In April 2011 I talked about how difficult it was to buy a cello if you’re only a student who wants an instrument of good quality that costs less than 30.000€ (much less). Now that we get closer to Christmas, I decided to get things going and ordered two celli. Of course I have already unpacked them and played them, but since I’m only a beginner I’ll have them tested by a friend tomorrow (will write about the final decision next week).
For starters I’ll present each of them and say a few words about their traits. The first one that arrived is in fact a British one (anyhow, it’s made in China, yes, but has been controlled and adjusted in Germany).
The Stentor Conservatoire (4/4) 1000€
This cello arrived complete with a polystyrene case, a bow and some bow rosin. It has a lovely dark colour and its varnish is really glossy – to me it seems like they wanted it to look a bit vintage. From what I can tell it’s really loud and has quite a clear, pervasive sound. Nonetheless I think it’s quite small which I really like. The bow and the strings are of course… let’s say not of the best quality, but I might replace them anyway (once I decided to take this one). The quality of the wood and the whole construction seems to be of a decent quality, but I still miss a real ‘character’ when I play. Anyhow, I have to admit that the sound on the D and A strings are really nice.
Online-Shop: Musikzentrum Freiburg
The Roth & Junius RJCE Advanced Cello Set (4/4) 1290€
When this one arrived I was a bit confused… the bridge wasn’t put up for transport safety reasons. I can now proudly announce that I have put up the bridge all by myself and also managed to restring the instrument. It does look very very attractive, but I force myself not to judge the cello by it’s lovely varnish and colour, which has some highlights at the sides and looks slightly more valuable. I do love the honey colour. It came in a soft case (hence the bridge) with a bow and a maintenance kit consisting of a cotton cloth, a microfibre cloth and some Bellacura maintenance fluid. Its sound is a tiny bit muted, kind of softish, but somehow in a nice way. It’s a bit more quiet than the Stentor. It also has a note inside the corpus saying it’s been made in Romania (which is a plus, I think). The strings seem more elastic than those of the Stentor. The A string is, sadly, really annoying – it doesn’t really react, sometimes it even sounds rough and unclean.
So… it’s going to be a tough decision, I can tell you that. Both online shops did a great job on customer service by the way. Am really excited to see how things are gonna work out tomorrow and will tell you about everything once a decision has been made!!