Cello Trial #1: The Unknown German

Quick update: We went back to Hammond Ashley this afternoon to try my top three again and decide on one to take home. As fate would have it, both of the Zubers were gone (one sold, one on trial) and they had a recent arrival – a Czech – for me to try out. The Czech had a great story – coming from a the Zudetnland area which is on the German border – it’s about as close to a German cello as one can be without having actually been made in Germany and was repaired and refinished several years ago by a luthier in Prague. After playing it with the unknown German and the Eastman, I was able to relatively quickly dismiss the Eastman: to quote TBF “It sounds dull.”

So that left my two European contenders. The Czech sounded immediately brighter and more open when I played the two back to back. But when one of the staffers played them, I was drawn more to the German. It had a really rich, resonant sound that was a little less bright but was as surprisingly big as I remembered. It’s also not as light as I remembered, varnish wise, and in really good shape. Turns out the extent of it’s “rebuild” was only a strip down and re-varnish, so I feel a little less like I’m considering a car with a salvage title. I had a tough time between the two – I’m still a little undecided – but that’s what trial is for.

The result: CC has company in the music room and I’ve got a lovely unknown German to try out.


About Eddie

Watch what happens when you give a writer a cello.
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2 Responses to Cello Trial #1: The Unknown German

  1. The Neophyte Cellist says:

    Ah you remind me of my recent cello hunt. I tried the Eastmans too from the student 305 up to the higher end models and they were ‘OK’ but didn’t really talk to me. Anyway without repeating my blog posts, try and get your teacher to play all of your shortlist. The one I thought was the one turned out to have tons of wolfs and the one I wasn’t sure of sounded far sweeter from a distance. And now I cant remember what life was like before her.

    Anyway, good luck.

    • Eddie says:

      I admit, I’ve been thinking about you since you went through this process recently.

      After all my hemming and hawing I’m happy to have started taking my potential “suitors” home. It’s so weird to be considering a huge purchase that in some ways I just don’t feel qualified to make a choice about on my own.

      It will be good to take it to my lesson on Tuesday – I feel like I learn more about each cello when a more skilled cellist puts it through its paces.

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