Orchestra

Orchestra instruments in Honolulu

When you're in need of a musical instrument, come to Music Center of Hawaii Inc. With over 26 years of experience, we have the knowledge to help you pick out the best instrument for you and your budget. We are also available for full repairs. If you're ready to get started on your musical journey, come visit us today.

Suzuki School of Musical Learning

The Suzuki School or Suzuki Method is an internationally recognized philosophy and curriculum of music, created by Japanese violinist, philosopher, and academic, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in the aftermath of World War II. The fundamental teachings of the Suzuki School are based off the belief that the potential of every child is unlimited and with the right guidance can be developed. He noticed that at young age, children are able to develop fluency in their native language with ease. In theory, by having the same approach of developing musical talent early on, children who study music at a young age can achieve proficiency in the arts. This method of learning is known as Talent Education. The goal of Dr. Suzuki's teachings is to nurture the development of children, to foster human qualities in future generations. For more information come in or give us a call.

Violin

Student Models

It is very important when a student first begins playing the violin or any string instrument that they have a well adjusted, quality instrument in their hands. Whether a student is starting off on a fractional size instrument such as a 3/4 or 1/16 size violin, the response and tone quality of the instrument should be of a high standard in order to give the student the best chance for success. All the instruments that we sell are of good quality and are set-up by our expert technician who has been trained in the U.S. and Europe to do professional set-ups. This is a very unique aspect of our business, insofar as we apply professional set-up standards to student instruments. Please check out our pricing below.

All outfits include the instrument, case, bow and a rosin.
Level Model Outfit Price
Student Bottega Bella $350.00
Student Bottega Bella Deluxe $495.00
Student Andrei Patras (Romania) $550.00

Step Up/Intermediate Models

We stock step-up/intermediate models for both fractional and full size instruments. We have a wide variety of instruments in this price category, primarily instruments from France, Germany, Japan, and China. Generally speaking, these instruments are either handmade or hand-graduated, thereby possessing an enhanced responsiveness, balance and tone quality.

We are very fortunate to be supplied superb step-up instruments from the workshops of award-winning Chinese makers. We have been traveling to China for many years and have established relationships with the best makers. These makers have won numerous gold and silver medals in U.S. and international violin making and bow making competitions. Their workshops make instruments at different levels. Although all of the instruments and bows are handmade, wood selection and the skill level of the worker determines the quality level of the product.   

If you are unfamiliar with our Trade-Up policy, please click here. Because our stock is quite varied and always changing at this level it is impractical to show prices. We encourage you to come to your shop to inspect our collection.
Violin in the hands of a musician

Advanced and Professional Models (Overview)

Our advanced and professional model instruments are handmade by master makers. We have two categories of such instruments, Modern and Old European. Our Modern instruments feature the best quality wood and master level craftsmanship. We personally know the master makers and have visited their workshops. Our Old European instruments were handmade in European workshops; we acquired them at auctions and are not otherwise familiar with the makers or workshops.      

For the professional and highly advanced students, we feature the work of Marco Imer Piccinotti (you can find more information on Piccinotti by clicking his link in the sidebar). We consider master Piccinotti to be one of the finest contemporary violin makers. He has won numerous awards and teaches at two of Italy’s finest violin making schools. One of our customers used his master model violin to win a very prestigious national competition, and for a successful audition to gain entry into one of our country’s most elite music institute. A professional customer plays his Piccinotti bottega (workshop) violin in our local symphony orchestra.

Bottega Nuova Line

For the professional and highly advanced students, we feature the work of gold-medal-winning Chinese workshops, under our house labels. We have visited the workshops, inspected the facilities and wood supplies, and observed the masters’ interactions with their employees. The masters were kind enough to show us every step of their instrument and bow making processes, confirming the award-winning quality of their work. It was particularly noteworthy that their best wood was stored in temperature and humidity controlled rooms.   
Level Model Viola Only Price
Advanced Bottega Nuova V (Stradivari Copy) $1200.00
Advanced Bottega IV (Stradivari Copy) $1500.00
Advanced Bottega Nuova III (Guarneri Copy) $1950.00
Professional Bottega Nuova II (Guarneri Copy) $2600.00
Professional Bottega Nuova I (Guarneri Copy) $3500.00

Professional Antique and Contemporary Instruments

Our top-level bowed instruments include vintage and modern European instruments. We feature contemporary instruments from Marco Imer Piccinotti who's instruments you can find by clicking his link in the sidebar. Our vintage instruments and bows are primarily from France, acquired during our numerous trips to Paris and auctions in other parts of France. We have good contacts with important French authorities, expert in French instruments and bows.

