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About baroquecello

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  1. @KB_Smith It is a bit unfortunate, I do think you overpayed. But you are Right, 900 for a good sounding violin is ofcourse not a lot of Money, and if you are going to Play it for a Long time, then it is not so bad after all. There is no shame in loving a cheapo if it gives you the Sound you want! About the "missing" Corner blocks, they are not really missing. It has to do with the method of construction. Basically, there are three different ways to construct the ribcage of a violin. Nowadays the prevalent one os to build around an inside mold, you will be able to find examples of this in a lot of bench threads in the contemporary makers Forum. This is the method that was used mostly in Cremona (but it is not strictly cremonese!). Another ethod is to do it the other way round and construct the rib Cage with an outside mould. This was very popular in France in the 19th century, but again, not exclusively there. The third method would be Building on the back, for which there are several ways of doing it. One way would have been to carve out a channel in the back and set the ribs in that channel, glueing them together in the Corners. (the early French method) Another would be to sort of pre glue the ribs together, then glue them onto the back, modifieing the shape of the rib Cage so that it resembles a violin, then filing off the excess from the Corners. This leads to the seam being in the centre of the Corner. This is the case with your violin. Such a construction does not equire Corner blocks. This type of construction was prevalent in much of southern Germany/czech republic etc, but there were also early italian makers that employed this method. None of the Methods are inherently superior, all have different Advantages and disadvantages. The 2nd Bob method however became the method of the violin making Industry around Markneukirchen, where many not so well sounding, cheap trade violins where constructed. Consequently, it in time by association was viewed as an acoustically inferior method, even if this is not necessarily the case. Because of this, makers using this method started putting in "fake" Corner blocks, often not more than a small piece of Wood, to obscure the construction Methods, so the violin would be viewed as superior. That is the short Explanation.
  2. I'm only a Player with an interest in Instruments, so please rate my judgement of the insrument bearing this in mind. To me this Looks like a stripped and clumsily revarnished Instrument, that likely was made in the Markneukirchen area. The Things that Point in this direction are the Corners of the ribs, which Show the seam Right in the middle, the scroll fluting which Ends 6 o'clock, the "Delta" at the chin of the pegbox, the blackening of the inside of the pegbox. Look inside to see if it has all four Corner blocks (they shouldn't be there, but even if they are there, they could be fakes or added later on). The Stripping and revarnishing is visible since the varnish Shows a strange texture on the Surface, and the "antiqueing" in many places, in particular on the scroll, but also other hard to reach places, Looks like left Overs from the old varnish. The Darkness of the rib Corners is caused by the old varnish that soaked in there (end grain) during the Stripping process. The blackening of the Pegbox chamfer, which one sees on many French Instruments, is done too clumsily to be from a master makers Hand and Looks much too new, compared to the rest. I wouldn't be surprised if it is alkyd based. All in all, you have a functional, but almost valueless Instrument in your Hands.
  3. I bought a Cello from them which had a knot rather close to the Sound post area in the back. I contacted them and we agreed on lifelong guarantee for that. 6 years on and the Cello is still Holding up. I've seen other cases in which a refund, or indeed a replacement was sent. They usually Reply quickly and reasonably. Even if you plan on keeping it, it is worth trying to get something out of it. Selling the viola to you in this state without mentioning the fault is not correct, they shouldn't just get away with it in my opinion.
  4. A high projection usually requires a Belgian bridge because of the longer legs and the smaller amount of wood. Because of The way you describe he made your bridge I would hesitate to return to let him do more work on this cello.
  5. I know this is doctrine, but do you have personal experience with this? I'm asking cause I've played some Cellos with high bridges or low overstand that work really well, Sound wise, and I'm therefore a bit in doubt if this doctrine really is true.
