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baroquecello

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Everything posted by baroquecello

  1. I always enjoy your posts. So many pictures, keep them coming! I believe you should best seal the end grain on your new wood as to avoid splitting.
  2. I've seen an Amati Mangenot that had a distinctly dark red-brown varnish, that I found rather attractive. A good violin both acoustically and what workmanship is concerned. I made photos back then, that I unfortunately can't find now (very helpful, I know). It had a brand "Amati Mangenot" on the upper plate, under the fingerboard right over the top block that would be hard to fake unless the top or fingerboard was off. Wether or not this is one, I cannot say, as it has been too long since. However, this violin has a different varnish, and on the whole I find it a bit less attractive than I remember the other violin to have been, visually speaking. I don't think it had a label at all, and I only identified the maker by reading the stamp under the fingerboard.
  3. I would agree. I've seen too many examples of good sounding celli with misaligned necks.
  4. On my cellos, a ConCarbo tail piece helped focus the wolf tone on one pitch instead of a region. Makes it easier to handle. Instead of toothpicks, you can also just stuff the holes tightly with some felt. Not as ugly, visually speaking.
  5. I'm a potential customer. I'd appreciate Brads approach. But it is important to ask if the client was satisfied before, because sometimes people just like the unusual, and it would be terrible to "improve" a beloved, if odd, characteristic out of the instrument. Also absolutely mention that you can not guarantee that it will be better.
  6. On cellos, my experience is that a shorter tail cord often help string response and core of sound of the lower two strings. Mostly, lighter is better, but not always. High quality carbon fibre tail pieces (Kenneth Kuo and Concarbo, both handmade, the latter from Ukraine and about 150 Euros, depending on the version you buy, the former around 700 dollars) are the new thing in celloland, everyone is buying them. I've installed them on two cellos with major improvement in dynamics, evenness across strings, and string reponse. It opens up the sound a lot, and makes the cello MUCH easier to play. Also, it seems to also focus the wolf note on a single pitch, instead of it influencing a whole range of notes.
  7. What is there to repair? Ok, I'll be a bit friendlier: if it is a violin made by yourself, and you find this disturbing, go ahead and try to repair (or revarnish). If it is a violin by someone else, I don't see any reason to change anything.
  8. Who knows, maybe this is the first time Bolivian instrument making influenced European making?
  9. Jargar winding doesn't look at all like Larsen. https://www.greymusic.com.ar/instrumentos-varios/encordados-y-cuerdas---inst.varios/43385-cuerda-suelta-jargar-superior-do-para-cello-de-acerowolfram.html There exist regular Jargars, Special Jargars (a and d), silver Jargars (g and C) and Superior Jargars and each of those in three different gauges. Their playing characteristics differ rather much. Personally I can't stand classic Jargar medium on most cellos, Forte is better. I quite like Jargar Special forte strings. I've no experience with superior. Anyway, if your customer is used to a different Jargar than what you put on, it can indeed be very much unlike what she is used to. But I really wonder how come she doesn't know exactly what she had on the cello before.
  10. From what I remember, they work, you can play with them. The hair grabs the string ok. But it feels weird as it is super light, but still not well balanced (tip heavy). It is a funny gizmo, but nothing more. But I wonder what this hair would to in a normal bow.
  11. Most people seem to prefer no romberg bevel nowadays, me included. It is in the way when double stopping fifths.
  12. Bad news is, the violin has been specifically designed to produce the sound that I think you describe as not liking. Wood properties, arching and graduation work hand in hand to get to a sound that is both sweet and projecting, and I think you object to the projecting part, which is highly sought after by professional players. You can ofcourse attempt to make a bad violin. I'm sure some here will be able to give you great advise on that. (If you know how to make a good sounding violin, you also know how to make a bad sounding violin) But if you want a different sound, maybe make a different instrument? How about making a viola instead? Or see if you prefer Hardanger sound. Or think about making early music instruments like violas da gamba, rebecs and the like. Many options!
