After we had established the K500 Johannes Köhr as the premier student instruments available, we wanted to go on to make instruments which were true "step-up" quality. This had not actually ever been done properly, in our opinion. Let's look at a little history.
In the commercial violin business, three (3) firms dominated the field from the 1950's forward. They sold, under different names, to all the major wholesalers in this country.
Here's how they operated. They made large quantities of white violins, then sorted them according to how pretty the wood was. No flame became the first number. Then a hint of flame became the second quality, better flame the third, and so on. Then, when they sprayed on the finish, they might tint different numbers to appear different. Maybe play with the scroll a little, add better pegs and tailpieces, etc. None of this changed the quality or sound of course; you still had the same violin ! Only the higher prices for the higher models were the difference. We never thought this was a good deal for our customers and this is what we wanted to do: actually make better violins in every way for our "step-ups" so they would not just be "price-ups".
This has not been easy. We have been working on this project for about 5 years, using the best air-dried woods, getting the best makers and developing the best finishes. Some worked out, some didn't. Then we settled on the models we believed were the best. They were tested in sales to dealers who told us where we were correct and where we might not be. So we started to collect inventory of the winners and planned to introduce these earlier, but the dealers who tested them wanted to buy all we had, so we have had to wait until we could accumulate sufficient stocks to offer these instruments for immediate delivery. We are very proud of these models. They represent the finest work available today and we can keep the prices reasonable for the foreseeable future.