Welcome to The Potter Violin Co.
Announcing Our New Answer Book!
We've designed our new Answer Book to help you make informed instrument-buying decisions based on your needs and budget.
Click here to check it out today!
Because our rental instruments are in such high demand, there may be a short wait in our Rental Dept., especially on Saturdays. If you are switching sizes, please call us (24 hours in advance) and we will get an instrument ready for you.
Please help us to serve you better (see our "Recent Reviews" below to get a sense of what you may expect) by calling ahead to make an appointment when you intend to purchase an instrument.
(Please note that you must make an appointment for an instrument appraisal so that we can be sure to have a qualified appraiser available to you when you arrive.)
In Recognition of David Basch
David Basch has been an integral part of The Potter Violin Company for over a decade. He is unique in his dual capacities as a seasoned performer and consummate expert on fine instruments and bows, and has guided countless members of the music community in their search for the perfect playing companion.
It is with pride and gratitude that we announce Mr. Basch’s retirement in this primary capacity, effective just before year’s end, on December 23, 2013.
Read this recent testimonial.
Joseph Whittaker Awarded Viola by TPVC
Dear ... Potter's Violins,
On behalf of the Whittaker Family, I would like to thank you for awarding my son, Joseph, a viola this school year.
Joseph applied for the award following a suggestion from George, because we could not financially undertake the purchase of a viola for [him] for quite some time.
We greatly appreciate all those involved in the program.
Joseph is enjoying a wonderful year of music studies.
Sincerely, Toni Whittaker
Stephanie K., Sterling, VA
As a freelance musician and parent of a beginning violinist, I can say that I am always pleased with the professionals at Potters. The prices are reasonable and the quality of their rental instruments is exceptional compared to other businesses in the area.
Their customer service has always been excellent when I come in. Their associates are some of the most knowledgeable and the luthiers are always willing to work with you on adjustments. David and Jim and Dalton have spent time above and beyond what is customary just to help me with the set up of my new viola.
I would not hesitate to recommend Potters to musicians of any age or level.
Lysiane G., New Market, MD
I am a professional violinist in the DC area. Over the years, I have purchased a wonderful gold mounted fleur de lys/tortoise shell Hill bow, my main instrument, and also a summer/outdoor violin from Potter's. David was always extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and available to help me. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming, which cannot be said about many shops on the East coast... The prices are also very honest.
Phyllis F., Mt. Airy, MD
My experience with the Potter Violin Co. has always been fantastic. I have been doing business with them for 20 years, as a teacher and a parent and professional musician, and have found them to be honest and very caring about their clients.
The rental program is a great way for young students to start on a fine instrument and allows them to build credit towards a purchase. I have always found the quality of the instruments to be very high for very reasonably priced student instruments. Recently, they worked on tonal adjustments to my 1910 Carletti viola and made a significant difference in the responsiveness and tone quality. They knew exactly which strings would bring out the best characteristics of the instrument.
I also know from personal experience that they have been hugely supportive financially of the string associations like SAA and ASTA at both the local and national levels.
Teresa S., New Market, MD
I have been coming to The Potter Violin Company for over ten years now for my violin playing son and my other son who plays cello. We have rented and purchased instruments and accessories from them and at every point along the way, we have received no less than the best customer service possible.
My violin playing son has special issues with his neck and Dalton spent a good deal of time working with my son to find the best chin and shoulder rest combination possible that would work for my son's physical challenges with his neck. He developed a great rapport with my son and I couldn't be more grateful.
For my cello player, when selecting an instrument to rent, and later on to purchase, Louis couldn't have been more helpful. He even helped us tame a stubborn wolf tone and gave me a little primer on his [own cello] to help my son with tuning. Again, like Dalton with my oldest son, Louis developed a great rapport with my son and made renting and purchasing a cello a very pleasant experience.
I should note that our times with Dalton and with Louis were always on a Saturday when the shop is incredibly busy but never once did I feel we were rushed or given less attention because of the hectic and busy day. Even when waiting to be seen during our many times at the shop over the years, staff always acknowledged us with a greeting and a query as to how we could be helped. We couldn't ask for more from any company. In Potter's we have always received the greatest instruments and customer service.
Lastly, as firm believers in the importance of instrumental music in children's lives, we have always appreciated The Potter Violin Company's philanthropy and support of music education.
Jeff S., Springfield, VA
This shop is highly regarded by professionals around the area. I am a professional woodwind player and am learning about string instruments through my daughter.
I rented 1/2 and then 3/4 size violins from Potter's for my daughter for 18 months and was always very happy with the service - their high-end rentals are excellent.
After 18 months [of renting], we were ready to buy a full-size violin and had conveniently maxed out our rental credit ($810) towards [the] purchase [of a new instrument].
We had previously tried some better 3/4 violins and had a great experience (don't remember his name, but one of the main guys there on Saturdays) - he took all the time with us we needed to help us understand all elements of the instruments & bows in various price ranges. Outstanding service all around!
Yesterday we purchased a full size violin, bow & case and had a wonderful experience working with Jim.
We made an appointment and when we arrived, they had a good selection of violins out for us to try (Violins in the $2000-3000 range, bows ranging up to $800). Jim got us started, then left us alone to try them for awhile. The shop was very busy but Jim stopped in several times to check on our progress trying things out and always gave us his full attention - we were never rushed or pushed into any certain thing. We narrowed the violins down to a few and then Jim helped us pick the best one by playing each for us and giving his feedback on their playing qualities.
Next the bow - Jim laid out a selection in several price ranges and again left us alone to try them. When he returned he again helped us fine tune our preferences and narrow it down to the best one for my daughter's needs, again playing each to demonstrate the differences.
I expressed interest in stepping up to the next price level ($1200) but when my daughter played several and Jim played them for us, he helped us conclude that, for her ability level, the step up in price was not really worth it.
Huge props to Jim for not just trying to upsell us on more expensive equipment! This was much appreciated and speaks to his great professionalism and focus on helping the customer buy what is best for them.
When purchasing the violin, bow and case all together we received a 10% discount on the case and 15% off on the bow along with a free shoulder rest & rosin.
A great experience and I highly recommend Potter's.
Jon F., Lovettsville, VA
I've been playing violin for 12 years and it was time for an upgrade. I [had] heard of Potter's Violins for years, but this was my first time being there ... and it was an excellent experience.
I called them the day before to check on a time for trying out a new violin. They asked for some basic info and my price range. I showed up the next day and I was surprised [to see] that they had already set aside a selection of violins in my price range in a private room for me to try out. The seller gave me his honest opinions on the violins and he was not pushy at all... He left me alone to give me all the time I needed to try out the violins and make a decision. Overall, it seems like I was in and out of there in a flash with a brand new quality violin.
There's no question that if you're looking for a great new violin, this is the place to go to... I'm very pleased with my purchase and the service was perfect. I only wish it was closer to my home!
Our shop is located at 4706 Highland Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland.
We are open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
We are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Of course, our online store is OPEN around the clock.
For our patrons, convenient metered public parking is available right across the street from the Highland Ave. Shop in Montgomery County Public Parking Lot 10B. Parking is FREE on Saturdays.
Click here to get driving directions via Google Maps.