"My son played the cello in high school but only intermittently after that. His instrument had been sitting idle in our basement for at least 18 years. He redeveloped an interest in playing when his own children started in music. I brought the instrument in for John to evaluate and hopefully get back in reasonable working condition. I had the pleasure of watching him actually evaluate and do some of the work on the instrument and I was very impressed at how thorough and capable he is.
When I actually took the instrument for my son to play. He remarked that it had never sounded as good as it did right then i.e. better than any time during his active playing years and was very impressed with the outcome. I have to agree that it sounded significantly better to me as well.
John I would like to thank you for an excellent job... Your thoroughness and ability resulted in a tangible outcome in the form of a cello that sounded significantly better than it ever had! Thanks ! Bart Weiss"
"It was a musical nightmare. During the last few moments of a dress rehearsal for the St. Matthew Passion, I noticed that the strings on my theorbo (a kind of 6 foot long lute with tons of strings) were moving rapidly away from the fingerboard. I looked to find that the neck of the instrument was separating from the body due to a failing glue joint. Now, there aren't many (if any) theorbos to be had in Logan or Salt Lake, so I knew I was in big trouble for the opening performance the next day. After the dress rehearsal, I by chance showed the problem to the violinist next to me. What luck! She told me that another violinist in the ensemble was accomplished at repairing musical instruments. Voila, I met John Knudson...and what a relief.
John looked the instrument over (I don't think he had seen a theorbo before) and immediately understood what was going on. He took my theorbo to his shop that very night - it's a long show and so by this time it was late in the evening. He worked to repair and re-glue the neck joint. When I anxiously called him the morning he calmly told me to come on over as it was fixed and ready to go. When I got to his shop, he opened the case and the strings were all back where they belonged, in fact they were even better as he had greatly improved the action of the instrument via his repair job. (I really appreciated this during the performance later that day as Bach is difficult to play on the lute and the improved action made everything so much easier!) But this was not all, in addition John took the time fix a couple of cracks on the face of the instrument and he polished the theorbo so beautifully that I hardly recognized it when he opened the case. He saved my bacon big time and supplied me with a better instrument all in one fell swoop!
I must mention that when I first saw the problem, the best I was hoping for was to have the theorbo repaired to survive two performances, after which I would take it back to my regular luthier in Minneapolis for a more permanent repair. However, John did such a good job that when I showed it to my regular luthier after I returned home, he told me the repair was definitely solid and well done and should cause no further problems. One last word, when I asked John how much he wanted for the repair, he quoted such a low price that I couldn't believe it, especially considering the rapidity, quality, and thoroughness of his work. I just had to give him more! I strongly recommend John Knudson for repairing any fine stringed instrument, even if you don't play the lute or theorbo!
President, Lute Society of America"
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