Are there any Violin or Cello players out there?

I was reading a thread and one member mentioned that he was a professional musician. I was wondering if there were any of you that play the Violin or Cello.

I found an interesting company that manufactures both. They are made from Carbon Fiber, are said to sound terrific and are cheap, when compared to the cost of a really good wood instrument. The company is Luis and Clark.

Has anyone heard of them?
Reading the testimonials, they should be a must listen. My daughter plays the viola. Her instrument was beautifully crafted in China. As anyone knows, there is a huge range of quality coming out of there. When one comes in that is right, they are a super buy, and can have a wonderfully open and resonant sound.

I just mention this, because one should not dismiss unfamiliar builders. The best racing bicycles are made from carbon fiber. The lugged steel bikes of yesteryear are gorgeous, but are not seriously considered for racing anymore.

I would love to hear one of the Luis and Clark instruments. At first thought one might think they are akin to the cheap plastic student instruments one can find in a catalog. Carbon fiber is nothing of the sort. It is light, ultra tough, and beautiful.

Seeing all the testimonials from professionals, it still remains a miracle to me that anything but wood would be considered acceptable. If you do get one, let us know how you like it.
I have played the violin/fiddle for over 50 years now. I've always used a conventional acoustic instrument, although I almost bought a Zeta hybrid at one point. The Luis and Clark web site presents some interesting info and at 5K plus for a new violin, they must be serious about the quality. Makes me wonder if the carbon fiber body does a better job of keeping the instrument 'in tune'? That is one thing that still amazes me about some of the great artists, particularly in the jazz world; that they just do not get their instruments in perfect tune before recording.
I play the cello and am familiar with the Luis and Clark instruments. They are not for everyone. They sound very big, project well but lack the sweetness and neuance of a good wood instrument. Some will use them as an outdoor instrument as they are not affected by weather and are a bit more durable. I have talked to many who like them and others that don't. My recommendation would be to try one for a period of time before making a purchase choice. My favorite cello was a Carl Becker, wonderful. But the reality is that the very fine cello's make audio seem really really inexpensive.
I am not a player..I have developed a direct coupled purely mechanical End Pin for cello and bass that increases string and wood reactance, decreases wrist and forearm fatigue with a gain in acoustic output as much as 1.5db/50%. Tom
What type of aftermarket power cord do people suggest with their string instruments?

Okay, just had chime in with that one.......

audiotweek, that sounds like quite an innovation.

Roomtunes makes wood platforms for string players, (as well as singers)

The combination of the two of these could be an amazing step forward in acoustic reproduction.
Thanks Mr E.

Maximum coupling is the key. I saw the platforms. With what I am doing now for floor standing instruments you would not need to have an additional platform. My device provides maximum coupling at the instrument side as well as the floor room interface surface. Looking for a wider audience of open minded musicians to try the pin out. Tom

$5000 for a fine instrument seems pretty cheap. Would these be good for young people who can't afford $50,000?
$5000 for a fine instrument seems pretty cheap. Would these be good for young people who can't afford $50,000?

I worked on photographing some beautiful older Italian made cellos over the course of ten years. The images are very technical and shot in large format. I think over that time we must have shot over 60 instruments, most valued in excess of what you mention. Eventually it will become a book. During that time I came to know Dr. Ray Carlsen, who established The Carlsen Cello Foundation specifically to get good instruments into the hands of gifted children who may otherwise not afford such instruments. Check the link and feel free to pass it on to anyone you think may be interested. I do not know the current status of the non-profit, nor the parameters for qualification. I have no doubt there may be other similar programs as well. My in-laws (mother and sister) are first viola and cello in the a local orchestra. I will ask them about these carbon fiber instruments and see if they have any strong opinions. From the site and comments there, they sound like a good value, as you suggest. I would also doubt they'd have the same kind of qualities a classical wooden instrument could impart, but then I'm not a musician. The difference in price certainly could mean the difference for many of having an instrument and not having one. Aren't there also programs that lease fine instruments?
It is worth considering that the majority of traditional wooden instruments past and present, like cellos, violins,etc. . . just sound very bad. However, as they have been made for so long, and there have been so many luthiers in history, there are a lot of excellent extant instruments in the morasse. The application of carbon fiber to the manufacturing of string instruments is fairly new and not yet wide spread. . . as the carbon instrument inventory grows, and related manufacturing techniques evolve, we will see more and more new technology instruments that pass high muster. Besides, new instruments need to broken in. . . sometimes for a couple of years before they sound their best. In the meantime, the question to ask is: given a certain semi-fixed budget, how does one get the sound sought after? a good carbon instrument, or perhaps a Goronok or something else? It will be a matter of personal taste. . . besides, like in audio there are means to optimize the sound of a cello. . . Some Perastro and larsen string are excellent for sweetening the sound. . . then there are different bows, bridges, tail pieces, end pins. . . and sound posts. . . they all make a significant difference. . . and it is no New Age mumbo-jumbo either. Sounds eerily and audiophilically familiar? G.
Vibrational patterns within a wooden instrument can be realigned with the proper singular substitution of a component part of an endpin. The aperture/void to receive the end pin makes for an almost complete disconnect between the front,back, top, bottom and sides of the instrument.Unless this void is filled properly all facets of the instrument will not fire in a single coherent breath. Endpins in general are meant to be adjustable stands of convenience just like a microphone stand is misunderstood. When in fact the endpin and a microphone stand should be considered a tuned extension of the actual device or instrument..such as a tonearm being driven by a phono cartridge. When proper material, geometry and mechanical coupling are applied vibrational patterns can be re aligned and re-fired from previous and present themselves as a more focused, coherent, tuneful and dynamic sound that is easily heard, recordable and measureable. Carbon fiber is not a part of this musical alignment. Tom
Tom, this endpin you are talking about, can we see it, where is information available.
Guido - I know more about guitars than violins but certain things are common. Everybody knows about presence, projection, sustain, separation and tone but the tone is mentioned most often (simplification). There were attempts to build synthetic guitar to no avail - perhaps because of complexity of sound.

