Alexander Tzankow
Maker and Restorer of fine

Repair & Restoration

The close bond between musicians and their instruments makes for a potentially traumatic experience should there be an accident resulting in damage. When it comes to your instrument and the need for maintenance and repair, you want to know it is in the best of hands - whether you are a professional musician or committed amateur or beginner.
An instrument's value depends largely on its condition. While there are certain types of damage that have nminimal or no effect on the value, others will be more serious. In some cases it is amateurish repair work that has caused more problems than the original damage and is now more problematic and expensive to repair.
When approaching a restoration one is confronted by several issues and decisions; some technical, some financial and some ethical. For example:

  •  Is there more than one option or technique to restore a certain part? (there usually is)
  • What is reasonable with regards to the value of the instrument?
  • Are there other issues not directly related to the actual damage that should be addressed at this time?
  • How can we preserve as much of the instrument's authenticity as possible?
  • To what degree do we want the repair invisible or even undetectable, and would it be deceiving to future owners?
  • How can we make sure that what we do is reversible if necessary?

It is important to us that you have an understanding of the procedures necessary in your case so we can evaluate the situation together to find the best strategy and achieve the desired results.

Below you will find a summary of the services we offer. This is very general information and certainly not complete. Please contact us for a consultation to discuss your unique situation.

Artistic Restoration
This is a main focus of our business and we take great pride in providing the highest quality service possible. We employ the most advanced restoration techniques, always favoring the least invasive approach to protect the integrity and authenticity of the instrument. No matter the extend of damage, with our vast experience in restoring and servicing historically significant instruments, we are confident you will be most pleased with the results.
We offer free estimates which are guaranteed not to be exceeded.

Set Up
This includes everything that is considered exchangeable and not necessarily original to the instrument but essential for sound and playability:    Bridge, soundpost, pegs, fingerboard, strings, tailpiece, etc..
We also install planetary (geared) pegs which are becoming more and more popular
We see a lot of instruments that are hastily and poorly setup and therefore not performing to their full potential and frustrating to play. This has to do with cost cutting (you can't expect an artistic bridge on a $300 violin) and oftentimes ability. A good bridge and perfectly fitted soundpost are among the most challenging thing to make. Unfortunately these are also the first things that amateur makers or even some "handy" musicians will try to tackle (...please don't, this can potentially be very damaging to the instrument and will cost you in the long run).

Baroque Conversions
These are offered for violin, viola and cello, both from baroque to modern and modern to baroque.
We will gladly accomodate any special requests regarding design or materials.

Bow Rehairs
Rehairs are usually (when possible) done for the next day. We only use triple drawn, unbleached Mongolian stallion, the finest hair available.
In addition we offer thumb leather replacement and silver wraps. For any other bow repair we will gladly refer you to a skilled bowmaker.

Tonal Adjustments
Many players think of soundpost adjustment (changing the position of the soundpost in relation to the bridge) when it comes to tonal issues. Fitment of the bridge and post need to be checked first.
Other aspects here include the fingerboard surface (which if uneven, grooved and rippled will affect the sound), string length and after length (the string length behind the bridge), tailpiece assembly, end pin (cello) and wolf tone elimination (a wolf tone can never be entirely eliminated without major changes to the instrument itself, but we can "tweak" it or mute it to make it easier to live with).
Some might list the bassbar here but we feel it belongs in the restoration categoty since it is very elaborate to replace and should only be done if absolutely necessary. The same is true for acoustic patches or weights.


Over the years we have been trusted with the care of some of the finest instruments in the world. These include violins, violas and celli by makers such as:

Antonio Stradivari - Nicolo Amati - David Tecchler - G.B. Guadagnini - D. Montagnana - J. Guarneri - Lorenzo Storioni - J. B. Vuillaume and many more.

You can be sure we will treat every instrument, including yours, with the same dedication and commitment.

With a diploma from the violin making school in Mittenwald, Germany and many years of experience working in reputable violin shops both in the US and Europe, Alexander Tzankow provides a service that meets the highest standards, whether you simply need a new bridge or a complete restoration.
There is no "backroom" here with a number of apprentices. All work is personally executed by Alexander Tzankow to ensure the most careful, thorough and highest quality restoration.  

A fine Italian violin by Lorenzo Storioni, Cremona 1781
before and after restoration

Alexander Tzankow fine Violins
1991 Glen Ayr Dr.
Lakewood, CO 80215
303 403 4314

10 mins from Denver / 25 mins from Boulder


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