Hear what our customers say about us and the instruments they bought. Click on these choices or just browse below.
Weedwacker Pro strings:
I spent about 2 years searching for the right strings to put on my upright bass for the rockabilly sound that I was hearing in my head. I tried 4 or 5 other brands of strings that claim to be made for the rockabilly style.
The problem with all of them was the tone that I got out of the snap. They all sounded more like a splat rather than a click. What I wanted was a good clean wood block tone without doing too much to the sound electronically. I found that in the Weed Wackers.
At first, I bought the regular Weed Wackers. I got the woodblock click tone, but the E string was the size of a log and felt like I was playing a wet noodle, so I ended up buying two sets and used the extra A string to replace the E.
All of that nonsense changed when they came out with the Weed Wacker Pros. With the Pros, they greatly improved the tension and the diameter of the E string. Its still a little loose for me, but Im told that ordering a set of strings with two A strings is not a problem.
The Wackers are also easy on the hands. I figure that Im slapping or snapping the strings 25,000 to 35,000 times during a four hour rockabilly show. In the 3 years that Ive been using Weed Wackers, Ive only had one blister that opened up on me.
The down side is that you dont get the volume when you play acoustically. But who cares? Playing with my band, Im always plugged in to the amp and playing loud anyway.
My bass was used in a Hank 3 concert after his bass players instrument was suddenly damaged when they came to Richmond. Hanks bass player was impressed with the strings and loved the feel of the strings.
Time and time again, I have professional sound engineers compliment me on the tone quality of my bass. Of course, a lot of thats my rig, but without the Weed Wackers, I wouldnt even get close.
Steve Wyse / Upright Bass Player for Cha Chas Cadillac "rockabilly and cow punk"
(MC-200 1/10 Merano Cello outfit)I'm not usually inclined to post reviews, but our experience with Fantastic Musical Instruments was so exemplary that, well, here I am. We purchased a cello for our four-year-old (!), and FMI was the only merchant we encountered who were aware that the European and the Suzuki standards differed at the smallest sizes. They were extremely helpful when I contacted them by phone, offering knowledgeable advice, often suggesting less costly options when we, in our obvious ignorance, could easily have been steered to more expensive ones. Finally, they customized the action of the cello to better fit our daughter's small hands, and they expedited the customization and shipping to assure that the cello would arrive in time for our daughter's birthday. Last but not least, the cello is well made and equals or exceeds their description. I'm listening as I write to something that approximates "Twinkle" -- a joyful sound from a VERY happy girl. - Rick (Boone, NC)
Haven't written yet to say thank you re: the Merano cello, since I wanted to have my son's music teacher look it over first, to be sure we wouldn't be sending it back. We are not sending it back! :-)
Sadly, I did snap the D-string while tuning it the FIRST day, which
just broke my heart. It broke my heart even MORE to go to my local music store, where they charged me $36.75 for ONE "Dominant" D string (which they said was comparable to the quality of the strings that you upgraded my cello to, for a very reasonable cost!). However, because I bought the string from them they actually were very kind, helped straighten my tilting bridge (from
all that tuning, they said), applied the "Peg Drops", and even tuned the beast (I was afraid to touch it after snapping that D string!), for no additional cost.
My son just went back to school, and today was the day his teacher looked over the cello. I didn't tell her ANYTHING about it, because I didn't want to tilt her opinion (people can be REALLY snobby about instruments, I have found). Anyway, she playedfor about 5 minutes, and when she stopped she immediately commented on the very good set-up/adjusment, and how easy the strings were on the fingers because they were adjusted to be low. She also
commented on the quality of the strings, and said we were wise to set-up with quality strings, since it makes such a difference. She described the sound as strong, and large (which she said really appeals to and encourages students), and said that it was a good student instrument, certainly at least as good as the cello I was renting for $55 a month from the local music shop. Not a professional quality instrument, but a perfectly respectable student cello. Just what I wanted to hear her say! She also
said this was one of the few internet-bought instruments she has recommended a student to keep!
Again, thanks for a great experience, and we are spreading the word among our friends so that they can avoid the instrument rental racket, and still have peace of mind, by doing business with you!
(MC-400 4/4 cello) I have looked at a lot of Internet discussion on cello, especially Chinese. The general conclusion of most experienced cellists is it is unlikely you'll get a good cello at such a cheap price and you may find that no one will be willing to do the setup. After searching on eBay for quite some time for potentially good cellos from China at cheap prices, I decided to look for ebony. When I finally saw your ad, and the pictures and discussion on lowering the strings (i.e. setup) it took very little time to make a decision and buy. I figured that if you were doing the set up you would also likely be picking the better quality instrument to do it on. I was not disappointed. If I had the chance to try out 100 cellos, all of which looked superb, except the one that played and sounded the best, I'd pick the latter, even if it looked terrible. I think the cello you selected for me looks much better than I ever expected - it is really pretty and well made. Thanks, Greg (Glendora, CA)
The 3/4 cello arrived a day early....WOW. I am very pleased with what we have gotten. My son is thrilled to have his very own cello & his parents are thrilled not to be paying rent. My sons teacher was pleased also. The hard case is awesome also. Thank you for offering this product. I am passing your name to many others ....hope it brings you more business. Have a great week !!!!!! You have made mine extra special !!!! Martha Husser. Etters, PA. (MC-400 Merano Cello with Hard Case & Bow)
Andreas Eastman VC305 Cello sent to England: Tom, I want to let you know that the cello arrived safely on Wednesday. FedEx must have looked after it well because even the packaging was still in good condition. I followed their tracking and it was very useful. If I ever do it again, I would think about spending a little more money and have it shipped priority. The extra may save all the worrying I did when I saw the number of times it was loaded and unloaded and the number of different locations it went through! I've not had much opportunity to play it yet but so far it sounds good. The tone is rich as well as clear and seems very even across the range. It is also impressively resonant. I was also struck by how effortless it is to play. I'm not sure why this is, because the bridge is quite a bit higher than I am used to. It is very responsive too - both in terms of attack and subtlety. Overall I think it compares well with a couple of top quality (and extremely costly) instruments that I have tried out in the past.
