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.)



–   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.




–   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.




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.)  



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.