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Help me decide on this cello

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I have been offered this very damaged cello for 2200 euros. It's way above what I can afford to just go out and buy (I'm a student), so I'm very much in doubt whether I should take the offer or not.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=192tbYwcHzS9H1s_LbWHxLe6E_oOxhjF4

Can someone help me? I'm not sure if this will end out as a good cello or not.
I need to say that I'm not a professional luthier, and I do not want to make a profit from this. I want to put half a year or so into restoring it and play it for myself, as I have no way of affording a cello good enough for me to start learning again. My current cello is good, but it doesn't have more to offer me than what I'm getting out of it now. I'm feeling a bit stuck.

I need an opinion on these questions:

1 - If I successfully restore the cello, do you think it will be a very good instrument? What price range would you expect it to end up in, purely soundwise?
2 - If I restore the cello and don't like the  sound or the feel of it, will I be able to sell it to someone else or is it impossible to sell very damaged instruments?
3 - Do you think it's so damaged that it can't be restored to a playable state?

I hope someone has the time to look at the photos and the experience to guide me.

-Tobias

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Hard to say just seeing the back, but my immediate reaction is that this is high risk. I don't think those back cracks are easy repairs, and how it'll sound is anyone's guess. Why not sell your existing cello, and use the proceeds plus the 2200 to upgrade?

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I have considered that. I will go to my luthier tomorrow and see if he has something at that price...
But if not, this is still really interesting. I think it looks great, and I restored another cello from a worse state, so I think I'll be able to mke it playable at least.

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Here is is my opinion as a lay person (not a luthier, not a professional instrumentalist):

1. You already stated it is above your affordability status...so why take it?

2. You already know that the cello needs work performed by a luthier....so why take it?

3. You don't state whether you have played it, but it can be easily inferred that the cello is not in playing condition...so why take it?

As an amateur, I can only tell you that my number one motivating factor for the purchase of an instrument is sound.  Sound first.  Asking price second.  Resale value always last.   

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1 hour ago, Tom Fid said:

Hard to say just seeing the back, but my immediate reaction is that this is high risk. I don't think those back cracks are easy repairs, and how it'll sound is anyone's guess. Why not sell your existing cello, and use the proceeds plus the 2200 to upgrade?

Ditto.  find a playable cello that sounds good.  Make that your goal and buy it by selling your current one.  

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I agree, there's no way to know what it'll sound like, so...?  Interest in playing as well as making/repair can be a conflict.  Where do your put your energy and how much time gets used?

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Bill, it really depends. Sometimes I build a lot, sometimes I play a lot. I'm only a hobbyist in both areas, so I can move around a bit depending on which projects I have going on. Right now I do a lot of both as I'm building a guitar while playing concerts, but usually it's more one than the other.
I think I would focus on the restoration first and then play a lot when it is done...
It's a hard question to answer clearly, as I don't structure it that much.

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I think I just saw this cello on Ebay as Testore cello to repair, from Hannover, Germany. 

The top plate is broken in two pieces, I guess it will require a lot of skill to repair this because you will have to take it apart and reglue the plate very carefully again. 

But it is still a good learning object!

I wish you wisdom to take the right decision..

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It seems like a very bad idea.  To my (nonexpert) eye it looks like possibly a low-value cello even if it were in top condition.  This, on the other hand, is in very poor condition.  There's a high risk that you will waste all your money on it, for nothing.  And restoration, even if by some miracle you can manage to do competently and without causing further damage, will cost you another pile of money and huge amounts of time to learn how.  Sometimes I'm wrong about the value of instruments, but in this case I would certainly want strong evidence to the contrary before I risked any money on it.

You said your current cello is good.  There you go.  If you really must have a better cello, I think you need to find a better way.

 

EDIT:  The ebay auction is here:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/italian-4-4-CELLO-to-restore-TESTORE-old-violin-violon-violino/173769932457?hash=item28757ebea9:g:C2QAAOSwFSNcUfNS . 

I think we're not supposed to comment on ongoing sales, but this seems blatant.  The description looks intended to deceive.  It hints that you're getting a Testore for nothing, but there are very many obvious mistakes and contradictions, and few actual claims, so the seller can claim ignorance.  It looks like low-end workmanship to me, and the instrument is a wreck.  Keep in mind that I too can claim ignorance, but good luck finding an expert who thinks it's a good deal.

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It strikes me as incredibly arrogant for a musician to consider buying a derilict instrument to „restore“ for himself, and then ask what it would be worth when he’s butchered it.

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I've seen this seller offer quite a few instruments that look genuinely old and interesting, but have dubious provenance. Yeah, maybe it is what it says. Maybe the guy on the street corner is selling real Rolexes, too. I wouldn't count on it. (Note that they make no promises in the listing.)

