Contact Us

Johnson String Instrument
1029 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464
Tel: 617-964-0954
Toll Free: 800-359-9351
Carriage House Violins
1039 Chestnut Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464
Tel: 617-262-0051
Fax: 617-467-4761
Carriage House Violins
Boston Showroom

236 Huntington Avenue, Suite 304
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-262-0051
Our Boston showroom is for fine instrument trials. An appointment is necessary.

Driving Directions

From Boston

Take Route 9 West. 2.3 miles past the Mall at Chestnut Hill take the exit (a slight right) towards Chestnut St. Turn left onto Chestnut Street and after 0.2 miles we are on the right.

From Route 128 / Interstate 95

Take exit 36A onto Route 9 East. Take the first exit towards Chestnut Street/Upper Falls Waban. A right onto Ellis St, for 0.6 miles, will bring you to Chestnut St. Take a right onto Chestnut St and the shop is almost immediately on your right.


Storefront Hours
Monday Storefront Closed, Phones Open
Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Phone Hours
Monday 10 am – 5 pm
Tuesday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday 9 am – 5 pm

Walking Directions from MBTA

From Eliot Station

Cross the pedestrian bridge over Route 9 next to the train bridge. Take the ramp down and turn left to walk west on Boylston St. Keep going down the exit ramp on the same side of the street, then turn left at the underpass onto Chestnut St. Walk uphill on Chestnut Street until you reach the intersection next to the Exxon station. Cross Chestnut and Ellis Streets, and continue walking south up the hill past the trees. Johnson String Instrument is the first entrance at the next building complex, with Carriage House Violins next door one level down.

Eliot Station

59 bus

From Watertown Square, take the 59 bus that stops at Newton Highlands on the Green D Line and goes towards Needham Junction. Get off the bus at Chestnut St at Elliot St and walk North up the hill on Chestnut Street to reach Johnson String at the top of the office park on the left. When returning, note that the West side stop on Chestnut St - heading south - goes to Watertown Square and Newton Highlands, while the East side stop goes to Needham Junction.

59 bus route
Plan your visit with a virtual tour of our storefront!


Is my order taxable?

In accordance with state laws, items including rent are taxable for residents of applicable states, as well as all in-store transactions.

Non USA orders are exempt from state tax. However, the customer is responsible for all customs, duty, import, and brokerage taxes imposed by the destination country.

How long does shipping take, and how much does it cost?

Our Shipping Department is open Monday through Friday. We offer FedEx Next Day, 2nd Day, and Standard shipping rates. Standard orders normally ship via USPS Priority Mail (2-3 business days), USPS First Class Mail (2-8 business days), or FedEx Ground (1-6 business days).

Larger items such as instruments will ship via FedEx and cannot be delivered to a PO Box. If ordered before 12PM EST on a weekday, most Standard orders for in-stock items (excepting instruments) will normally be shipped out that same day, or the next business day at the latest. Sales and rental instruments may require 3-5 business days to prepare before shipping, though we do our best to ship them out sooner.

Note Saturday and Sunday delivery is not available for Next Day and 2nd Day shipping; for example, a Next Day Air order placed Friday will not arrive until the following Monday. Here is a complete list of domestic shipping rates. Some orders to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, APO addresses, and US Protectorates may require a shipping quote. All orders outside the United States require a shipping quote.

Shipping quotes are calculated based on the size, weight, and destination of the package. Customers are welcome to call 800-359-9351 for a shipping quote, or simply place an order via You will receive a shipping quote via email within 1 business day, at which time you can decide to accept the quote and supply payment for the order.

What do I do if an item arrives broken, or is defective?

We will replace defective items or items damaged in shipping; simply give us a call within 30 days of your original order, and we'll send a replacement at no charge. We will usually ask that you return the defective item to us; we can either send a prepaid postage label, or simply reimburse you for your shipping costs when we receive the defective item.

Unfortunately we cannot provide a refund or exchange for any string that has been installed on an instrument.

Return your defective item(s) with a copy of the original invoice to the following address:

JSI Returns
26 Fox Road
Waltham, MA 02451

How refunds are processed

  • In-Store Purchases: A cash refund is given for cash purchases under $10.
  • In-Store Purchases: A refund check is mailed for cash purchases over $10.
  • Online & In-Store Purchases: A refund check is mailed for all personal check purchases.
  • Online & In-Store Purchases: A credit refund is issued to the same credit card used for a purchase.
  • Online & In-Store Purchases: A refund via PayPal for PayPal purchases.

