The ensemble performs with four instruments made by the Amati family of luthiers now owned by the university. They were acquired from Kindersley area farmer and collector Stephen Kolbinson in 1959 at the urging of then director of the music department and friend Murray Adaskin for C$20,000 (considerably less than their 1959 value with the deep desire that these instruments be shared with the people of Saskatchewan.). The combined valuation of the group of instruments currently exceeds C$3 million.
They were loaned to the Lafayette String Quartet of the University of Victoria for some time before being returned to the University of Saskatchewan, and held in storage at the University's Archives and rarely used in performance. In 2003 the Amati Quartet was established who regularly perform on the instruments to address concerns that they should be heard.
- Violin 1637, ex-Daisy Kennedy, Nicolò Amati
- Violin 1627, Antonio & Girolamo Amati
- Viola 1607, Antonio & Girolamo Amati
- Cello 1690, Girolamo Amati II
There is another, unrelated group of string musicians known as the Amati Quartet, based in Zurich, Switzerland. This latter group was formed in 1981 under the leadership of violinist Willi Zimmermann, and has recorded the works of Haydn and other composers for the Divox label.
- Lorraine Omness (2008). "About the Amati instruments". University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- U of S Archives (2008). "1969: Amati Quartet Makes its Debut". Deo et Patriae. University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 2008-04-29.