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baroquecello

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Everything posted by baroquecello

  1. @Yogic I've a cello with a rather short LOB, (can't check now how short, as it is being restored, but the restorer described it as right between 3/4 and 4/4th LOB) but the distance between the bridge and upper edge is 400 MM, which results in a neck length of 280 MM (so that the 4th position thumb placement is standard) and a vibrating string length of approx 695MM. This small bodied cello is therefore a 4/4th cello with a rather small lower bout. Cello size depends on vibrating string length primarily, because that is what influences the playing experience most. Only the string length is relevant when someone is looking for an instrument that fits a small hand. And think of electric cellos. Therefore: Size designation equals string length.
  2. From the way it looks I'd expect that bow should work fine. Looks believable. Thumbs up!
  3. I'll repeat: the body size is not as important as you seem to think. It is the vibrating string length, nut to bridge, that counts. Even with 4/4 cellos a wide variety (much wider than with violins!) of body shapes and sizes are possible, but it is the vibrating string length (approx 68~71 CM) that makes a 4/4 cello a 4/4 cello.
  4. I can't recommend a luthier since I am in Germany, and I also cannot help identifieing this cello. But, being a cello teacher myself, I would like to highlight the role that a cello teacher can (and in my opinion should) play in decisions like these. When it comes to sound and playability, a cello teacher can usually judge very well if its worth it getting things fixed up. With less valueable bows, it really is hit and miss. Sometimes they look good but are terrible players, and vice versa. If you can get a good player for little money, then you lucked out, and sometimes it is worth to get a really cheap bow rehaired nonetheless, if it is one of the good players. I would suspect this cello to be a nice students cello worth it being restored (especially as it looks to be in rather good condition, likely you'll only need a new set of strings, heck, the lower two may actually still be in fine playing condition). What is more important than body size (there is no standard for fractionals, and especially older instruments vary wildly in their measurements) is the vibrating string length (between bridge and upper nut). If that is a lot shorter (more than a centimetre) than on your sons current cello, you will want to consult his cello teacher beforehand as that will influence the way the left hand is used. So in my opinion before consulting a luthier, the cello teacher should be asked for an opinion about the equipment and if (s)he deems it good enough for the student.
  5. What kind of bending iron is it and where did you get it?
  6. Philipp, I'll try to make it understandable. This is however not a scientific explanation, as I lack the background for such an explanation. Assuming a uniform string material (say bare gut) and a stable pitch, (like with bowing) there are three main important parametres that can be manipulated: tension, diametre and string length. One can manipulate these three parametres to get to the desired pitch, but (like with bowing: speed, weight and contact point) altering one will inescapably require you to alter the others, and any change will affect the sound produced. Keeping the same pitch: Increasing diametre (thicker string) will lead to a higher tension (if the string length remains the same) or will require a shorter string length (if the tension is to remain the same). On the cello, unlike on a piano, for instance, the string length is the same for all four strings. This means that, given a uniform material for all strings, only the diametre and the tension are the factors that can be manipulated. However, a string needs a certain amount of tension in order to be playable with a bow and produce good sound. I've read that for steel strings, they sound best if they are strung at a tension that is almost their breaking point. This is the reason that one should not tune metal strings too sharp. The main parametre left that can be manipulated is the diametre. If I therefore want a lower pitch, at roughly the same tension, then I need a thicker string, so that it will vibrate at a lower frequency, as more material will lead to a lower frequency (I'm assuming this has to do with inertia/kinetic energy). Here is where modern string makers start tweaking with different materials. They use heavier materials for the lower strings (for instance on cellos: tungsten winding for lower strings vs aluminium winding for a strings), so that the weight increases more relatively to the diametre than it would using a uniform material. When compared to the higher strings, in other words, the lower strings can be made thinner than they would need to be if they were made from the same material as the higher strings. Bare gut g and c strings are massive. A drawback of thick strings, apart from for the left hand, is that they respond slower to the bow, so there is also that reason to make sure the lower strings are as thin as possible. What you can also observe in practically all string sets, is that the lower strings progressively produce less tension at their desired pitch compared to higher strings, which is another reason why lower strings are not as thick as they "should" be. In cello string making, thinner seems to be regarded as better, even for the a string. I've never understood this, as I'm a thicker string guy myself, playing on gut, but that is how it is. Nowadays it should not be that hard to make a thicker a string, using a light and strong synthetic core material, and an aluminium winding, for instance. But I don't think any modern string brand has this as an ideal. Instead they focus on trying to limit the string diametre of the lower strings, without losing too much tension. Maybe @Bohdan Warchal wants to try this out once? I'd love an a string as thick as a d string (or even thicker, if you ask me).
  7. @Andreas Preuss may we see a pic of your costum designed bridge?
  8. Many (most?) old violins have faked labels or labels with wrong information. Therefore practically nothing can be said about the violin based on your description. If you want to get any useful info, you should post good pictures of the violin.
