Cello Trial #2 and a word about bows…

After an uneventful night at Orchestra rehearsal (my conductor’s opinion: if you don’t really love it, send it back) Rana was returned to Hammond Ashley.

I’m sure he’ll make somebody a great cello companion. Just not this somebody.

As fate would have it (yet again) there was another Zuber in the store all set up. Unfortunately it was on hold for someone (with a waitlist three deep for a second Zuber not yet set up) but they were kind enough to give me a little fix by letting me play it. Which only affirmed exactly how in love I am with everything about that damn thing. The G alone is so rich – it’s like the differnce between a fudge brownie and a cake brownie – and the chocolate spirit varnish and carved pegs are just sprinkles on the top.

Ug. Just enough to keep me wanting more. I confess: I put myself on the wait list. Before you remind me that a sucker is born every day, let me tell you that I’m also revisiting the Czech cello (well, Czech/German) this week. This was the second runner up to Rana from my store trials and has an even more delicious story.

This cello was made pre-WWII (1934 according to the sticker) in Bratislava by a German luthier Jura[Georg] Berghuber. It was later restored in Prague before finding its way to the states. Here’s where TBF’s national expertise comes in handy and we’ve spent much of the evening tracking down Berghuber in German and English thanks to the interwebs.

I don’t have a nickname for this cello yet – but give me a practice session and I’m sure something will stick. I’m a sucker for naming inanimate objects.

To make up for having not taken pictures of La Rana, here’s one of the Czech:

A word (or two) about bows. As much as I enjoyed the brilliant John Brazil Pernambuco that was last week’s loaner it was a bit out of my price range. This week, I tried about eight or so bows in the $200-300 range. It was amazing how different each bow can make a cello sound. I was able to disqualify three of the bunch right away because the cello sounded dull. Some brought out different aspects of the sound, like more ring, or resonance. I tested them without looking at prices and was surprised that the strongest sounding bow wasn’t the most expensive in the bunch. I the end I came down to two both of which sounded great. The difference being the one I picked has slightly more ‘ring’ to it and the notes (when they were on) really sang out.

Full report to follow.


About Eddie

Watch what happens when you give a writer a cello.
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2 Responses to Cello Trial #2 and a word about bows…

  1. Yee says:

    So did you actually buy a new bow yet? Read some people suggested buying a bow after the cello, but I wouldn’t know what difference that would make.

  2. Eddie says:

    That’s what I’ve been advised as I make my way through this process: cello first, then bow. I’m partially waiting to see how much budget I have left for the bow (or if I have to wait a couple of months) after i find the cello.
    It makes sense for me when I think of the perfect bow is the one that fits the cello best rather than vice versa. As I found, that may not be either the most expensive or a particular brand or construction.

    I just think there are far more bow choices and variety (and price ranges) than cellos and that picking a cello is the more challenging piece of the puzzle. I can only focus on one at a time, I think 🙂

    That said, if I did wind up with this cello, I’d be far more likely to buy the bow that I picked out on Friday – it did sound the best of the bunch.

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