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Royce J.

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Everything posted by Royce J.

  1. If that's the worst thing Mr. Saunders ever calls you, you're getting off easy.
  2. ...and give me a boost!
  3. I looked at cello bows, just out of curiosity. Unstamped, unattributed, nickel-mounted bows are expected to bring at least $800 or in some instances more than double that. Seems a bit optimistic to me, but it's certainly proof that I'd have no business bidding.
  4. This made me nostalgic for my old Jakob Winter case. It was an old design, possibly made of plywood IIRC, and not that protective, but fine for my needs. It was about the most compact cello case possible, and it just oozed "quality". Sorry but I have no idea about current cases.
  5. I have a guess which I will not reveal unless I turn out to be right, but I'd appreciate a verdict from someone who actually knows something. Thanks!
  6. Just a scratch. It has quite a few. Luthier had the top off and gave it a thorough inspection. Thanks.
  7. Thanks so much for replies! Jacob, I'm happy to report there are no soundpost cracks, back or front, but I will work on my photography skills. And thanks Blank face for the information. So it may be 120 years old, or even older. And I see now that the label has been trimmed around the outer edge, maybe to hide signs of having been removed from another instrument.
  8. This is my recent acquisition. I've been told it is a Markneukirchen cello about 100 years old. This is the label inside. My luthier took the top off for a couple of repairs and observed that there were fake corner blocks, a carved-in bass bar along with some pretty rough work on the underside of the top. Everything you can see through the f-holes looks great, but the maker obviously cut corners (groan) where it wouldn't show in order to save time. I have to doubt that Metropolitan Music would have labeled this cello as their top-of-the-line given it's obviously a rush job. You see above the label that was in it. Interestingly, my luthier said that the top has never been off before. That seems pretty good for a hundred year old cello. The label does look like some of the Master Art labels of the nineteen twenties and thirties. It's pretty worn, but is there anything about it that's a dead giveaway that it's fake? I don't know why I even care, really. This cello plays and sounds wonderful. I'll never be a good enough player to need a better cello. I think I'll keep her. It seems that Juzek can be a hot topic here, so I hope I haven't annoyed anyone. All replies appreciated, thanks.
  9. It sounds wonderful, thank you! My other cello is an unlabeled Chinese that I bought secondhand but virtually unused ten years ago. It has some gorgeous wood and quite a lovely tone, but next to this one sounds a little thin. This one is just richer and fuller sounding. There's just more there there (steal from the best, I always say). Definitely a keeper. I'll never be as good as it is.
  10. A little update: I want to thank everyone for their replies. I have the cello back and I absolutely love it. Mr. Saunders is certainly correct, while it may have been built in some haste, with some corners cut in construction (pun in there somewhere), it looks and sounds wonderful. I'd be insane to have someone try to "improve" it. I'm not sure a "genuine" Juzek Master Art could please me more.
  11. My first attempt to post photos, I hope these are OK. In person, on the back the dark areas are much redder, and the light areas yellow/orange. Here they just look brown to me. The top is more brown.
  12. Thanks for the replies. I think they were being sincere. I'm sure my luthier is pushing 80, if not dragging it behind him... He's seen a lot of cellos over the decades and probably knows a well-crafted instrument when he sees one. Every time I see him he mentions all the awful Ebay, etc. instruments that folks bring him, and how he has to tell them that they're not even worth working on. I have the cello home now, and I think it sounds great, better than my 10-year old Chinese cello which I've always thought sounded quite good. I've tried to post pictures without success (I think Maestronet is having some issues around that). Eventually I should be able to post some.
  13. I bought an old cello recently and took it to my luthier for a couple of repairs and a setup. When I laid it on the counter, he glanced at it and said "nice cello". This was before he had a chance to examine it closely or see the probably-spurious Juzek Master Art label. A couple of minutes later, a colleague walked up, took a look and said, "nice cello". I'm sure I should be grateful they didn't say "crap cello", although this seems like something they might think, but not say aloud. But what does "nice cello" mean? Nice-looking cello? If so, I agree. Or do they think that they can discern something about the overall quality of the piece with such a quick look? Or were they just being nice? Just curious.
