Customer Testimonials

“I had no idea my fiddle could sound that good until Theo fixed it up. He was great at spotting all the other things that were wrong with it beyond the initial thing I showed him (turns out there were a lot!), and I now feel so much happier with how the instrument sounds. Great job.” –Molly

“I took my fiddle to Theo knowing it needed some tlc. He spotted that it required some additional structural repairs as well as a full setup. The fiddle was made around 1886 and belonged to the Great grandfather of a friend of mine. My fiddle is happy again and I love its tone! He also restored my bow, a German Tubbs copy. Thank you Theo!” –Sheena

“Theo has been amazing. He’s a perfectionist when it comes to the quality of his work but it’s his customer service that really sets him apart. Theo knew that I didn’t want to get the bus in lockdown so did a pick up and drop off for me. I was worried that I might break my practice rhythm if he took my fiddle away for repair, so he lent me one of his handmade violins so I could keep practising. While this was an absolute joy on the flip side experiencing how much better I sounded with a quality instrument I now want to buy one of my own!” –Amy

“Theo doesn’t actually work with wood, strings and bone. It’s almost as if he works with the soul of an instrument. I took my mandolin to Theo with a few intonation problems and only a few days later I was reunited with the most beautiful playing and sounding mandolin I have had the pleasure of owning. If your instrument needs a set up, or any spark of life breathing into it, take it to this sorcerer!” –Rowan

“My Cello needed an urgent repair following an accident. Theo agreed to see me the next day and undertook a thorough examination of the instrument. He made certain recommendations to improve the sound as well as to make good the damage. He was able to carry out the work quickly and I am very pleased with the result as my Cello plays and sounds much better than it did before. I would not hesitate to recommend Theo as a competent and knowledgeable repairer of stringed instruments.” –Mary-Jane

“I took my 300 year old cello to Theo for a service and to mend the edges where they were wearing away. He gave me his expert advice on what needed doing, and did a brilliant job, taking care to make the newly mended edges look old to match the cello, replacing the sound post, strings, bridge, pegs and tailpiece. The cello sounds much better now, and I would highly recommend Theo.” –Valerie

“Absolutely love this violin! It’s what I’ve been looking for for ages and knew immediately this was the one I wanted. Odd how that happens with instruments….It promises to be excellent for both folk and classical and as well as having just the sound I wanted across all the strings, it looks very beautiful too!” –Liz

“I’m astonished at the massive improvement of the tone. Not just on the top few cms but over the whole string. Indeed the quality of sound across all the strings is amazing.
My violin has never sounded so blended with such a mellow but vibrant tone. You have made an incredible difference to my instrument which is now such a pleasure play. I can’t thank you enough.” –Morag

“I was recommend Theo by 2 different people. Theo was extremely helpful, knowledgeable and honest in my quest to find a new fiddle. After much help, the quest actually ended with me buying one of Theo’s fiddles..It is a beautifully crafted  instrument with a well thought out set up. I was also grateful for his help with strings, bows and sound post adjustments. I would (and will) recommend Theo and his work. I am really pleased with my violin which has taken me to a new level of playing.” –Emily

“I first used Theo on a recommendation when I took my old cello in for a service. The bridge had warped over time, and there were issues with tone near the fingerboard, so he replaced the bridge, corrected its position in relation to the soundpost, and adjusted the rest of the setup so that it opened up the sound again and made the cello much easier to play. I now keep it as a spare.

Since then I have bought a gorgeous, responsive Strad model based on the classic “B Form” which Theo made. It has a one-piece back from poplar, an antiqued scroll, and has been created with highly skilled craftsmanship and attention to detail. The lower register is warm and nutty, and in the upper register it has a clear and open tone. It’s been back to Theo a couple of times for very minor tweaks while it’s still settling down, which he is happy to carry out as ongoing aftercare.