While we try to process refunds as quickly as possible, sometimes it may be a few weeks before your refund appears on your credit card statement. If you have any questions about returns or our return policy, feel free to call (800) 359-9351.

What if I'm not happy with an item? Can I return it?

Items purchased in one of our stores may be returned to the store within 30 days for a refund or exchange, no questions asked. If you purchased an item from us online or over the phone, you can ship it back within 30 days of purchase for a refund or exchange.

Return your item(s) in original condition with the original packaging and including a copy of the original invoice to the following address:

JSI Returns
26 Fox Road
Waltham, MA 02451

How do I go about renting an instrument?

If at all possible, we encourage you to come to 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, cello, or bass involves sizing, play-testing (if you've played before and want to try out different instruments), and filling out a contract - you'll need a valid credit card, and the whole thing usually 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 (800) 359-9351 to set up a rental contract and make arrangements to have an instrument shipped to you (we regret that we cannot ship basses at this time).

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 Rental Maintenance department. Shipping charges are $15 for violins and violas, and $30-$45 for cellos, depending on the size of the cello. In many cases, we can ship your rental within 48 hours (some instruments may take longer, depending on availability). Here is information on rental rates, instruments, and how to register or look at our rental FAQ page.

I have other questions about your rental program, where can I look?

You can start by looking in our rental section or our rental FAQ page. Of course, you can always give a call at (800) 359-9351.

I just got a Rental Renewal Notice in the mail. What do I do?

As a courtesy to our customers, we send our Rental Renewal Notices at least two weeks, and usually 3–4 weeks, before your rental is due. There are three easy ways to renew your rental: you can send a check before the due date, renew with credit card through your online account, or call us at (800) 359-9351 and renew your rental over the phone using a credit card.

How do I return my rental?

How do I return, pack, and ship my rental to you?

If you wish to return your rental instead of renewing, we will close your account once we receive the instrument. You can return a rental instrument in person to our Newton store, through a school trip, or by mail. For in store returns, stop by anytime during business hours. If you are planning to return an instrument to a school, please contact us and let us know ahead of time either by calling (800) 359-9351 or emailing For instruments returned by mail, please follow the steps below.

Please Note: Basses cannot be shipped and must be returned to our Newton store.

Call our Customer Service Department

Call our Customer Service Department during business hours at (800) 359-9351 to purchase a discounted FedEx return label. The label will be emailed to you from FedEx directly within 24 hours of your order, and must be used within 30 days.

Instrument Price
Violins and violas $15
1/10–1/8 size cellos $30
1/4–4/4 size cellos $45

Place a note

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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • * If you are packing a cello, use our how-to guide on our blog.

If you have questions, call us!

We can help guide you through this process.

What if I'm looking to purchase an instrument?

Our helpful sales staff is available during regular business hours, Tuesday through Saturday, and can take you through the entire purchasing process step-by-step, including setting up in-home trials managed by Carriage House Violins through the mail. For customers coming in to the store, please call ahead for an appointment, as our sales staff can be quite busy on Saturdays and during peak times of the year. Here is information about the instruments and outfits we have for sale, or contact one of our sales associates.

If you live in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York, your child's 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). Here is a complete listing of upcoming service trips. For other questions, please call the main store phone number at (800) 359-9351.

I'd like to have my violin, viola, cello, or bow appraised. Where should I start?

Carriage House Violins, the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument, offers an appraisal service for violins, violas, cellos and bows. We do not offer bass appraisals at this time.

Insurance coverage is the most common purpose for an appraisal. The assessed value is a "replacement value" or the cost at which the instrument could be replaced, with something similar, within a limited time period. This service is available when we are in agreement with the established attribution.

Appointments are required, and a minimum of 2–3 business days are needed for examining your instrument or bow for appraisal. Please contact:

Carriage House Violins
(800) 359-9351

Do you consign used instruments, purchase them, or accept them as a trade-in?

We consign or purchase instruments on a case by case basis. To inquire about arranging a consignment evaluation for your instrument, call Carriage House Violins at (800) 359-9351 or email

If you are trading in an instrument purchased at Johnson String Instrument the instrument trades back for 100% of your purchase price, minus any needed reconditioning. Trade-in value for instruments not purchased at Johnson String Instrument is at the discretion of the Sales Department — feel free to contact Carriage House Violins or email Our sales page has more information about purchasing instruments and bows.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

Learn More


Whether searching for a job, learning about the "Mozart Effect," looking for a summer music camp, or choosing the right instrument string, you need look no further.

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Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in under-served communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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JSI Blog

Information and helpful articles about the music and instruments we love.

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Helpful "how to" videos and useful information about JSI and the products and services we offer.

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