Strings

MCH stocks a number of strings from a variety of string manufacturers from around the world. However, of those manufacturers, we don't stock each of their string models. Please click here for a list of the strings that we stock along with some brief descriptions.

Recommended Violin Accessories

Shoulder Rests: Everest, Kun, Muco in (1/16-1/4, 1/2-3/4 or 4/4)

Mutes: Performance (1 string fiddle copy, 2 string round)

Rosin We Carry: RDM mini, RDM woodblock, AB, Bernadel, Hill dark or light, Jade, Larsen, Millant dark or light, Pirastro Oliv or Goldflex and Salchow

Music Stand: Hamilton KB400B, K&M Color Stands, Jupiter Folding Stand, Manhasset

Tuner: Korg CA1 or Korg TM50 (tuner/metronome), Boss TU-12BW, Korg CM100 Clip-On Contact Mic

Metronome: Korg MA1, Korg TM50 (tuner/metronome), Seiko SQ50V, Seiko DM50 Clip-on, Korg KDM2

Viola

Student Models

It is very important when a student first begins playing the viola or any string instrument that they have a well adjusted, quality instrument in their hands. Whether a student is starting off on a smaller size instrument such as a 12" or 13" viola, the response and tone quality of the instrument should be of a high standard in order to give the student the best chance for success. All the instruments that we sell are of good quality and are set-up by our expert technicians. Please check out our pricing below.

All outfits include the instrument, case, bow and a rosin.
Level Model Outfit Price
Student Andrei Patras (Romania) $595.00
Student Bottega Bella $425.00
Student Bottega Bella Deluxe $965.00

Step Up/Intermediate Models

We stock step-up/intermediate models for 14" - 15-12" from Europe and Asia. This quality level of instrument is the level that is most in flux as it is the most traded up level of instrument. If you are unfamiliar with our Trade-Up policy, please click here. Because our stock is always changing at this level we have chosen not to show prices, but would rather encourage you to call or drop by to see what we have in-stock.

Advanced and Professional Models (Bottega Nuora)

Our Bottega Nuova line of Chinese instruments consists of workshop instruments of superior quality. The price of each instrument model depends on the quality of the wood and the experience of the maker. The highest level instruments feature superior quality European wood which has been well-aged in temperature and humidity controlled storage rooms. These instruments are made by the most experienced makers and all instruments are made under the close supervision of the award-winning makers. We have personally witnessed the close collaboration between the workers and their supervisors. It is a master/apprentice arrangement which reminds one of the early tradition of violin making.
Level Model Viola Only Price
Advanced Bottega Nuova V (Stradivari Copy) $1500.00
Advanced Bottega IV (Stradivari Copy) $1600.00
Advanced Bottega Nuova III (Stradivari Copy) $1785.00
Professional Bottega Nuova II $2850.00
Professional Bottega Nuova I $3750.00

Strings

MCH stocks a number of strings from a variety of string manufacturers from around the world. However, of those manufacturers, we don't stock each of their string models. Please click here for a list of the strings that we stock along with some brief descriptions.

Recommended Viola Accessories

Shoulder Rests: Everest, Kun, Muco (please note that small sized violas below 14" will most likely require a fractional sized violin shoulder rest.)

Mutes: Performance (1 string fiddle copy, 2 string round)

Rosin: RDM mini, RDM woodblock, AB, Bernadel, Hill dark or light, Jade, Larsen, Millant dark or light, Pirastro Oliv or Goldflex and Salchow

Music Stand: Hamilton KB400B, K&M Color Stands, Jupiter Folding Stand, Manhasset

Tuner: Korg CA1 or Korg TM50 (tuner/metronome), Boss TU-12BW, Korg CM100 Clip-On Contact Mic

Metronome: Korg MA1, Korg TM50 (tuner/metronome), Seiko SQ50V, Seiko DM50 Clip-on, Korg KDM2

Cello

Student Models

It is very important when a student first begins playing the cello or any string instrument that they have a well adjusted, quality instrument in their hands. Whether a student is starting off on a smaller size instrument such as a 1/4 or 1/2" cello, the response and tone quality of the instrument should be of a high standard in order to give the student the best chance for success. All the instruments that we sell are of good quality and are set-up by our expert technicians. Please check out our pricing below.