  13. That is exactly what I've been thinking could be the case, glad (or actually sad) to see that confirmed. It is the only logical explanation for the fact that it hasn't caught on. So many cellos have the projection drop, and it would be a great solution if it would just sound as good as a more traditional neck construction. But I've been wondering. The Stauffer system has the neck pivot around the fingerboard end of the neck root, so that only there the neck root makes contact, unless completely screwed on. What if one were to place a movable piece of wood under the button end of the neck root also, so that the neck would effectively be screwed tight onto two ends of the neck root ? That may just give the whole thing enough rigidity to sound good. Have you tried that, Michael?
  14. Maybe you gain some knowledge you find useful from this study? (or maybe not)
  15. Likely the a string is wound with a light material, like aluminium, and the d and g strings with a heavier metal (silver, chromesteel, tungsten...). This causes the heavier strings to vibrate at a lower frequency, relative to their tension. Thus the lower strings can be made thinner and still sound good. edit note: Man, I should read before I post!
  16. Thank you for the replies. I wasn't thinking of slab vs quartered, I was thinking of quartered wood. As I find it had to describe, I've made a picture to illustrate what I mean. The blue lines are the direction the annular lines are showing in this example, with the black lines being what I believe is generally aimed for. The lilac lines show what I'd expect to structurally be the strongest. The only reason I can think of for not doing it that way is possibly optical: maybe the flames won't show?
  17. I apologise in advance as I realise I don't know how to put this into words correctly, but I hope my question is clear nonetheless. One of the problems in necks, particularly cello necks, is that over time many of them bend, either in the neck area or in the neck root area or both, causing the scoop to increase and/or the projection to fall. Also, necks can break at the neck root and if the do, they usually break pretty cleanly along an annual ring. And thirdly, the pegs in the pegbox are friction held, and quite often peg boxes crack along an annual ring. Wood is stiffer if the force is excerted perpendicular to the annual rings (like in a quarter cut top or bass bar) than it is when it is excerted parallel to the annual rings. Why then is it that in necks and pegboxes, the wood is invariably cut in such a way that the annual rings are parallel to the fingerboard, and the weaker side of the wood is chosen to hold the tension of the strings? Wouldn't the wood be more resistant to bending if it were cut the other way? And wouldn't the neck be more impact/crack resistant if the wood were cut the other way? And wouldn't the peg box be less prone to crack if the annual rings were positioned the other way? I've never constructed a violin. There is probably an obvious reason for the placement of the wood in the neck, that anyone who has constructed a violin knows.
  18. Revarnishing greatly diminishes the Value of an instrument! The only valid reasons to completely revarnish an Instrument is if someone before you did it already and did it badly, or if you are the maker of the Instrument and wish to do a better job. Was the cello badly revarnished previously? Do you have before and after photos? If the person who sold this to you offers revarnishing regularly, then it is unlikely they are a well trained lutier.
