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I wanted to start an open-ended discussion on carbon fiber cellos. Here are the makers I've come across: 1) Luis and Clark. By far the best marketed. $7,139. Endorsed/owned by Yo Yo Ma among many other professionals/amateurs. I am in touch with them now to try out an instrument. Any color, custom options like 5 strings available 2) Quinton ("Instruments of Grace"??). I was recently advised that the workshop making these (custom order only)had been sold. Unknown whether production will continue. Ellen Gunst of Cellos2Go advised: The Optimus model was the original with the one-piece molded back and ribs combined. The Ultimus was a later model which had separate face and back plates. The pricing was approximately $6,000 or so for the improved Optimus models and about $10-12,000 for the Ultimus depending on the finish. The only place I've been able to find these for sale is Cellos2Go.com, but stock is extremely limited with 0 full size currently. 3) Mezzo-Forte.de's cellos are $4538 USD ($4100 EUR) for 4-string and $4804 USD ($4340 EUR) for 5-string. 4) Cosi (European). http://www.cosi-lagarde.com not working. French maker, unknown if still producing Numerous excellent discussion threads exist: http://www.cello.org/heaven/mbarchs/2001/july8/carbon.htm http://cellofun.yuku.com/reply/36981/t/Re-Instruments-of-Grace-Carbon-Fibre-Cellos.html http://cellofun.yuku.com/topic/6846/carbon-fiber-cellos http://cellofun.yuku.com/reply/91642/Opinion-on-Luis-and-Clark-Carbon-Fiber-Instruments The general spirit of existing discussions is that the difference between brands depends on setup and personal preference - i.e., a L&C is not objectively superior/inferior to Quintus However I have some questions I have not seen adequately addressed: 1) Does anyone have experience making/selling/adjusting/repairing these? How willing/able are luthiers to work these? 2) What other brands are there? 3) What is the best way to test out/hear multiple brands? Cello expos/congresses/shows etc. would seem to be the answer but so far no luck finding ones devoted to Carbon cellos. Hard to tell from videos. 4) Best way to acquire? Since they are virtually indestructible used should be preferable as they will be cheaper but basically as good as new. I would think the (unlikely) ideal is to score in a flea market/consignment/thrift store. Is there another used Carbon cello market? I've found very little on Amazon/eBay/Craigslist and only a few listings on Internet Cello Society 5) How well do these cellos age? I've heard their sound stays stable since Carbon fiber is indestructible 6) What does the future (market) look like for these? L&C cello have stayed virtually the same in dollars from 1994 (so in real dollar value they have become cheaper due to inflation). Purchasing a CF cello today is certainly a financial loss unless one earns income from performing, since selling used CF cellos entails a discount like for wooden instruments. Most used L&C go for about $6,000. L&C seems to have adopted the Apple model: only offer a single "best" option in each product line (i.e., violin, viola, cello, bass) at a premium (relatively) price. It seems that CF cellos may be gaining more mainstream acceptance/demand. I would expect more competitors (Mezzo-forte seemingly the first of the new guard) to step in to challenge L&C to fill the void left by the now-basically-defunct Quintus, and that may drive down prices and offer greater options. In addition as companies refine their processes and produce in greater volume, cost per unit will drop. Is it wiser to wait a few years to buy for those reasons? It may also be best to do so to assess whether CF is simply a fad or here to stay. If mainstream classical persists in discriminating against CF, they may not be viable as primary instruments. 7) What implications does the success of CF have for alternative cellos such as electric, aluminum, etc.? To what extent are these competing products? Perhaps CF's greatest contribution will be to open the minds of luthiers and players to new technical and musical possibilities and thus help innovations such as bent endpins, Starker bridge, Uitti double bow gain greater play.
Happy Festivus. The Holiday for the rest of us, on December 23rd.. Created by Seinfeld writer Dan O'Keefe. The Festivus celebration includes: the airing of family grievances (not that this ever happens at holiday gatherings wrestling with the head of the household (and other items not shown on TV: hats, etc.) a bare aluminum pole feats of strength http://uproxx.com/life/what-is-festivus-seinfeld-anti-holiday-explainer/