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Everything posted by baroquecello

  1. I'm a professional Cellist, mainly active in the HIPP Scene, but I earn a big part of my income through teaching modern Cello. I've recently discovered that I Play a lot better on Cello with a string length that it a Little Shorter than the average 69 CMs, 67 seems ideal. This Cello is just a Little Shorter, seems to have a Little leeway for the Bridge Placement because of the lack of traditional f-holes, and is an authentic old Cello that I could use with gut strings for 19th century Repertoire in a HIPP context, but I think it should be usable with steel for my modern teaching also, so, even if there is quite some restoring to do on this one (but it seems to be mainly open seams, which on this construction without overhang is a bigger deal than with the usual construction, but still, I can discern only two cracks and they are in structurally non-essential Areas), I think this could be just the Kind of Thing I'm Looking for. If it doesn't Sound to my liking, in a repaired state, with a bit of patience, I think I could sell it nonetheless and not make too big of a loss. Thank you for your info, I think you are Right.
  2. For the amount of Money stated in the estimate, I'd be interested in this pointless Cello. But I can't seem to find out how to Register with tarisio. Can anyone help?
  3. Well, I was assuming it will be used in modern context. If you don't say anything they might assume 430 or 415. Though usually gut strings can handle a half tone higher in pitch without many Problems.
  4. I'm sorry, I have no idea. Maybe tell them These Things were made for gut strings? I think fractional (or any string made for the usual Cello Tuning) size Cello strings are not made for These pitches, and will be varieing too widely in Tension to be well playable.
  5. You can contact a gut string maker (for instance Kürschner, or Aquila, toro, Dlugolecki) directly. If you tell them which pitch and string length, they will calculate the ideal diametre and send you a well adjusted set. Do not forget to mention that you play at a=442 or so. It usually does not cost more.
  6. Recently someone told me his Cello had been described as being approximately 75 to 100 years old, made in northern Germany with flemish design influences. That Sound like complete nonsense to me, and I'm wondering if you agree. What violin making was going on in northern Germany in the interbellum, Maybe the stuff coming from Berlin? And was zum Teufel are flemish design influences?
  7. If you wish to straighten the bridge, the easiest way to do that is by heating it up and then bending it. I'm a cello teacher and have done thatr times on cheap student cellos. One bridge has remained straight for a long time, the others simply were badly made to begin with. What I did was heat the bridge with steam from a water cooker. The main warping occurs between the kidneys and the heart, you want to prevent heating the rest. When the bridge is hot, you can simply bend it by hand. Place the bridge with the flat side on a flat surface to check how well you did, if necessary repeat. Before placing the bridge back onto the cello, let it dry out well. Best is to wait a day or so. Some people heat the bridge with a heaz gun, or even in an oven. I've never done that, so can't comment on it. Mind you, this is a cheap fix, and for best sound, a new bridge is in order.
  8. Dominants for Cello, highly unusual, not used by anyone anymore. Small Sound, quickly goes dead. Not recommended. The Combo you have on there is Pretty good when you are on a Budget, though Helicore lower strings do have a Shorter life than most other wirecore strings. If you like to try something with a Little less Tension (which is what Dominant would be), try Larsen Magnacore Arioso. Also, the tail piece you are using is heavy and clunky, probably a different one (cheap would be a Wittner Composite or an Akustikus tail piece) will likely improve the Sound quite some. good luck!
