baroquecello

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Everything posted by baroquecello

  1. I've composed a little set of variations for beginners on twinkle twinkle little star. My pupils enjoy playing the piece a lot, I am happy with what they learn from it, and therefore decided to make it available online. There are several versions: solo cello, solo viola, solo violin, cello trio with optional double bass and viola trio with optional cello. I hope you will enjoy the piece and will consider playing it or using it as teaching material!
  2. @Wood Butcher the acoustic outcome of a repair this big is always a shot in the dark. If the work is done properly and the sound is not to my liking, this would of course not at all be the fault of the restorer. I would absolutely expect to pay full price for replacing such a bar with an ordinary one again without hard feelings.
  3. @Don Noon and @David Burgess thank you for the warning. I indeed understand that it is a matter of feeling lucky. And, if my lutier advises against it, I would not be stubborn; only if the lutier feels like trying out something new will I press on. The existing bass bar has to go for some arching correction, there is no way of saving it. The cello is rather light and had a prominent wolf note (it had a glued in wolf killer, only partly effective and not the best solution for the overall sound), so I think it could do with a sturdy bass bar. I do not believe in the gaps and would prefer a larger glueing surface to gaps, also because of the fact that the cello has lost arching before, I think sturdyness is important. But all of it is just a feeling. And as I said, I will not make my lutier do something that goes against his instincts, but rather go with his experience. In my experience, that usually gives the best result.
  4. @christian bayon Thank you for having been so informative so far on this innovation of yours. I'm having an old cello of mine repaired, and the top has sunken on the bass side and needs a bass bar replacement. I'm considering asking the lutier to change the style of bass bar to your triangular shaped bar, without the cutouts, as the sound has always been good on this cello, but string response was sluggish. Would you be willing to share your specifications (length, weight, thickness?) for a cello bass bar in this style? Thank you!
  5. Thank you for all your replies. Yes, ofcourse, a lack of standardisation. But in many cases, one can speak of a relative tendency (relative/contrasting to modern practise). for instance, bass bars. There existed bass bars as large as those nowadays, but there existed many shorter ones too, so the "average" bass bar would have been shorter. And graduation patterns: the average violin plate will have been thicker than the average modern state of old violins, as they can only have been made thinner in the centuries following their creation. Likely an averaged out instrument is something that never existed. It would be so interesting to know what combination of specs would have made an instrument that would have been considered successful. For instance, do a short bass bar and a thick top gradutation pattern go hand in hand? And if so, what way would they have made the bridge to work well with such a top? Do a short neck and a large cello pattern go hand in hand? etc. etc. @Mark CaudleOn a side note, I'm not convinced of the low bridge placement argument based on iconography, especially not starting the second half of the 17th century. I think the cause of placing the bridge too low is one of a mistake of perspective by the artists. I've read a very convincing article about this once explaining the phenomenon and showing more than enough 19th and 20th century examples of the very same mistake even by quite good painters. (Unfortunately I do not rememember where I read it.) I also do not believe that the f-hole nicks were ever intended as merely ornamental; if they were, they would have been celebrated more (and ofcourse one can find f holes where the nicks are "celebrated". But look at c holes, a whole different story and an earlier invention. No c hole nicks). I believe bridge placement invariably leaves permanent marks in the varnish, and I've yet to see a historical ful size instrument that shows marks of a (very) low bridge placement in the varnish. Do you know examples of that? Or do you possibly know of written sources? Regarding the domenico Galli cello, that certainly is interesting. It does look a small on the whole, is it full size? I can find a lot of images, but cannot seem to find a description.
  6. Bit of background: I've studied baroque cello at two concservatories in Germany (Bremen and Frankfurt) with prominent baroque players. I have quite some experience performing. I also have a keen interest in instruments, both historical and modern, and instrument making. So I'm not entirely new to the matter at hand. Recently I've come across a paper and a number or people that stated that the neck on most baroque cellos was shorter than the modern neck by quite a bit. This is something new to me. Ofcourse, the baroque neck was different, set at a different angle, with a wedged fingerboard that was shorter and often laminated etc etc etc. But I've never heard of the baroque neck being shorter than a modern one. It would make sense, I guess, on those large patter cellos, to have a shorter neck, so that the string length ends up almost like a modern standard length. I'm just really surprised I never heard of this before. Anyone care to comment with knowledge or opinion?
  7. Some people play with surgical tubing over the fron and leather, usually for obtaining a better grip. Maybe this was done with a similar idea in mind? Better contact between index finger and stick?
  8. That one should work, shouldn't it, @PhilipKT I just looked at the site and t really bothers me they couldn't be bothered to post pics. You don't know if these are nasty factory instruments from the 60ies with very thick ugly and irrepairable nitro varnish and plywood plates, or if there are some nice old saxon instruments amongst them.
  9. Has anything been changed lately? I'm thinking a different string brand, or maybe uninstalling fine tuners? I'd try a longer tail piece , or you can try out what happens when you install extra fine tuners.
  10. I've been thinking about this repair technique and am wondering about a few things I probably simply misunderstand, maybe someone can enlighten me. By the looks of it, like is often the case with old cellos, the bass bar side has been pushed inward, as most of the arching correction seems to take place there. Im just wondering, ba glueing these "suspended" bracings in, the wideness of the top becomes rigid, inflexible. So bulging the top outward at the bass bar will have as a result, that the arching on the treble side of the cello will go down (inwards), because the wood/material necessary to allow for a higher arching needs to come from somewhere, right? So is the restorer assuming that the treble side of the arching rose as the bass side of the arching fell? Is that the common pattern for such distortions? Is is not possible, that the distance between the c bouts in time got comparatively (to upper and lower bouts) wider due to the loss of arching and that a reasonable approach would be to somewhat bring those closer again, thus allowing for a higher arch on the bass side without lowering the treble side? In other words, will this kind of arching correction not lead to a more balanced arch, and therefore a better arching, but one that still is lower than it originally was?
