Hi hoping someone can help me. My DS1 is 10 and currently playing a hired 3/4 size cello from school. He is sitting Grade 3 in the summer and h is really committed and we would now like to get him his own cello. My local music shop recommended a Stentor 2 and his teacher said that would be fine, maybe I should consider a Stentor Conservatoire or a Primavera 200 as well. I think the Conservatoire is a bit pricey for the moment. In either case we would spend some extra on some good strings (she recommended Dominant strings) and a set up. Has anyone got experience of any of these cellos and would recommend one over the other? I need to make a decision fairly quickly so we can get it ordered to arrive before half term to hopefully use it in the exam. Thanks
I'm a Hidersine convert (remember the people who make the rosin?). I don't play cello, but I play and teach violin.
The cheapest Hidersine model, which is the Vivente, is in the same price range as those two models. Pound for pound, I'm convinced that the Hidersine violins produce a nicer tone than the equivalent Stentor II model. Hidersine don't appear to produce very cheap instruments, though, so the cheapest Stentors are cheaper, and I don't think Hidersine do instruments smaller than 1/4 size (not an issue here). I am assuming that the standard of the cellos is equivalent to the standard of the violins.
Hidersine produce a range of models - Vivente (cheapest), Giovanni and Piacenza cellos would all be cheaper than the Stentor Conservatoire. Even the cheapest fiddles come complete with a £45 set of Thomastik strings (they're the people who make Dominants and for price comparison since cello strings cost more, cheapo Astrea fiddle strings cost about £12 a set).
Otherwise, while I was considering buying a cello and before trying those fiddles, the recommendation I received was an upgraded Prima 200, but that was with a discounted price.
Dd has just grown out of a Primavera, it's been lovely and got her beyond grade 5. Get it from a string shop, and they will set up etc, and put better strings on, and you can usually get on assisted purchase, so the council will pay the VAT.
We have used Stentor IIs for violins, and I like them - I think best thing to do would be to go and get your ds to play some, see which he prefers. Use the bow he is used to, so you really listen to the cello, not the bow. Dd was VERY particular when we chose her primavera cello (was a 1/2 size one, she particularly liked the depth of sound on the lower strings), but we got a different bow as she didn't like the bow that came with it. As you can tell she is v fussy!!!