  6. I studied baroque Cello for 7 years, but never studied modern Cello at conservatory at all, even if I did reach a relatively advanced Level of playing on the modern cello. Now that I've been teaching modern Cello to Amateurs for 14 years, and I am playing the modern Cello more and more, I Keep Looking for ways to get my Cello to work in a way I like, and there is one Thing that remains a source of frustration: the lack of articulation. What I mean with articulation in the Sound at the start of a note, that can be subtly changed. For lack of a better way of describing it, I usually compare it to consonants. On a Dream Cello they would vary from "hm" through "gh" and "t" to "k". As a standard, I like my strokes to start with a "t". This articulated Sound Comes with a clear sense, a Sensation even, of when the note starts, from the bow. You can feel the articulation through the fingers on the bow, as if the strings are tacky. I can get this to work on my baroque Cello strung with bare gut and authentic, round wire wound gut very well. On my modern Cello however, made by the same maker, I cannot get this from steel strings. Currently strung with Larsen Magnacore Arioso, the Sound is good, it Projects, is brilliant and still warm enough. But the start of the note, unless ofcourse if I force it, is Always "hm", "m" or at best a mutet "t". Now, one Thing I never understood is why many cellists complain About the Response of gut strings, compared to metal. I have Always thought Response and willingness to articulate are the same Thing, but apparently this is not viewed as such by the wider Cellist community. To me, the Response of authentic gut strings (not modern gut strings like Eudoxa) is immediate and clear and precise, whereas Response in steel is usually muffled and unclear and imprecise. I believe my percieved lack of Response has a psycho-acoustic effect on my playing, making me feel dissatisfied About what results I produce, trying to achieve something that simply isn't there. I also think I am sensitive to this to a much greater extent than my colleagues, possibly over-sensitive, and I've tried ignoring this, but it keeps giving me such a sense of dissatisfaction, that at times I cannot Play anything anymore. Perhaps I've been spoiled by my many years of intensive, almost exclusive, use of the baroque Cello. Sometimes I find Cellos of colleagues that articulate better, and a few weeks ago I had a modern Cello here that articulated very well and from that Point of view, to me, was a Dream to play. However, the Sound of that Cello was not good at all. It was a Cello with a rather meaty Bridge. I recently played a steel strung Testore that I quite liked. Recently I tried Warchal Brilliant strings, synthetic Cello strings. I only like the Sound of the a string, but the a and d strings both give me this great articulation that I am Looking for. The d, g and c strings sounded from dull to awful though, g and c didn't articulate at all either. Prim strings, for instance, give a better articulation, but do not Sound good and do not have enough pitch stability when playing loudly. Eva Pirazzi Gold seems to articulate a Little better too, but still not excellently. So, I have the following Questions: What factors influence the possible varieties of articulation at the start of a note? Is it mainly a Thing dependant on string choice, or are other factors in Setup crucial? Could it be that there is an Exchange taking place: better articulation means less full Sound and vice versa? (It seems to be what I Observe in most Instruments and with the different strings I tried) Is the ability to articulate somethig inherent to the Instrument or the Setup? Are there any strings I could still try in my search for a better articulation? (how About a heavy set of dominants? Or Warchal amber?) So actually, all in all, this post is a cry for help.
  7. David, I see why you left the back of the pegbox like that, it certainly is an interesting thought! I really like the violin, do not get me wrong! And I have Nothing against a "perfected" design at all, I just felt the back of the pegbox didn't fit the perfection, but now that I see your thoughts behind it, it already feels a bit different. I was wondering, this Testore has such a very squarish lower end of the lower bouts. Do you have a Theory About why that is? It is something you see on certain types Instruments from certain makers. Is this usual for Testore? Personally, I can't imagine it to be for aesthetic reasons; could there be an acoustic or structural reason for it? Maybe this Question doesn't fit in a "bench thread". If you feel that way, I will gladly move it elsewhere!
  8. Gentlemen, lets stay civil and not derail the conversation with personal Insults...
  9. @HoGo Thank you for your Response on Jerrys behalf. I view good Sound post Setting as a higher form of art! Im dutch, and in dutch the Sound post is called "stapel". One of the expressions coming from luterie that has entered Mainstream language use is that of something causing you to become "stapelgek", which means "it drives me crazy like Setting a Sound post does". I believe many lutiers underestimate the difficulty of it, and also the Impact it can have on the behaviour of an Instrument. I talked to a professional lutier recently who maintained that it doesn't make much difference at all when you move the Sound post, and therefore he doesn't really care About it much. This combined with the number of Cellos with badly damaged tops that I have to tell my students not to buy because they Need expensive surgery because of a Problem you can't Always yet see from outside leads me to believe this Kind of Sound post really isn't such a bad idea. On top of that, on my newly made Cello, I needed two Sound Posts in the first year, after that a new Sound post every one/two years for a period of six years or so. It has now been stable relatively Long, but I'm sure I've spent a lot more than the Hamberger Costs on Sound Posts, so yes, there is a financial incentive too. But I'd pay my lutier for making proper adjustments to the hamberger too, you know, mine have a really good ear and lots of experience in sound Adjustments. They hear things I can't perceive under the ear immediately, but usually after taking it for a spin afterwards, I notice they were right.
