Get to know some of the individuals who have chosen to play the Gayford Carbon Strad.

During the development phase we reached out to various notable musicians to have them evaluate our "Gayford Carbon Strads.” This gave us valuable feedback enabling us to fine-tune the performance of each instrument. Since the launch of our product in 2016, we've continued to reach out to respected professionals and have them take our violins out for a "Test Drive" and we will continue to post video performances as we record them.

David Ayotte from Hudson, New Hampshire made a 9 hour drive to personally pick up his 'black beauty' as he was not willing to wait for the courier or customs to delay his order..."I had the pleasure of visiting Fred the day that I purchased my violin, ‘Ed’.  It was readily apparent that he was very passionate about his work, and it really shows in the quality of the product."

"There are so many things to like about this violin, the build quality and attention to detail is top notch, the sound is great acoustically or plugged in, it is light weight and obviously looks great.  Humidity and temperature issues are a thing of the past, as this violin is not impacted by weather. It is all about the music now."

Joe Goett from Big South Fork, Tennessee enjoys roughing it with his Gayford Carbon Strad. Even though he built a protected padded case for his carbon fiber guitar and violin he recently reported..."I'm on the last leg of my eight week horse camping tour out West. I took "Victor" and played him in a lot of different places.  We played for tips at a cafe in Santa Fe....around a few campfires in Utah and the Black Hills. I really love this fiddle.  It's my go to violin.  It's perfect for a guy like me who travels a lot, to a lot of inhospitable locations.   I play around campfires... in wet locations... in dusty and dry spots....high in the mountains... down in the swamps of Louisiana.   I pull it out, and it's usually pretty close to in tune.   The sound is great, love the deep "C" note.....   I also have occasion to "plug up" and play with electrified instruments.  The pickup on Victor is outstanding.  Gayford Violins is great to work with.  Fred has reached out to me numerous times to make sure "Victor" is performing as expected.  Would highly recommend them."

Shawn Bailey holds the "Murphy", the Nashville fiddle player is the proud owner of the very "FIRST" Gayford Carbon Fiber Strad Violin to be sold. Shawn performs with country artist Easton Corbin and he toured the "Murphy" in 2016 as the opening act for Carrie Underwood.

Nashville fiddle player Shawn Bailey proudly holds the "Murphy". Shawn performs with country artist Easton Corbin and toured the "Murphy" in 2016 as the opening act for Carrie Underwood's Storyteller tour. As a guitar player he loved the action on it's set-up and it has become his go to violin.

Jason Chua hails from Australia and had this to say when his instrument arrived, "I really enjoy the violin! The sound it produces really carries itself further than my wooden violin. It was definitely love at first sight when I saw the craftsmanship of the violin, but after playing it for a couple of months I can definitely say that it is more than what meets the eye. Although I may still be a student, my family members noticed the difference in the quality of sound I was producing. Practice sessions also became more enjoyable and fruitful."

East Coast Fiddler Shannon Quinn Shoes of her new Gayford Carbon Strad

Traditional east coast Celtic fiddler Shannon Quinn shows off her new "Quentin" Gayford Carbon Strad prior to a performance at Massey Hall in Toronto.  Shannon is the third proud owner of what she named “The Black Beauty”. We are pleased that the "2016 Winner of the Roots Traditional Album of the Year & New Artist recording of the year at the Music Nova Scotia Awards was so excited to choose our carbon fiber violin.

Shannon Quinn, Fred Gayford and the Gayford Carbon Strad Violin

Arthur Ross from Toronto Ontario is excited for the opportunities that have happened since picking up his Carbon Strad at out workshop. He came for a 4 string and left with a 5 string.  "I really love this new fiddle. I have received many compliments on the sound and appearance. I performed with David Boyd Janes at ‘The Next Country Music Star Competition’ and we won! This instrument is so beautiful and I can't wait to share it with the world."

