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BassClef

Suggestions for buying a nice 1/4 Cello

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I want to buy a very nice sounding 1/4 cello for my daughter, preferably with a big sound. Any tips? I guess I'm looking for the best value for a really nice sounding 1/4 these days. Thanks in advance. I simply don't trust walking into a dealer and taking their suggestions what with markups and Manhattan rent. I am not looking to rent one either.

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2 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Knowing BC's history and tastes displayed here, I think he will more be looking for a nice fractional Neuner & Hornsteiner or the like

I have never seen a small N&H cello. Did they make such things?

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I've yet to Play a good sounding old 1/4 Cello. I wonder if they were ever made. In any case 20th century stuff from before the late 90ies is usually terrible. Tank-like graduations and thick indestructible varnishes.

 

The Music School I teach at has two Mastri 1/4 Cellos and two 3/4 Cellos. The 1/4, strung with helicore, are the best in that size I've ever played, both in Terms of Sound (loudness/projection and Quality) and playability. The pupils invarieably Play much better when learning on those Instruments, particularly bowing-wise. Of the 3/4 one is good, the other not so good, but still playable. If you ask me, that is the best 1/4th around.

 

Maybe you'll be able to find some good chinese ones that are cheaper, but Looks don't say everything. I really think making smaller size Instruments is not just scaling down the big ones, but you have to know what choices to make. That however is not my field of Expertise.

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I think you'd do well with an Eastman - although it might be too young and not varnished quite "black" enough...:P

Check with your local Suzuki folks - they might also have something appropriate available.

Edited by Rue
Another typo...endless, endless typos...

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We rented our daughter's first violin when she was 3. She is starting cello soon for school orchestra so we've been looking for a 1/2-size cello but we're going to rent again so I'm rather curious why you aren't interested in renting during the first year or so. 

 

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3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Knowing BC's history and tastes displayed here, I think he will more be looking for a nice fractional Neuner & Hornsteiner or the like

Can these be purchased sight unseen (if I find one online) and expect it to be a really good sounding instrument? Vintage or antique instruments are of course a plus. Sound quality and play-ability are the most important features I am looking for.

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2 hours ago, baroquecello said:

I've yet to Play a good sounding old 1/4 Cello. I wonder if they were ever made. In any case 20th century stuff from before the late 90ies is usually terrible. Tank-like graduations and thick indestructible varnishes.

 

The Music School I teach at has two Mastri 1/4 Cellos and two 3/4 Cellos. The 1/4, strung with helicore, are the best in that size I've ever played, both in Terms of Sound (loudness/projection and Quality) and playability. The pupils invarieably Play much better when learning on those Instruments, particularly bowing-wise. Of the 3/4 one is good, the other not so good, but still playable. If you ask me, that is the best 1/4th around.

 

Maybe you'll be able to find some good chinese ones that are cheaper, but Looks don't say everything. I really think making smaller size Instruments is not just scaling down the big ones, but you have to know what choices to make. That however is not my field of Expertise.

Thanks, I am taking your suggestion seriously.

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1 hour ago, Rue said:

I think you'd do well with an Eastman - although it might be too young and not varnished quite "black" enough...:P

Check with you local Suzuki folks - they might also have something appropriate available.

Do you have personal experience with this brand of 1/4 cellos as compared to other 1/4 cellos?

1 hour ago, Rue said:

Samuel Chen also has a decent selection, down to 1/8.

Same question here. I'm looking for very good, not decent.

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1 hour ago, Little Blue Bird said:

We rented our daughter's first violin when she was 3. She is starting cello soon for school orchestra so we've been looking for a 1/2-size cello but we're going to rent again so I'm rather curious why you aren't interested in renting during the first year or so.

My daughter has been taking lessons for about 4.5 years, she's good for her age and I have a younger son who might also play this instrument one day. That's why I am looking to buy instead of rent.

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23 minutes ago, BassClef said:

1.Can these be purchased sight unseen (if I find one online) and expect it to be a really good sounding instrument? Vintage or antique instruments are of course a plus.

 

2.Sound quality and play-ability are the most important features I am looking for.

1. If you were a violin maker, capable of repairing it yourself

 

2. In truth, I think you need one that looks the part, when you hang in in your gallery

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No cello experience. Violin/viola experience. Also with Yita - I have both a violin and a viola. Happy with all of them. Wish I had access to this type of quality when I was a child.

Check out their respective websites and draw your own conclusions. Price, and I assume quality, increases from quite affordable to more expensive.

How much do you want to pay for a 1/4 size cello?

Keep in mind that even the most conscientious child is still a child - and children's stuff needs to stand up to a child's wear and tear. That's why I would opt for new.  And these are the brands I have  (limited) experience with. 

...have a bit more experience with children...and damage ...*wah wah wah* ...

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I would try to pick up a second hand Scott Cao STC600 form the classifieds for half of new price, and sell it for the same when everybody is done with the size.