  10. @Jerry Pasewicz I'm curious About the drawbacks/misunderstandings you see in this Sound post design. I have no personal experience with this type of Sound post, but I have a Violinist friend who is extremely sensitive to Sound and a very good Player, who has similar Sound Posts (Anima Nova) installed in all his Instruments now and swears they were a Major improvement, so I'm not automatically sceptical. Ofcourse I do not now how well the previous Sound Posts were fitted. I cannot understand how the changes that Wood goes through because of changes in relative humidity mkes wooden Sound Posts better. As the changes along the grain are almost negligable compared to the changes across the grain, a wooden Sound post does not offer an Advantage compared to this design, as it, like These modern Sound Posts does not shrink or grow along with the plates. If you mean that Players will be cranking up the post when the plates are loose and Forget to relax it when the plates become tight again, then I see the Point of your fears. Is that it? Otherwise the big difference I see in this Kind of design and the Standard wooden Sound post is the self adjusting surfaces that touch the top and back plates, Always making a good fit. Is there anything else I'm missing? Do you use the rigidness of These surfaces in your Sound Adjustments, so that you lose this as an Option for Sound Adjustment with such a Sound post? I've seen a lot of damage done by badly fitted Sound Posts by professional lutiers. In the last two years, I've seen one newly made violin with a Sound post crack beause of this and two Cellos with badly damaged tops so that Fitting a Sound post properly has become very difficult. I would say the Damage done by badly fitted Sound Posts is much bigger than the potential Damage through perfectly fitting, but overly tight Sound Posts, but what do I know, I'm only a Player.
  11. Nice! Got to Play a real Testore cello last Weekend. Repaired a hundred times, but truely gorgeous Sound. Now I feel so diappointed when playing my own Cellos. The Thing with an original Testore is that it is roughly made, not to perfection. I think that poses a Problem when you make a Testore inspired fidddle like this. I think you "cleaned up" and perfected the execution of the model, which is fine, but then I wonder, if one does that anyway, why not be consequent, and do that for everything on the violin? Why not for instance also continue the fluting of the scroll, if you've executed the pegbox geometry better than the original (which is what I think you did, from my limited experience with Testores, but Maybe I'm wrong?) anyway? I mean, not fluting it till the end was clearly a way of saving labout time, but this fiddle Looks so perfectly done that it clearly was not left out because of saving time, and that doesn't feel Right to me. So what I'm saying is, for me, what works is either a faithful attempt at copieing in all aspects, or an inspired, idealised Impression of an original, but something in between just doesn't feel Right. BTW I otherwise really like the scroll and pegbox model, I wouldn't add the "though" that Andreas added.
  12. That is something I have sometimes observed in small Cellos too! Do Need an Ultra short tail cord then
  13. No, it is still a Dream for the future. Maybe when my kid is a bit older and I have some spare time. Probably when I will retire though. But one Needs something nice to look Forward to, doesn't one?
  14. Our own @Húslař built some as you can see in his bench thread.
  15. I've yet to Play a good sounding old 1/4 Cello. I wonder if they were ever made. In any case 20th century stuff from before the late 90ies is usually terrible. Tank-like graduations and thick indestructible varnishes. The Music School I teach at has two Mastri 1/4 Cellos and two 3/4 Cellos. The 1/4, strung with helicore, are the best in that size I've ever played, both in Terms of Sound (loudness/projection and Quality) and playability. The pupils invarieably Play much better when learning on those Instruments, particularly bowing-wise. Of the 3/4 one is good, the other not so good, but still playable. If you ask me, that is the best 1/4th around. Maybe you'll be able to find some good chinese ones that are cheaper, but Looks don't say everything. I really think making smaller size Instruments is not just scaling down the big ones, but you have to know what choices to make. That however is not my field of Expertise.