I am so impressed by Theo’s knowledge and thorough investigative approach (he leaves no stone unturned!), and his customer service, and I will always take my cello to him when it develops any problems. I couldn’t recommend him more highly.” – Jonny

“Theo gave my viola a lovely deep clean and fix up (after years of teenage neglect left it coated in gunk), as well as fitting it with a new bridge, sound post and chin rest, plus advising me on bows and selling me one too. He was great at communicating all the way through the process and did a really fantastic job – I’ve never seen my viola look so fresh and shiny! Thoroughly recommended, and at a very reasonable price.” -Richard

“Theo’s work is beautiful and dedicated. Anyone who’s even seen a little bit of the care and patience he puts into the instruments he makes would definitely trust him to do a fantastic job on theirs! Theo is very fair, and a fantastic luthier, and I trusted him completely with my instrument. I’m really grateful for the work that he did.” –Abigail

Theo did a magnificent job on my 1760s G. Klotz violin that had not been looked at properly for many years. He has also rehaired and fixed up a couple of nice old bows. Whilst “Georg” was out of action Theo lent me one of the violins he has made and I really enjoyed playing it. He also plays a a multitude of instruments – so really knows his stuff. Theo is committed, careful and thorough and I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending him. –Patri

“Theo was able to quickly diagnose the problem with my guitar and fixed it effectively and efficiently. It is a lot easier to play, sounds great and looks as good as new!” –Kate

“I am delighted that Theo has brought my 38 year old flamenco guitar back to life by repairing some serious cracks in the top and re-gluing the surrounding bracing. He really thought the whole job through, and kept me informed throughout.” –Jim

“Thank you so much! Your help and flexibility very much appreciated. An incredibly high skilled and efficient, yet generously well priced service. Such a great thing to have in Sheffield, specialist high quality service right on the doorstep! Would very much recommend” –Jo

“My old violin was in a very sorry state when I took it to Theo, just about everything was worn out. Was it worth repairing? Probably yes, but Theo would certainly have his work cut out.

He communicated with me at every stage – right at the start he explained exactly what problems were and what needed doing to rectify them. After some discussion, we decided to press ahead with the restoration and he gave me regular updates as to how it was going. I have to say he has done a great job. My violin is now singing again, in fact, probably better than ever (or at least for a very long time). It has had quite a few replacement parts and much intricate surgery by Theo but the result is amazing and beyond my expectations.

I would thoroughly recommend Theo for his sound knowledge, patience, excellent communication and of course his incredible skill as a luthier.” –Jane

“Thank you so much! Your help and flexibility very much appreciated. An incredibly high skilled and efficient, yet generously well priced service. Such a great thing to have in Sheffield, specialist high quality service right on the doorstep! Would very much recommend” –Jo

“Recently had my Viola serviced at Parmakis Instruments. As a professional freelancer, I can highly recommend the services provided. Theo works at the highest level and is keen to work on your instrument at a very personal level, making the most out of your instrument exactly how you’d like. His attention to detail is next to none and provides a very quick and thorough service. I would highly recommend !” –Matthew

“While all of Theo’s instruments are well built and produce a great sound, I found his Guadagnini model ‘cello to be exceptionally rich and present in its tone. It is uncommon to find instruments with a strong punchy sound which also possess and a wide and expressive resonance, this ‘cello manages to do both across the entirety its register. I have yet to encounter a genre or musical scenario that the ‘cello hasn’t felt at home in. It is the sort of instrument that encourages and cooperates in producing a good sound and improving musicianship.” –Oliver

“Theo is awesome! He’s repaired my unloved violin sympathetically and pragmatically and his attention to detail is epic. You can really tell he’s genuinely fascinated by these instruments and has a wealth of skills and experience to tackle challenges in a range of ways. He was great at keeping me updated with options/costs and progress too. Really appreciative – thank you! :)” –Lottie

“I’m so thrilled I’ve found Theo to look after my cello. I went to him with general dissatisfaction with my tone and he recommended a few things that could help, not only with the tone but in maintenance and set up terms as well. Theo took the time to talk to me and look at the instrument to understand what I needed (as well as having a really interesting conversation about string instrument making!). A new soundpost, strings and a few other tweaks later, my cello is unbelievably improved. I’m so delighted with the results and am looking forward to building a long relationship with him as a luthier. Highly recommended.” –Esther T.

“I took my viola to Theo after he was recommended by another luthier, since I needed a fairly quick repair. The neck of my viola had come unglued. Theo quickly assessed this issue and fixed it for a fair price, sorting out a couple of other things in the process. He is really knowledgeable and approachable and I am very pleased with the service I received. Theo was also really helpful, lending me a chin rest and a shoulder rest so I could try them out and see what fitted best. I highly recommend.” –Anne

“Theo was extremely helpful, honest and reasonable when I brought him my double bass that needed some work. He went above and beyond to make sure that I has happy with it, and the bass is sounding better than it ever has in 10 years of owning it!
Highly recommended.” –Joss