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Posts posted by baroquecello

  1. Although it could be from anywhere from the last 25 years, to my eye it looks like a modern Chinese instrument of a somewhat higher quality. This kind of antiquing  is practiced there a lot and it is original to the instrument. Do not try to improve it, as you'll diminish the value of the instrument. 

  2. Looking at your setup, which actually looks potentially quite good, I'd try one of those fine tuners for an e string with a ball, as it is heavier and larger (shortens the afterlength!) and very cheap to try out, and possibly also fit one for the a string (although it may not be so appropriate for a gut string). And I'd try a side mounted chin rest. There are those that say side mounted chin rests almost universally improve sound on violins (I believe @Don Noon said so once, can you elaborate, Don?). The mute helps, of course, but it looks a bit clunky. If you've got a kevlar tail cord, change it for a sacconi type. All of those things are easy and cheap and reversable, and, save for the tail cord change, anyone can make those changes by themselves without the help of a lutier.

  3. First thing to know: if you buy online, you can be practically certain that the instruments you get will need their setup worked on to at least some degree. This can only be done by an experienced Luther. This is possibly why the stentor in the shop are more expensive: they may have gotten their setup improved. 

    That said, I would advise you not to buy without the help of an experienced player. Best: first months just rent an instrument 

  4. I think you probably mean something else by resonant than I do, because I like resonant. Maybe there is too much sympathetic sound coming from parts of the string that isn't played?

    If I'd want to get less response from a Cello, I'd look into things like the tail cord (use gut or sacconi instead of a steel wire or Kevlar chord), try different tail piece sizes and weights (bigger and/or heavier, aluminum or wod instead of synthetic materials, or a Wittner with built-in fine tuners, or add fine tuners to all strings if it already is a wooden TP), or tp placement (closer to the bridge will dampen the sound more). You could get a somewhat meatier bridge made, or one made of less hard wood (actually lower quality). You could look at the SP position (with too much resonance, possibly it is somewhat far south and somewhat loose). You could try out what higher tension striings do to the instrument (often makes it more brilliant, which may feel as if it is somewhat less resonant). Sometimes simple things like leaving the mute on the string afterlength (a rubber tourte mute) helps. You could try a Krentz sound modulator, see what that does for you. On a violin, I'd experiment with different chin rests (different sizes and weights, side mounted or block mounted etc etc). There is an awful lot that might have an effect. All of it is hit and miss; you have to try out to know if it'll do anything at all.

  5. 4 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

    "... when a certain Mr. Haydn invented the string quartet, which caused the violists to do some serious practice."

    While we do not know who "invented" the string quartet, Scarlatti wrote some before Haydn was even born (he died 7 years before Haydns birth), so Haydn certainly didn't. Nor was he the first to treat the viola equal to the other string instruments in virtuosity. Alessandro Scartlatti - Quartetti senza Cembalo

  6. Before starting a new thread I thought I'd continue this one. I've read all the above, including the linked other thread. I Wondered if anyone here has ever bid on an instrument online only. I find the pictures to be rather uninspiring and too few. No pictures of the ribs, no close ups of damage. Also the description is very brief. I'm guessing that it is not really thought for bidding online only. Do they answer question to secific instruments and do they provide extra photos? Specifically, if it stays cheap enough, I'd gamble on lot 625. It says there is worm damage, I see two holes in the scroll, hich doesn't scare me that much, but the pictures are not good enough to distinguish anything regarding the sound bow of the cello, and without this info, the gamble is too big for my taste...

    edit note: unfortunately, my french is rudimentary at best.

  7. I'm only a Cellist with a degree in performance practise and not a bass expert at all. However, I think the problem is that the lower instruments especially,  were constantly improved and changed, and I don't think you will find a clear cut answer. Many violones in the da braccio style had only three strings until well into the nineteenth century, however, you'd find da gamba style basses with 6 strings, or things in between with four or five strings with differing intervals between them. A popular viennese tuning for four strings around the end of the 18th century has a whole slice of Repertoire for it (Sperger being the biggest exponent). If you can find an original 4 string bass with similar vibrating string length that you can copy that would of course be great, but otherwise my gut feeling is just to not stray too far from current standards and make the optics fit. I know many bassists that play on practically modern instruments with baroque gut strings, and call it done.

  8. As a player, I'd hold absolutely nothing against them, or any alternative material, as long as it plays well and is appropriately priced. If anyone want to sell a cello bow of this type, I'd be potentially interested.