Lets say you get lucky and it cleans up well, and plays nicely. Now look at it how a prospective buyer will: they can get a top modern factory instrument for under $10k - that's the competition. They squint at yours and wonder where it came from. Then they cut the price in half for the top crack, and in half again, for the back crack. That's what you might hope for.

I think it would be a fun project if you have no expectations, but I'd be looking to start such an experiment at a tenth of the investment in this auction.

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7 hours ago, La Folia said:

Dang, this listing needs a trigger warning. 

Rather than work for 1/2 a year to get a wreck hopefully working, you could spend that time working a part time job (maybe in a string shop!), then take that money and your current cello and upgrade to something that gets you to the next level. 

BTW, I love project cellos, but mine were all less than $100. It is areally cheap way to annoy some of the regulars here.

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Thank you for your replies!
I did not intend to sound arrogant. I'm not a complete beginner, I have restored several instruments and done a good job at it, so my plan was not to "butcher" it. I do my repairs properly. I do not expect to be able to restore this one perfectly, but I would definitely get it in playing condition. And the main purpose was not to sell it, but to play it.

The seller saays there is a Testore label in it, but he doesn't claim that it is a Testore. He's aware that labels don't say much, so I guess it's just in the title for attention.

I see the point in just working at my job for half a year though...

Having slept on it I don't think the cello looks as amazing as it did yesterday

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13 hours ago, ClefLover said:

What region do you suppose this is from?  Would we expect to see these long pointed corners on anything aside from an English instrument?

One may see long corners from all sorts of geographies, particularly ones on more “archaic” instruments. A couple of weeks ago I posted an old French one with even longer corners: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/342039-building-method-ribs-let-into-a-grove-on-the-back/, not that the OP Cello is French. In the meantime I have seen the Ebay listing, and not just the picture of the back. It is the sort of thing I would expect to be given for free, in which case I might have a go at it sometime (or might not).

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GeorgeH - thanks, I agree :P

I've decided to not buy the cello. And I'm really glad I have, as the seller started getting angry and a bit uncomfortable when I started mentioning that it maybe wasn't as good as he suggested. Never a good sign when a seller cares too much too quickly...

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No.

dont.

 That requires an absolutely expert hand, and even then I doubt it will sound good. Stay away. Be an angel, and “fear to tread”

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I don't quite understand the appeal of buying a questionable cello (or whatever) from a questionable seller, at a high price, that needs expensive repairs...

...and you wouldn't ever discover how it sounds...until you've put in a LOT of time and money...

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13 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

It is the sort of thing I would expect to be given for free, in which case I might have a go at it sometime (or might not).

Apparently it's even better than I thought.  It shows what I know.  :)

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On 3/11/2019 at 5:25 PM, DeGraaff violindesign said:

I think I just saw this cello on Ebay as Testore cello to repair, from Hannover, Germany. 

The top plate is broken in two pieces, I guess it will require a lot of skill to repair this because you will have to take it apart and reglue the plate very carefully again. 

But it is still a good learning object!

I wish you wisdom to take the right decision..

 

14 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

One may see long corners from all sorts of geographies, particularly ones on more “archaic” instruments. A couple of weeks ago I posted an old French one with even longer corners: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/342039-building-method-ribs-let-into-a-grove-on-the-back/, not that the OP Cello is French. In the meantime I have seen the Ebay listing, and not just the picture of the back. It is the sort of thing I would expect to be given for free, in which case I might have a go at it sometime (or might not).

[https://www.ebay.com/itm/italian-4-4-CELLO-to-restore-TESTORE-old-violin-violon-violino-/173769932457?

[Metaphorically pokes it with a boot toe, and makes a moue].  "The instrument comes from the 18th century and is possibly italian."   :rolleyes:

Looks like "$50 and Free Shipping" territory to me, even if it was an authenticated Stradivarius, which it ain't.  If I hadn't already given out one of my new Gala Razzberries today, this might have earned one.  :lol:

IMHO, nobody who isn't experienced with restorations and absolutely confident of their skills needs to be meddling with expensive things in this condition, and the asking price is prohibitive for "a good learning object".  :)

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On 3/11/2019 at 10:48 PM, La Folia said:

I think we're not supposed to comment on ongoing sales, but this seems blatant. 

Of course we even should comment on ongoing sales (though the Auction scroll would be the better place), and this comes from what was once discussed here as "infamous and notorious Hanover". There are ca. a dozen accounts run by the same person(s), as it's easily to notice: If a manipulated auction ended with an utopic price, the same object with same photos and description appears relisted at the next account, and so on. I don't know if they ever make a real sale or if it's just a fun project, because all the instruments look like they are available for free at some dumpster and no reasonable people ever could consider to buy them for significant more.

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