A Unique Approach

At Instruments of Antiquity, we use a mix of conversation and digital art to design an instrument from your imagination before you commit.

How we do it

We start every instrument the same way, with a conversation.  A way to determine if Instruments of Antiquity might be the right builder for you, and to gather basic information about the type and style of instrument you are looking for.

If you are lucky enough to live in our area, you are invited to participate all the way through the build.  It is our philosophy that an educated and informed buyer is always a more satisfied customer, more confident in the capabilities of his or her instrument.  We love for our customers to look over our shoulders and ask questions. 

But for the majority of our customers who are not in our area, we don't let them go without being able to participate.  Our first step for them is to start a personal webpage, explaining what we are building and providing images of some of the basic styles and types of instrument.  Once that is decided, a digital armature is created.  Each aspect of the instrument is then presented individually as a set of choices,  and as each choice is made more is added to the armature.  For example, once the basic style is chosen, a common first detail involved choosing a wood type.  If the choice is, say, maple, then the armature is skinned with an image of maple, and this new enhanced armature is again posted to the website, along with the next set of detail choices.

Along the way, after seeing the result of your choices, you wish to change any or all of them, this is the time to do so, a digital instrument is very easy to manipulate.  Once you have applied all the options and decided all the details, you can decide to contract to have the instrument built.  The digital design process carries no obligation, and once it is finished an actual price can be quoted and an estimated delivery schedule set.  Should you decide you want the instrument built, at that point you enter into a contract. Payment arrangements are agreed upon, and this becomes an active instrument on our build list.

As we start construction, photos of milestones are taken and posted to the website so the customer can follow the progress of their build.  If at any time there is either something that needs clarifying or a new set of options becomes available, we stop the build and contact the customer to see what they would like to have done.  After all, while we might build every instrument like it was our own, we build it completely for you. 

Once your instrument is complete, we send photographs and sound clips so you know what you are getting, even halfway around the world.  Shipping is done by the customer's preferred carrier.

So from the very start each customer is the active driving force in the design and building of their instrument, involved personally in every decision and viewing each step of the way.