Heavy vs light cello


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I apologise in advance if this is a stupid question. I have noticed quite a bit of variation in the weight of cellos. Even 2 cellos with spruce fronts and maple backs can have markedly different weights. Can anything be inferred from this or is is of no significance?

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36 minutes ago, Brumcello said:

Can anything be inferred from this or is is of no significance?

Unlike bows, the weight of cellos and other string instruments is not reported as attribute indicative of quality or performance.

It may be useful for inferring shipping costs.

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3 minutes ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

Speaking as a violinist, I have played some great sounding heavy violins.  However, more often than not, it is a sign of careless workmanship, rather than the density of the wood.  At a higher price point, it's probably meaningless.  We know Strads are light.  

And we know some Guarneris are heavy. In general it is easier to make lighter instruments sound good although there are notable exceptions and some very light instruments are actually too thin and may have maintenance and longevity issues. Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules where one particular characteristic can be used to judge a cello.

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I do feel that weight is an important factor psychologically. Even if I know it is not really true, I always find playing heavier instruments harder than playing lighter instruments. In the past, I've tried to free myself of this feeling, and I have a relatively heavy Instrument as my main cello. I've decided now, that I will likely never succeed in getting past this subconscious bias, and that it is better for me as a player to just give in rather than to try be objective about it. I'm going to sell my cello when I get the chance.

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I still remember when, 20 years ago, the maker handed me the finished body of my comissioned 5-string cello and I almost threw it in the air because it was so unexpectedly light! Never before had I handled a cello without a neck attached...

The finished cello is heavier than most normal 4 string cellos.

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4 hours ago, baroquecello said:

I do feel that weight is an important factor psychologically. Even if I know it is not really true, I always find playing heavier instruments harder than playing lighter instruments.

I can understand your feeling, and I would not want a heavy violin.

As for it being harder to play, it would perhaps depend where the weight is. Higher density wood for blocks, or a very thick fingerboard could add some significant weight, but not really affect the playing qualities. Even fittings can make a massive difference.

Heavy plates, well, this is another matter entirely...

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