  9. Wow, I got more than I wanted, even if not the answers I was hoping for. Thank you for all the responses.

    What I currently do when refurbishing old gouges and chisels that are rather abused is to do the rough work eyeballed with a standard high speed dry grinder. I found out that wetting the tool prior to and during grinding helps prevent heating up to some degree and manage to get relatively ok shapes, that I can then refine using dry and wet stones and Veritas jigs. However, I dislike working with wet stones because of the mess they make, especially when doing several tools, and the time it takes for them to properly soak up enough water beforehand and to clean up and dry afterwards. I also find one has to straighten the rougher stones again rather soon. And lastly the Veritas jigs make it impossible to use the whole stone (unless one makes a "container" for each stone, which has an edge that is level with the stone, which I havent). I would like to replace the finer grinding with a Tormek (or equivalent), so that there is less of a mess, but still a good result. When working with stones the Veritas jigs for straight blades like chisels, don't work for round tools such as gouges, and these always remain very much of an eyeballing job. The results are ok for those too, however, as I understand it, the Tormek system has jigs that make precision easy also for gouges. I also like Tormeks T8 for the mirror side of old tools, which often need a lot of precision work that doesn't go so well with my dry grinder and is much too time consuming using stones, because the surface of the mirror side is large. I know one could leave the mirror side just sort of ok and do a slight back bevel instead, but I like a totally flat mirror side, which is then good for (almost) all eternity.

    I must say gettting one of the better quality dry grinding wheels does seem attractive, I'll look into that some more. Although I will need to make my own jigs or keep trying to improve eyeballing. Hmm.

    Nobody seems to have any experience with Tormek knock-offs. I'll either have to take the plunge with those and hope for the best, or get a Tormek. Hmm.

  10. The Rib corners look like a built on the back construction method. I'm wondering if the cello has been revarnished as the box shows several dark spots, possibly traces of darker varnish. I find the scroll looks unusually tidy and has no dark spots, so it might not originally belong to the cello. My working theory is that the neck was damaged and replaced, because of the small surface left for the neck construction in BOB instruments, a small top block was installed. The repairman found it easier to revarnish the whole thing than to varnish the scroll similarly to the body. Probably Markneukirchen/Bohemia, 1875 could be right

  11. Looking for old tools at flee markets has become a little bit of an obsession for me lately. I'm having a lot of fun trying to refurbish old chisels and gouges. However, working with stones manually is quite labor intensive, time consuming and hard on the hands, so I've decided I want to get a wet grinder. The best known brand is ofcourse Tormek, and if I get one of those, I'd get the T8 (250MM stone). However, to me 700 Euros for a machine that is essentially just a motor turning a stone in a bath seems a little much, and I'm wondering if any of the cheaper alternatives like GüdeReckordTriton or even the super cheap Scheppach are any good. Does anyone here have any experence with these wet grinders?

  12. Ken, the best budget strings for cello are Larsen Aurora. These are pretty new kids on the block (I suspect the other posters don't kno them yet) and, at around 100 Euros by far have the best price/quality ratio. Practicaly all my students (I'm a cello teacher) that replace strings with these experience a big improvement.

  13. This damage is caused by knock-off Sacconi style tail cords, because they stretch too much while adhering to the surface of the saddle* too much. Replace the cord with an akustikus steel cord, or a kevlar cord.

    Why can't you just glue the saddle* back on? It looks like a clean break...

    *thanks Brad, for the correction

  14. I'm only an amateur, but what you have to me seems a cello from Saxonia, from the Markneukirchen - Kirchbach (nowadays Luby) region. It was likely made at the end of the 19th century or the very early 20th century, as a so called "trade-cello", much like todays student instruments. The general workmanship lik the skewed scroll point in that direction. In particular the length or the rib corner (going almost all the way into the plate corners) and the fact that the ribs were joined with corner blocks (visible in these pictures because of the crack that goes all the way into the rib corner and doesn't halt before where the corner block would be), all point to the way of constructing which is colloquiallly called "BOB (built on the back), which was traditional in that region. The cello would, in a good state of repair, not be worth a lot, depending on the sound somewhere around 2~3000 Euros. In this state, it requiring quite some repairs, it is not very valueable at all. Probably getting everything fixed will cost about as much as the cello is worth, or maybe a little more. If you like the sound and the way it plays, then it may be worth it to get it repaired (But be aware that it will likely change a little or quite some, once the snstantial cracks are repaired). If you are a maker with time on your hands, it may also be worth it, but otherwise not really.

  15. I'm replieing in the capacity of an amateur, hoping professionals will chime in. The photos are not sufficiently good to be able to say anything with certainty. One would need better quality photos, and photos of the scroll throat, and rib corners. But based on these vague pictures, I'd say the cello was revarnished or at least overcoated at some point. The photo of the ribs shows the strange stripy texture of the shiny varnish. Also things like the filled old end pin hole, the bridge feet areas and the seams look as if they've absorbed too much of a varnishing. It looks to me like a cello that could have been produced in the 19th century in Markneukirchen or Schönbach (now Luby). It could be older, but the state in which it is makes it hard to say anything decisive. Someone in the 70ies or 80ies added new pegs of the Patentwirbel type. I see sound post cracks in the top and back, and something like a bass bar crack. All in all, I think the cello isn't worth much, and restoration costs will vastly outsize its value.

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