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Howard Core Company Luthier Supply


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These are fine folks. I got to know them through a luthier friend from the Atlanta (Ga) area. They were very accommodating, allowing us to drive to Anniston and 'select' from their stock. Howard, now semi-retired I believe, was associated with the Warren Company in Chicago prior to the move to Alabama. The company has grown steadily through the years, easy to understand why.


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  • 3 years later...

Hi All,

Not wanting to started a new thread, I shall carry on from here as it is related to Howard Core Company LLC.

Has anybody dealt with them online? I have ordered some stuff from them online in July and til today, I have not received them. International shipping will take 7-10 days, I suppose. But this is taking too long. I have order stuff from other US companies and the stuff arrive the following week...

Though there are correspondence from Kim (Howard Core), I still feel uneasy about the more-than-one-month delay.....

Are they reliable people?


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I've gotten a number of items from them in the last two years; primarily dealing by phone with Kim. I've found them to be very reliable, although sometimes slow. I really like the Negri cases that they stock and have found the Chinese pernambuco bows to be a real value. Just keep calling and give as much specific detail as you can about the items that you need. Bink

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I deal with them regularly. Never had a problem at all. I suspect that international transactions are all a bit rough, just by the nature of moving things long distances. When I order stuff from Germany, which I rarely do, I try to forget that I've done it, and be pleasantly surprised when the stuff shows up weeks or months later.

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I have been in contact with Kim via email. Was told that she was not in office for a period of time.

Anyway, I have already placed an order and have been charged through credit card. So, there's nothing I can do about it except to wait for them to appear.

Thank you guys for the replies.


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Having used Howard Core for 3 Internet international orders to

Australia now I would say the first two orders were extremely fast,

well packaged and spot on for service. The last order though which

was made in early June got really screwed up on service and

after many non returned e-mails over 6 weeks I got fed up and rang

them. It took two phone calls over a week and after that I had the

well packed order within 10 days.

I will definitely use them again as their prices are pretty good

and the one messed up order was fixed pretty quickly once I

actually spoke to them.

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  • 3 months later...

I seem to remember that their Phone # is not on the web page.

(256) 238-9966. There is a toll free number but I'm sure that it's not for international use.

I like Howard core but you will probably have a better response from the International Violin Company. Ken Wise is the Sales Manager and he's sharp, well informed and extremely helpful.


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Dean and others,

Do you know what is going on at International Violin? I have always

found them to be fast and reliable until recently. It took them

about a WEEK to ship my order (they used to ship the same day.)

When I wrote an e-mail to Ken to complain I got no response at all.

Also, they no longer post monthly specials on their website, and

the monthly mailings have been coming in the middle of the month,

if at all. I suspect there has a been a change in ownership or

management, but I really don't have any idea. Too bad. Being a

hobbyist, I assume I do not qualify to buy from Howard Core or I

would try them.


ps: I really am making two violins for my kids. I hope to post pics

within the month.

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I have had great service from Howard Core, last order was 3 weeks ago.

As for International Violin Company, Ken Wise has become a regular in my in box. I tried to place an order online, it didn't work. Ken said the web site is being worked on. I waited over a month and finally used the phone. Yes I had to use my scratchy voice but it all worked out and I got my order 6 days latter.

I'm thinking that the web is a little on the high tech side for these old school shops. I think they outsource their web services. Giving them a ring if anything goes wrong is a great way to set things right.

md Anderson

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The poor e-mail service has nothing to do with web server support.

It is just most people do not treat e-mails with the same

seriousness as faxes for phone calls. A lot of businesses put

so much work into a web presence and then do not treat the e-mail

with the same business approach as other forms of


When HC stalled on my order I sent numerous e-mails with delivery

and read-receipts and most passed through at least four peoples

in-boxes and I still did not get a response. It took two phone

calls and over another week before it got shipped. Sadly that order

took nearly 2 months to arrive.

I just ordered purfling tools and purfling from International

Violin Co and 2 days later received an e-mail stating the order was

shipped. That is great service and now I do not have sit and

watching credit card activity to work out if the order is on it's


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  • 1 month later...

I don't have time to deal with poor customer service. So when I got poor service from the Howard Core Company I moved on. I think if some business owners knew how easy it is to lose customers due to poor service they would pay more attention to it. They didn't seem to be concerned or care. There are many suppliers who do much better and are happy to provide good service. My experience with Howard Core was that they are not one of them. Unfortunate for them!

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