new or old instrument?

January 19, 2009 at 11:18 PM ·

I'm looking for a new cello and I would like to know your opinions about a contemporary liuther.

Replies (23)

January 19, 2009 at 11:27 PM ·


I wouldn`t buy either until you know the differnece between a violin and a cello web site,



January 19, 2009 at 11:49 PM ·

 Or how to spell luthier?

January 20, 2009 at 12:02 AM ·

Come on guys, go a little easy on him. His profile says he's from Italy and in Italian "luthier" is "liutaro", so it's a mistake easy to make for an Italian speaker.

January 20, 2009 at 03:25 AM ·

You're right. Not any worse than "differnece," whatever that is.

I think most on this sight would say definitely buy an old instrument. New instruments are do you say in


January 20, 2009 at 04:03 AM ·

Woah, we don't welcome a cellist here??


January 20, 2009 at 04:16 AM ·


this is one of the most friendly sites on earth and of course everyone is welcome. But before making comments likew `Come on!` it might actually be worth thinking a litlte a bit about the actuall post in question.  It is nothing to do with this site- the cello is not a memeber of the violin family and no amount of niceness can do away with that. Before getting carried away consider whether a violin question posted on a cello site (of which there are a few) would be welcome.  There are always issues of appropriacy on any site and they are there because otherwise people`s time gets wasted. As it is being now.  I am wasting my own time,  but the point is important. is still a serious site.  That dfoes not suggest by any means thta it is snobbish or unwelcoming.  Its just that if you want to retain its quality then us eit in a reasonable way.



January 20, 2009 at 04:25 AM ·

Don't mind Buri,

He just needs some Prunes and a few bolts tightened.

January 20, 2009 at 04:58 AM ·

My daughter plays cello, and her teacher (Julliard-educated) has the philosophy that not every student should have to spend $10,000+  on a cello. (contrary to some of the more established teachers in the area.) We didn't get her cello at a luthier's exactly, in that the cellos were not made in the shop, but it was a nice German (have you heard of Illner?), new cello. She's playing Haydn concerto--so she's fairly advanced.

Allright, that's about all the cello advice I can give. :)

January 20, 2009 at 05:22 AM ·

I can't offer any good advice; my only attempt to play the cello was a miserable failure.

I had a hard time reaching the first position on the C & G strings,  and the chinrest was very uncomfortable...

January 20, 2009 at 05:44 AM ·

Buri, nothing wrong with that in principle. I just felt that the first two responses *in combination* were a little harsh, considering that he has just joined, it was his first post and he's not a native English speaker as it would seem.

January 20, 2009 at 05:45 AM ·

Your joke is not funny, Buri.

January 20, 2009 at 06:16 AM ·


Benjamin, you are right.  I should have just said this is not a site for discussing the cello.

Casey,  the post violates the guidelines for this site. They are there for a reason.If you follow through your position youare advocating discussion of anything. That point is straighforward enough.



January 20, 2009 at 06:43 AM ·

Are you sure it's not a member of the violin family? The full name is, after all, "violincello."

I think only the bass is not a member of the violin family (comes from the viols). 

January 20, 2009 at 07:05 AM ·


if you prefer a new "Italian" Cello, go here. Absolute top!

Or take a look around on this site. They are many more.


January 20, 2009 at 07:03 AM ·

Hi Scott,

in fact it's "violoncello", not "violincello". In construction it could be seen as a member of the violin family, but the name is italian diminuitive  ("cello") of "violone". (In fact there were so many hybrid forms of that instrument in the past, that we should be a little more generous when sharing our experience.)

January 20, 2009 at 10:20 AM ·

Mr. Ramous, "schools" of making are less distinct than they were in the past. There is now more sharing and interaction between makers of different countries, and foreign training is rather common. In many cases, it's impossible to recognize the country of origin.

I would focus less on nationality, and more on identifying the makers who have distinguished themselves in some way. One way would be to see how they have done at international competitions such as the Violin Society of America, Cremona or Paris competitions. Of the competitions, I believe the VSA has the greatest number of entries from the most countries.

January 20, 2009 at 12:10 PM ·

Buri - I don't have problem with the points you made, it's just the way you deliver the message. :-)

January 20, 2009 at 12:19 PM ·

I recommend "Italian" because it is the easiest way for him to visit a maker personal. (From his profil he life in Roma).
A question also how much money he like to spend.

January 20, 2009 at 08:52 PM ·


I think that coming to this board with questions concerning a luthier is just fine, but there is a site for cellists-  I can only assume (hope) you'll find more civil behavior there. Granted it's always hard to detect the 'tone' in someone's written words, but there have been some disappointing posts here even from folks whose contributions & treatment of others I usually appreciate & respect

January 20, 2009 at 06:58 PM ·

I think lutherie has become entirely international. The wood used, somewhat less so. But wood and people can be transported so....

Do not ignore Chinese makers. Some really nice instruments are coming from China. In fact, I understand that some of the instruments "made in Cremona" are actually "imported in the white" from China (of European woods), varnished there in Italy and sold internationally at Italian prices.

Some trained "western" luthiers have established commercial and technical/artistic relationships with Asian workshops to make and import good instruments to be sold at affordable prices.

My Chinese-made "Jay-Haide a l'ancienne" Ruggieri model cello was estimated to be a pretty good French cello by a quartet coach we engaged for 4 sessions (he played it some, too - to demonstrate various things - for all the instruments - to the quartet players)-- so if you get a reliable, good maker it doesn't much matter where he or she lives. I've seen and played even better Chinese cellos than mine, as well. I've played ancient French and Italian cellos that were not as good; but I have to admit that the finest cello I've ever played was an ancient Italian that would probably sell for about $500,000 now - and it was different --- so different that after having that cello for a summer, it was another 40 years before I could stand to get back to serious cello playing again on any instrument I could afford to own.


January 21, 2009 at 04:04 AM ·

Yes,there were priggish remarks made by  presumptions of a self-gormandised lord and master through intervention by fruits...

January 21, 2009 at 02:16 PM ·

Thanks a lot for yours answers, and sorry if I thought that it's a web site for musicians and not only for a violinist...Anyway I wanted only  know some opinions about a moder "liutaio" (sorry for my bad english..)...I play a wonderful A.d'Espine (Caressa certified) and I have a lot of important old and modern bows(E.Sartory,V.Fetique,C.N.Bazin, L.Morizot,J.Dodd,S.Thomachot,S.Bigot,J.Grumberger..)..and I'm looking for a beautiful new cello. I know that the best are D.Burgess (thank for your gentle answer) G.Alf and R.Hargrave but really it's impossible to start any conctact with them by internert

January 21, 2009 at 09:57 PM ·

I realize how many luthiers there are to be found in Cremona, but I know one great maker who spends half the year in that town, and that is Francis Kuttner. He's been a judge at past VSA competitions and won the Trienalle (sp?) Competition many years ago. Every now and then he orders cello pegs from me so I know that he makes them.

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