Friday, February 21, 2014

Cello Adjustments: Getting a "New" Cello

Until recently, my cello has sounded terrible. The sound was more akin to caterwauling creature of undetermined species unable to produce much in the way of beautiful sounds. Yes, the cello sounded good when I acquired it brand new nearly six years ago, but it never was so easy to play. Always given me grief in thumb position, playing four note chords, and getting any fz or > on the C string nothing short of scratches and slap of the string against the fingerboard. Great sound just wasn't coming from this cello that I new could have the tone of a great instrument.

After much fussing over sound post adjustments and tinkering with other setups I finally found the man for the job. In a little town in Wisconsin lives a luthier who repairs instruments worth thousands and other worth hundreds of thousands. In his humble workshop I found someone interested in and committed to finding how to make an instrument sound the best it possibly can.

Thanks to studioKviolins I have a new bridge and sound post that work they way they were intended--making the cello sound like a cello. They fit properly and are the right height, length, width, breadth, thickness, kind of tone wood, type of cut, etc. etc.

Upon returning to the shop to see the progress made on my bridge I discovered an instrument that I had never really played or heard before. Here was a cello whose sonic potential was at long last revealed and it was the same cello but with a new bridge and sound post. That's it!

A transformation of this sort was impossible, so I always latently believed. How could the body of the instrument have the bulk of the material but those two small components have such incredible influence in tone and sound so as to completely transform the instrument into a wholly new creature? The power and resonance had never before been present. The ease of intonation was also increased exponentially.

All this improvement for little more than a couple hundred dollars. Not bad when considering I basically have a new instrument, sonically speaking, one discovery worth every hour and dollar spent.

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