Another issue is price of the instrument and our American set of values. There is a luthier in the small German town who makes absolutely perfect guitars (Matthew Daman). David Russell plays on one of them. They cost about $20k - typical for guitar of this class but wait period to get one is 9 years. From the business point of view it doesn't make any sense (why not charge more?) but for him 9 years of waiting is a better prize than money.
"Carbon fiber is not a part of this musical alignment."

Interesting. . . why is it so?

Yes, I went through music school as a violinist. But what are you wanting this instrument for? $5,000 is indeed cheap for a "fine" cello . . . but it's still WAY too much money to spend if you're buying one for a beginner.

And if the musician in question isn't a beginner, then what matters most is not how "fine" the instrument is, but the synergy between the instrument and the person playing it. For an instrumentalist, finding the right instrument is a personal journey that's completely inseperable from their concept of their own sound . . . and ultimately of themselves as people.
I'm no Violin player but we have a young virtuoso in B.C. Canada Ms. Choi. And she claims her Stradaveri can never be made again because of global warming. (won't get the right kind of growth for the wood)

If you believe that piffle then you'll probably believe any nonsense...
If you believe that piffle then you'll probably believe any nonsense...

Shadorne - I believe it after watching "Red Violin". I pretty much believe "any nonsense" as you stated (with exception of shadow government, black helicopters and area 51).
Ms. Choi seems to be a sad representative of the typical follower of New Age science 'curriculum'. . . If the ideal pine no longer can be found on the Northern slope of the Southern Alps, all she would need is to fell timber from slopes from the more Northern Alp ranges. . . besides, who said that there is no perfectly good pine outside the Great Alps region?
Stradivari and the old Cremonese masters limited themselves to Italian timber because the local supply was most available and least expensive. . . and that is why certain instruments by such luthiers as testori--and even Antonio Stradivari I so believe--featured backs made from supremely inexpensive poplar, which could be felled from their respective backyards. . . or just a few kilometers down the road, along the banks of the river Adda and Ticino.
But of course. . . New Age explanations have so much more Romantic alure. G.
Guido - The oak floor you walk on is different in color and hardness from northern and southern states. Woods suitable for making instruments such as guitar have the highest ratio of strength to weight (cedar, spruce). Origin of the spruce, for instance, attributes for different sound of the instrument. Type of the spruce and origin is often listed with instrument advertising (German Sitka spruce etc.)
Thank you Kijanki. My point exactly, I am sure that if needed, appropriately dense spruce could be sourced from as north as the Arctic circle. BTW, I stand corrected, the latin name of genus Picea used to fabricate the top of violins translates to the English term spruce, not pine as I erroneously implied above. Guido
I recently purchased a Loreena McKennitt CD/DVD called "Nights from the Alhambra". Very very nice by the way. Loreena has a Cello player and doing one of her solos (the Cello play) you could see it was made from fiber glass. Sounded good to me but then I don't play an instrument.
When I said $5000 would be good price for an instrument for a beginner I was wrong. I should have said the might be a good price for a serious syphonys student or musician. I do know that some of the orchestras only want traditional instruments. That I can understand.

I think a Stradivarius could be made today if only Antonio was still alive and even then it might take 200 years for the Violin to ripen.

I have had a number of speakers that might be taking that long. Either that or they will just never sound good.
To Shadorne, seems like you may live in BC as I do.
I'm not supporting what the violinist said, and I don't wish to start an argument-I respect your opinion; however it is "very" well known and fully accepted by those in the know that there is a huge difference in cedar shakes and shingles made from old growth versus younger trees. The difference is not subtle.