Instruments from ISI feature the finest tone woods, the highest quality fittings and hardware & the unique ISI Pickup System. Although amplified acoustic instruments are ISI's specialty, our pure acoustic instruments are unsurpassed for tone & playability.
Please browse our web site & feel free to contact us if you have any questions that the luthiers at ISI can help you with. We also offer repair and restorations of all stringed instruments.
Please click HERE to see what beautiful
instruments are currently available!
Read our Mission Statement to learn more about the ISI philosophy
The following are samples from performances on instruments made by Ithaca Stringed Instruments:
Listen to more samples.
ISI is proud to announce that we are now the exclusive dealer for fine hand built classical, flamenco, and gypsy swing guitars by Rodrigo Shopis.
Looking for quality, professional, live music for weddings, restaurants and other events?
Check out Aceto, Lieberman and Shew! Playing swinging standards, hot latin, ballads and original music.
Proud to be a dealer for Acoustic Image's fine instrument amplifiers!
"The ISI guitars are a player's dream, what with their unusually balanced tone, their happy response to altered tunings, their pre-eminent playability and impeccable craftsmanship ... combined with the instruments' outright sexiness & the fact that they maintain their exceptional tone when amplified *real* loud, well, jeez: what else might ya need? I keep my ISI real handy, all the time."
"A new instrument that, tonally, is as far beyond other electric violins as a $40,000 modern instrument is beyond the factory fiddle you played in high school."
"The NV is by far the best amplified violin I've played. It has the good tone qualities and feel of my classical violin, without the problems associated with amplifying it to high volumes.....I'm sure going to enjoy this fiddle."
"This instrument you made me is fantastic! I've played it a lot since I picked it up from you. It's like a new world. I had wondered if I would be able to take advantage of the extra strings and if reworking existing arrangements would be worth it, but it's already paying off for me. Also, the extended range of this instrument will allow me use it for some music for which I have used guitar because of range. I've been using the new low course in both 4th and 5th tunings -- the tuning machines make it easy. Indeed the instrument as a whole is easy to tune, with great intonation. I'm accustomed to having to make unpleasant sacrifices and retuning too often in order to compensate for unsatisfactory intonation on my old mandola. Tuning this instrument is a pleasure.
"The tone is clear and beautiful, and for the first time I can play loud enough to play my mandola with other musicians without having to overplay the instrument or use amplification. The sustain is such an improvement that I will arrange in order to exploit it. I was especially surprised to find that the parts of the strings between the bridge and tailpiece contribute noticeably when I don't damp them with my heel. I really like having this new effect available. This instrument is a big improvement in my life. Thanks!"
"I´ve had 7 years of use with my Ithaca violin, and really it was the best decision I ever made in my life, I used it on many important tours of the US and Europe, we won three grammies and I recorded 6 albums with this violin!"
"As a Violin maker with 90 plus instruments completed so far, more and more of the musicians who play my violins professionally are requiring some type of amplification in their performances, other than the use of a microphone on stage. In my desire to offer a direct pickup system installed on my new violins, I have experimented with most, if not all, the currently existing systems available. I have found the ISI Aceto bridge pickup to be the best on the market. These are some of the advantages that I have found the ISI system has over the other violin pickups out there : First and foremost, the ISI does not degrade the violin's natural tone quality; there is no difference in tone between the ISI and the traditional straight bridge on my violins. The bridge can be interchangeable from violin to violin with a minimal amount of fitting of the bridge feet, and an innovative interchangeable top half of the bridge that fits into the base. This top half can be carved to the exact height and radius required for each instrument. Other systems require purchase of a completely seperate system for each violin.
All components of the ISI are of the highest quality of materials, from the maple bridge itself, to the wire connecting to the jack. Also, the supplied cable for connection to the amplifier is of the highest quality professional grade audiophile materials. The jack built in under the chinrest is completely hidden from view, and is significantly lighter in weight, compared to the bulky and obtrusive Carpenter jack that other systems utilize. One would have to look very closely to notice that the violin even has a pickup installed on it. Finally, the ISI pickup definitely delivers it's ultimate purpose, which is a warm, acoustic violin tone over the sound system, without the typical Piezo quack found with other pickups. The ISI actually sounds quite nice even without a preamp, but really gives an outstanding tone when used with Fishman Aura, or a Parametric Pre Amp; even at high volumes, and without a trace of feedback."