Michael H

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About Michael H

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  1. My first childhood cello was an Engelhardt. If Upton did buy Engelhardt, I hope that means some extra thought goes into redesigning their cello construction.
  2. Always so much to learn... thank goodness professionals are not hard to find and will always accept money for their opinions
  3. I suppose the areas that I mentioned are the key areas for my own “skills” of identification, but I have only had a few Mittenwalds, so my ability to determine based upon scroll profile, wood choice and f-holes are very limited. I did have what I thought was a Mittenwald violin years ago, but turned out to be an obvious Markneukirchen once the top was off. Still had a one piece rib, but lacked an inset saddle and was BOB with fake cornerblocks added later. It also had deep fluted scroll, a notch, and wider f-holes, also diving boards for corners not flush with the corners, a nice rounded and deeply cut profile with a semi protruding chin, most likely altered in some areas to look more Mittenwald. Had I known more about wood choice and ability to identify the rib joints, I may have avoided. I guess I am wondering mainly how the corners and rib joints look, in my opinion, like diving boards that can be mistaken for a BOB construction, despite the overhang...?
  4. I recognize the key features of this being Mittenwald as being: 1) one-piece rib, 2) bottom notch, 3) inset saddle 4) let-in linings. Otherwise, how else can I identify this as a Mittenwald based upon the scroll, corners, rib joints and varnish? This looks like it was built with an inside mold (which I am only imagining from seeing the cornerblock and non-flush top plate to rib alignment), but if I had not seen the let in linings or endpin area, I might assume this to be a non-Mittenwald German instrument. I’m trying to identify using other methods. Thank you in advance. edit: Oh, and the very deep-fluted throat being Mittenwald too.
  5. A few times I have used the verbal opinion option from Vatelot-Rampal. It costs a bit of money but can be a good option to point you in the right direction. For some of us, it’s a bit difficult to get instruments in for a written certificate. Although a written certificate is ideal, photos can at least provide a pass or fail scenario. You might email Rampal’s shop to see if they can help.
  6. All of your benches look so pristine and organized. Maybe after about 5 hours of organizing I’ll post my bench, it will look less like an angsty teenager’s room that way.
  7. Your comments reviewing certain brands mentioned are exactly what I had intended, while [unnecessarily] defending Kenneth. It was an inquiry, not an attack, I realized only after. I very much agree that cheaper counterparts can perform equally, if not better, than the fancier ones. I suppose my main point was that people spend money to feel better about their instruments, sometimes regardless of the results. I do wish I had some better insight as to the results of Kenneth’s product aside from the read reviews. Although I have seen a few videos of the making, I do not know how long they take to make. This might be a determining factor, although I don’t think they can justify the price tag. Even if I assume a master maker spends 300 hours making a cello and charges $30k, that is less than $100 an hour (when accounting for price of material) for a well-known masterpiece. I would hope it would take less time for a maker, as they should deserve more per hour. But even assuming that $100 may define master work, I can’t imagine a tailpiece taking 8-10 hours. I definitely could be wrong, though.
  8. Have you had a chance to try one by Dictum?
  9. Truth be told, I’m almost positive he is not a member here and would not have a chance to defend himself. So I’m playing defender a bit. I have seen the reviews of those with nicer celli say they make a difference, and I personally like the way they look; however, the price is a bit too much for me to have experimented with. I was trying to shut down the convo, but obviously did not work. I wish they had a free trial and that they were at least half the price so that I could justify trying one on one of mine. :/ I really do like the sleek modern look on an older cello. For now I’ll stick with Akusticus. P.S. Mmmmmm... Kool-Aid
  10. It’s whatever a player wants to spend their money on. It’s not uncommon to spend $350+ every 3-4 months for a string combo that feels good (cellist). It is not uncommon to spend extra on a gold mounted bow when the silver mounted counterpart has a better weight and balance point. It is not uncommon to have an expert luthier insert missing and matching purfling on previously repaired edge, when it does not enhance playability nor sound, assuming the instrument is not for resale, it gives a sense of completeness and overall satisfaction. It is not uncommon to spend hundreds on a special Krentz wolftone eliminator that almost eliminates a wolf, but not quite, while an almost as effective New Harmony (properly weighted) can be had for $10. It’s an expensive profession and hobby. Bois Harmonie, Krentz, Bogaro & Clemente, Despiau, Aubert, Otto-Infeld; just a few names that come to mind when discussing brands of accessories. Therefore, it shouldn’t be considered unreasonable, nor uncommon, to spend a lot on a handmade tailpiece that gives a player a bought satisfaction. At times, an accessory can make us feel like it improves the tone, response, projection, etc.. But does it really matter if it actually does if we believe it as a player? Often times I consult my wife after I setup a cello. “How does this sound?” After half a dozen sound posts, I ask. “What am I supposed to be listing for?” She replies, every time. To whom are we playing for aside from ourselves, really?
  11. Kenneth is a great guy, I support his work. Expensive? Yes, of course. Don’t want to be “spendy?” Don’t buy one.
  12. I have had a lot of problems with Versum A strings and thread separation at the bridge. They do sound very good on some of my celli, but even with a parchment protector, it still separates. I do tend to swap strings around a lot, so maybe if you install and leave it, it may be fine. I can say the A is more fragile than any other string I have.
  13. Great, thanks! I’ve had a handful over the last decade and they’ve always been solid workshop celli.
  14. Okay, found it. It is at auction, but not necessarily a discussion of the auction, only the label.
  15. It’s a SIR German cello, I caught it looking around, now can’t find the link (though I suppose this thread may have to be in the auction forum). Handwritten on the manufacturer’s label is handwritten “antic **.” As far as I know, SIR celli has four grades, so maybe the two stars represent level two? Though I would typically see a Roman numeral, and have never seen “antic” written.