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HEIGHTS OF THE CELLO ARCHINGS - EFFECTS ON SOUND


Levin
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Hello everyone,
I want to build a cello based on 1740 Montagnana. The model is not so different from a Stradivari cello except for the heights of the archings that in Montagnana are much higher. I wanted to ask: this greater height proved a less powerful but sweeter sound or even increases bass?
 
Levin

 

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Hello everyone,
I want to build a cello based on 1740 Montagnana. The model is not so different from a Stradivari cello except for the heights of the archings that in Montagnana are much higher. I wanted to ask: this greater height proved a less powerful but sweeter sound or even increases bass?
 
Levin

 

I was hoping some cello makers would make some comments.  My pure guess is that a lower arch will lower all of the cello's resonance frequencies which will make it sound darker and louder.

 

I don't have a physical definition for "sweetness".  I suspect it is the opposite of "harshness".  I believe harshness is caused by an over abundance of upper harmonics which I further suspect is caused by excessive thickness. 

 

Does anybody have typical arch height/body length ratios for violins, violas, cellos, and basses?  The larger instruments seem flatter to me but I don't know.

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The Montagnana model I used was big, with lots of heartroom, so with  archings of 30mm and 28mm it tended to have a big round sound and a big c string.

 

But it's a hard question for me to answer, as I think the form of the arching has a huge effect on the sound independent of the overall height . The model I'm using now is much less wide and has a full long arch that rises fairly quickly from the ends. Similarly, from side to side there's a hollow and then a quick rise to a slight flatness. So I think that the front probably works differently to one with a rounder arching.

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Du Pré's first decent Cello was one of two from her Godmother, an early 1673 Strad with high Amatise arching and quite massive size. The bass end is deep & growling, the top end contrasts but equally strong.  
Currently made accessible to Nina Kotova. 
You can hear that instrument in the video below. 

I'm making a smallish Guad model Cello in willow, with a very full back arching.
I don't guess what it will sound like before it's made but I can pretty much guarantee it won't sound piercing and nasal
like some flat arched ones can. 

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