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Violin Viola Cello Instrument Rental

Rental Instrument Outfits

We offer a rental program providing high quality instruments and service throughout Connecticut. Our rental instruments are of a quality consistent with the high standards for which we are known. The instruments are well cared-for and are set up properly, which makes learning a more positive experience. Our knowledgeable staff have the experience necessary to match the student with an appropriate instrument. Due to high demand and limited supply, we recommend that you call or email ahead to confirm that we have what you need.

We also offer packages tailored to schools with delivery to your school. Please have your teacher contact us to arrange a tailored package.



Rental Credit Toward Purchase of  Instrument

100% of your rental for the first year, and 20% of the subsequent four years may be applied to the purchase of and instrument in the same family, i.e., violin, viola, cello, from Audubon Strings of equal or greater value to your rentaloutfit excluding consignments.

Rental Credit Transfer Program

If you have rented an instrument from another shop or online store, you are eligible for our RentalCredit Transfer Program.
* We will apply our rental credit schedule and terms to your rental from another shop. This program is valid toward the purchase of an instrument of equal or greater value from Audubon Strings excluding consignments.
* For example, a Better Level 1 cello from Audubon Strings is $475/year. Our rental credit schedule is 100% for the first year and 20% for the subsequent four years. If you rented a comparable outfit from another shop for a period of one year, we will offer $475 of rental credit as if you rented from us!
* Please visit our rentals page for outfit rates and comparison. If you do not find a comparable outfit, contact us for a rental credit quote. Proof of rental and rental terms for outfit required.

Maintenance, Repair, and Insurance

Your rental fees are for the rental of the instrument during the term of your rentalonly. The following limitations apply:
* Rental fees do not include insurance.
* Insurance coverage for accidental damage, theft, and repair is optional and may be additionally purchased. Only one insurance claim may be made during insured coverage. Insurance rates are 20% of the Rental Fee. Coverage is valid for the Rental Period covered by the Rental Fee. Coverage is limited to accidental damage, theft, and repair. Insurance does not cover instrument if lost, or damaged due to neglect or abuse. Determination of neglect or abuse is at Audubon Strings discretion. Claims for theft must be accompanied by an official police report.
* Rental fees do not cover accidental or deliberate damage to instruments or the replacement of broken strings due to improper tuning. The renter bears sole financial responsibility for the instrument outfit during the rental term if lost, stolen, or damaged due to neglect or abuse.
* Rental fees do cover such things as bow rehairs, open seam regluing, bridge refitting, string replacement due to normal wear, and sticking or slipping pegs.
* All repairs of rental instruments and bows must be done through Audubon Strings. Repairs not performed at Audubon Strings will not be reimbursed.

Rental Rates

Basic Rental
Instrument   3 months 9 months 12 months
      (Sept. - June) (one 3-month term waived)
Violin  Audubon Strings Labeled $30.00 $90.00 $90.00
Viola Audubon Strings Labeled $40.00 $120.00 $120.00
Cello Audubon Strings Labeled $125.00 $375.00 $375.00
Better Rental 1
Instrument   3 months 9 months 12 months
      (Sept. - June) (one 3-month term waived)
Violin Eastman 100 or Euro Basic $54.00 $162.00 $162.00
Viola Eastman 100 or Euro Basic $54.00 $162.00 $162.00
Cello Eastman 100 $158.00 $475.00 $475.00
Order rentals here

How do I go about renting an instrument?
We encourage you to come into our store and have one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members help you to start out on the right foot. Getting a new rental violin, viola, or cello involves sizing, play-testing (if you have played before and want to try out different instruments), and filling out a contract - you will need a valid credit card and drivers license. The process takes about 15 or 20 minutes. Teachers are always welcome to help with the rental process! If you live too far away to come into the store, you can still easily rent from us (we have renters all over the country!). Give us a call at 203.772.4722 to set up a rental contract and make arrangements to have an instrument shipped to you. All of our shipped rental instruments conform to the same high standards as the instruments in our store, and are personally set up and selected by our staff. Shipping charges are $18 for violins and violas, and $28-$57 for cellos. In many cases, we can ship your rental within 48 hours (some instruments may take longer, depending on availability).

This is my first time renting, is there a minimum term?
The first time you rent an instrument, your initial three months of rent is non-refundable. This is to accommodate the costs involved with getting our instruments ready to be rented. If you have chosen a payment longer than three months, you are eligible for a refund for three month terms not currently started if you return the rental to us early. Please note that due to the costs involved, we do not offer "trials" of our rental instruments. If you have questions, please call us for more information.

Do I need a credit card?
We require all of our rental customers to have a valid credit card number on file while an instrument is being rented. The credit card holder becomes the responsible party for the account, and should be the person who registers for the rental through our Web site.

When will my credit card be charged?
Rental fees and the cost of items you have selected to purchase will be charged to your credit card based on how you would like to receive the instrument. Shipping orders are charged the day that your order ships. Delivery orders, if we are meeting you in person, are sometimes charged after we have delivered your instrument. This helps accommodate last-minute requests and adjustments. Hold for Pickup requests will be charged as soon as your order is confirmed. Hold for Pickup requests are confirmed via telephone within one business day (M - F).

