this store offers restoration work and individual analysis. Some accessories are also available. Mon.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m., 210 Post, S.F. (415) 989-1828.