Jump to content
Why become a member? ×
Account Security - Two Factor Authentication ×

Took my cello to a luthier...


zbd1960
 Share

Recommended Posts

It was funny, dad was not a musician but was always supportive. We were watching Mr T on TV and they mentioned the spike. Dad just asked "do you want one" and obviously I said yes. I live(d) in deepest North Wales. Mum sent the 'cello off to J & A Beare in London. I dread to think what it cost.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Owen said:

It was funny, dad was not a musician but was always supportive. We were watching Mr T on TV and they mentioned the spike. Dad just asked "do you want one" and obviously I said yes. I live(d) in deepest North Wales. Mum sent the 'cello off to J & A Beare in London. I dread to think what it cost.

 

That made me smile mate 👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My cello teacher is not a fan of the Tortelier spike. I think Tortelier was very tall? I think some of the argument for them was the weighting of the bow as a result of the angle, but it must have played havoc with your left hand. Definitely a fad. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m an orchestral strings luthier. I won’t comment on how much a professional colleague charges for their work, but for those who ask the question “how hard can it be” ? please consider the following:

 

The trade price of a good  quality cello bridge is about £45 (B—grade)£65 (A-grade). Fitting the bridge is rarely straightforward. Compensations have to be made for often-encountered non-standard situations, such as strange placement of the bass bar, misaligned and wonky necks, neck angles, strange body dimensions, etc etc. The feet have to fit perfectly for optimum sound and playability, and the right amount of wood taken off to leave the correct amount of wood above the heart (and to compensate for the problems above you might have to deliberately cut more wood off one foot than the other), and it has to stand at the correct angle.  You have to know by how much to pre-tension the legs so that the bridge still fits when string pressure is applied. The top of the bridge needs to be shaped to allow clean bowing of all strings, and to avoid bow contact with the treble side c-bout in some cases. Using a template for shaping is just the starting point here- it needs to be dialled in for each individual case. The bridge needs to be arched properly to combine structural strength with best acoustic performance.  Just the right amount of wood is removed from every single surface of the bridge blank. And if you’re working to professional standards, it has to look pretty at the end of it.

 

All in all  it’s a good half day’s work. Possibly more in tricky cases. So put in a reasonable hourly  labour charge for work by a highly skilled craftsperson, and you can “do the math” yourself. 🙂

Edited by Johncee
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, zbd1960 said:

not a fan of the Tortelier spike

 

I don't think anyone uses them any more.  Quick scan of pics via google doesn't show any current major 'cellist using one.  Still, there was stuff Tortellier could do that, at the time, was almost unbelievable.  Listen to the spiccato passage in his Dvorak concerto recording .. angling the cello out so as to use only the weight of the bow might have been a factor.   And he pulled some marvellous faces too 🙂

 

At that level I agree you'd want everything to be perfect... at my level maybe not.

 

Good article here saying what's involved; I think the bridge on my sub £10k cello got as far as the start of the section called "carving" then stopped .. which is fine by me.  I don't need pretty.

 

https://indd.adobe.com/view/7cba0480-f04f-480c-87fd-68e2ac7bee1e#new_tab

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, NickA said:

 

... Good article here saying what's involved; I think the bridge on my sub £10k cello got as far as the start of the section called "carving" then stopped .. which is fine by me.  I don't need pretty.

 

https://indd.adobe.com/view/7cba0480-f04f-480c-87fd-68e2ac7bee1e#new_tab

My cello is around the £8k mark.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...