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Everything posted by baroquecello

  1. While this is true, the outcome shows first of all that, Yes, end pins do make a difference, and, secondly, in which direction one might want to try out. It is better than nothing.
  2. Thank you blank face! It seems to show a "Forster, S. (London)" bridge. I think that would make is a Simon Andrew Forster bridge, which would make t a romantic bridge rather than a classical bridge, would you agree? The photo is a bit grainy. And the "Klotz" marked bridges are interesting. Not clear which Klotz it means, but they are practically a modern bridge without a heart cutout. What would that do to the sound, I wonder. And they seem to be the only bridges without any cutout; could that be a typical Klotz or Mittenwald thing? And maybe apply to cello bridges also? (speculation....) In the end it also comes down to the answer to the question how reliable the attributions are.
  3. I don't think I agree. Instruments can sound radically different depending on where you stand (player or audience, latge or small hall etc etc). I know Instruments that are loud under the ear, but sound normal or even small far away, and vice versa. Sound color also widely varies under the ear and in the audience. In cellos, this can be very extreme. I've also played a couple of cheap rental violins with such loud e strings under the ear, that no sane person would want to bow them properly. Loudness, as in a boomy, full sound, as opposed to a brilliant (not shrill), slender sound, I think, is a bad trait if you want to play professionally. Of course, shrillness is also negative, but what is too shrill depends on the skill of the player also. Bad bowing can turn brilliance into shrillness easily. Too much room for subjectivity here. A good instrument is one that satisfies its player, and each player has different wishes.
  4. I'm looking for information on cello bridge models from Mittenwald. preferably from the second half of the 18th century, but anything else is also interesting. A little background: I recently bought a Cello from Mittenwald ca 1770~80, and, as I'm interested in historical performance practise and am using it as a classical (as opposed to modern) cello, if possible, I'd like to get a bridge made as it could have been when the cello was first produced. I've been looking for information on Mittenwald setup everywhere on the net and enquired at several museums (Mittenwald, Markneukirchen, Germanisches Museum and Grassi/Leipzig), but nobody seems to know anything on the topic, and almost nobody seems to care (with onexaception, some anwers were downright rude, while others didn't reply at all. And one person actually asked why I would care). Does anyone here have ideas or information? Right now, the cello has a banks model bridge, which is a little early, english and rather exotic in its outline. I'm thinking of either a Forster cello bridge model (for which I have no historical example to copy yet), which isn't that different from a belgian model, or a Stadlmann (thank you @jacobsaunders bridge model copied. The problem with the later is that the original is about 8 CM wide, while I will need one that is 92 MM wide, so it is rather a different measurement that will require adjusting the feet. Neither of the two models have anything to do with Mittenwald, and the cellos they built look rather different from Mittenwald instruments. If anyone has any info on original cello bridges ideally from around 1770 ish, ideally from Mittenwald, but also from elsewhere, then I would be very grateful. Any thoughts on the topic, like where I could enquire for further informatio, are also highly appreciated.
  5. @Shunyata I made the wood lye you described using fine ash from my pellet oven, which is as fine and burnt as it gets, when it comes to wood ashes. To be honest, I had no idea what a lye is. Upon touching, it felt soapy, so I washed it off. You wrote it is a gentle stain, but the english Wikipedia articles seem to suggest it is not that innocent a chemical at all. It did make wood darker, and it also dissolved a two days old shellac layer. So what exactly have I made, and how dangerous is it? Wikipedia even says certain lyes attack glass and are used for the dissolving of bodies...
  6. Oh, the bung is of big importance, as I've written in an earlier post. A bad bung or a badly fitting bung makes the whole experiment useless. As is the length of the end pin remaining inside the cello, longer seems better, probably up to a point, but.... I have found heavier pins to work better for me, but I believe this has to do with stiffness rather than weight. I now use a hollow steel end pin that is not light, nor heavy and it works very well with a bender bung. Mitsuke worked a bit better but is terribly expensive.
  7. While faster sound end pins may be nicely made, you may want to look for the recent thread here on the topic of the theory behind it. Why don't you just try a few? Your colleagues should have plenty to try out. You'll notice soon enough what will work for your cello and what won't. I predict weight will be of little importance.
  8. Yes, I would agree with that, but I couldn't say what happens exactly. My impression is that stiffness is much more of a factor than weight, and that generally stiffer is better. But it it difficult to separate the effect of stiffness and weight as they correlate to a degree. My feeling is that flimsy CF end pins vibrate at a speed (rather slow compared to stiff materials) and amplitude (rather large) that influences the contact between bow and string in a negative way, because the whole cello starts wobbling. Again, no idea if that really is what is happening.
  9. In regard to the sound, weight does not have the effect you describe at all, when it comes to end pins.
  10. You'll have to experiment to know what works best for a particular instrument. And before you do, make sure the fit of the bung is correct, otherwise the whole exercise is useless. Some celli are very sensitive to the end pin, while others are not so much. In my experience, hollow CF pins always are the worst option, acoustically. They will make the sound superficial. All other types of end pins are potentially a good choice. Aluminum tends to brighten the sound, tungsten tends to darken the sound. I used to have a mitsuke triple brilliant which worked very well on my cello: dark with a brilliant side to it. But end pins generally have a smaller effect than, for instance tail pieces. (Where CF s a great material, acoustically speaking).
  11. That is a matter of taste. It looks neatly made, and I think the model looks nice. I'm not a fan of thinning the varnish on the edgework and f holes. That looks unnatural to me, particularly up close. Again, just a matter of taste. Visually, the fiddle doesn't attract but also doesn't repulse me. If it sounds good, you will fit in any ensemble with this fiddle without standing out too much (unless all the others play antiques). If you are happy with it and don't plan on selling, my opinion shouldn't in the least bit bother you at all!