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1 hour ago, BassClef said:

My daughter has been taking lessons for about 4.5 years, she's good for her age and I have a younger son who might also play this instrument one day. That's why I am looking to buy instead of rent.

That makes sense. She probably has outgrown cellos that are normally available for rent.

FWIW, our daughter's 1/2 violin is a H & N and this particular one was much better than anything else we could afford. It 1) has clear and even voice across all strings that projects well, 2) is highly responsive, and 3) can give a wide range of tonal colors. We had to try a whole bunch to find this one. 

1 hour ago, BassClef said:

Can these be purchased sight unseen (if I find one online) and expect it to be a really good sounding instrument? Vintage or antique instruments are of course a plus. Sound quality and play-ability are the most important features I am looking for.

I'm sure after 4.5 years of lessons, your daughter would like to try out a few instruments and have a say. ^_^

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58 minutes ago, Guido said:

I would try to pick up a second hand Scott Cao STC600 form the classifieds for half of new price, and sell it for the same when everybody is done with the size.

Thanks!

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13 minutes ago, Little Blue Bird said:

That makes sense. She probably has outgrown cellos that are normally available for rent.

FWIW, our daughter's 1/2 violin is a H & N and this particular one was much better than anything else we could afford. It 1) has clear and even voice across all strings that projects well, 2) is highly responsive, and 3) can give a wide range of tonal colors. We had to try a whole bunch to find this one. 

I'm sure after 4.5 years of lessons, your daughter would like to try out a few instruments and have a say. ^_^

Yes, in a perfect world we could line up 4-5 current and antique 1/4 cellos side by side for her to pick from, I don’t see how this is possible except at one or two full blown Manhattan price shops, and then only possibly and doubtful 4-5.

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JTL also started their cello line-up at 1/4 size, starting with the medio-fino. They certainly have a good reputation for student and fractional violins, haven't heard much at all about their cellos.

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I found two vintage ones overseas that I am inquiring about. Any thoughts on these? Can they be assumed one way or another sound-wise?

Any thoughts as to origins or value based on the descriptions?

Actually this first one is no longer available: http://www.violins.co.za/sale/0667Child1Q.asp

Second one:

https://www.musicalchairs.info/sales/11563?ref=21
 

1893 1/4 cello William Hall

Price: £1500

 
An absolutely delightful 1/4 size cello.made by English Luthier William Hall.
The cello was made for his 10 year old grandson,and is fully unscripted inside with date,month,and names.The cello is in very good order for age,and just required a little restoration.
The instrument comes with fitted bridge,soundpost,original tailpin,and tailpiece.Requires new string and setting up.
Unique rare small sized cello.
 
 

3C93FDA0-6BEE-4B53-B92F-EC1E51643BF1.jpeg

FC25061A-8AB6-44B9-B62B-FC3ED5A9F178.jpeg

2B5F4925-151C-43DC-B16F-DCA26C1A5446.jpeg

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12 minutes ago, BassClef said:

I found two vintage ones overseas that I am inquiring about. Any thoughts on these? Can they be assumed one way or another sound-wise?

Any thoughts as to origins or value based on the descriptions?

https://www.musicalchairs.info/sales/11563?ref=21
 

1893 1/4 cello William Hall

Price: £1500

 
An absolutely delightful 1/4 size cello.made by English Luthier William Hall.
The cello was made for his 10 year old grandson,and is fully unscripted inside with date,month,and names.The cello is in very good order for age,and just required a little restoration.
The instrument comes with fitted bridge,soundpost,original tailpin,and tailpiece.Requires new string and setting up.
Unique rare small sized cello.

Looks like a soundpost crack to the back which the seller may not have noticed. Erm.

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13 minutes ago, BassClef said:

I found two vintage ones overseas that I am inquiring about. Any thoughts on these? Can they be assumed one way or another sound-wise?

Any thoughts as to origins or value based on the descriptions?

Actually this first one is no longer available: http://www.violins.co.za/sale/0667Child1Q.asp

Second one:

https://www.musicalchairs.info/sales/11563?ref=21
 

1893 1/4 cello William Hall

Price: £1500

 
An absolutely delightful 1/4 size cello.made by English Luthier William Hall.
The cello was made for his 10 year old grandson,and is fully unscripted inside with date,month,and names.The cello is in very good order for age,and just required a little restoration.
The instrument comes with fitted bridge,soundpost,original tailpin,and tailpiece.Requires new string and setting up.
Unique rare small sized cello.
 
 

3C93FDA0-6BEE-4B53-B92F-EC1E51643BF1.jpeg

FC25061A-8AB6-44B9-B62B-FC3ED5A9F178.jpeg

2B5F4925-151C-43DC-B16F-DCA26C1A5446.jpeg

Only a fool will predict what something would sound like. You would certainly have to invest in a repair/renovation. That one would surely fit better into your gallery when you need to dust it (often), Can't imagine you enjoying dusting some new chinese confection:D

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