  14. Thank you sir. There are no problems with the ribs. I've not yet even had the opportunity to play it; it's being set up right now. It certainly deserves a chance to show me what it's capable of before I contemplate having any work done.
  15. I recently bought a vintage cello. It was cheap, so I'm fine if it turns out the be the "usual rubbish" and isn't worth messing about with. I bought it because it was in decent condition, I like the wood and finish, and because it looked to have a little age to it. It has a fake Juzek Master Art label. I did not buy it on account of the label (I didn't see it til I got it home), but I admit I got a little excited when I saw it. My luthier set me straight -- it has fake corner blocks and the inside of the top looks like it was carved with a soup spoon, with a carved-in bass bar. He did say it was perhaps 100 years old, and it actually looks like it was made from decent wood. The inside of the back looks reasonably well-carved, but everything else you can see through the f-holes was designed to deceive and conceal that it was a somewhat crudely made instrument. My question is this: I know that having the top removed, corner blocks installed and the top regraduated (assuming it's thick enough) would cost a lot. It would probably just be throwing good money after bad, but I'm still intrigued by the thought. I'm unable to upload any pics right now. I will try to figure out how to. Any thoughts appreciated. Royce
  16. Sorry, of course I meant 5mm. After looking at it some more, I think it's probably less, more like 2mm. Bass bar and soundpost appear to be positioned pretty much where they should be, so I'm going to leave it alone. The next time I have it worked on, I'll ask my luthier about it. Thanks for the replies!
  17. I noticed a while back that the neck of my cello is slightly crooked. If I sight down the fingerboard from the scroll, the strings and bridge do not line up with the fingerboard when the bridge is centered between the f-holes. The bridge needs to be about 5mm towards the A string side in order to line up. I'd been playing for several years before I even noticed this. I read also that this can be fixed by removing some wood from the bottom of one bridge foot, giving the bridge a "tilt" in whatever direction it needs to go, but I'm not sure which is preferable: a tilted bridge or one that's slightly off the optimum position. The cello seems to play well and sound good. Should I worry?
  18. My cello teacher is a working pro, and uses Helicore C and G with Larsen D and A.
  19. I've used Magnacores on my cello and liked them very much. I tried Warchal Brilliant and they didn't suit my cello at all. They were extremely loud (which I didn't mind) but they had an extremely bright (brilliant?) tone that my teacher and I both really disliked. My teacher remarked that if one was playing with an orchestra and needed their sound to cut through, it might be OK, but I didn't want to listen to that every day. It seems to depend on the cello. My cello sounds good with Helicores, great with Magnacores, mediocre with Spirocores and awful with Warchal Brilliant. Who knows?
  20. I installed Knilling Perfection Pegs on my cello. They're great. Previous friction pegs were well-fitted; they never stuck and hardly ever slipped, except right before my first recital (naturally) when all four strings went approx. a whole tone flat. My grip strength is fine, but I occasionally had a little challenge turning regular pegs. Maybe it's easier on violin than cello. I like being able to use a tailpiece with no tuners.
  21. Victim of breast cancer at 36. Condolences to her family and friends. https://www.thestrad.com/news/anna-karkowska-who-ruffled-the-violin-world-with-hyper-romantic-style-dies-at-36/7576.article
  22. Before starting cello several years ago, I did a lot of research in the online cello community. Conventional wisdom is that a decent beginner cello costs about $1000, not including bow or case (which can get you to $2000 pretty quick). This assumes buying retail from a dealer that actually knows something about bowed strings. It's generally recommended that a beginner rent an instrument to start. As it appears to be much easier to buy a cello than to sell one, this seems pretty good advice.
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