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7/8 cello on eBay advice appreciated


Darwinite
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1 hour ago, Darwinite said:

I’ve read a few of the threads and it seems eBay can be a bit of a dodgy place to buy instruments- I saw this one and wondered whether your professional eyes see it as legit? Seems a little expensive to me like should sit around 3k?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/265245210869?hash=item3dc1d8b8f5:g:bYcAAOSwllJhAUXt

For that sort of money, go find one in a reputable shop.   :)

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18 minutes ago, duane88 said:

The back measures 720mm. That would be a normal sized Guad! I usually fret when I see people advertising 7/8 instruments. I mean, a 7/8 Mirecourt fiddle is often 355mm with a short mensur/neck length.

As 355 is a standard back length for 4/4, how can it suddenly become 7/8, based only on the string length?
Seems a 7/8 should, and does have everything proportionally smaller. What you are describing is something else entirely.

I’m not seeing anything remotely Guad like in the OP cello.
When I look at the pictures, I’m thinking oh God… Not oh, Guad.

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2 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

As 355 is a standard back length for 4/4, how can it suddenly become 7/8, based only on the string length?
Seems a 7/8 should, and does have everything proportionally smaller. What you are describing is something else entirely.

I’m not seeing anything remotely Guad like in the OP cello.
When I look at the pictures, I’m thinking oh God… Not oh, Guad.

That's my point. What is a 7/8? I have a Nice Mirecourt fiddle here that has a lob=355 but a 186 mensur and a 125 neck. The 7/8 designation is related to the string length, not the body length, hence a cello that is 720 could be a 4/4/ cello depending on the mensur/neck length and what instrument they chose to "copy".

 

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On 10/15/2021 at 7:07 AM, Darwinite said:

I’ve read a few of the threads and it seems eBay can be a bit of a dodgy place to buy instruments- I saw this one and wondered whether your professional eyes see it as legit? Seems a little expensive to me like should sit around 3k?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/265245210869?hash=item3dc1d8b8f5:g:bYcAAOSwllJhAUXt

A Back length of 720 mm is considered 7/8 so this cello is indeed 7/8. With regards to this cello it does not have an attribution and while certain aspects about it appear french it is not something I would completely identify as of  french origin. In cases where such doubt exists, it is better to avoid a purchase decision.

Not all ebay sellers are dodgy and not all brick and mortar violin dealers are trustworthy. You can get ripped off anywhere and you can also buy some very good instruments from ebay as there are sellers who have made a good reputation for themselves over the years.

If there is an instrument that you like and are unsure, you can write  to J Rampal's office with pictures and check if they will agree certifying it in case you plan to buy. I have always received prompt responses . Or you can also write to Philip Kass who is an expert and charges a nominal fee for giving an opinion through pictures. This ensures you have an expert opinion backing you up before putting your money into it.

 

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@Yogic I've a cello with a rather short LOB, (can't check now how short, as it is being restored, but the restorer described it as right between 3/4 and 4/4th LOB) but the distance between the bridge and upper edge is 400 MM, which results in a neck length of 280 MM (so that the 4th position thumb placement is standard) and a vibrating string length of approx 695MM. This small bodied cello is therefore a 4/4th cello with a rather small lower bout. Cello size depends on vibrating string length primarily, because that is what influences the playing experience most. Only the string length is relevant when someone is looking for an instrument that fits a small hand. And think of electric cellos. Therefore: Size designation equals string length.

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While I will agree the vibrating string length can make the most difference, I feel I must disagree with some of what you have said, and also Duane88.

Today, people want everything to be neatly pigeonholed, but in the past there clearly wasn't such a distinction where everything fits into neat sizes.
The same can even be true of bows, where there are those which are borderline between a violin weight and a viola weight. It could be sold as either, depending on the motivation.

Violas are generally sized by the back length, but within a given back length, string lengths can be all over the place. So following the ideas above, a 16 1/2" Brescian viola would become a 15 3/4" viola, due to the string length. That just seems like nonsensical madness.

I believe that a true 7/8 size would have everything proportionally smaller, and not be some mongrel with bizarre measurements in one aspect.

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@Wood Butcher interesting. First you say that things weren't as standardised in earlier times as they ate now (which I completely agree with) and then you say a 7/8th instrument should simply have everything proportionally smaller. Semms somewhat contradictory.

Violas are different from celli in this respect, because the LOB influences the posture of the player much more with violas compared to celli. A large lower bout in violas makes a world of a difference for the left arm. A large lower bout in celli just requires a shorter end pin. Bout width does influence the playing of a cello somewhat, but not nearly as much as vibrating string length. And bout width is a parametre that is not measured with the LOB.

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