Glasser Carbon Composite Viola

6 reviews   |  

Size: 12"

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Customer Reviews
4.8 Based on 6 Reviews
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Charles A.

Powerful Instrument

I purchased the 4 string 15.5" viola and am very pleased with it. It looks cool, has good fit and finish and is very loud. It is a bit on the heavy side but not objectionable. With the Larsen strings it has a bright, powerful sound. When it is time to replace strings, I will try a set of Pirastro Obligatos to see if it is a bit more mellow. For now, a mute tones it down when I don't need the volume. This will definitely be my outdoor and traveling instrument. Oh, the planetary pegs are awesome. So easy to tune.

Christopher d.
United States United States

All I Can Say is...WOW!

POSITIVES: 1. Phenomenal value for the money. Seriously, I don't think I could be any happier. I think EVERYONE who is an explosives technician or a kid under 16 should own one of least all beginners. They're pretty much bomb-proof. And they are a far better value for the sound than wood (at the beginner price point). 2. The honey-brown color is beautiful. It's so gorgeous that I hung it on the wall in my living room (which doubles as a constant reminder to practice). 3. You can play outside around your fire pit at night, throw these in the back of the car, go to the beach, park, river, lake, boat...pretty much anywhere outside (I play on my deck with a cup of coffee) and play outside to your hearts content. Before my Glasser, it actually never occurred to me to take my viola outside and play. Wood is too fragile! 4. I'm not sure I can explain why, but it is the easiest viola to play out of the 4 that I've had. My intonation just seems to be easier to hit. NEGATIVES: 1. It's louder than wood, I'll concede. But who said that's a problem? 2. The tonal quality is vastly superior to what I had's really good! But I think that a carbon fiber viola will sound the same out of the original box as it will in 20 years. It doesn't mellow like wood, but I do!!!! I purchased a very nice electric viola at the same time I bought the Glasser Carbon Composite. I paid triple the amount for the electric viola, but LOVE playing the Glasser much more. I live in Lake Tahoe at 6,500' and get an average of 50 feet of snow per year; there's no humidity in the Summer and it's cold and wet in the Winter. I have a second home in the US ****** Islands, where it's hot and humid all the time. It's really nice to be able to go back-and-forth between the two climates without a care about cracking or splitting. It's GREAT to be able to take my viola to the beach or on the lake and play. That is a benefit that actually hadn't occurred to me until after I had purchased it.

United States United States

as tough as beautiful

absolutely stunning and incredibly built. it is tough and will last me a lifetime!

bryan g.
United States United States


It may not have the sound you'd expect from a fine wooden instrument but it's a great value for what it is. Perfect for adverse performance environments.

Catherine D.
United States United States

Mostly positive, extremely bright and resonant

I'm giving this 4 stars instead of 5 due to it not quite sounding like wood, and due to stock four fine tuners, but she has a nice very bright, direct sound over all. If you hadn't told me she was a fabric and resin instrument, I probably wouldn't have noticed without looking. I am going deaf, though, so take that as you will. My mother purchased this viola for me as a gift after I had been musing about getting one but was uncertain. I've heard mixed reviews on the Glasser carbon composite *violin*, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I am glad she did. I received the 16.5 inch model as it is closest to my 17" wooden viola that I normally play. It is indeed heavier than my larger wooden instrument, but very difficult to tell when picked up due to weight balance differences. Interestingly, she seems to have the same scale length as my 17", which was a welcome discovery. This thing projects, oh my god. And when you pluck strings, the strings seem like they sustain unusually long for a viola, almost like a guitar or piano. Bowed notes are similarly sonorous. She is ungodly bright with the Larsen strings, that I am actually considering pocketing the Larsen A/S set as backups for my wooden viola and finding strings to help keep her from piercing through everything else. But this is a personal preference more than anything else. Not sure what strings to use either. Corelli Crystals, maybe? Warshal Ambers? I'd love to hear it first (wink wink). Maybe she will mellow out after a couple of days. For now, I have to mute her to blend with woodwind partner. Her table/top-plate is unusually thin compared to my wooden viola. This must be due to the nature of carbon fiber, as it made me a bit nervous initially, but it appears to hold up. Must be part of why the instrument is so bright and projecting. The scrolls of the F holes flex if you press on them lightly (I don't recommend doing this), which was initially shocking, but didn't cause any issues. Discovered this while tapping across her table (I fidget a lot). But, like my carbon laminate archery equipment, she stands the mild flex well. Being able to see the carbon fiber bass bar easily through the f holes was a trip as well, but I think it adds to her visual character. The geared pegs throw me for a loop. I can safely say I am not a fan of geared pegs, but it makes the inclusion of the fine tuners on the tailpiece odd. I can't even remember the last time I have used fine tuners on anything but the A; and I'm not sure why they even bothered including fine tuners on the tail piece with the geared pegs in the box. Does Glasser not make tail pieces without fine tuners?? I plan on replacing her tail piece immediately with an ebony or rosewood harp one. This all being said, I would definitely recommend one of these to anyone who asks, especially at this price point. Especially as a second/backup/outdoors viola.

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