You may have gathered by now that I am absolutely delighted with my new cello. Its got a few years to go before it is properly played in so I am looking forward to that.
Many thanks Tom for your splendid service. I could not have asked for better. Very best wishes, Jeannie (Andreas Eastman VC305 Cello)
Thomas, Received the cello on Tuesday last week, just five days after I ordered it. Wow! I took it to a professional here in town who restores and repairs string instruments. He set it up for me and assured me that I have purchased an excellent instrument. He was very impressed with the quality and sound, especially when he learned that I paid less than $300. In fact, he said that if he could get ten of them that good he would buy them to resell. (I told him where to find you!) Thank you so much. I never expected to get such a "Fantastic Instrument" for such a reasonable price. Last year I bought a violin online and was very disappointed with the quality. Sent it back immediately. I can assure you that you will not be seeing this cello again anytime soon! LeeAnn (1/8 760R Hand Carved Cello)
The Cello is very beautiful and it sounds really great. It is very well made and has a very good and rich tone. It is quite a good quality instrument. Even the bow is a good quality one. So I am very pleased and I recommend Baritoneman especially for that. Even my cello teacher likes the instrument and its rich sound. For the quality instrument I got, the price is VERY good, even if I add up the shipping cost to Canada. The item was very well packaged. The Cello couldn't be damaged easily during the transportation, because it was well protected. I was very pleased by the ordering experience. Again: Wow! What a great Cello. Martin B. (760R Hand Carved Student Cello)
The cello arrived in perfect condition. My daughter's instructor put on the fine tuners and bridge and tested it out for us. He gave us the thumbs up. Peggy Amstutz. (Cremona SC-75 Cello)
After 1 week of playing it (and with a new set of strings) it has really opened up to be a great sounding instrument. All new stringed instruments need "massaging" first. I am a high school and middle school orchestra director, on top of being a semi-pro violinist. I would like to think that I know quality when I see it. Surely, this cello can't hold a light next to some that you pay thousands of dollars for, but it works for me! Anneke S. (760E All Solid Woods Cello w/hard case)
I received the cello and it is beautiful and sounds great. The shipping was very fast, you do great business, I will definitely recommend you to others. Thanks, Josh Knutson (4/4 size Fully Carved 760R Wood Cello w/soft case.)
Rating: Excellent. Comments: Hard to believe the quality of the instrument we bought for the price! So far we are very happy with it. It was delivered quickly, and was well-packed. Thanks, Patrick McKenna (Student Cello)
Hi Tom, I received the cello today and took it down to my local music store and they were impressed it made it all the way from LA in perfect shape. nice packing job. :) I like the cello very much and am very pleased with doing business with you. In the future, I would be interested in a deluxe gig bag but need to wait a little bit. Thank you again. Ally (Merano 760E Cello)
Tom, yes definitely Superior Sound Quality! In my opinion, every instrument has its own unique properties, something in the feel and the positions of the notes. An instrument is to me an extension of myself and becomes part of me regardless of the different properties so the the sound it produces and its potential are most important to me. I found the rich full tone and consistency of the tone most surprising and delightful. I mean, a note begins to diminish and degrade after it is played. For a new instrument, the tone remains very constant and the quality will improve with age and proper use. Sincerely, Mary K. (760E All solid woods hand carved cello with Brazilwood horsehair bow and hard case)
This cello is great. Nice rich sound. I'm very pleased given the low price. This is an excellent value and a fine starter cello. Jay H. (1/2 size student cello outfit under $300)
HOW TO FIND OUR STORE
We DO NOT have a storefront on busy Washington Blvd. We are down our driveway located between the Arbor Vista Retirement Center and 787 East Washington Blvd. with plenty of our own off-street parking. Turn in the driveway and you'll see our store pictured above. (Follow the signs on 787 that say "789 Parking in Rear".) Below is a shot down our driveway from the streetview.
Our phyical address is 789 East Washington Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91104.
Fantastic Musical Instruments specializes in stringed instruments
with a caring hands on approach.
Our Store Hours are: Monday thru Friday 11 AM to 6 PM
& Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM.
We can also be available on Sundays by appointment.
Call Ph: 626-794-7554 at least 24 hours in advance to
arrange for a Sunday appointment.
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