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"Those instruments sing and are truly free in sound"
Johannes Jacobs, Violin maker for:
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass, hand finished and varnished
  • Baroque instruments on request
  • Custom made instruments

Johannes Jacobs was born in Middelburg on December 29, 1954. After working in mechanical engineering for five years, from 1982 to 1985 he studied violinmaking at the Welsh School of Instrument making and repair in Wales. He then set up business in his birthplace, Middelburg, which is a very inspiring little old town in the south of the Netherlands. He divides his time between repair work and making new violins, violas and cellos.

A custom-made 15’’ violin


A good musical instrument should be the musicians friend.
As an instrument maker I manufacture, beside the regular products, instruments designed specially to the musician. As an example the production process of a long 15” violin can be viewed under specials. A good concept and design is the challenge.
How does one begin with something like that?
It starts with analyzing the situation. A tall musician with long arms, having a physical problem playing a standard 14” violin.
When a musician with this length plays a “normal” violin it feels as a full-grown person is playing a ½ violin. This is not desirable.

How does one begin with something like that?

The challenge was to design a long 15” violin, where the instrument will sound and feel like a “normal” violin to this musician. All strings had to be in of balance concerning sound and playability.
To start with I used the book of Kevin Coates: “Geometry, Proportion and the art or Lutherie“. Beside a good theory, my insight as a craftsman is needed, to guarantee a fine violin.
The instrument also had to be made to certain proportions to compensate for its additional length. This violin has longer f holes, this resulted in a string length of 33.5cm. This helps to improve the playability and resonance and it can be strung with standard available violin strings.

With normal size f holes the string length would be to long, resulting in a higher string tension and an instrument difficult to play.

A custom-made 14’’ violin with a shorter string and stoplength

I also design and make instruments for musicians with smaller hands. Because of this feature some people tend to overstretch their hands all the time when playing a violin with a standard string length of 33 cm. This can possibly lead to injuries, because the finger spacing is smaller by nature. The sting length on these instruments can be as little as 32cm. These instruments have a full 14” body length, with a good proportion and as a result of this, the mature violin sound character and playability remains preserved.
To me this is instrument making in the real sense of the word.