String Instruments & Accessories

Product promotion

November 29, 2017

Caswells Christmas Prize Givaway 2017

Our Christmas Prize Givaway 2017 is running from the 24 November until Christmas Eve 24 December 2017. Any orders placed on or between these two dates will be entered in a prizedraw* to win one of 20 fabulous prizes worth in excess of £1000 combined.

Every order has an equal chance of winning and the winning orders will be drawn on the 27th December 2017. Winners will be notified by email.

Caswells Christmas Prize Givaway 2017 prizes:

1 x set of Peter Infeld Violin strings (Supplied by Hidersine, Barnes and Mullins)

1 x EDM-1 plus a BAND pickup for violin (Supplied by Headway Music Audio)

1 x P&H  carbon composite violin bow (Supplied by Stentor Music)

1 x set Larsen Virtuoso violin strings (Supplied by The Sound Post Ltd)

1 x set Larsen Crown Cello strings (Supplied by The Sound Post Ltd)

1 x Bio Violin case without pocket (Supplied by Gewa Music)

1 x Too hot to handle oven gloves

3 x Snark Touch screen metronome

10 x Boxes of Chocolate violins

Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding prizes. Prizes will be dispatched 30 days from the date of the original order placed.

Carbon Composite violin bow

* The draw is open to anyone – for FREE entry please email and you will be entered in the draw

November 16, 2017

Dirty bows (To re-hair or not?)

Dirty bows (To re-hair or not?)

If you google the above question you will get 100 replies all contradicting one another! In point of fact the time to re-hair is simply when the number of hairs on the bow are reduced significantly due to the passage of time. Professionals will re-hair possibly every 6 months, whilst others (so I read) go on for 5 years. This latter I suspect is a bit extreme because with a reasonable amount of practicing and playing, the bow should be ready for a re-hair in 12 to 18 months.

The second reason that I am often given for a re-hair is that the bow hair is dirty and discoloured. This can be for many reasons but generally the frog end gets very gungy with accumulated dirt, sweat and body oils. If the entire bow is dirty (which believe me I have seen!) the only answer, apart from a re-hair, is to chemically clean up the bow and re-rosin. Some folk even do this if they are changing or using a new rosin.

From time to time (somewhat controversially) it is advocated that you wash the bow hair in a similar fashion to washing your own hair. Now this does not make sense to me. If it was pure horse hair then fair enough – exhibition animals get their tails washed regularly. The difficulty is that the hair on your bow is caked with old rosin, dirt and may be various oily substances which are unlikely to be washed out by ordinary detergents! So, what to do? There are commercial bow hair cleaners available and we would recommend the Gewa Old Master cleaner but you could also use de-natured alcohol which will dissolve the impacted rosin!

There has been much discussion as to what alcohol to use, but the main point is to avoid splashing the stick of the bow as alcohol can affect the varnish and even strip it. Isopropyl alcohol can usually be got from a chemist shop, but failing that use anything, but just be chary of the bow stick. In extreme case the frog can be gently unscrewed and the whole horse hair rinsed out in a bowl. This, however, is seldom necessary. Rather just soak a very clean micro cloth with spirits and squeeze it out so that it is damp but not dripping. Tension the bow with the hair facing downward. With the damp cloth between thumb and forefinger, just slide it along over both the bow hair surfaces. The area closest to the thumb grip will usually be the worst, so concentrate there.

Once cleaned to your satisfaction let the hair dry thoroughly. You may need to gently run a dry clean cloth over the surfaces to free any hairs that are stuck together. Re-rosin carefully while sighting down the surface of the hair. You will notice dark and light patches. Once the surface is universally white throughout the length of the bow, you are good to go!

Gewa Old Master Bow hair cleaner

November 03, 2017

The Bass Buggie – a perfect gift for the Bass player

The Bass Buggie is revolutionising the Double Bass player’s lives! It is quick and easy to use and makes moving your bass so easy it does make you wonder why it wasn’t around decades ago!

A few of the main attractions are:

  • It does not put pressure on the lower block like an endpin wheel or “bass wheel”, including pressure from bumps in the walkway!
  • It allows the bass to stand upright – please note although it will stand on its own we certainly don’t recommend this but being held while you stop to someone, it won’t ‘run away’ from you.
  • Works indoors as well as outdoors.
  • Can strap onto the bass body with or without a bag.
  • Adjusts to any size bass from 1/10 to 4/4.
  • Made in the U.S.A.

The Bass Buggie body:

  • Can strap onto the bass body with or without a bag.
  • Is made of durable high impact molded plastic.
  • Overall dimensions are 36cm length and 16cm in diameter (wheels, height & width).
  • Inside platform length is 28.5cm.
  • Weight is 3lbs.2oz
  • It straps onto the endpin-body and the neck of the bass.
  • Adjusts to any size bass from 1/10 to 4/4.
  • Has non-marking durable wheels

Unlike a “bass wheel”, the Buggie:

  • Rolls easily and straight on ball bearing wheels.
  • Can make the bass stand upright on its own without support (see above)
  • Allows endpin to remain in place while in use.
  • Does not put pressure on the lower block and prevents impact to the lower block from bumps in walkway.
  • Has a flexible body that allows shock absorption, therefore, further protecting the instrument.

Stuck for the perfect gift for a Bass player – look no further!

May 19, 2017

The Caswell’s ‘Premium Bond’ Giveaway FULL WINNERS LIST

The Caswell’s ‘Premium Bond’ Giveaway FULL WINNERS LIST

We’re pleased to announce the Full and Final winners list for our daily prize draw throughout May.

