In 1985, with my new diploma from the Cork School of Music, I set up a workshop with Brian McCarthy making and repairing violins, violas and cellos in Galway. I was at this time the repairman for Liz Barry's "Tempo & Co.". In '89, I emigrated to Seattle and worked for a while in David Stones violin making and repairing business.

Ever since Simone Sacconi's "The Secrets of Stradivari" was published in the eighties, I had been intrigued with the "ground layer" and wood preparation and their effect on the tonal and aesthetic characteristics of instruments. Barlow and Woodhouse made milestone discoveries with the help of scanning electron microscope photography at the end of the eighties.

When I read David Rubio's interpretation of Barlow and Woodhouse's research and compared it to Joseph Nagyvary's, I recognised the list of minerals as being very similar to a substance I had researched years previously in a completely different field. This became the basis of my research.

Eight years later in 2015, after hundreds of samples, I had developed an application method which satisfied the above mentioned research, enhanced the visual properties of the wood and had a dramatic effect on the sound of the instruments I used in my experiments. This product I call the "San Faustino Ground".

Let the instruments speak for themselves.


The most pragmatic approach to finding the violin you want is probably to commission one, mine is a simple and risk free procedure, contact me and we'll discuss in detail what you're looking for.

Once we've agreed price and completion date a €1000 deposit commissions the instrument, the remainder is due when the instrument is finished.

If you are unhappy with the instrument, return it within ninety days for a full refund, the instrument is insured both in transit and in your care.

My after sales service covers any tonal adjustments to achieve the instruments maximum tonal potential and shipping back to you, within reason, but does not cover repairs to wear or damage caused while in your care.

Thank you,
Dominic Lyons