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WesRist

What is so great about the "Scott Cao Sound"?

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I have to admit it, I like his instruments...at least over the internet,

but I haven't been exposed much to them personally.

Could someone who's either played them or owned them elaborate

on what the sound is like on the ones they've heard, and specifically

what they thought was so 'great'? What makes them better than others?

Thanks!

Wes

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I have had a Scott Cao 850 Ysaye 1740 reproduction for about a year now. It took some time to find a string set and rosin that went well with it. But in comparison to my original, store-brand Chinese made (although it is the best strings store in Hawaii) it was much, much clearer. I think it was both the difference in varnish (the Cao is a hand-rubbed oil varnish) and the quality of the wood. I found the best mix for me is the Oliv D&G with the Warchal Amber A&E. And regular Oliv rosin. I use Oliv strings on my cello too- except for a Larsen A. 

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I have had many come through the shop, and have owned many, and I can truthfully say that I never thought there was anything “so great about the Scott Cao sound”.

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2 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

I have had many come through the shop, and have owned many, and I can truthfully say that I never thought there was anything “so great about the Scott Cao sound”.

Good marketing...Cao seems to know how to advertise.

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Scord's got it. They can be wonderful fiddles, but the fact that you know the phrase The Scott Cao Sound means that he chose that phrase, advertised it, and worked on gathering testimonials to that effect. 

No lying, all advertising. There will always be another shop owner or workshop foreman that will slyly let you know that they have the REAL secret to setup, to optimize sound, and it's a shame you don't work for them because they couldn't POSSIBLY share the secret. 

Its usually making the soundpost symmetrical to the bassbar, if not some regrad scheme...

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27 minutes ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

Scord's got it. They can be wonderful fiddles, but the fact that you know the phrase The Scott Cao Sound means that he chose that phrase, advertised it, and worked on gathering testimonials to that effect. 

No lying, all advertising. There will always be another shop owner or workshop foreman that will slyly let you know that they have the REAL secret to setup, to optimize sound, and it's a shame you don't work for them because they couldn't POSSIBLY share the secret. 

Its usually making the soundpost symmetrical to the bassbar, if not some regrad scheme...

The real secret like a "patented bassbar"????

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I have played several of those cellos, and I like them, but I didn’t think they were especially outstanding. Good value,  but nothing more. 

Jay Haide Are the best Chinese instruments I have played, and I’ve played About a dozen of them. If I find one on craigslist, I will always snap it up. If you’re looking for best value for money and you want something brand new, get a Haide.

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6 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I have played several of those cellos, and I like them, but I didn’t think they were especially outstanding. Good value,  but nothing more. 

Jay Haide Are the best Chinese instruments I have played, and I’ve played About a dozen of them. If I find one on craigslist, I will always snap it up. If you’re looking for best value for money and you want something brand new, get a Haide.

I agree, they are pretty remarkable.......and I have been selling them since they were introduced.

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8 hours ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

"Its usually making the soundpost symmetrical to the bassbar, if not some regrad scheme..."

Hi Christopher:

Could you explain what this means?  Thanks

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Shu-Kun Cao's Signature series are made by him, or if identified as such, by one of his "labelled" assistants.  What is remarkable to me is that many of his assistants have also won VSA awards, possibly indicating he runs a good training program?

What I like about Cao violins is the neck shape - he gets it right, that slight egg oval shape, at least on the more expensive models.  They feel much better in my hands than most other contemporary instruments.  Many of the - even considered good - amateurs just don't feel right, at all. His setups are very exact - every dimension is within half a millimeter of less.

He used to use PI strings on all the Signature series; now he might sometimes use something different, perhaps Rondo?  As much as I dislike Dominants, I like PI strings; also, Corelli Cantiga, and Pirastro Gold, but haven't tried Pirastro on my SIgnature...

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From my limited experience the student instruments seem to cater well for the common beginners' desire for a darker/ warmer sound, which is said to not work very well once some projection is needed on a stage.

But alas, there are many factors in the equation.

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A little off topic, but would l33tplaya explain what he means by a slight egg-shape shape for the neck. I have often wondered whether, ideally, the shape of the neck in cross section should be circular or not. I'm not sure if he means slightly pointed or, at the other end of the egg, slightly flat at the bottom.

It would be interesting to get an informed opinion from a player.

 

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