  9. I'm really no expert and hope others will correct me if I'm wrong. But I believe the "Berlin School" has something to do with the making going on around the Möckel Family, like Otto Möckel. (check the Wikipedia article) I believe they worked with inner molds and Corner blocks, and the Instruments are well regarded nowadays. Your Cello to me Looks like a nice but simple straight Forward Saxon (Markneukirchen) Instrument. The rib Corners end Right at the plate Corners , and probably you can see the seam is Right in the centre of the Corners. This means the rib construction is without Corner blocks (which you may or may not be able to see from the f-holes, as after construction they added fake Corner blocks that are not immediately discerable from real ones, unless you open up the instrument) , and then glued onto the back, the excess Wood the filed off. I don't think your Instrument has much to do with berlin. If it were my Cello, speaking as a Cellist, I'd get it fixed up with a properly done Setup. Very likely your instrument can Sound a lot better with a good end pin and tail piece, fitting Bridge and Sound post etc. I wouldn't be surprised if the fingerboard could use a redressing too. Ofcourse, the Pictures do not sayhow it actually Plays, but Instruments with a Setup that Looks like that do usually improve a lot with a new one. Edit note: others have spoken, ignore my first paragraph
  10. Ok, I'm also learning so take my Response that way. I assume by german you mean Saxon (markneukirchen area). I don't agree with this (even if I'm not saying that it isn't german, it is not a markie). I think the Corners are flush in some places (but not all) because of wear (there even is one Corner that is already half broken off, whowing what Kind of wear I mean!), not because they were made that way, similar when it Comes to the purfling extending into the Corner, the result of genuine wear, I think. The Corners have blocks that seem, to me, original. The construction you talk About, which has "flush" rib Corners, is the result of Building on the back, without Corner blocks, and then simply filing off the excess Wood of the ribs. This should also result in a rib Corner seam that is more or less centrered. this one does not have those, again, wear or negligence caused clearly visible open seams that are very much not in the centre, so I believe it was constructed with Corner blocks. What you say About wide purfling being a german (Saxon?) trait is new to me. It is indeed wide, Looks almost like double bass purfling to me, but I wouldn't know that Points in any direction. Germans (both markneukirchen and Mittenwald) did seem to use purfling that had only a very thin White in the centre, Maybe that is what you are referring to. This Looks like irregular welf made purfling, not wholesale bought. The scroll doesn't look saxon at all, I think, too symmetrical and meticulous for what you usually see, fluting too far into the throat. The ebony Crown is a very Standard Thing, especially afer replecement of the neck, and as this scroll is grafted, the neck was replaced. Probably not there when it was first constructed. I don't think the vasnish sais anything. Maybe you are thinking of the very dark varnishes which I believe turned dark, sometimes even black because of oxidation of iron Content? this is definately not that. Dunno what this cello is, but definitely not Saxon. (I like it though and the owner should really take better care of it!) And my gut sais ist not from anywhere elsein Germany. Maybe something english?
  11. graft the scroll onto a new neck and peg box, would be best, I think.
  12. I do not think it deserves much attention. It's just a gizmo, nothing more. The dynamic rangevis smaller, cthe sound color range is smaller,almost no articulation possible. Moreover, if you always play three or four strings at the same time, you also always have to play triple and quadruple stops, which is very unpleasant. Also, because of the tuning of the strings. Voice leading will be limited. Nothing much to be expected from this invention. Edit note, I looked mainly at the Pictures and saw now that it can also be used for "melodic" playing. I still stand with the last line of the above Paragraph and will add thart is has Nothing to do with baroque bows, other than that it is convex, as some but not all baroque bows are.
  13. Wow, Bill, I think it is strange that, if that is the case - the description under the "provenance"- Header seems to corroborate your Story -, then I find it Incredible that they still write the following under the Header "catalogue note": "the Rostropovich cello of 1783 is one of his last and most noble works, and in itself, a fitting summary of his career. The instrument seems to contain all of Guadagnini’s own artistic ideas about the cello, but overlaid with the clear signs of the influence of his patron, the renowned collector Count Cozio di Salabue. Cozio’s enthusiasm for Stradivari was resented by Guadaginini, who had consistently followed his own course, but nevertheless many of his late Turin works, like this cello, are marked, at Cozio’s insistence, by the blackened edges to the scroll, an idiosyncrasy of Stradivari’s that is at odds with the various personal touches of Guadagnini’s own independent spirit. It remains a powerful work, beautifully modelled and in proportion not unlike the work of the great Venetian cello maker Domenico Montagnana, but significantly reduced in scale. The soundholes are also Stradivarian in form, but set widely on the broad face of the instrument. Guadagnini’s varnish varied considerably depending on his location, and this dark, intense red-brown is characteristic of his Turin period, and still beautifully intact on this wholly remarkable cello. "
  14. All the Ironwood I've seen (in baroque bows) was a lot darker than this, are there different species?
  15. Andreas, I've been lurking and reading, enjoying this thread a lot. But I'm only a Cellist with an interest in making and practically no experience, so take my comments with that in mind please. I was just wondering, if you think that the flexibility of the ribs is the problem, why wouldn't you take the top off and add an extra layer of lamination on the inside of the ribs? Shouldn't that answer the question if it really has something to do with the weakness of the ribs very adequately?
  16. I quite like the double bass, but a double viola… must be a Nightmare! I can understand you are Looking for a Thing to store it in. Permanently. please.
  17. There was a thread recently here on byron beebe. Use the search function.
  18. In Harpsichord making, there exist two different ways of constructing the Instrument. One is too build a sturdy Body, in which the Sound board is chiefly responsible for the amplification of the Sound, which radiates from that part of the Harpsichord alone. This Counts for flemish, French, english and german Instruments. The italians in the 17th century however had a different ideal. They usually built Harpsichords with a very Thin Body, so that the whole Body would start to radiate the Sound. The difference in how that sounds is quite amazing. It got me wondering to what extend this translates to violin type Instruments. My own Cellos Sound mainly from the top plate. I notice this, because to the Player, they do not Sound loud at all, indeed in Ensembles it is hard to hear myself, but in the audience the Instruments do not have deficiencies in Sound. My old, german Cello, was a lot more audible under the ear and I believe was radiating a lot more Sound especially from tha back plate. I'm wondering if anyone knows About wether These acoustic Features are intentional or not. It seems to me thinner graduations for the back and ribs would achieve the more active participation in the radiation of the Sound, but what do I know. I find that Cellos on which you can hear yourself better usually have less soloistic Quality and a warmer Sound. Usually they Need a lot less work, bow wise, to get going, but have a maximum that is easily reached.
  19. Good that you posted it here now. I'd say the neck construction is later Addition by an Amateur repairman. From the Pictures, apart from the weird neck block replacement, the Instrument Looks to be in good condition, just a few unimportant cracks in the top. I don't think People would have left it for the dust bin. I'm curious what People will suggest as origin of the Cello. BTW I just love such geared pegs! The screws somehow don't look like they belong to them...
  20. If you bought it directly from Yita, shoot them a mail with the photo attached, say you find this a problem and ask how they intend to solve it. They will respond reasonably in my experience.
  21. Tom, regarding strings it depends what you wish for, ofcourse. All of The makers I mentioned have a good Reputation for HIPP gut strings. I am a Cellist and don't know what is most preferred by violinists. My Partner, a professional Violinist, says she uses a Kürschner Luxline for the d string, and otherwise at the Moment uses Aquila. She sais the Aquila bare gut is generally accepted as nice to Play, but the wound strings are somewhat Special and not appreciated by all. The wound g string in that setup will ofcourse not be a flat wire, but round wire wound string, which not everybody will like. I don't know if a Company like Pirastro, which makes flat wound strings, makes strings to your personal order, but you could try, if you wish for your violin to be more playable for "modern" violinists and not only for HIPP-Players.
  22. Many gut string makers ca make you a string to your specifications. Well made gut strings have a good shelf life (as opposeed to their Reputation!), you could order a few. I just looked, and Toro specificaly states on their site they take Special orders, I would expect the same from Aquila, Dlugolecki and know Kathedrale strings does so. In my experience, it is not so much more expensive than Standard size strings, but you may Need to wait a bit. Edit note, I 've a few Questions: I can't see very well, but it appears the button is seperately glued onto the neck root (ebony?), and not part of the back plate, am I correct? Is the neck construction of the Standard mortice-in-top block-type or is it in one piece?
  23. @jacobsaunders but a wedge would increase the projection too. To me it looks like projection might be fine (pic 2) as it is, correct for this low overstand, and in that case a wedge would not be advisable, would it? Maybe a shim or even a slightly "inverse" wedge?