UPDATE 1 JULY: Winners will receive their prize as soon as possible – we have ordered the vouchers and will send them out as soon as we have them

Congratulations to the following:

Order number Customer Surname Prize won
121222 Crawford, York £150
120935 Siney, Yorkshire £50
121205 Burnett, Glasgow £50
120993 Price, Kent £25
120853 Arlidge, Birmingham £25
121118 Quarmby, Ripley £25
120877 Van der Linden, Bristol £5
121032 Belcher, Suffolk £5
120844 Lodhia, Leicstershire £5
121024 Cottam, Carmarthenshire £5
120962 Talbot, ROI £5
120940 Murray, Surrey £5
121073 Kolka, Leicestershire £5
120936 Khan, Beckenham £5
120989 Doyle, Kinross £5
121096 Russell, Glasgow £5
120903 Cornford, Buckinghamshire £5
120926 Dutton, Suffolk £5
121022 Lindley, Durham £5
121000 Harper, East Lothian £5
121077 Kroon, London £5
121117 Hunt, Hampshire £5
121139 Roxburgh, Perthshire £5
121145 Leong, Leighton Buzzard £5
121184 Carroll, Devon £5
121182 Lee, Southampton £5
121240 Wong, London £5
121268 Webster, Cornwall £5
121244 Lawson, Essex £5
121251 Heald, Nantwich £5
121235 Chapman, Cardiff £5
May 15, 2017

The Caswell’s ‘Premium Bond’ Giveaway


We’re giving away £450 worth of High Street Gift Vouchers in May

How does it work?:

We have 31 prize tokens, one for each day of May

Every day we will have 2 draws:

  • All the online orders from that day will be entered automatically* and 1 order drawn for a prize
  • The remaining number of prize tokens for the month will be entered and a prize amount drawn

Prize tokens:

 1 prize of £150 High Street Voucher

2 prizes of £50 High Street Voucher

3 prizes of £25 High Street Voucher

25 prizes of £5 High Street Voucher

Every order is a winner

  •  On top of that we are giving 5% discount on every online order in May.
  • Enter may17 in the coupon box at the checkout

Follow us on Social Media

The result of the draw will be uploaded on to our social media pages regularly

Visit us to see if you’ve won


Terms and Conditions

To be eligible to win one of the daily prizes an online order must be placed and paid for | There is no minimum spend required | Prizes will be distributed 30 days from date of purchase |*If you do not want your order entered into the prize draw, please let us know in the comments box when you order | Discount coupon cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer

May 12, 2017

Those pesky ‘Wolf notes’

Many a time I have demonstrated Cellos to aspiring Cellists only to get the teacher on the Cello and ‘woowowo’ – out pops the Wolf!

The teacher understands, because Wolf notes are a fact of life, even with the best and most expensive Cellos, but the affect on the student and parents is always interesting.

While the warble can migrate and come from almost anywhere, it most commonly lurks on the 4th position on the G string. By sliding your finger somewhere between the E and G you can often pick up the Wolf. Other common positions are high on the C string and first position on the D. On a recent £2000 Cello we were unlucky enough to pick up one on the A string – but which was successfully slain!

So what can I do to mitigate the ‘Wolf note’?

It is a fact that some professional players can ‘play around’ the wolf by using bow dynamics – a shorter upstroke , lighter touch, a different bow, playing closer to the bridge are some of the techniques used. Many prefer this because they find that a wolf note suppressor will sometimes dampen down the played string on a very expensive Cello.

Some suggestions:

Changing the setup of your instrument could be a useful way to reduce a wolf note.  Adjustments by a clever Luthier, to the sound post or bridge, can help to minimize a wolf note problem.

A common solution is to fit a wolf note suppressor to your cello. These little gadgets are fitted to the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece and then moved to the appropriate place. The usual eliminator is a small brass tube lined with rubber or the newish LupX range. Another approach is the New Harmony range which is claimed to reduce any dampening effect – they come in various weights which gives more scope for selection depending on the severity of the wolf.

In one particularly stubborn ‘wolf’ on an expensive cello we had to resort to an internal resonator . The wolf note was identified by fixing the eliminator to the outside of the Cello. Once the true spot was found this was then glued to the inside, which proved very effective

Often, on the positive side, we do find with new Cellos that the wolf will disappear of its own accord as the Cello matures.

See Wolf note Suppressors

New Harmony Wolf note Suppressor

January 09, 2017

Thomastik Versum Cello strings

Thomastik-Infeld are delighted to report their Versum cello strings are proving popular with leading cellists since their launch at the beginning of 2016.

Versum strings feature steel core and multialloy wound A and D strings and spiral core, tungsten/chrome wound G and C strings. In keeping with the complete Thomastik-Infeld string range, they are handmade in Vienna.

Versum strings are noted for their striking tonal balance that comprises a sweet high end and a warm lower end. Their focused sound and powerful and precise intonation afford cellos a unique personality and versatile expression. Such sonic benefits and versatility have subsequently seen notable Thomastik cello artists Elisaveta Sharakhovskaya and Martin Rummel use them in conjunction with other Thomastik Cello strings to achieve new and exciting sounds. Elisaveta Sharakhovskaya uses them alongside Thomastik Spirocore strings, stating, “I love this string combination, because of their warm, powerful, colourful and rich sound palette”.

Martin Rummel plays a mixture of Spirit, Belcanto, Spirocore and Versum strings. Martin comments, “For a very long time, I have used Thomastik Tungsten Spirocore C and G strings on all my instruments… Currently I am playing the new Versum A and a strong Tungsten Spirocore C, while we are experimenting on new D and G strings… Thomastik-Infeld continuously impress and inspire me, and I always feel that all their strings enable me to use my instruments to their maximum range of expression.”

Versum strings have gained notoriety for their stand-alone qualities as well as their ability to be used in conjunction with other leading cello string types to add richness, warmth and power to instruments.

Taken from UK distributors websites – Barnes and Mullins