Peter Schug from Elmhurst, NY had an impatient wait when US FISH AND WILDLIFE felt it necessary to hold up the delivery of his fiddle at the border and THEN an accident on one of the bridges to Queens held up the courier! His thoughts since finally receiving his carbon strad... "I love this fiddle, it’s powerful and resonant. It’s a pleasure to play such a light instrument. We round robin (at a session) and when my turn comes along I feel like I’ve got an amp hooked up. I had loosened the hair on my bow and the stick kept hitting the strings but even with slack bow hair it sounded great. This is one powerful fiddle. My favorite practice time is three a.m. when all is quiet. One of my upstairs neighbors is awake so I’m keeping it quiet. Not an easy task with such a resonant instrument!"

Not only is Trevor Dick an owner of his own Gayford Strad but he regularly advises us on most of our instruments before they are shipped out to our customers. Although he prefers to work with the electric violin he does pull out the Carbon Fiber for certain performances and recordings.  He actually endorsed the Gayford Carbon Strad over his wooden instrument for a recent recording session he completed.

Trevor's website

We were quite surprised when Iranian musical sensation Shadmehr Aghili posted an image of the Gayford Carbon Strad on his Instagram and got 193,000 likes!

Shadmehr's website

Shadmehr's Instagram

When Niall Murphy put his order in for a Gayford Carbon Strad he also started blogging about the progress as we sent him updates on the build. A lot of people took note and resulted in a number of orders from other artists. We don't quite know what the secret sauce is to Niall's appeal but he seems to be the talk of the town in certain circles.

Niall's website

Gary Wahl, violinist with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra helped to fine tune the placement of the Schatten VMM pick-up and is the 2nd proud owner of the Gayford Carbon Strad violin

Gary Wahl, violinist with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra helped to fine tune the placement of the Schatten VMM pick-up and loves his Gayford Carbon Strad "Linda".

Amanda Lubking plays with the Celtic Punk group Cockswain in Phoenix Arizona. Here she is with her 4 String the "Henry" after receiving it as a birthday gift from her husband.

It's hard to track Maxine Venton down with all her touring but she calls Wales home (we think). Here are some pics she sent when her Strad arrived.

We are very pleased to welcome Shane Cook into the Gayford family of Fine Carbon Fiber Instruments! Shane recently purchased a 5 string Gayford Carbon Strad, christened the "Frederick". The 3 time Grand National Canadian and US Fiddle Champion has been instrumental in giving us his feedback as we refined the acoustic tone of our instruments over the past 4 years. This world class player performs regularly with the Allison Lupton Band as well as his own group The Woodchippers. Shane regularly tours, gives workshops and has been teaching for many years. Thank you Shane.

Visit his site to learn more. www.shanecook.com

Tomas Callister is a fiddle player from the Isle of Man in the UK who plays in the trio act Barrule. Here are some of his comments when he received "Cuz" his 4 String Carbon Strad.

"The fiddle is here, safe and sound. Was perfectly in tune when I opened it! Thanks a million for making this beautiful machine! Haven't put it down! It's amazing. An incredible sound, sweet and powerful but also a really interesting sound, loads of character and life. She's a looker too!  It's 50% louder than my usual fiddle! Pick up/contact mic sounds great too. I've been playing this fiddle non stop. Played it till 4am last night. It's unbelievably good. So so happy with it!"


Eva Tysdale holds her new carbon fiber violin, The Gayford Carbon Strad

Eva Tysdale of Cambridge Ontario is seen here holding the "Stefanie" Eva said  "I am so impressed with the maker's craftsmanship that I had to have one of his violins. Even though I don't play yet, I know it is a really good investment and plan on taking lessons this fall."

David Folle of Cambridge Ontario proudly shows off the 5th Gayford Carbon Strad to be sold

David Falle of Cambridge, Ontario proudly shows off the "Shane", our 5 string model. He loves it so much he has ordered a second one.

When Louise Terpstra's Carbon Strad first arrived in Colorado her reaction was "What a beauty and it sounds so mellow and fabulous! I love it. Thank you." she later reported "I had to wait for my beautiful 5 string “Jake” but it was well worth it. I play at my very small church in their contemporary service. I used to use a pick up but don’t anymore. The sound is very powerful yet not overwhelming and is rich and mellow. I’m so excited and pleased with my violin. Thank you Fred!"

The Gayford Carbon Strad Violin