What we do at Vintage Instruments

Sales of Vintage & New Instruments

Whether you are looking for a unique vintage instrument, or a fine modern interpretation of a classic, we can assist in the search and selection. The shop’s focus is acoustic instruments, and we have particular affinity for the tried and true, terrific craftsmanship, gorgeous materials, and singular accomplishments that include all of these. Above all, we like instruments that sound great.

Strings & Accessories

We understand how important it is to choose the correct strings, cases, fittings and accessories for you and your instrument. Whether you are looking for a comfortable capo, new strings, or a wonderful guitar strap, our selection includes a wide variety of high quality choices to suit a broad range of desires and budgets. Our staff are happy to help you navigate the range of options and translate your needs and preferences into choices that work.


Written appraisals serve a variety of purposes. For instance, they may be written for insurance purposes, for tax deductible charitable donations, estate settlement issues, or as documentation of a collection. In any case, a proper appraisal entails examination of the instrument to determine condition, origin and authenticity. We have the experience to recommend what type of appraisal you need and to accomplish the work for you. Appraisal services are by appointment.


Over forty years experience in the field of musical instruments provides special perspective in helping with solutions for the instrument related questions and issues faced by individuals, collectors, and institutions. We are happy to assist with small problems that call for quick, brilliant ideas, as well as large projects requiring a deeper multi-faceted approach to planning, evaluation, documentation, restoration, and more.

Repairs & Service

Vintage Instruments has long been a center for fine instruments and craftsmanship. The luthiers in our workshop are independent makers of violins, violas, celli and bows. In addition, they restore and maintain instruments of the violin family. Violin makers Raija Eggert, Sara Peck and John Thorell specialize in violin restoration, and bow maker Steve Salchow takes care of the bows. We also sell the instruments they make. Whether you need a bow rehair, simple cleaning, tune-up, or major restoration, they are well qualified to work with your instrument. The shop provides follow up care for fretted instruments we have sold. For all other fretted instrument projects we can help evaluate your instrument and recommend skilled craftspeople who can help with your repair or maintenance needs.

Special Orders

New ideas often come to our attention through our customers. If we don’t have exactly what you are looking, please ask us! We’re happy to try and track it down and order it if we can. If we can’t, we’ll still try to help you. Custom instruments by makers such as C.F. Martin guitars and Ome banjos are projects we relish. Bring us your ideas, and we’ll help navigate the options to bring your ideas into focus and become a reality.

We do welcome your inquiries about our services, or instruments in the shop. Many questions can be answered by reading through the information elsewhere on our web site. We do not provide online appraisals. If you are not in the Philadelphia area or it is inconvenient to schedule an appraisal appointment at the shop, we recommend speaking to your local musical instrument shop to find someone in your area who can help with your appraisal needs. Otherwise, phone us with questions about our instruments or services during shop hours: Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 215-545-1100.

Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive, and thoughtful answers: