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Looking for a cello


johnny
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The first obvious thing is that if you've been perpetually dissatisfied, I wouldn't count on a pig-in-a-poke commission to be anything other than much less satisfactory than something you could chose on a basis of playing it.

Second, if you've been at this a while, in that price range, in which there are many, many professional-quality instruments, you may have unreasonable expectations, which means that potentially ANYTHING may suit you, in that what you like may be something that anyone else may consider a bad cello. This is not a horribly unusual situation, and an even better reason to only buy what you can play on first.

You don't say what you mean by "problems". Can you explain that further? If you mean totally even tone quality from note to note across all strings, you should probably zero in on lower rather than higher price ranges.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
ddsrody1

I've been looking too and you might look at FEIN.COM or Peter Zaret and his bass bar for cello. I can tell you that the bass bar is incredible as I have one put in two of my violins. Dr. R.


I can tell you I've taken a heck of a lot more than two OUT of violins. Maybe dentists like them more than musicians do.

Johnny; If you have the budget to claim to, I'm having difficulty figuring out why you haven't found something you like. I've seen & heard... and even purchased and sold... some very nice 'celli in that range over the last year... in several different places (east coast, midwest, west coast). Where in the world are you looking??

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My cellos so far....

I play a 1920 Albert Glassel. Worthless, though I've won many auditions on it, and played solos on it. Most musicians like it, though anyone who knows instruments (dealers and collectors)ask me why I play such a piece of crap.

I was given a cello said to be French, but I was told was a Nippon. Very small sound.

I played a Carlo Vettori for a while. I won a job with my Glassel, then got the Vettori and played it for my first weeks with the orchestra. The principals told me to go back to the celo I played the audition with.

I was loaned a Petrus Guarnerius for several years, but had to give it back.

In the past years, I seriously considered buying a Gemunder, which was going for $55,000. The shop said they were not sure what to paper it as, so it passed through several names, until it was papered as a Zach.

I also looked at a Bernadel, for $60,000, but was told by several people that that was way too much money to pay.

I liked a Dom Niccolo Amati, for around $50,000 which was being repaired. After I showed an interest, the repairs were done within days, and I tried it. I was told that it really needed a major restoration in the $15,000 to $20,000 range.

I try all the cellos I can. I'm not looking for a certain sound. I would like a cello in good repair, with a big, clean sound. I also would rather not be taken to the cleaners on this. I'm a professional cellist, so I don't make enough money to buy an old Italian, or a Vuillaume, or a 19th Century Italian.

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I think I remember you, Johnny.... from the cello board, right? You've been at this a long time.

There is a difference between "Bolognese ca." and "Dom. Nicolo Amati". Also, I'm not sure which Bernardel (which member of the family) you were looking at, but $60K is very appropriate for a good one by most family members, in good shape, unless it's a Leon (which would be less).

So, it sounds like you may be shopping in a limited market, and possibly getting poor advice. Not a good combination.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Michael Darnton

You don't say what you mean by "problems". Can you explain that further? If you mean totally even tone quality from note to note across all strings, you should probably zero in on lower rather than higher price ranges.

Does this mean better (or more expensive) celli are more difficult to play, and therefore perceived to be more "problematic" than lesser ones?

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Lots of fine cellists, including orchestra principals, are using contemporary cellos.

In "Cello Congress" convention tests, where neither the player or audience knew exactly what was being played, selected new cellos often were rated higher by the listening audience than expensive old cellos, including Strads.

And I recently talked to a dealer who was involved in a major cello event in North Carolina. According to him, at least two modern cellos "blew away" a Gagliano, a Techler, a Testore and a Guadagnini in the opinion of the musicians who played and listened to them.

The most recent addition to the Cleveland Orchestra used a modern cello and bow in the audition.

Maybe worth a look? Probably fewer "problems" with these too.

David Burgess

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quote:


Originally posted by:
David Burgess

Lots of fine cellists, including orchestra principals, are using contemporary cellos.

The most recent addition to the Cleveland Orchestra used a modern cello and bow in the audition.

Maybe worth a look? Probably fewer "problems" with these too.


You'll get no argument from me about contemporary 'cellos being able to hold their own or excell in this price range. Yours, David, have long been favorites of mine (and plenty of good musicians as well). I have one from Joe Grubaugh and Sigrun Seifert in the shop now that I think is really fantastic... and there are few other makers who I think really deliver in the 'cello department.

There are also very fine "older", although not ancient, 'cellos within this range that have "fewer problems". Two years ago, one of R. Aarons student won the audition in Chicago on a Gustave Bernardel he borrowed, then turned around a bought (I believe it was a bit above the 60K mark). It was pretty much flawless.

So, as I said, I don't think Johnny's problem is his price range. It seems he must be looking in a limited market... and possibly getting some advice that may not be "up to date"... for a very long time. If he hasn't considered contemporary instruments, maybe he'll do so now. Certainly would contribute to the shopping venues he has to choose from.

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