  19. A professional cello teachers opinion here. I've helped a lot of my students buy cellos. They usually buy something between 1500 and 4000 Euros, occasionally more. The most important thing for me, and thus for my students, is that the instrument plays well. No strange setup problems, and the string response needs to be ok. Only after that comes tone and far after that appearance (although to most young students appearance seems to be the most important thing). They usually end up with new european (I suspect just partly) handmade celli. Of those, I've had particularly good experiences, tonally, with Paul Weis and Simon Joszef, but each instrument is an individual, so there are both good and bad instruments to be had from any maker. Most german made instruments I try in that price catechory, however, don't sound very good, but often muffled and dull. The few students that buy something more expensive usually end up with something like an older better quality trade instrument, between 5 and 10K (euros). Some of these, like an anonymous german, and a Neuner und Hornsteiner, I remember as really quite good and with some charm. I have one student who decided, when she retired, that cello would be her thing. She first had a budget of 10000 Euros, but always found that something was not to her liking with celli from dealers, and she was actually right. She somehow did not find something like the abovementioned Neuner und Hornsteiner. Maybe those dealers smelt the money? She upped and upped her budget. She looked for months and visited 5 or six different shops with large inventories (in Germany). She tried newly made instruments like from Schleske, who has a reputation for knowing how to make acoustically succesful instruments (that I cannot confirm). She ended up with a Wolfgang Schnabl for 30.000 Euros. That is a bit over ten years ago, and she ist still very happy with her choice. Schnabl is very helpful with setup and maintainance, the cello plays beautifully and sounds very good. Myself, I recently had a very interesting experience. I used to play on a good modern instrument. Until I got the first cello that was given to me by my parents, a 170-ish year old bohemian box, restored. This cello always had a good sound, in fact, several colleagues offered to buy it off me when it was still (barely) playable. But it is not very valueable at all and had many old and badly done repairs that were failing. The last ten years it stood unused because the bad neck repair had come unglued, and the botched repair of the sound post crack in the back was also failing. Tone had been quite good, but string response hadn't been. I was hoping the string response problems had to do with the bad sound post crack repair and weird neck construction, and the tone with the wood and arching. So I got the cello repaired for 5000 Euros, which is about double what it may be worth. The lutier warned me not to do it, so I knew it was a great gamble, but I went ahead anyway. It was also for sentimental reasons. I am totally glad I did. It blows many very good cellos out of the water, sounds great and has a super easy string response. So what do these stories tell you? I think that guaranteed quality, like that of Schnabel, exists, but it comes at its price. If you have that money however, this is a very good option, especially as such makers are often very loyal and accomodating when it comes to maintenance. If you have less money, you've got to look for something for a long time and hope that people will find you a sympathetic person and offer you something nice sounding at a reasonable price. Or, you can take an expensive gamble with that older instrument you were talking about, like I did with my old cello, get a neck reset by a very good lutier, for instance, even if it actually isn't worth it. But I honestly don't know if I would have done it if it hadn't also been a sentimental value thing.
  20. I'm a cello teacher, not a maker. I have straightened bridges like these by floating them on water, with the (originally) flat side on the water surface, and just leaving them for a night or so, then clamping them flat on a glass plate. However, as others have said, more often than not, the cause of the problem lies in how the bridge was fit and this needs to be rectified, otherwise all of it is a waste of time. Mostly, the legs don't fit well, and/or the angle of the bridge to the top is wrong. Sunken in strings and badly lubricated string grooves make the situation worse. This particular bridge looks rather crudely made. I can see on this blurry pic that the feet don't fit properly, and the bridge was left very thick, particularly in the upper half. While straightening the bridge can be done by a handy person like myself, improving the fit and angle needs someone with experience, skill and knowledge, and therefore the best thing to do is to leave it to a lutier. In the case of this bridge, because it is so clunky and likely doesn't sound very good even when straightened, I'd seriously consider just ditching it and get a proper one made. Even student cellos sound and work much better with a good quality bridge. As a cello teacher I can say that I prefer a cheaper instrument with a good setup to something more valueable with a crappy setup. 400 Euros on a new bridge and fitting sound post and a set of proper strings (what is on there doesn't spring much hope in me) is, depending on the state of the rest of the cello, not ridiculous at all, even for cheap student instruments, if the resulting instrument is one which plays well and which will bring fun and ease to practising the cello.
  21. I'm a cellist and I recently discovered that just a little closer makes a world of a difference to me. It solves many problems. Probably the other way round is also possible. I have relatively average fingers but a small fourth finger, relatively to the others. For cello at least, I think the length of the fingers, and the relative difference in length between the fingers, may be more of a factor of importance than their girth.
  22. To me it looks as if the varnish has been meddled with, or at least as if there is not much left of the original varnish, apart from in nooks and crannies. The pictures are very unclear, but the scroll and back: don't they look like beech, possibly?
  23. What would interest me is what was used as an alternative to hide glue. It can't be casein glue either, so could it be something starch based? A kind of wallpaper glue on steroids? I would imagine something like that to be rather fragile, on the other hand also super easy to repair.
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