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5 minutes ago, arglebargle said:

If you've never played the cello how could you and your luthier justify a new bass bar? (And yes, I see that you are not doing the procedure.)

In the comment that I shared above, he says that the bassbar is a little short. At the High Point it’s 2 mm lower than he prefers.

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I'm bullish on doing this for the following reasons. You have confidence in the judgement and skills of the luthier who also happens to have the instrument in hand, which nobody else here has.

The top is already off, making the switch cheaper and more convenient now than later.

This might be more psychological, but if you dont do it, any weakness will be attributed to the bass bar. It will now be more expensive to fix and if for some reason your current repairman is not available you will have to convince somebody else to do it. Good luck going to a new luthier saying that your cello needs a new bar.

The only issue is if this were an historical instrument (doesnt look that way) or one made by a well known maker, in which it might be considered to be vandalism.

I'm not so concerned that you dont know what it currently sounds like, it seems to me to be unlikely that a smaller bar would be a good thing.

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8 hours 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Apart from that, the bloke in Markneukirchen who originally made it, will have made thousands of cello bars, and would have been expert at it.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

I will readily acknowledge that some dude in Markneukirchen may have made many more cellos and cello bass bars than Stradivari,  Montagnana, and even installed more bass bars than any high-level restorer. But what I am not understanding is how that sort of high-volume relates to quality.

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3 hours ago, Rue said:

Seriously though, FWIW, deans and Jacob are both right.

Maybe best to leave it be. Keep the instrument original?

Or...flip a coin?

Of course, I see the logic in both arguments, but it is better to regret not spending the money then it is to regret spending the money, so we will refrain at the moment

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Posted (edited)

The label in this instrument is different from the label and instruments that were imported to be sold by Lewis and Son. I am wondering if this particular cello was intended for domestic German use and immigrated to the United States?

edit: The text is irrelevant, I just wanted to show the different labels.

51B9617A-E1EB-411C-AB78-7C19337F998D.jpeg

373133C1-9EB5-4809-852F-128D74CEA64C.jpeg

6B19CF79-FFC3-46E9-99E6-44C71DE2E298.jpeg

Edited by PhilipKT
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24 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Of course, I see the logic in both arguments, but it is better to regret not spending the money then it is to regret spending the money, so we will refrain at the moment

I've been in many similar situations and have often spent the money, cant think of too many regrets. One money-saving move does stare me in the face all the time though.

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21 minutes ago, deans said:

I've been in many similar situations and have often spent the money, cant think of too many regrets. One money-saving move does stare me in the face all the time though.

Would love to hear the story…

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1 minute ago, PhilipKT said:

Would love to hear the story…

An old viola with a busted up pegbox and screwed up neck. It was cheaper to just put a new neck and scroll than to graft the scroll. The luthier actually encouraged me to go the cheaper route. Now I have to look at the scroll sitting on the shelf instead of on a really nice sounding old viola. Maybe if I'd have invested the saved money in the stock market....

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42 minutes ago, La Folia said:

Is there any point in lightly tacking the top on to see what the cello sounds like, and THEN making the decision whether to replace the bar?

would that work? If the top isn’t completely on, the sound won’t be representative?

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1 hour ago, Rue said:

Who is this cello intended for? A beginner?

I don’t have anybody in particular in mind, it’s just a good solid instrument. Someone will benefit from it eventually. I do not think it is a beginner instrument, however.

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As I see it:

- probably structurally ok

- could be tonally ok, but could also be somewhat light/short etc. in which case a differnt bass bar MIGHT help the bass register.

- How much more would it cost to reopen the cello and add a new bass bar, compared to adding a new bass bar right now (and then possibly finding out it doesn't sound as good as hoped for)? Either one option is a gamble: how much are you willing to gamble? 

- If you close it up and it turns out you don't like it to such an extent that the bass bar can't be blamed for all of it, you can just sell it. You can also sell it with a different bass bar in there (it could still sound just as mediocre), but (assuming no deformation of the top plate) I strongly suspect you will not be able to sell it for more than you could with the existing bass bar. Ergo a new bass bar will not increase the resale value of the cello.

 

I'd go with trying as is first.

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15 minutes ago, baroquecello said:

As I see it:

- probably structurally ok

- could be tonally ok, but could also be somewhat light/short etc. in which case a differnt bass bar MIGHT help the bass register.

