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I was looking for a viola to replace my step-up 16" instrument. I wanted something with plenty of depth and power which would not overtax my left fourth finger. This (15-1/2") Tertis viola gives me just what I want: a deep, warm sound with a buttery low
range and good response up high. It's also supremely comfortable to play. Although not a large instrument, it yields good volume. My friends love it too. It was a tremendous find, especially at this price.
This viola has an amazing, rich, and deep tone. I have the 16.5 version of this, and the picture does it no justice; it is simply a beautiful viola. It is great for college students, like myself, who are ready to take their musical studies to the next level. The response is outstanding, I would recommend this viola to anyone interested.
I have had this Viola since 2008 and I love it more every time I play it! It's perfect for people like me, who love the Viola, but may not have the long arms and big hands for it. The structure of the Tertis allows short-armed people like me to still have a professional sounding-instrument without actually having a 16 or 17 in viola. I would recommend this viola to anyone looking to take their playing to the next level!
I have had a 16 inch tertis model for several years now. The sound is dark and rich, somewhat more cello like than I prefer, but still alovely sound in ensemble. I use this instrument for outdoor playing with orchestra and also with several of my ensembles., depending on the tone color needed. The main problem that I had at first, was a slight tubbiness and lack of articulation on the C string. This problem was solved to my satisfaction by changing the lower string to D'Darrio Zyex. The thinner C string is much more responsive and the articulation was much improved. I have another instrument which is about ten times the price of this instrument and obviously I prefer, but at about 2K, I find the Tertis model very comfortable (nice thin neck) to play and quite satisfying in tone production. I do finds that there is less "digging" in necessary, however, one must be careful not to "let loose" with arm weight too much on the C string. The response is more like that on the G. All in all, I am very happy with this instrument and am deriving a great deal of pleasure from playing it.
I think now I'm ready to do the review of this instrument. Mine is 16.5" which could be a 17" in terms of cases, but not so sure so you might try a 16.5" case to see if it fits.
Good things about this viola: first of all, it is true that it sounds like a cello, not to me though but looks like it does sound like that to people. I was doing a gig the other day and someone from the second violins next to me told me he thought he had a cello by his side. So I would say it sounds really deep, sorry but violas have their own identity and don't like the comparison ;)
The other thing is I had to change many of the accessories: Eva Pirazzi strings sound better than the ones it came with; the bridge was extremely high so a luthier lowered it for me and now is perfect; I think he also moved the sound post; and the last change i did was the tailpiece, I got one of those boxwood with 4 tuners (not the expensive one for around $300, but one for $74) and the size is 135mm, the one it came with i think is 125mm or less. Something I discovered is this viola should be played with a light bow, the instrument sounds too much already so do not force it with a heavy bow.
I forgot one of the things I love the most in this instrument, the neck is very comfortable to play, my previous viola had a wide neck so i know how it feels and hurts; and the instrument is very light for it size.
PS: Many people in my section want to try my viola now, even violinists :D