Choosing a Cello – The Final Decision

Apparently it’s not been very difficult for my friend to choose the better cello. He played for about 5 minutes on one and no more than 10 seconds on the other one and then it was clear…

The Stentor Conservatoire is the glorious winner. 

The reason for this was (in his eyes) simple: the sound of the Stentor was much expandable and much more cello-like than that of the Roth&Junius. As I had noticed before the A string of the latter was a bit scratchy and kind of annoying. My friend thought so too and he added that with some high-quality strings and maybe a smaller bridge, the Stentor would make an exceptional student instrument for a bargain price.

To make it a little more exciting, I asked my friend to guess where each cello had been made. It was really interesting to see how he thought that the better sounding one (the Stentor) was made in Germany or at least Europe and the Roth&Junius was made in China. Funnily enough, it was the other way round.

So what I have learned from this whole thing (which I am glad that it’s over now): You shouldn’t judge an instrument by its origin. Chinese instruments can be good, and if an instrument has been built in Europe, it doesn’t automatically make it the better one. Also I’d recommend that you (if you’re a beginner) to have your options tested. Ask your cello teacher or a violin maker to check the instrument. I probably would have chosen the Roth&Junius, just because I fell in love with its lovely colour and because I thought that maybe the sound would improve. I’m very glad to have asked for help. Plus, I hope the last few entries on this topic may help you to make the right decision, too!


11 thoughts on “Choosing a Cello – The Final Decision

  1. What happened with your cello in the meantime? Has the issue been solved? And would you buy it again? (For myself, I plan to start learning cello and read your article with great interest.)

    • Thank you, I’m happy it’s helpful to you :)
      Everything turned out very well. My local cellomaker fixed the crack and the distributor agreed to pay the (quite low) bill! My cello teacher says the instrument now sounds better than ever – probably because the cellomaker had to re-arrange the sound post!
      It’s never been a bad cello, so I can definitely recommend it. It has a lovely, quite defined sound. Please let me know if you have any further questions :)

  2. i think maybe are a mistake about man factory, the Stentor are made in China and the Roth in Roménia, the history about Roth are very cool you may looking for. Stentor, Hofner, Yamaha…( yes it is true ) like other’s are made in China, the Gliga are in Riménia and the Rother too, sorry my english i hope you can understain :) sorry :) LOL. Well the Stentor are supervise in Germany but they are english. The Cineses product very good cellos, under european and american standards, but…i dont no…Also Strunal the ranges Student sends already do in china. You have a great choise, but my friend the cello are english but made in china not in germany.

  3. Hallo, wie geht´s?
    I´m a beginner at playing the cello, and after using a borrowed cello for a few months I looking for a cello to buy. My top two are the Stentor Student II and the Stentor Conservatoire. I understand the sencond one is the next model, however I was wondering if, at the time you decided to take the Conservatoire, you check the Student II. In addition it would be really nice to know if had to make any repairs on the Conservatoire. Nice WordPress by the way.

    • Hi there,
      thanks for you comment :) I think I didn’t really consider the Student II due to its price. I wanted something ‘proper’ and I thought the more expensive Conservatoire would be of a higher quality. Thus I can’t tell you much about the Student II, but the Conservatoire served me well so far, lovely tone, nice wood. I did have to get it fixed once, the back got loose somehow. But the retailer I bought the cello at paid for the repair. Apparently the glue wasn’t properly spread.
      Hope that helps :)
      All best!

      • Hi!
        Thank you so much for your answer. Hopefully I will get mine soon too. I´m still looking, but the Conservatoire is my first choice for the moment.
        Thanks again. =)

      • Hello,
        Just as an update, in case it helps somebody who might be looking into buying a cello. I finally got a Stentor Elysia. After a year playing it, I have no complaints. It sounds marvelous and the three teachers I have had have always commented how loud and neat it sounds. It doesn´t go out of tune easily either, which is nice. So, if you are looking for a cello, keep the Elysia in mind.

      • @ThessPfferr: Hello and Thanks for the update and info.
        Can I ask where did you buy your cello Stenator Elysia? Online shop or the instrument shops? I am located in Germany and I am loking for a suitable cello for beginers too.

    • Hi, sorry it´s been a year. I bought it online at Thomann. It was the show cello they had so I even got it with a huge discount and in perfect condition.Mine was the last they sold, that I see. After 3 years playing I couldn´t be happier with the choice. It´s very loud and deep. When one of my teachers play it, it sounds so good I feel I should apologize for not being able to play at that level yet.

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