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Old 18.08.2021, 14:59
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Cello - Rent or buy a cheap one.

Dear all
I recently started taking cello lessons after a 20years break. Ok i had one test lesson so far.... but I am really motivated to start playing again.


My teacher would give me a very good rental option with 350 CHF/year (which is more or less the price of a set of cello strings), which felt and sounded wonderful. This instrument is in the range of 12k, and I am afraid of having it around my 2 kids even though its insured.

Now I wonder how good the cello's between 600-800 CHF are. Does any one have experience with them? I went to musik Hug and asked if they had any cellos in that range, he looked quite insulted and declined.
Of course I don't need the best quality but it should be decent enough to feel happy while playing.
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Old 18.08.2021, 15:04
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Re: Cello - Rent or buy a cheap one.

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Dear all
I recently started taking cello lessons after a 20years break. Ok i had one test lesson so far.... but I am really motivated to start playing again.


My teacher would give me a very good rental option with 350 CHF/year (which is more or less the price of a set of cello strings), which felt and sounded wonderful. This instrument is in the range of 12k, and I am afraid of having it around my 2 kids even though its insured.

Now I wonder how good the cello's between 600-800 CHF are. Does any one have experience with them? I went to musik Hug and asked if they had any cellos in that range, he looked quite insulted and declined.
Of course I don't need the best quality but it should be decent enough to feel happy while playing.
350 a year is an amazing deal, a sub 1k Cello will be very poor unless it comes from an estate sale which is just being liquidated. Someone tried to sell a violin for about 50% of what it was worth without much success, so if you see 1 for 5k start the bidding at 2k.

I remember a good cello bow (W.E. Hill) costing more than 600 chf second hand over 45 years ago.
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Old 19.08.2021, 08:02
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Re: Cello - Rent or buy a cheap one.

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350 a year is an amazing deal, a sub 1k Cello will be very poor unless it comes from an estate sale which is just being liquidated. Someone tried to sell a violin for about 50% of what it was worth without much success, so if you see 1 for 5k start the bidding at 2k.

I remember a good cello bow (W.E. Hill) costing more than 600 chf second hand over 45 years ago.
Fully agree, it is a good deal. I am renting a 4K cello for approx 40 chf per month
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Old 19.08.2021, 09:07
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Re: Cello - Rent or buy a cheap one.

I suspect that an 800 chf cello would probably be a cheap student model and would perhaps be even more likely to break than a more expensive model (for example, having a cheap bridge). I use to play cello and would prefer having a well-made cello because they sound better and feel better to play.

Whichever model you get, I suggest going with a hard case rather than a soft case, to better protect the bridge. And also using a Dampit cello humidifier.
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Old 19.08.2021, 16:35
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Re: Cello - Rent or buy a cheap one.

I guess it depends on how much/where you will play. That rental sounds decent. My cello was c 650 about 30 years ago and it sounds and plays great. Obviously ymmv. I'd never buy an instrument without playing in anyway - some cheaper ones may surprise you. Ask your teacher for advice? They should have an idea of all ranges.

That music shop you went to sounds a tad snobby.


A set of strings in CH costs 350chf? Crikey.
I second the hard case, especially if travelling by public transport. Also doubles as a handy perch when waiting for a bus...
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Old 19.08.2021, 17:28
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Re: Cello - Rent or buy a cheap one.

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I guess it depends on how much/where you will play. That rental sounds decent. My cello was c 650 about 30 years ago and it sounds and plays great. Obviously ymmv. I'd never buy an instrument without playing in anyway - some cheaper ones may surprise you. Ask your teacher for advice? They should have an idea of all ranges.

That music shop you went to sounds a tad snobby.


A set of strings in CH costs 350chf? Crikey.
I second the hard case, especially if travelling by public transport. Also doubles as a handy perch when waiting for a bus...
650 in 1990 was around 1625 chf then, looking on Ebay.de there is plenty of choice in the 1500-2500 range, probably worth the OP going to look at shops in Germany as I guess there is very little competition in CH.

Spending 12k sounds bonkers unless you are a pro, possibly more of an 'insurance value' with a real market value around 30%, much like jewellery
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Old 20.08.2021, 10:56
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Re: Cello - Rent or buy a cheap one.

Here is another alternative: buy one of the Chinese cellos from Yitamusic and have it set up by a luthier once it arrives.


https://www.ebay.com/str/yitamusicvi...ecat=935681011


http://yitamusicshop.com/ProductList...CategoryID2=32


Here is a review that may help you decide:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqyiEL_KVnU


I played an expensive, antique instrument for years and then, like you, let it lapse. After many years, I decided that I wanted to start playing again but wasn't prepared to invest five figures in an instrument that was going to be a "plaything." Based on the reviews online, I ordered an instrument from Yitamusic (from their 'T' factory, which apparently produces better instruments than their 'M' factory) and I have to say that I am absolutely blown away by the quality. I replaced the cheap strings that it shipped with with Dominant strings, and to my ear the instruments sounds better than my old one -- richness of tone, depth of sound, resonance, etc.

The included bow was not particularly good, so it's worth upgrading to a better model, but overall you can get an incredible instrument for not much money.
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