Instrument Hire


Hiring violins, violas and cellos is a staple of our business, and something we have done for over 20 years!

IMPORTANT: If you would like to begin hiring with us or to change size, please get in touch before coming in to check availability. We will then add you to the waiting list for the right size and will get back in touch when an instrument becomes available for you.

Once we have an instrument ready for you, the hire process takes half an hour to complete. Please bring your driver licence or passport with you.


Below you can find the answers to our most frequently asked questions about hireage.

Why should I hire instead of buying?

When considering whether to buy or hire an instrument, the one thing we must stress is: Set up, set up set up! It’s very easy to buy a cheap instrument in the $100-$300 bracket, but it will most likely be direct from the factory, and will have not been ‘set up’ to correct playing standards. Beginners (and especially children) are very sensitive to discomfort. Learning a stringed instrument is difficult, and the last thing a player needs to worry about is fighting with their instrument. If an instrument is set up correctly it will be comfortable to play, the instrument will stay in tune, and it will make a fuller sound. For us this means changing the bridge, soundpost, tailpiece, strings, planing the fingerboard, refitting or replacing the pegs, and anything else that needs doing. All of our hire instruments have been set up – to a value of between $300-$500 worth of work.

If you want to give your learner the best possible chance at learning and connecting with their instrument, it is very important that you consider the setup costs. Also factor in for children that they can change sizes very quickly, so being able to swap to a bigger size hire instrument with no extra charge is very economical. However, if you have a number of children that will use the instrument, then it may be worthwhile to set up an instrument for them all to use through the years.
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How much does it cost to hire?

Our hire rates are as follows:

Instrument Three months Six months One year

(4/4, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16)

$50 $100 $150
Deluxe violin

(4/4, 3/4, and 1/2 only)

$80 $160 $240

(16″, 15.5″, 15″)

$55 $110 $165

(4/4, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16)

$120 $240 $360
Deluxe cello

(4/4 only)

$150 $300 $450

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What size instrument does my child need?

For violin:

The best way to find the right size violin for your child is for us to see them in our showroom, or to ask your teacher for advice. Please note that while we are always happy to size children in our showroom, we will most likely not have the ideal size available for immediate hire. In this situation you will then need to come back at a later date to complete the instrument hire.

As a starting point, you can measure your child’s arm length, and compare it to the chart below. To do so, get your child to hold out their arm horizontal and straight, then measure from the middle of their palm to where the shoulder meets the neck. Please remember that this is only meant to be a rough guide, and the ideal size for your child may be different than the one indicated below.

Minimum palm-to-neck length measurement for violin size:

Violin size: Palm-to-neck length:
1/16 35cm+
1/10 39cm+
1/8 42.5cm+
1/4 47cm+
1/2 51.5cm+
3/4 56.5cm+
4/4 60cm+


For cello:

We can size children for cellos in person in our showroom, or you can ask your teacher for advice. Please note that while we are always happy to size children in our showroom, we will most likely not have the ideal size available for immediate hire. In this situation you will then need to come back at a later date to complete the instrument hire.

This chart shows a range of ages that children generally use cello sizes for, and is intended only to give you an initial idea:

Cello size: Age of child:
1/16 3-4 years
1/10 4-5 years
1/8 5-7 years
1/4 6-8 years
1/2 7-9 years
3/4 8-11 years
4/4 Children usually grow into the full size cello between 11 and 14 years old

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What happens when my child outgrows their hire instrument?

We offer free size changes on the same contract. IMPORTANT: You will need to get in touch to book the next size before you come in to exchange sizes. All size changes are subject to availability. 
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How long can I hire for?

We hire for three, six and twelve month periods. The hire period starts the day that the instrument is hired to you. You can renew your contract as many times as you wish.
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What if I want to hire for less than three months?

You are welcome to do so by hiring on a three month contract and returning the instrument early. Please note that there are no refunds available for this.
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How do I renew my hire contract?

Towards the end of your hire contract we will send you a reminder email. Please ensure we have your current email address or you will not receive the reminder!

If you wish to continue hiring, you can either make an online bank transfer (details are included in the reminder email), phone us on 09 630 8421 with your credit card details, or come in person to our showroom in Mt Eden to pay by eftpos, cash, or credit card.
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What brands of instruments do you provide?

Our hire instruments come from a range of sources, including the brands Suzuki, Stentor, Palatino, Skylark and many others. All of our hire instruments are set up to the same high standard regardless of brand.
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What is the difference between a standard and deluxe instrument?

Deluxe is an option for 4/4, 3/4 and 1/2 size violin, as well as 4/4 size cello.

The deluxe hire instruments were chosen because they create a better sound. While our standard instruments are almost all modern Chinese student instruments, our deluxe violins are mainly older German instruments or higher quality Asian instruments, while our deluxe cellos are modern Korean instruments. Deluxe instruments are also fitted with a higher-quality string—Dominant or equivalent for violin, and Jargar or equivalent for cello.

All of our hire instruments, both standard and deluxe, are set up to the same high standard.
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What comes with the hire instrument?

Every violin and viola comes with a case, bow, rosin and shoulder rest/sponge. Every cello comes with a soft bag, bow, and rosin.
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Do you offer insurance?

No. We recommend you ensure the hire instrument on your home and contents insurance policy for the replacement value of the outfit, which we will provide to you when you hire. For more information, see number 7 on our hire terms and conditions.
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Can I hire from outside of Auckland?

Yes, you are welcome to take your hire instrument anywhere within New Zealand. Please note that the person hiring the instrument must pick up and drop off in person from our showroom in Mt Eden, Auckland.
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Do I have to pick up the instrument in person?

Yes, it is necessary for a person over the age of 18 to pick up the instrument from our showroom, and for it to be returned in person. The person who collects the instrument will be responsible for it and the contract will be under their name.
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Can I buy my hire instrument?

We are not able to offer our hire instruments for purchase, or rent-to-buy.

We have a large selection of instruments for sale, which can be viewed here on our website.
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