All outfits include the instrument, case, bow and a rosin.
Level Model Outfit Price
Student Bottega Bella; available in 1/2 - 4/4 $1250.00
Student Andrei Patras (Romania) $1850.00

Step Up/Intermediate Models

Please call ahead to find out if we have any Step-Up or Intermediate Models available.

Advanced and Professional Models (Bottega Nuora)

For the professional and highly advanced students, we feature the work of gold-medal-winning Chinese workshops, under our house labels. We have visited the workshops, inspected the facilities and wood supplies, and observed the masters’ interactions with their employees. The masters were kind enough to show us every step of their instrument and bow making processes, confirming the award-winning quality of their work. It was particularly noteworthy that their best wood was stored in temperature and humidity controlled rooms.
Level Model Outfit Price
Advanced Bottega Nuova VIII $1950.00
Advanced Bottega Nuova VII $3500.00
Advanced Bottega Nuova VI $4600.00
Professional Bottega Nuova I $7500.00
Professional Marco Piccinotti Workshop $20000.00

Strings

MCH stocks a number of strings from a variety of string manufacturers from around the world. However, of those manufacturers, we don't stock each of their string models. Please click here for a list of the strings that we stock along with some brief descriptions.

Recommended Cello Accessories

Mutes: Performance (1 string fiddle copy, 2 string round)

Rosin: RDM mini, RDM woodblock, AB, Bernadel, Hidersine, Pirastro Cello Rosin

Music Stand: Hamilton KB400B, K&M Color Stands, Jupiter Folding Stand, Manhasset

Tuner: Korg CA1 or Korg TM50 (tuner/metronome), Boss TU-12BW, Korg CM100 Clip-On Contact Mic

Metronome: Korg MA1, Korg TM50 (tuner/metronome), Seiko SQ50V, Seiko DM50 Clip-on, Korg KDM2

Strings

There are a few different string core materials. They are: Steel Core, Synthetic Core, Gut Core, and the latest Composite Core strings. There are also various wrappings for the each. Steel, chrome, and aluminum are the most common on the high strings (A on violin, A & D on viola and cello) with silver, tungsten and chrome being the most common on the low strings (D & G on the violin, C & G on the viola and cello). The E string on the violin is wound or unwound with a steel core. Experimenting and finding the right string for your instrument can be a fun, but costly experiment. However, if you have a good, well-adjusted instrument, it can be well worth the investment. 

Gut Core Strings

Gut strings are made of sheep gut, wound with aluminum or silver, and for many classical musicians are still the string of choice due to their warm sound which is full of complexity and rich in overtones. The response is a bit slower than synthetic core strings, and has a lower tension, giving them a pliable feel under the fingers. Unfortunately, gut strings take longer to stretch than synthetic core strings and are more susceptible to temperature changes and humidity which in Hawaii is quite commonplace. Gut strings will have to be tuned frequently during the first week of playing as it takes them longer to stretch.

Pirastro Olive (violin)
These premium strings have a brilliant sound with rich complex overtones and a relatively fast response. The Olive E is gold-plated and has an unusually pure, clear and brilliant sound.

Pirastro Eudoxa (violin)
One of the most popular of strings before the introduction of synthetic core strings, the Eudoxa has a warm, mellow sound with a slower response than the Olive or synthetic core strings. Great on some older instruments, they can be a bit dull on others. The Eudoxa E is aluminum plated.

Steel Core Strings

Most (but not all) steel-core strings have a tendency to have a brighter tone quality. The sound is usually clear but not very complex and with fewer overtones. Steel-core strings tend to be the fastest responding strings and are higher in tension and thinner than other types of strings. The least expensive of them tend to be edgy, tinny, and a bit rough. The best are of a much higher quality. With steel core, there is very little expansion or contraction during temperature and humidity changes and as a result, tend to stay in tune better than synthetic-core strings.

Supersensitive Red-Label
Recommended for all instruments, they are the lowest priced of all the steel core strings. They are very durable, long lasting and quick responding. Supersensitive strings are very popular with school programs on a budget. 

D’addario Helicore
Recommended for viola, cello and bass, the Helicore strings are very warm which is quite unusual for a steel string and has become popular with violists and cellists. MCH also uses Helicore strings on all of our student violas, cellos and basses. For the bass player, there are 3 types of Helicore strings to choose from: Pizzicato, Hybrid and the Orchestral strings. Pizzicato for the Jazz or Hawaiian Music bassist, Hybrid for the musician looking for good arco and pizzicato response, and the Orchestral for the purely orchestral musician.