  11. Is it not possible that it was made like this deliberately, as part of copieing a deformed original? With such a degree of deformation, I'd expect the projection to have dropped a lot, but it seems normal
  12. Your taste will likely change over time, so it is unlikely that you will keep liking the same thing. It is not inconceivable that you would dislike playing a high end Instrument. Some of the advantages these instruments have to high class players become apparent only when played very well and are not within the reach of normal mortals.
  13. I have to agree with @jacobsaunders on his idea that a book on old bridges would have been much more interesting. There is a sore lack of info available regarding the setup of early instruments. A rich catalogue of bridges from important centres of Instrument making, covering especially pre 20th century bridges is sorely needed. On your website, there is no info on thickness, tilt, and weight, which are very important factors for setup and the tonal character of a bridge. Are those included in the book?
  14. I recently, for fun, to "see what people used to play" (I'm not old enough to know) got a set of heavy Dominant strings for cello. They were not great (particularly a and d), but not terrible either (particularly g and c), and there was indeed something reminiscent of gut, though not enough. On an 18th century cello that I do not own, the dominant heavy g and c strings worked much better that Spirocore and Magnacore (which sursprised me a lot), so I donated them to the owner of that instrument. I wonder why no good string manufacturer nowadays tries to make a string with a synthetic core for cello anymore. I consider the Warchal experiments for cello to be a faillure, and the last ones before that were Obligato g and c strings. Those work well on some cellos, but definately do not have much in common with gut. I think the Dominant formula with a higher tension would be a great starting point for developing a new, gut like synthetic cello string. The low tension the set currently is very much a drawback.
  15. Leaves me more time to save up for the bill
  16. A little update: I've decided to get the cello properly fixed up. It will cost more than the cello will be worth, but to me, with the vague memory of its sound and the sentimental value it has, It is worth the gamble. It will take a couple of months before it is ready. I told the lutier not to hurry. I'll report back when it is done to let you know if I made a good decision, or threw a lot of money out of the window. (Please keep your fingers crossed for me, that the latter may not be the case!)
  17. Such violins are often sold to innocent buyers who do not know much about violins and are in love with the beautiful shapes of violins. Even though it is possible to make a good sounding violin with such a shape, the cheaper ones (like this one) are usually built to impress visually only. They are often very heavy due to the extra wood that the ribs need, but also, quite often they are thickly graduated and have a thick varnish. Looking at the setup of this violin, I see a bridge that I find looks crudely adjusted, with thick feet that do not seem to fit, soft wood with wide year rings, and a strange way of thinning just the upper edge on the back of the bridge. I also see cheap chinese fittings. It doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me. I would likely not buy this violin, but most certainly not without having tried it out in person.
  18. Well, it could be that is was overworked, ofcourse. The cello was bought in the Netherlands, how it got there, I do not know. The label was glued in by my lutier when I went abroad in the early 2000s and I thought it would be easier for border crossings and paperwork needed at the time, when the cello had a recognisable label. It sais "Bohemia anno 1900"
  19. @Blank face to my mind this is a fake corner block:
  20. Thank you all for your input!
  21. Well, I had considered it to be something from Schoenbach with an unusual scroll. (I just saw your post calling it difficult to place) Apart from its simplicity and the "squareness" of it, the scroll is well made, symmetrical and sturdy, with a neck that, even though it was made from a notoriously elastic wood, kept its shape well. The small first few turn and the large back of the head look like something "bohemian" to me, executed with a nice flowing line. Most Schoenbach Scrolls I've seen are kind of a less good execution of a more sophisticated idea than this scroll. Actually, I feel that sort of counts for the whole cello: it is not a sophisticated design, and it doesn't try to be more than it is, and I like that. I was wondering if it maybe had been made before the huge mass production really got started, and the production became very speed oriented. The omission of fake corner blocks (which I believe were added only for cosmetic reasons, to truely mislead costumers about the way of construction) means that either the instrument wasn't considered good enough for something that time consuming (not impossible) or that it was it came from a time and place where and when such things were not (yet) a consideration. The cello has its health problems, but doesn't look extremely old to me, or otherwise has not been used for a long time. I was thinking Schoenbach-area before the middle of the 19th century. But as I wrote, I only thought I know what it is, I didn't write I was sure I know what it is. That is why I'm very interested in opinions others have on the instrument, and thank you for yours. It certainly makes the instrument more interesting! When it was sold to me (to my parents actually), it was sold for the equivalent of 2500 Euros, but that was before the accident that broke the neck construction happened and it was also 23 years ago. I was hoping that after a proper repairing of the sound post area and neck area, the Cello could be worth something around 3000 Euros, in which case, I wouldn't mind paying quite some more for the repairs. But I have no clue what such repairs would cost yet.
  22. The main problems it has are a failing sound post crack in the back (badly repaired in the past) and a failing neck construction. That really is some work that needs to be done. Because of sentimental value, I wouldn't mind spending more than the market value at all, but ofcourse there is a limit. What do you think such an instrument, but with a well repaired sound post crack, and a redone neck set (with upper block and standard specs) would be worth, if it sounds anywhere near normal? Edit note: I'm a bit frustrated at how little my pictures actually manage to show of the instrument. hmm.