The evolution of the Epoch technology

The whole Epoch business model is based on building modern, high quality, well constructed instruments for the gigging player in all knds of environments. The aim is to design instruments that are as light as possible and that will not collapse under the strain of the strings.

The Epoch technology was conceived during the 1980s and 1990s by the late David Sugden, an internationally recognised consulting engineer and inventor.

He brought the advantages of modern knowledge of dynamics, production methods and materials to the 400-year-old design of the conventional violin, without destroying its wonderful musical qualities and aesthetics.

He was urged on and critically advised by Dr Jan Sedivka, then Master Musician in residence at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music and a world renowned master violinist and teacher.

The Epoch technology is generally considered to be the only major change in violin design and technology since the Vasco Da Salo design of more than 400 years ago.

The Epoch production was taken over in the late 1990s, and continues to be developed by Epoch Musical Instruments, a company run by an enthusiast of the technology, Mark Mitchell, a leading Australian technologist in the field of transport refrigeration and air conditioning. 

The production facility is based at Ormeau near Brisbane Queensland. The instruments produced today have a dynamic range about twice that of the standard violin. Their increased resonance make them very easy to play and to find the note.

The instruments are made in Australia and Australian materials are used, with minor exceptions. The design is patented. Under Mark Mitchell's guidance, the Epoch range of instruments, using the latest carbon-fibre technologies, has grown from violin to double bass. While the Epoch could not be considered an instrument of mass-market appeal, it has become an instrument of choice by many discerning stage performers around the world. Their stories can be found elsewhere on this website.

Read what our star players are saying about the Epoch

Epoch Managing Director Mark Mitchell explains the Epoch

Epoch chief instrument maker Neil Laughlin
introduces the Epoch instrument family

Neil Laughlin explains the unique Epoch tube

Neil Laughlin explains the carbon fibre construction process