Can I rent an instrument if I live outside of the United States?
At this time, rentals are available only within the United States and its territories.
Import duties and shipping charges become very expensive when renting from abroad.

Is insurance included?
Our rental prices do not include insurance coverage. Insurance coverage for accidental damage to, and repair and maintenance of our rental instruments can be purchased.  Details will be provided for you during the registration process.

What equipment comes with a rental?
Every rental comes with an instrument, a case, a bow, and a cake of rosin. All bows are strung with horsehair to provide the best possible response and tone. Please note that for cello rentals we provide soft, backpack-style cases, instead of hard-shell cello cases. These are much easier for young children to carry, and help us to keep our rental rates down. Shoulder rests are not included with violin and viola rentals and should be purchased seperately.

Can I rent a wooden bow?
Instruments come with a durable, lightweight fiberglass bow that works well for beginning students and young children. An upgraded bow can be provided for an additional fee; please call us for details. Please note that you cannot rent a bow by itself, but only as part of an instrument outfit.
Please Note: Upgraded bows are not available for fractional size instruments.

What do I do if my rental instrument breaks a string or is damaged?
Most types of accidental damage and all broken strings are covered by your rental insurance. Customers are welcome to visit the shop at any time to have a broken string replaced or damaged instrument/bow exchanged. We can also ship a replacement string or instrument/bow. Simply place an order via your online account, or via phone at 203.772.4722. Broken string replacement orders ship for free. For instruments and bows, the customer is responsible for both outbound and inbound shipping costs. In most cases we will ship the replacement instrument, and the customer would use the same box to ship back the damaged instrument within 2 weeks.

What happens if I need to get a larger size of instrument?
You can exchange your rental for another instrument of the same type at any time. Exchanges will not interrupt your rental payment, or the terms of your rental agreement.

What if I want to rent more than one instrument?
In order to make our registration process as simple as possible, we only accept one rental request per transaction. If you would like to request more than one rental instrument, please repeat your transaction, once per requested rental instrument.

What happens if I exchange my rental for a different kind of rental?
You can upgrade your rental outfit at any time. Rent paid on your account will be pro-rated to accommodate the new type of rental instrument.

What happens if I return my rental early?
A store credit will be issued to you for any three month periods that have not started. Your first rental period is non-refundable.

I just got a Rental Renewal Notice in the mail. What do I do?
As a courtesy to our customers, we send out Rental Renewal Notices at least two weeks before your rental is due. We will automatically charge your credit card on the 1st of the month if your rental expires between the 1st to the 15th of the month and the 15th if your rental expires between the 15th and the end of the month.

How do I return, pack, and ship my rental to you?
If you wish to return your rental instead of renewing, just get it back to us by the due date, and we will close your account. You can return a rental instrument to our New Haven location anytime during business hours. For instruments returned by mail, the return date is the date that we receive the instrument, not the date that we process your return.

Any rentals being returned by mail should be shipped to:
Audubon Strings
63 Audubon St
New Haven, CT 06510
1. Place a note in the instrument case telling us who you are and why you are sending the instrument.  Please include:

Your name, address, and telephone number.
A brief note describing any problems you have had with the instrument, or any damage you have noticed prior to shipment.
2. Pack the instrument and/or bow carefully:
Padding should be placed gently on both sides of the bridge, under the strings.  This prevents damage to the top of the instrument in the event of a broken bridge during shipment.  The metal arm of an unsuspended fine tuner can gouge the finish and ruin the instrument.
Padding should also be placed around the sides, so that the instrument does not shift inside its case while being handled.
If you are sending a bow, be sure that the hair has been loosened, and secure it with the case’s bow holders.  Bows being sent in a flat bow case should have foam padding placed at either end to protect the tip and frog during shipment.
Packing material should be stuffed firmly around the case so that it does not shift inside the shipping box.  Protect the case by adequately cushioning it on all sides.
3. Make sure you insure the shipment for its deductible value:
Standard Violins/Violas: 1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4: $300.00 - 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4: $500.00
Violas: Larger than 15”: $500.00
Cellos: 1/10, 1/8, 1/4: $1000.00 - 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4: $1500.00
Advanced Violins/Violas: All sizes : $500.00
Advanced Cellos: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2: $1200.00 - 3/4, 4/4: $1700.00
Master Violins, Violas and Cellos: Please call for instructions
Be sure to save your shipping receipts!  These serve as proof-of-insurance!
4. Ship the instrument.
  You may return instruments via UPS, Fed-Ex, US Postal Service, or other common carriers.

Please Note: US Postal Service will not accept 3/4 or 4/4 size cellos: these must ship via a courier such as UPS.
5. If you have questions, call us!  We can help guide you through this process.

What about shipping fees?
Shipping fees are not included with the cost of the rental. This helps us keep our rental rates low. As a long-distance rental customer, you are responsible for payment of both outbound and inbound shipping costs in the event that an instrument needs to be shipped.

Will you be coming to my childs school to pick up or drop off instruments?
If you live in Connecticut  your childs school may be part of our rental service program. We visit schools at least twice a year (at the beginning and end of the school year), and some schools receive more frequent service trips (every 4-6 weeks).

Can I easily update my account information?
Have you moved or changed your email address? No problem! CLICK HERE to let us know.