  9. Hm, I'm very curious, but I have to sign in with google or Facebook, because it wants to collect info on my contacts... (it says so explicitly) Is there another way to get the download?
  10. Regarding the allemanic school: I suspect music making wasn't thought highly of in Switzerland, as the lack of excelling composers from there in the 17th and 18th century seems to indicate. The lack of acoustically succesful instruments would only be another symptom of that. And yes, I would call them farmers instruments. Rich farmers, but farmers nonetheless. You have a great number of fantastic organs in the rural north of the netherland and north west of germany, due to the wealth of farmers in the 17th and 18th century, and their desire for pomp, but not for musical taste has assured that those instruments remained unscathed by later fashions and are largely intact in original disposition. I'd say the decorated violins from the allemanic school can be viewed in the same light. But I defer to anyone with actual knowledge of Swiss musical life of those days. I have none.
  11. @jacobsaunders yes, I would agree with your summary. I must say that I am very excited about seeing these two instruments (the Fichtl and the Leydolff) right next to each other and, especially the leydolff, in close to original condition. This should be a treasure trove of information for makers and musicians alike, that are interested in historical performance practise. It would certainly be great to have drawings and measurements from these instruments for replicating. But also, in the light of the Quanz quote, I think to own the two as a combination should be highly interesting to prominent early music players. Or maybe the instruments would deserve preservation in a museams collection? Personally, I've not seen two different instruments from different makers but within such a short timeframe and from the same Kulturkreis together, corroborating so well the main written source that we have for exactly this time frame (albeit in Berlin circles). Very exciting somehow! And I very much enjoy looking at the scroll and peg box of this cello.
  12. @jacobsaunders what I find very interesting on your instrument is the relatively high neck overstand, and the fact that it has no wedge shaped fingerboard. If it is indeed the original neck, then I am very surprised at these features on such an early instrument. It does seem as if projection was increased at the button and root (is that the correct term?) of the neck, where a small wedge seems to have been added. I'm very curious as to what you'll find regarding the neck construction and its possible authenticity t the instrument, when you open the cello. I also have a quaestion regarding the varnish. It is so shiny: has it been french polished or is this a characteristic of this kind of varnishing?
  13. Ok here comes the Quanz Quote: "Wer auf dem Violoncell nicht nur accompagniret, sondern auch Solo spielet, thut sehr wohl, wenn er zwey besondere Instrumente hat; eines zum Solo, das andere zum Ripienspielen, bey große Musiken. Das letztere muß größer, und mit dickern Saiten bezogen seyn, als das erstere. Wollte man mit einem kleinen und schwach bezogenen Instrumente beydes verrichten; so würde das accompagnement in einer zahlreichen Musik gar keine Wirkung thun. Der zum Ripienspielen bestimmte Bogen, muß auch stärker, und mit schwarzen Haaren als von welchen die Seyten schärfer, als von den weißen angegriffen werden, bezogen seyn." Kap. XVII, Abschn. IV, §1.
  14. If you mean that the reflection shows that the f hole wing doesn't follow the arch; I think that likely the f hole wing was fluted and therefore catches the light at a different angle.
  15. I'm thinking you could propose some built in led lights in the sound box, so the lit f holes stand out against the black plate. But seriously, what about making a varnish like you see sometimes on old austrian fiddles, the kind that blackens deeply? You could even attempt a copy of such a violin!
  16. I believe there are no rules like "if it sounds like this, do that", violins are too individual for that. If you are interested, you should probably just contact Dirk Jacob Hamoen, via the site of de nederlandse vioolbouwschool. There is a very superficial article about why he thinks the old cremonese might have done something similar published here. Personally, I find it rather risky to state that you may have found a working method of the old cremonese. It is not something new to make changes to strung up violins in the white. It is just that the process with the magnets makes it easy and reliable. In any case, like I said before, this is not a method that makes a silk purse out of a sows ear, only to get the best out of what you have.
  17. Well, I was very sceptical beforehand. I believe the ideal violin sound of Dirk Jacob Hamoen differed somewhat from that of the violinist present, but he nonetheless changed the violins sound in the direction she preferred. The simplicity of the whole concept is laughable, considering everything that has been done and tried. Also, I have no clue what will happen to the instrument when it is varnished, or to what extent the changes are pertinent when the sound post stands elsewhere than when the changes were made, so I'll have to take other peoples word for it that the changes largely remain. But to my perception the changes to that particular instrument were very real, predictable and at times rather dramatic. As I will likely keep attending the school for quite a while, I'm sure I'll have other opportunities to get a clearer picture of it and make up my mind. If it is indeed snake oil, it will die a silent death, and I will not mourn for it. If it has a core of truth, the method will spread. Time will tell.
