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baroquecello

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Everything posted by baroquecello

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. Leaves me more time to save up for the bill
  11. 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!)
  12. 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.
  13. 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"
  14. @Blank face to my mind this is a fake corner block:
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Picture of the front and of the side, the latter shows the steep neck angle to get to a normal bridge height.
  18. ultra low neck overstand (6 MM with correction, without it about 3MM)
  19. BOB construction. But no fake cornerblocks
  20. These are pictures of what was the first cello I owned. I think I know what it is, but I'd like your opinion anyway, in particular on its age. It has a number of major health poblems, whicch Im considering getting taken care of, even though the instruments market value probably doesn't justify the investment. It is more for sentimental value, added to the fact that it used to be a rather good sounding instrument, which several very good colleagues have tried to buy off me. That was until the repairs slowly started failing. Here are soe measurements: back top to bottom: 73,5 CM lower bout widest 42 CM upper bout widest 32 CM C-bout narrowest 21 CM upper f hole kidneys narrowest: 8,5 CM Mensur (back of the bridge till edge next to neck root): 40,5 CM So technically a smallish cello with a full size string length. Scroll has fluting till the bitter end. Neck and scroll look like beech to me.
  21. I agree with Jacobsaunders on the violin. The bow is crap and should be thrown away.
  22. This is what I was thinking. I'm quite sure it doesn't have to do with the plug, but it probably has to do with the hair and the way it is tensioned. If the hair is longer, the bow will have more bounce because both the stick and the hair length add elasticity. If there is more or less hair than before, it will influence how the bow feels. If there is more hair on one side than on the other side (often a little more hair is put on the side which is tilted towards the string, because that hair tends to break and wear out faster, resulting in worst case of neglect in a permanently crooked stick), it will influence how it feels. The wideness of the hair ribbon influences how the bow feels. So that begs the questions: how to judge the quality of bows and what is a good rehair? A good rehair is one that looks and functions in a way that the repairman intended, and that is repeatable. A rehairer that cannot reproduce his own work, or alter it in a way that the costumer desires (if the demands are reasonable), is not in command of his craft yet. However, the costumer has to understand that if there is a shoddy piece of hair on the bow, the characteristics of that ribbon cannot be relieably reproduced, because you cannot measure everything and reproduce it faithfully, in such a case. The bow stick is easier to reproduce, as it is measurable to a much greater extent (although it is a costly thing to do!). A standard rehair should look something like this. A good ribbon is one that is as close as possible to uniformly wide from tip to bow. Mostly the hair should just about relax when the frog is a its "shortest possible" position, as most bows work better with a slightly shorter ribbon of hair. In most cases, a slight amount of extra hair on the playing side is preferential, but not so much that it would cause the bow to bend. The hair strands should run perfectly parallel and not cross other hairs. The hair strands should be as similar in length as possible, so that when the ribbon is relaxed all hair is similarly loose. Most of these can be somewhat changed according to the preference of the player and the particular bow. However some off standard factors cannot be reproduced faithfully. If a player prefers hair strands that do not run paralell, that would be one, for instance. Or of a player for some reason prefers uneven length of hair strands, that is also not reproduceable as it was before. Or if a strangely shaped plug was used, that is often not well reproducable. Your rehairer wasn't instructed by you to make the hair ribbon less wide at the tip than at the frog, in fact, you specified that you would like it to be spread as widely as possible. The preference for the strange plug is not reproducable, so your rehairer cannot be blaimed for that. But the wide spread of the hair should be reproducable (especially as that is how a bow should be, standard. Look at the ribbon of hair in this video), and your rehairers ignoring this preference makes me suspect he is not a master of the craft yet. It makes no sense to talk to him about it, since complaining will not make him a better craftsman. Find someone else.
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