MEETING [8] (July 17th, 2013)

Today Prototype I and II were compared side by side for the first time.

 

TEST RESULTS [8].  (Featuring Prototype I and II in their presumably best set-up.)

 

SIMILARITIES

–   Both instruments’ E-strings have a sound quality that is untypically for a cello; they sound rather like a  treble (small viola da gamba).

–   Both instruments’ A-strings sound slightly muffled compared to a four string cello.

–   Both instruments’ D- and G-strings lack overtones; especially in the higher positions.

–   Generally the sound volume of both instruments is smaller than the volume of a comparable four-string cello.

 

 

DIFFERENCES

–   Prototype II responds better and generally produces a stronger and clearer sound than Protoype I .

–   The E-string of Prototype II has a slightly less nasal quality then the E-string of Prototype I .

–   The wolf notes on Prototype II  are less disturbing than the wolf notes on Prototype I.

 

 

FURTHER ACTIONS ON 8th MEETING

The length of strings between the tailpiece and bridge from Prototype I was lengthened from 110 to 115 mm. This action favors the high strings’ quality and volume. There was a noticeable, positive change. Still, Prototype II has a better overall sound quality.

(The cost of changing a four string cello into a five string cello turned out to be in a range between 1.000  and 2.000 Euro, depending on the quality of the used material.)  

 

CONCLUSIONS

The smaller-sized Prototype II turned out to have the better sound properties of the two prototypes. However, there is a noticeable loss of volume and sound quality compared to an original four string Eastman cello. Those facts result in the following recognitions:

 

  •  Five string cellos seem to have a lesser sound volume than four string cellos. (The particular explanation for that fact still has to be explored.)
  •  Smaller five string cellos seem to have better sound properties than regular-sized five string cellos
  •  However, Prototype II still lost some of its sound properties after being converted into a five string instrument.Therefore, at this point of the research, conversions of four string cellos cannot be recommended until the construction of an original, high-level five string cello is completed.

 

   These realizations already present a prominent result of progress of this project: The Amatis’ and Stradivari’s decision to build their five string cellos in a smaller scale than their four string instruments had to be based on the same experiences we made while experimenting with our two prototypes.

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