Mags Layton, Folk and Bluegrass fiddle, on a "Celt" 5-string Electro-acoustic.
I met Glyn at the New Forest Folk festival in July 2017, and was drawn to his stall like magpie to a shiny thing. His violins were wonderful, and I was so impressed with his personal design of chinrest amplification, and the technical and scientific knowledge he put into making and adjusting his instruments. I tried out his 5-string, but convinced myself they would be too heavy or difficult to get used to after my 7/8ths sized 4-string. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the advantages of the chinrest system, so 9 months later I’d persuaded myself to visit his workshop to try out his instruments to see if they were as good as I remembered
Once there, I tried out his full range, and found myself overwhelmingly charmed by the 5-string Celt. It was surprisingly comfortable to play and when he mentioned that most 4-string players adjust to a 5th string within 45 mins… well, there’s nothing like a target!
Well, we bonded!, Glyn made a few adjustments for me, including fitting the chinrest system. It was a long two weeks waiting to collect the instrument, but the result exceeded my anticipation. The acoustic sound is warm, resonant and consistent across the strings. The instrument is incredibly comfortable to play. Using the amplification system, the band have all commented on how ‘true’ and warm the tone is.
I have used it for recording sessions and for live, amplified & acoustic gigs and it performed brilliantly. At the last folk session, two of us had 5-string violins. The Celt won hands down over a modified 14.5” viola – for sound quality, for richness, for volume, for size, for useability and for sheer beauty. I could not be happier with the instrument. It seems close to perfect already, but as I have only had it for two months, continued playing-in is, and will, only add to the sound quality & tone.
I can highly recommend these instruments and their maker, who is wonderfully pleasant, professional and knowledgeable to deal with.