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The huge caveat here is that I have never played this cello, it needed some top off repair, and the expert artisan who is working on it suggested a new bass bar. I’m not unwilling to do it, but it is money I prefer not to spend if I don’t have to. I am posting this question here with his permission and asking for feedback. The following are his comments.

"High point 23 millimeters 

At half way between high point and ends 15 mm 

Ends 6.5 mm

I would have left a little more wood at the half way area between high point and end.

I usually like 25 high point but this can change to account for arching and wood strength and the amount of straightness of bar."

 

 

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As a general rule for myself, I would only make changes to an instrument if I knew by playing it that there was something not quite right, and had a good idea that a specific change would correct it.  I'm not smart enough to know only by measurements that a modification will end up as an improvement.  Maybe your luthier is smarter than me... so it comes down to how much you really, really think of his judgement.  Has HE played it?  Is there anyone else who has played it available for comments?

That said, if I were to make a cello bass bar right now, it would look like your photo.  But I don't make cellos, and know nothing about these details.

 

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32 minutes ago, deans said:

How much do you trust the judgement of the current luthier?

A lot.

He said the current bar dimension would affect the low range of the instrument, but I don’t recall the details of his comment. I did post with his blessing and sent the link to him, so he can comment further.

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7 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

As a general rule for myself, I would only make changes to an instrument if I knew by playing it that there was something not quite right, and had a good idea that a specific change would correct it.  I'm not smart enough to know only by measurements that a modification will end up as an improvement.  Maybe your luthier is smarter than me... so it comes down to how much you really, really think of his judgement.  Has HE played it?  Is there anyone else who has played it available for comments?

That said, if I were to make a cello bass bar right now, it would look like your photo.  But I don't make cellos, and know nothing about these details.

 

Thank you, Don, I appreciate your thoughts..

No one has played it, because it wasn’t playable when I acquired it. I think it’s best to leave as is.

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34 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

What will you decide, if you get numerous conflicting opinions here?

I just wanted input from other qualified repairers. If I got different thoughts from different people, the luthier and I would make a decision and go from there. Every thought that contributes helps inform a decision. 

Edited by PhilipKT
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I would assume that “He” is aware of your taste in sound, and might be concerned that the clarity and focus of the C string might be compromised with the bar cut as it is. One could assume that it starts its taper a bit early and the presumption could be made that it might be on the edge of giving you a softer, yet fuller, but less focused sound than you might desire.

It requires some substantial stiffness to move low frequencies, and therefore imperative for the bar to move the whole top and keep it in order to achieve clarity and quick articulation, especially important on a cello, yes?

But without knowing anything about the top in question it is nigh impossible to make an accurate judgment over the phone. Is the weight within the normal range, are the frequencies normal, does it feel right when flexed.? What does the arching look like, is the upper bout significantly flatter than the lower one? How do the upper and lower bouts compare when tapping, do they push down similarly when the full plate is supported and it is pushed down upon. You have really asked an impossible question. I could answer, as could many others if the plate was in any of our grubby little paws, even then most likely, with  a bit of uncertainty. The thickness of the top as viewed at the upper hole of the F has a close resemblance of lumber,

I would assume that it is not overly thin, how much does it weigh? All of these things factor in as to why the bar is as it is,,,or just sloppy?

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This is a good fiddle, Del Gesu, and I’d bet a dollar against a donut that “This” is what “He” would like to see. You can notice a substantial amount of lumber north of the bridge area, extending much further than yours, then rapidly tapering out stopping about the center of the upper bout, then feathering out from there. You can observe the same treatment of the bar, in the lower bout. It is obvious how this would drive the bass side of the plate in a definite manner. This bass bar  treatment is much more standard than what is shown in your cello. Probably a good reason for it,,, huh.

Now, ,, it is not difficult to add wood to the top of the bar after a bit of work with a small flat bottomed plane, glue it up then shape it up.  I have done it many times, on pianos, guitars, fiddles,etc,,,,,,,,,,, really no need to remove the entire bar if it is attached properly,,, other than,,,"But I've never done it that way before". Good glue is a wonderful thing.