  12. What David said. If you would explain more what it is you are experiencing then maybe I could help. Or would you post a video of you playing the cello, that may also help.
  13. Am I correct that the crack shown is a sound post crack? I think the cost of getting that repaired will exceed the value of the violin...
  14. Read the second paragraph for the cello end pin .... LOL so hard! Did you know that a cello generates residual air when played?
  15. Pick a Cello first, after that pick the bow. Don't try to pick both at the same time unless the quality of your current bow forces you to.
  16. Well, within limits (those being that the setup of the cello needs to be good), and talking about beginners in particular, I'd agree with Eloffe. But I work full time as a Cello teacher and if I'm not mistaken, you are a full time orchestral cellist. I think our framework and perspective is different, and the kind of instruments and bows we get into our hands are vastly different.
  17. Learning to play the cello is learning an act of balancing or juggling. You want to learn to use as much of your body weight and of the bow weight and gravity as virtuosically as possible. While compared to violin playing, playing the cello does require mor strength, we want to minimise using muscle power as much as possible because using too much makes us rigid. I like to compare the kind of body tension needed for cello playing to that needed for table tennis. It is a complete usage of the body, but the task is divided over all muscles. Therefore it feels "light". The Cello is like the table, the bow like the bat. Now imagine having a bat made out of lead. What does that do? That is sort of what a bad bow does. You'll learn wrong reflexes and start tensing up in body areas that should not tense up, while loosing connection with area of the body that should play a role. If you are a strong person, you may be able to play fine with a heavy table tennis bat, but the smaller or less powerful you are, the more important it becomes to have no leaden bat. The ideal student bow is slightly light (but nothing ridiculous), has the right balance point and has a fast string response. This all to make it discourage tensing up. The overtone spectrum it draws out of the cello (its sound) is less important at the start. The difficult thing is that it is impossible for a non-experienced person to judge these characteristics....
  18. @martin swan gladly. It is true what you say, opinions on pricing do vary a lot, and people that don't trade do develop a certain distance from the market. If you handle things as you stated in your first paragraph (allow people to get second opinions, while explaining the complexity of realistic pricing), then that gives a trustworthy impression. A shop or shop owner that categorically forbids this or is offended when such a thing is done is unrealistic and deaf to the fear that a customer might have when making such a large investment. That may just be inexperience on the side of the salesman, or maybe the seller knows that the price asked is ridiculous? I've had a student come to me with a tarted up 500 euro Markie that was being offered for 8000 instead. While 1600 may have been somewhat high, it was tarted up after all and sounded good. But the kind of price asked was preposterous and beyond subjectivity, I think. That is the kind of thing a customer should be allowed to prevent. My cello is my second largest buy ever, after my house. Of course I should be allowed to get a second opinion before buying. I brought an expert along when viewing my house too. Too complex a matter for me as a non expert to fully understand.
  19. A wolf tone killer is nothing that reduces the price or quality of the instrument. Practically all good cellos have a wolf, and some will need suppression. BTW if the wolf killer is visible from outside it is likely just a magnet and can be removed without much difficulty. My advise is to buy what sounds and plays nice to you. Don't buy anything that you don't enjoy playing, just because someone tells you it is a good cello. Also look at cheaper cellos. Sometimes you may find one that sounds exceptional anyway. Sound has not so much to do with price. Good luck! Edit note. answers to questions: 1. Find a knowledgeable person to help you. I for instance have a lutier that doesn't trade in instruments but his own, and is totally impartial when it comes to judging others instruments. But a knowledgeable player is also a help. 2. If they object that shows what kind of dealer they are. 3. No. Don't count on it. It may, and it may not. Buy to play, not to invest.
  20. @Blank face from a practical point of view, nothing. But from a historical point of view: such instruments were specifically made for accompanying congregational singing in churchbuildings lacking an organ in the US. They were often in the possession of said congregations. They range from cello size to double bass size. They were made in new England from the end of the 18th century until the middle of the 19th century. Abraham Prescott is the best known maker of such instruments. His double bass sized instruments are still in use, some also in major American orchestras. So the difference is one of provenance and history.
  21. If it is an instrument from the Salzkammergut, it is not a church bass. If it is a church bass, it would likely have been made between the late 18th and the middle of the 19th century somewhere in New England, but not by the better known makers. In any case: I think it is great, that your friend is using it. If it were mine and I'd have proper command over my hands again, I'd consider setting the bridge a little lower and increase string length. Maybe occasionally string it as a basse de violon (one whole step lower than a cello). I'd love to play bass to the Couperin Lecons de tenebres on such an instrument once!
  22. I've never played a well sounding cello with a plywood top, but I have once played a Cello with plywood ribs and back that sounded and worked fine. It was well made with nice varnish and a good setup. Good student quality. So I suspect that plywood ribs are not that detrimental to the sound, but also that, like with real wood, plywood does not equal plywood.
  23. A standard starting position is to attempt to have the sound post at the mirror position of the bass bar. Half a sound post distance below the bridge is an ok distance. One could go slightly further south, or north practically until the sound post edge is aligned with the bridge foot, everything in between is a potentially good spot and will give you room to experiment. The sound post should remain put also when there is no string pressure, but not be very tightly wedged between the top and back. Too loose, and you'll lose focus on the a string and possibly get a lot of wolf, too wedged and you'll get a very thin harsh sound. There is a ot of room for experimentation. But there is also quite some possibility for mistakes. The fit needs to be perfect both for preventing cracks and for the acoustic result. A dentists mirror is a good tool. You can also take out the end pin and gaze through the end pin hole.
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