Pirastro Chromcor
Recommended for violin, viola and cello, the Chromcor strings are quite bright and like the Supersensitive Red Labels, are good for students with less expensive instruments or schools that are looking for long lasting, durable strings, but with a more complex tone than the Supersensitive Red Label.

Jargar
Recommended for violin, viola or cello, the Jargar strings have been popular for decades and are particularly brilliant sounding, however are warmer in comparison to other steel strings. Although we carry Jargar for violin, viola and cello, they are mostly popular for their viola and cello A & D strings when combined with a different C & G.

Larsen
The Larsen strings are a premium priced string mostly popular with violists and cellists. Like the Jargar A & D, the Larsen A & D are very popular when combined with a different C & G. The violin E strings are also very popular when combined with different G, D and A strings.

Thomastik Spirocore
Recommended for the cello, Spirocore cellos strings are very popular for their C & G strings which come in Tungsten or Silver. The Tungsten C & G are high tension strings which are brilliant with a very large tone while the Silver C & G are warmer.

Synthetic Core Strings

Synthetic strings come the closest to the sound of gut strings, but without the drawbacks that gut strings have, such as the instability of pitch and the long play-in time. Thomastik Dominant strings, made of Perlon, a type of Nylon, were the first of the synthetic core strings on the market. Since the core is synthetic, the string can be more consistent in quality than gut strings, but they do lack the complexity you can achieve with gut strings. There is currently a large selection of synthetic core strings out there, each with its own special characteristics.

Pirastro Synoxa
Recommended for the violin, Synoxa strings are brilliant sounding, fast responding and have a focus and clarity to them. The Synoxa strings are more resistant to humidity changes and have a quick play-in time.

Pirastro Tonica
The Tonica strings are slightly warmer in tone to the Synoxa strings, however still have a quick response. They are also more resistant to humidity and have a quick play-in time. They are the closest in tone quality to the Thomastik Dominant strings and are recommended for use on violin.

Pirastro Obligato
The Obligato set is one of Pirastro’s first composite core strings. They are warm and rich in overtones and have great response in all dynamic ranges with a feel that is softer than other strings under the fingers. With the Obligato E string, you have a choice of gold-plated or steel.

Pirastro Evah Pirazzi
The Evah Pirazzi strings join the Obligatos in the Pirastro family of composite core strings. They are more brilliant than the darker Obligatos and have a depth and silvery tone to them. The Evah Pirazzis also offer a gold E as an option. MCH uses Evah Pirazzis on some of our better higher-end violins.

Pirastro Wondertone Solo
Pirastro has modified the composite core material used on their Pirrazi and Obligato strings to bring you the Wondertone Solo set. This set features a nearly non-existent play-in time, immediate response, direct and clear tone with a big volume and dynamic response.

Thomastik Dominant
Dominants are the original synthetic (Perlon) core strings and we recommend them for use on violin and viola. They are by far the most popular strings in the world sporting a full, bright and responsive sound. We set-up all of our student level violins with these strings.

Thomastik Infled (Red and Blue)
These were the first new strings from Thomastik in quite some time. They were introduced together and have the same tension as to make it possible for the player to mix and match to achieve the sound that they want. The Blues are brighter in tone quality, and the Reds are warmer and feature a gold-plated E. The Infeld Blues and Reds are only available for violin.

Thomastik Vision
These are high-tech composite strings which are similar in sound to Dominants but with more character and have a shorter play-in period than traditional Perlon core strings. They are becoming more popular as more celebrity violinists are switching over to Vision strings.

Thomastik Vision Titanium
The Vision Titanium Solo strings have a lot of power and warmth and can help duller sounding instruments to be a bit more brilliant. Put on fast responding instruments, they can overpower other instruments if playing in a chamber ensemble.

Larsen
Previously known more for their steel cello strings, Larsen has developed synthetic core strings for the violin and viola. They are higher priced premium strings and have a warm sound with lots of power and depth.

Only E's

In addition to the string sets above, we also have in stock a few manufacturers that only make E strings. They are the Pirastro Universal E, the Hill E, the Pirastro Gold E and the Westminster E.
Speak to us about instrument rentals now.
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