  24. Ok, so I see some reactions here which contain incorrect Information, and some opinions here I emphatically disagree with. I will therefore now attempt write a General guide for understanding how the different types of modern Cello strings work, attempting to clearly differentiate between what is a fact, and what is my personal opinion. The most important Thing to know is that Cello strings come in four different Kinds, the key difference being the core material: 1. gut core strings 2. synthetic core strings and cores that are neither steel nor gut 3. solid steel core strings. 4. rope steel core strings Why such a Variety? well, before the 20th century, strings were made of gut, low strings wound with a silver or Copper wire. With improvement of the Quality of steel, the reduction of the Price of steel, the increase of the Price of labour, the financial crises in the 20ies and thirties, it became attractive to produce steel strings for their longivity mainly at first. Such very Basic strings, a single core wih a single wire wound around it, were quite crude and not attractive to professional musicians other than those travelling to the tropics. The introduction of better windings (flat wire), the introduction of dampening materials between the core and the winding, and the introduction of the wire core (in the 50ies, Spirocore) greatly improved the tonal qualities of steel strings, so that by the 60ies, they could almost compete with gut strings Sound Quality wise, and had big Advantages what stability is concerned and some what projection of Sound is concerned. Then the shift towards steel core went very fast. In an attempt to combine some of the qualities of gut strings and steel strings, strings with synthetic cores were introduced, I believe Dominants were the first ones around. With a few exceptions, most notably historically informed Players, what one sees and hears nowadays are Cellos strung with solid steel core upper strings, and wire core lower strings. Apart from the strings developed by Warchal (synthetic core, save the a string), Velvet (silk core), and Pirastro obligato (synthetic core, but only for the lower two strings!)All sets of professional quality that have come onto the market roughly the last 20 years are exactly this combination. Before that, the sets were made with a similar core for all strings. Spirocore strings were all wire core strings, also for a and d. Jargar strings, early Larsen strings were all solid core strings. So when you wish to select a new set of steel strings for your Cello, you should Keep this in mind: the top two should be single core strings, the lower two wire core, that is what generally works best. On some exceptional Cellos one may want a single core g string, or inversely a wire core d string, but that is extremely rare. The reason why you see the combination of Larsen a and d (often solo) and Spirocore g and c (often Tungsten wound), is because These two Brands were the best in the 90ies, and arrived at something that seems to work quite universally quite early. The Budget Version of this was top two Jargar and lower two Helicore. All newer sets by the various string makers are variations on this concept. As I mentioned, the newer sets on the market are already a combination of wire core strings and solid core strings. The Variation is in the exact material of the core or winding, the exact diametre of the core or thickness of the winding, the properties of the dampening material (usually fibres in combination with a resin) and the Tension. A lutier in this thread gave the impression that steel strings produce a bad Sound, and that Larsen strings are not steel strings. The latter is wrong, and the former I, a fervent gut string Player, do not agree with. Regular Larsen and Jargar a and d strings are really quite similar. What you will prefer is very personal, and it may depend on your Cello; if you had a different Cello, you may prefer the other. The ideal string combination for you and for your Cello can only be arrived at through endless experimentation. It is not possible to foresee how a particular string will Sound on a particular Cello. There are tendencies, ofcourse. The sad Thing is, as you Progress, you will start liking other Things and your previously preferred strings will no longer be your preferred strings. Welcome to the world of Equipment Freaks! Just a short note on synthetic core strings. I have yet to encounter synthetic strings that truly come close to the Sound of gut strings. Usually, they Sound dull, not warm, in comparison, and some have serious drawbacks what playability is concerned. I have played a few Cellos on which obligatos sounded quite nice and worked well, but the top two strings have a steel core. I have yet to see any professional Cellist use Warchal strings. Velvet strings Combine some qualities of gut with better playabilty, but they are a lot thicker than steel. Dominant is interesting in some way, but much to low Tension, not loud enough and also loses its Sound too quickly. I do not currently believe that synthetic core strings are the definitive answer for Cellos. to come back to the OPs Question, as the OP has not experimented with his Cello at all, seems a relative beginner on a Budget, I stand firm on my advise to start with Helicore and take it from there for the future. The upper strings are a too punchy for most high Quality Cellos, but on lower Quality Cellos, that is usually what they Need. If it is too punchy, try a Jargar or Larsen a string. The lower two helicore strings are quite mellow in comparison to for instance spirocore, but as most cheap Cellos Need improvement on the top two strings, that would likely fit well. And I've played one particular Cello on which a whole set sounded phenomenal. Personally, I use Jargar Special forte a string, Jargar Special d string, and Tungsten wound Spirocores on the bottom, but this is expensive. And I arrived at this set after a lot of experimenting. Spirocores are not so nice for Amateurs to have to Play in, and can really take 6 months or so if you don't Show them all the Corners of the room in your playing, and during this time can Sound quite awful. If you have a lot of Money, go ahead and try the newer strings: Perpetual, Magnacore, Eva Gold, the list goes on. But it is expensive and can be just as bad as anything, depending on the Cello, especially if you don't know what you are Looking for.