- How much more would it cost to reopen the cello and add a new bass bar, compared to adding a new bass bar right now (and then possibly finding out it doesn't sound as good as hoped for)? Either one option is a gamble: how much are you willing to gamble? 

- If you close it up and it turns out you don't like it to such an extent that the bass bar can't be blamed for all of it, you can just sell it. You can also sell it with a different bass bar in there (it could still sound just as mediocre), but (assuming no deformation of the top plate) I strongly suspect you will not be able to sell it for more than you could with the existing bass bar. Ergo a new bass bar will not increase the resale value of the cello.

 

I'd go with trying as is first.

It’s very logical and that’s exactly my own line of reasoning. 

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Another thing to consider is that changing bass bars on German trade instruments used to be a routine procedure for many shops, even on better instruments. Its not that risky. Good chance if you have a nice sounding trade fiddle of some sort that it was worked over in this (and other) ways.

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I am amazed at that there are people on this forum that can look at that bass bar (a perfectly reasonable bass bar, maybe not yours or mine) and determine that it is a hinderance to the sound and needs to be replaced. Without any further information. Like the model, or the body length, or the width of the bouts, or the arching style, or the arching heights, or the rib height, or the set-up, or the type of end-pin and on and on. So I assume if I were to post a picture of a bass bar, with only the measurements of the bar and no other points of reference, these same people would be able to tell me what the instrument would sound like, whether or not the bar is acceptable, and if not, the correct dimensions of the proper replacement bar. 

Arguing over the merits of replacing a (reasonable) bass bar on an instrument nobody on this forum has seen or heard is genuinely stupid.

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10 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

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

:-)

Philip... you are the wise one... There is a saying that there are 2 types of people you should never argue with... 1- those who don't know what they are talking about and 2- those who do know what they are talking about 

So I guess its best to just listen to all opinions but draw your own conclusion!

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3 hours ago, deans said:

Another thing to consider is that changing bass bars on German trade instruments used to be a routine procedure for many shops, even on better instruments. Its not that risky. Good chance if you have a nice sounding trade fiddle of some sort that it was worked over in this (and other) ways.

How much do you charge to remove and replace a bass bar? It may not be "risky" but it might also be a waste of several hundred dollars (at least) and who knows if the procedure helped or hurt the cello, because nobody knows what it sounds like!

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20 minutes ago, arglebargle said:

I am amazed at that there are people on this forum that can look at that bass bar (a perfectly reasonable bass bar, maybe not yours or mine) and determine that it is a hinderance to the sound and needs to be replaced. Without any further information. Like the model, or the body length, or the width of the bouts, or the arching style, or the arching heights, or the rib height, or the set-up, or the type of end-pin and on and on. So I assume if I were to post a picture of a bass bar, with only the measurements of the bar and no other points of reference, these same people would be able to tell me what the instrument would sound like, whether or not the bar is acceptable, and if not, the correct dimensions of the proper replacement bar. 

Arguing over the merits of replacing a (reasonable) bass bar on an instrument nobody on this forum has seen or heard is genuinely stupid.

:-)

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Didn't read all the previous posts so I might end up repeating what other people already said.

Just the way the bass bar looks like, there is nothing disturbingly strange about it. The scoop at 1/4and 3/4 is, as your luthier is saying a bit deep, but I can't say too deep. Last not least the thickness and flexibility of the top is an additional factor. For 'normal' thickness the pictured BB looks ok. 

In those terms you don't need a new BB. 

However.

How does it sound on the low strings? And this depends to a large degree on the bowing of the player. 

Just saying from my experience: For someone with a heavy bowing a full and heavy bass bar works well (maybe with a pinch of more tilt) and for someone who has a light and fluid bowing a light and not so sturdy BB works well.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

Don't recall making many negative comments. And I apologised for the one above, with some words of explanation.

I try to be helpful, when I can. :P

 

 

I thought your explanation was good, and largely along the same lines as I was thinking.

It's impossible to evaluate some of the things you'd need to make an informed decision, from a photo. And people will have polarizing views on a bar, depending on how close it is, or not, compared to one they would make.

None of this makes the bar right or wrong, but it sure is easy to spend other peoples money ;)

 

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