Instrument Trials

Purchasing a new instrument is a big commitment. At Midwest Musical Imports, we believe it’s important to try an instrument before purchasing. We’re proud to offer a flexible instrument trial policy that allows our customers to find the instrument best suited to their needs.

Please review our instrument trial tips and information. If you’re ready to try an instrument, give us a call or complete the instrument trial request form.

Make the Most of Instrument Trials

Buying a musical instrument is not the same as buying a new t-shirt
Choosing a musical instrument is a complicated task. If you’re shopping online, most websites don’t give you any more information than they would if you were shopping for new clothes. At Midwest Musical Imports, we never recommend purchasing an instrument sight unseen or unheard. Even in person, most music stores only allow you to try an instrument while you’re inside the store. This makes it difficult to have a thorough experience and really determine what instrument is right for you.

Consider instrument differences
There are lots of things you should consider when shopping for a new or used musical instrument. These factors range from sound quality, projection, break-in period, durability, resale value and of course cost. For more information, check out our guides about choosing new instruments.

Seek out a music store that lets you tryout instruments
Midwest Musical Imports offers a trial period on all instruments, new or used. During the trial period, you can try up to three instruments at a time for up to a week. This extended trial period really allows you to compare and determine what instrument best suits your needs.

Get feedback, ask for advice, and trust your gut
During the trial, we recommend getting lots of feedback about the instruments you are trying. If you’re a student, or the parent of an aspiring performer, consider meeting with your teacher during the trial to get a professional opinion about the instrument. Play the instrument for your friends and family and ask for their feedback. You might even want to make a recording using the instruments you are trying. That way, you can focus completely on the instrument’s tone, projection and overall sound quality. Remember, choosing an instrument is a personal decision and ultimately it comes down to you.

Enlist the help of an expert
The woodwind experts at Midwest Musical Imports understand that buying a new instrument can be overwhelming. Our woodwind specialists are here to guide you along in the process and answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in coordinating an instrument trial, please contact Midwest Musical Imports at 800-926-5587.

Concerned about returning a trial instrument?
Don’t worry, we’ve got resources for you to make sure you properly pack your instrument for return shipping.

Instrument Trial Policies

We offer a one week trial for new or used instruments. The one-week policy helps us accommodate all of our customers (an extension may be available). Up to three oboes, three English horns, two bassoons, or four bocals can be tried at one time, in order to compare different models or to pick the best particular instrument of one model.

A valid credit card is needed to secure the trial. For your convenience, we do not require a security deposit or a hold on your card for the full value of the instrument, but we do require a reference from a teacher or colleague. For security purposes, we also require that instrument trials are shipped to the billing address of the credit card. All shipping charges are to be paid by the customer, whether or not an instrument is purchased. You may try as many instruments as you like, as long as you are willing to pay the shipping charges. We do our best to keep our trial shipping rates as low as possible and may be the lowest in the industry. Please call us for current shipping rates for instrument and bocal trials. If you do not use our return service, you must insure instruments for their full value when returning them to our shop.

Trial period extensions are sometimes possible if you are having trouble making the final decision. Please note that sometimes, there is a waiting list for certain instruments that are in high demand (especially used instruments). If you decide to purchase an instrument, payment can be made by credit card (MC, VISA, Discover, American Express), through our financing program, personal check, or money order. We do not allow trials outside of the U.S.

Please call MMI at 800-926-5587 for further information. If you’re ready to request an instrument, you can do so online with the instrument trial request form.

Dear Midwest, I just received my oboe and English horn back from you all in the mail, and of course couldn’t wait to get some reeds out and play them. All I can say over and over... read more >