“I only go to Lucas for my repairs and bow needs. His prices are very fair and honestly should be more for the amazing work he does. I’ve stopped going to all other string shops in Bloomington.”

-Audrey Williams, President Bloomington Symphony Orchestra

“Luke did a fantastic job on my bass! After a few winters in a drafty house, my old bass exploded at the neck. It was a tricky job, but the instrument came back looking and sounding great! I know he also donates his services to some local programs. A great luthier and a great guy!”

-Allegra Hale

“Highly recommend shop. Luke is a wonderful craftsman and works until one is satisfied with the quality of the sound or/and repair.”

-Borislava Ilthova

“I have had the distinct pleasure of having Lucas Marvell-Nelson work on my instruments for over five years (I hope I have that correct, edit if not) and have been very pleased with his knowledge, experience and expertise on instrument repair, bow reharing and most importantly, making my instruments sound fantastic! Luke has the perfect blend of artistry and technique to know exactly how my instrument should sound. I have frequently had Luke adjust my cello before concerts and his intimate knowledge of my instrument makes him indispensable. His knowledge of varnish and its repair is as masterful as his set ups and repairs. I highly recommend Lucas to my students and colleagues as he is knowledgeable, honest and takes great pride in his craft as a luthier. Every friend I have recommended him to has been equally pleased with his craft. He takes great pride and happiness in making his customers satisfied. I am never a number in a shop with Luke.”

-Michael Beert,
Principal Cellist, Rockford Symphony Orchestra
Dean and Professor of Music, Rock Valley College, Rockford IL

“The service that I have received here were outstanding for both quality and customer service. I have been taking my viola here for the last three years for everything from a bow rehair and new strings to a complete instrument re-varnish. The work is excellent and has stood up exceptionally well through the severe weather demands of the Eastern and Midwestern climates. My instrument has NEVER sounded better and it is certainly due to the services that I have received at Bloomington String Instruments. Lucas has also bent over backwards to help make sure that I am serviced around my scheduling needs without sacrificing service quality. I have recommended him to friends and students alike will continue to do so.”

-Marcus Simmons

“Lucas is excellent. I’ve been taking my bass to him for years, and I wouldn’t take it anywhere else. He takes the time to do it right, explains what he’s doing and why, and delivers consistently outstanding work and customer service.”

– Steve Mascari

“It’s nice to have a non-pretentious “bass-doc” in B-ton! For all the bassist in this community the default trek for a sick bass used-to-be Cincinnati or Chicago. Marvel has that paradoxical blend of art and discipline (modern artist and old school craftsman) that make a luthier great. But I guess what I love best about taking my instruments to Bloomington String Instruments is that I trust them.I gave Bloomington Stringed Instruments 5 Stars because it combines craftsmanship and art, with trustworthiness. This luthier cares as much about people (the musician) as he does the instrument. Great to have B.S.I. in B-ton.”

– Steve Connor

“Luke is a tremendous luthier, and an incredible asset to me. As a double bassist, I used to think I had to drive or ship to Cincinnati, Nashville, or Chicago to get work done by someone who actually knows what they’re doing on my instrument. Luke gave more attention to the detail of his work, to my instrument, and to addressing my specific concerns than I have otherwise experienced. He’s exceptionally knowledgable and I recommend his work against any other luthier I’ve gone to.”

-Joseph Tyksnski

I have used Luke and Bloomington String Instruments for the last few years.  As a string instrument business owner, it was important for me to find a luthier with both superior skills and integrity.  Luke is that match.  I have always been very pleased with his work, and I continue to refer my clients to him.”

– Sarah McKelvie

Lucas did some work on my upright bass. I’ve worked with other luthiers before who did good work, but Lucas is a people person. Not only is his work top notch, but he communicates very well. He worked with me to figure out exactly what needs to happen to get optimal performance from my bass. He is friendly and welcoming, and he never leaves you guessing on what he is doing and how much it will cost. He explains things in such a way that anyone can understand. He’s a a straight shooter, and I appreciate that. I go to him for any advice and adjustments my bass needs. You’ll be a customer for life if you work with Lucas.

-Matt Zink

“I have a hammered dulcimer that needed some repair work. Since it is such an unusual instrument, I hadn’t been able to locate someone to do the work. Thankfully I was told by a family friend to contact Lucas. He bravely tackled the job of replacing all 46 strings and replacing one of the carved wood sound hole decorations. I was totally pleased with his work and his dedication to making a once-beautiful instrument capable of producing beautiful sounds again.”

-Rebecca McCraith

“Lucas was highly recommended by our son’s teacher and is depended on by the school for work on the instruments. We felt Mr. Marvell went over and above by coming to pick up the instrument personally at our home and spent some time getting to know us. Pictures of the ongoing work and corrections were sent by email and any questions/ recommendations were explained well in advance by email or phone.
You’ll be in good hands with Mr. Marvell.”

-Jean Geller

“I’m very happy with the service I have received from Bloomington String Instruments. I have had two evaluations on instruments for repair (with subsequent repair and refurbishing on both instruments to my complete satisfaction) and one insurance appraisal with documentation. I appreciate the knowledge, expertise and experience that Mr. Marvel brings to his craft and will continue to use his services in the future.”

-Debra Davis

“Lucas did a very clean professional job on my old cello, a repair that was complicated by me being 2000 miles away from his shop.
Lucas handled the details and got it to me on time and on budget.
I definitively recommend him and his services.”

-Les Szigethy

“I needed my cello neck reset and a few other minor things done. I was secretly hoping his work would help my temperamental cello to play more consistently. Luke kept me regularly informed with emails AND pictures (which I loved!) via email, and he always answered my emails or phone calls quickly. He always took time to explain the situation and my options, and he is just a fun person to visit and talk with! In the end, I couldn’t be more pleased!!! Externally the cello looks gorgeous – better than when I bought it (It’s a modern cello). When I first sat down to play the completed cello – it was perfect! No adjustments needed! This has been such an amazing and exciting experience for me! I am Luke’s customer for life now.Thank you Luke for helping to make my cello perform better than it has in the 25 years I’ve owned it! Needless to say, I highly recommend Luke”

-James Haugland