  18. I've only started making my first violin, and am far from completing it. But at the violin making school in Makkum, the Netherlands, I was witness to how a white violin was "intonated" by Dirk Jacob Hamoen, and I found it a convincing method with repeatable results. The method works with completely set up violins in the white. A good violinist should be present to play and give feedback. You play the violin as is, and find its weakest tonal characteristics. You then use a set of rare earth magnets that you place on the front or back plate. You should have a systematic, but not too fine grid in your head to help you place the magnets. You find the place where you can attach the magnets that makes the problem go away. You then take wood away from exactly that place. This counterintuitively will have the same effect on the tone as the magnets had, because what you were influencing with the magnets was not the weight of that spot, but the weight/stiffness ratio. If you take wood away, the weight goes down, but the stiffness goes down much faster, the main thing you are adjusting is therefore the weight/stiffness ratio. You do this for every weakness you find and end up with a violin that works. You can't make a violin turn brilliant if it had flaws like bad wood or bad arching, but apparently you can almost always make it balanced and playable. Witnessing this being done was truely spectacular, as I hadn't expected this to work at all. The difference it made exceeds anything you can achieve with setup like bridge, strings, sound post etc etc. Also the precision with which even a single note could be improved, and the repeatability of the process were impressive.
  19. I've seen at least 25(probably more) instruments from Yita, cellos, violas and violins, in the past decade or so. None were terrible, and some were quite good. I know a professional player who actually prefers her Yita baroque violin to her, formerly main, antique baroque violin. The value for money ratio is very good. In my experience, the T20 are worth the extra money, because they simply sound a lot better than the T19 instruments. I've never played a master grade instrument, but I would trust them to also be rather good for their price. The T19/20 will need a better setup in order to get the best performance out of it. This usually means improvement of the fingerboard, upper nut and sometimes the fit of the pegs, which are all left semi finished. You will also want a new bridge and likely a sound post, as those are not of the best wood quality and you will notice great improvement of performance with better ones installed. You will also need a good set of strings. While this all sounds like it will cost a lot (it may double the price of a violin) it is worth it on these instruments. I've had a cello myself (sold in the mean time) that had a minor issue, and costumer service was prompt and reasonable. The bows that are standard with the instruments are not good, the cases so-and-so.
  20. I've got a question about the purfling and the general style of finishing on this violin. The purfling is very close to the edge in this fiddle. I've seen this on a couple of violins, usually what I expect were Markneukirchen/Schönbach trade violins. Mostly the edge work then is rather rounded and most of such violins have everything "smoothed out", except for the corners, which usually are rather "spiky" and long. Like everything you see on this violin. Like with this violin, they usually look like somewhat better quality trade violins, but I don't like this style at all. Is this a style that was in fashion and was it also used by better known violin makers (as opposed to Markneukirchen Handelsware)?
  21. That is exactly my experience, but mainly for instruments that sound and play a lot better than they "should", considering what they "are". Such instruments are often sold between players, not seldomly above the usual asking price for" what it is", because of tonal qualities. You could say people buying such instruments get ripped off, but on the other hand: if they are happy with the sound, did they really lose much?
  22. As you can see, many differing opinions. I very much like Nathan Slobodkins post, some very good advise there. Also the advise to not save expenses on the bow is very good! A bad bow can make a stradivarius unplayable. For the bow, I would reserve at least 1,500$ if not more. If it seems excessive compared to a 3000$ (ofcourse if you want to shorten your search or get a higher quality or older instrument, or if you live in an expensive corner of the world, more can be spent. 3000 is just a minimum) violin, I can understand that, but you really need a good bow with good balance, good string response and both good stability for cantabile playing and "bouncing" qualities for virtuoso playing; a bow that does everything it needs to do, because a bow that doesn't will not only slow down, but likely also harm the development of your childs playing considerably. But first pick a violin, and then find a bow to go with the violin, as bows will work with one violin, but not with another. It is still many years away, but just a thought: if you find studieing music in the US too expensive, consider Europe. For instance, here in Germany the first 14 Semesters are almost tuition free (500 $ for 6 months) You probably save so much in terms of tuition that flying over for visiting is going to be no problem at all.
  23. I'm a cello teacher, my parnter is a violin teacher, so I have a somewhat different perspective and hands on experience with the kind of student you talk about. There are very well playing violins to be had for around 3000 $ that will not be detrimental to the development of your daughters technique. Key is that you really need to look for a good instrument, and try out many. When our students get to the point of buying a 4/4, for the better students, it is not unusual for them to buy the 10th instrument they are trying out at home (ofcourse, they also tried out many more in shops before). The instrument should have an impeccable setup, and it should be tried out by experienced professionals as well. If your daughter at a later age would decide to go pro, it will not be hard to sell a well sounding instrument in that price range (although it may be handy to keep it as a good spare in case of emergencies), so it is unlikely that you will lose a lot of money.
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