Now a question for you,,,

But what WILL Heaven smell like?

 

 

 

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I would just add one comment, that was not listed above.

 It is also usefull to consider the outside shape of the front once the full body assembled. Maybe is the front  looks like under pressure, with f hole deformation, it could be indication that the bass side needs reinforcement.

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If the top over the bass bar has not caved in, then, at least structurally, the bass bar does its job. I'd also prefer a bar a bit more along the lines of Evans pic, but in this case, If there is little top arch deformation, I'd take the chance and leave it as is, see what it does.

edit @David A.T. was basically saying the same thing at the same time...

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10 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Then why comment?

As Wood Butcher predicted, you have conflicting responses from experienced people. Your expert artisan (to use your words) has the advantage of having the top in his/her hands, in order to judge whether the bar is appropriate for the instrument. 

There are some great makers/restorers who like a beefy bar, and some who are inclined towards what Mr B calls a wimpier one. And each camp will have convincing arguments as to why they are right. :)

My 2 cents is that it looks perfectly respectable. Could it be better for your cello? No idea.

Anyway, apologies for the grumpy tone of my initial response. The trying times we are going through sometimes get the better of me.

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9 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

Why comment? Well, because it is an absurd question. As Wood Butcher predicted, you have conflicting responses from experienced people. Your expert artisan (to use your words) has the advantage of having the top in his/her hands, in order to judge whether the bar is appropriate for the instrument. 

There are some great makers/restorers who like a beefy bar, and some who are inclined towards what Mr B calls a wimpier one. And each camp will have convincing arguments as to why they are right. :)

Apart from that, the bloke in Markneukirchen who originally made it, will have made thousands of cello bars, and would have been expert at it. There isn’t an iota of reason to suppose that a yank e-doodle bar will be any better, or even make a difference

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3 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Apart from that, the bloke in Markneukirchen who originally made it, will have made thousands of cello bars, and would have been expert at it. There isn’t an iota of reason to suppose that a yank e-doodle bar will be any better, or even make a difference

You do have a way with words. :)

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3 hours ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

As Wood Butcher predicted, you have conflicting responses from experienced people.

>

>

Installing the bass bar follows Newton's third law of physics:  

"For every expert opinion there is an equal and opposite expert opinion."

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4 hours ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

As Wood Butcher predicted, you have conflicting responses from experienced people. Your expert artisan (to use your words) has the advantage of having the top in his/her hands, in order to judge whether the bar is appropriate for the instrument. 

There are some great makers/restorers who like a beefy bar, and some who are inclined towards what Mr B calls a wimpier one. And each camp will have convincing arguments as to why they are right. :)

My 2 cents is that it looks perfectly respectable. Could it be better for your cello? No idea.

Anyway, apologies for the grumpy tone of my initial response. The trying times we are going through sometimes get the better of me.

Thank you for that, I do appreciate it. Regarding your larger question, my luthier and I have a situation.

The solution that he proposes is expensive and might not solve anything, on the other hand doing nothing might continue a problem that could be easily solved while the top is off.

I came here to ask for thoughts from others. Just like getting a second opinion before surgery. I did it with the blessing and permission of my Luthier, who is highly skilled and experienced, and also interested in thoughts from others.
I think Don and Jacob offered the best advice, which is what I myself was thinking, and which my luthier also admitted was a possibility. So we decided to save the money and go with the status quo.

(it’s always nice to get Jacob’s comments, btw. I wonder if he is as charming in German.)

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Installing the bass bar follows Newton's third law of physics:  

"For every expert opinion there is an equal and opposite expert opinion."

Or the fourth... mostly related to politics and establishing public policy:

"For every expert opinion there are infinite strongly held alternative opinions from non-experts."

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1 minute ago, Don Noon said:

Or the fourth... mostly related to politics and establishing public policy:

"For every expert opinion there are infinite strongly held contrary opinions from non-experts."

I hope I at least get credit for not having any opinion at all.

:-)

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