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Posts posted by baroquecello

  1. I'm a cello teacher and I don't know much about instrument valuation (although I'd not be surprised to pay 2500 Euros for an instrument like this in good condition and well-setup), but I can tell you how I approach helping a student buy an instrument. My pupils usually buy instruments in the 2000~4000 Euro price range.

    First, I look at wether the instrument looks stable, wood wise, in the sense that there are no cracks (repaired or otherwise) or deformations that point toward badly cured or weak wood. (a bending neck, for instance is an expensive thing to repair) So what that is concerned, this cello, if well repaired, is a good candidate. The neck has held up to being strung for a long time, there seem to be no cracks due to badly cured woods, the bass bar hasn't sunken in, and all this for about 100~120 years is something that makes me trust it wont for a long time to come. The cracks that are there are in non essential places (no broken off button, no SP crack (and I check for a badly damaged sp position on the inside of the cello with a dentists mirror), no bass bar crack, no long lower nut crack, no peg box crack) and can easily be repaired, and there is negligable chance of them opening up.

    What I don't like are the damaged edges, and it will be a lot of work to repair those satisfactorily, but if you say you have calculated that into the repair costs, then fine.

    Otherwise, I will judge its playing qualities and sound. In this price catechory, for me, these are absolutely the most important criteria (and I think that up to a point, these really aren't that subjective). You say it sounds good so that is a plus. The playing qualities, (string response and the coloring of the sound) are likely hard to judge now, in this state, so you'll have to take a gamble on that. You sound like you have full trust in your setup-skills, so that should be good then. I think most costumers will find that the cello has considerable charm, because of its age. So yeah, provided it plays well and sounds good, in repaired condition and well set up (good end pin, tail piece and high quality strings!), I would absolutely not hesitate to give my ok to a student of mine considering buying the cello for something like 2500 Euros. I'd explain that at least 600 Euros of those are "perishable"; they are what you pay for strings and a good setup, the qualities you as a maker add to the cello. If one wishes to sell the cello in 5 years, it is likely much of that needs to be redone.

  2. 1 hour ago, reg said:

    Tell me about it!

    Had a cute little girl come into the shop with a classic VSO, strung with what looked like guitar strings. Thrilled with her Xmas present from 'mummy' - but could I fix it as it doesn't seem to work?

    'Sorry my dear but I can't fix it - please go and call mummy (sitting in the car outside)  Tears welling up she trotted off with her treasure.

    Last I saw of them but it is actually cruel!

    Had a similar situation. A student of mine for 5 or 6 years, which I had told all about not buying cheap instruments, nonetheless decided to buy a 300 Euro second hand cello, without asking me first. Total disaster, ofcourse, it would have needed a neck reset and a new fingerboard, not to mention new setup, to function at all. But the student had already firmly attached herself to it emotionally. There is no good way out of such a situation. I got told by the mother that I wasn't tactical enough when saying the instrument couldn't work. I though to myself (tactical enough not to say it out loud) that she should have been smart enough and listened to my advise in the first place. I arranged for a cheap but honest chinese cello that even sounds quite nicely, for 1.800 Euros. Luckily, the student is happy now. Such things happen.

  3. Good chance is the pegs were never properly fit. You could saw off the extending end and finish it in a nicer way. If the pegs dont turn well, before using peg done, give then and the peg holes a good clean, so that guck, that may be deforming the pegs or the hole, is first removed. If that doesnt help, give the peg a couple of fast turn and feel if heat is generated on the pegs where they touch the pegbox. It should bevequally warm on both sides. Often the thicker end makes contact, but the thin end doesnt. If that is the case, you can improve fit by ever so slightly sanding the side that makes contact, thus locally decreasing thickness. Really minute amounts of material should be removed untol both sides make contact. Then peg dope and it should be good to go.

  4. 2 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

     but with a 23 mm insert to compensate for that. We started doing that because Aubert Belgian bridges had grown to where they didn't fit 81 mm, but also saw an immediate improvement in sound and also playability with the 83/23 strategy.

    I'm having difficulty to understand what an "insert" could possibly be.

    I own a cheap chinese cello I use for teaching (can cycle with it in a gig bag and still feel relaxed). It has a 90 MM pitch and works ok. Not particularly great but also no weird instabilities, really, so I'm a bit surprised. Though the neck overstand is also somewhat high, so that may be compensating for it.

  5. 3 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

     I have never heard the idea that a lower bridge makes more wolf.

    If everything else remains the same, a lower bridge wil reduce the force excerted on the top plate. The idea is that less tension/force on the top plate frees it up to vibrate more freely, hence strengthening the wolf tone. Wether or not this idea has merit is beyond my knowledge, but I've heard about this idea very often. Also often in connection with string gauge choice.

  6. 56 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

    I think it's a neat design, so was willing to give it a try. But I found the grip to be far from excellent. More like problematic, unless a player likes a cello that gets shorter and shorter during a performance. :D

    Have used it on my main cello since 2005. no slippage ever. Have recently installed it on a second cello. No slippage either. Have you reported the problem to the producer?

  7. Yes, steel and wood works ok on practically all cellos. So if all you want is a sturdy end pin, and not think too much about optimizing the sound, then such a pin is fine. The sound optimizing through different end pins is subtle and not everyone cares for it. Also, some cellos do not respond to it.

    But in case you'd like to be able to experiment with several end pin materials, it is important to choose a bung that supports 10 millimetre end pins. 8 MM end pins are not for sale seperately, and require a disassembling of the whole end pin construction in order to be changed, which is not good if you would like to make direct comparisons. Again, if you'd like to be abe to experiment, end pins that are secured by a screw only are to be avoided, as those can easily deform hollow end pins, or cause scratches on softer materials like aluminium and brass. It is important that the pressure is at least somewhat spread out. Most somewhat more expensive bungs have solutions for this.

  8. I agree with Michael on the carbon fibre for end pins: on most cellos it sounds a lot thinner and weak, and in best case on some it is indifferent. On most cellos I tried it on, the Mitsuke triple brilliante seemed to give the best acoustic results. But it is also one of the most expensive pins around. Depending on the cello, any material can work well (but CF is unlikely).

    I will disagree with his preference regarding the bung. I have a strong preference for the Bender bung, and it is my impression that it is becoming the standard for many european makers. Excellent grip and acoustic results, as long as you stay away from the carbon fibre end pins.

  9. The better the player, the more personal the instrument choice becomes. A good violin for a beginner is not what is a good violin for an advanced player. It is possible to buy a good violin for a beginner (if you yourself play), but not for someone who is an experienced player. If your sister is somewhat advanced, why not promise her a certain amount as a contribution for her buying her new instrument?

  10. I've recently found a 1/4 size violin in our music schools inventory, which sounds exceptionally good (compared to other 1/4th violins). The sound post is set in such a manner, that it is half under the bridge foot. Exceptional cases may require exceptional setups.

  11. Judging by these pictures it looks like very good work! The scroll looks nice. Please keep us posted on the rest of the work. To see a well done repair never fails to lift the spirit!

  12. 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.

  13. 56 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

    Nathan, I wouldn't consider a cello neck being misaligned 3mm one way or the other to be a cause of tonal problems

    I would agree. I've seen too many examples of good sounding celli with misaligned necks. 

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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