I recently took my cello in to the Loft Violin Shop in Columbus. When I played a lot, I would take my cello in for a tune-up every other year. I haven’t played much lately, and I’m sure it has been close to 15 years since I had her checked over. Mom and I have been enjoying playing some duets together, so I decided to find a good shop here in Columbus.
When I first got my cello, close to 50 years ago, Mom and I took her to the Ricker Shop in downtown Columbus. Joseph Ricker was a renowned violin maker and he restored my cello and worked on it periodically for the next 10 years. Then I moved to Nashville and to the Akron area and didn’t play as much. I took the cello to a violin shop in Canton once.
The Loft Violin Shop is a descendent of the Ricker Shop. Joseph Ricker died some time ago, but the owners of the Violin Loft, Richard and David Schlub, apprenticed with him. They love stringed instruments as much as Mr. Ricker did. Their shop is located on High Street in the Clintonville area close to Ohio State University.
I made an appointment to take my cello in on a Monday. As soon as I walked in the door I knew it was a good place. The shop is full of stringed instruments and the paraphernalia that go along with them. Most of the shop is dedicated to repairing old and creating new violins, violas, cellos, and basses. I saw pictures of Joseph Ricker with Richard and David Schlub and some pictures of Richard and David Schlub in the All-Ohio Youth Symphony. I played in the All-Ohio Youth Symphony in 1976 so I recognized the set-up.
The thing that impressed me most was all the wonderful wood-working tools in the Loft Violin Shop. The woman who examined my cello said the violin making went on upstairs. The floor I was on had “only a small repair area.” The woman who took my cello examined it and wrote down the things I wanted done. She also suggested a couple of things that she spotted, but she didn’t do a hard sell. I agreed on the list of repairs, including getting my bow restrung and getting new strings. She thought they would probably get it done that week. I left feeling that my cello was in good hands.
The next morning I got a phone call that my cello was finished and when would I like to come pick it up? I couldn’t believe how fast they were! I picked it up on Wednesday and was very pleased with the work they did and the price I paid. I’ve been playing more since I got my cello back just because it sounds so good.
If you have a stringed instrument that needs work or just new strings, I highly recommend the Loft Violin Shop in Columbus. They do wonderful work at a reasonable price. I plan on going to them for as long as I have my cello.