I am looking to purchase a Cello from you for my 12 year old son who is in his 2nd year of orchestra in school. I have narrowed it down to either the Musino VC3 or the Cremora SC-200. Please give me a detailed recommendation between these (or another in this price range you feel is better). Thanks!
The SC-200 and Musino Cello are close to one another as far as specs and quality.
I do prefer the Musino overall. It has slightly better workmanship. The cases are nearly identical, but the latch on the Cremona version falls off as do the feet. It does not really hurt the case, but the Musino version has a better latch and feet.
Lastly, At the price we are stringing the Musino with Prelude Strings. This is almost mandatory for the cellos to sound good. The SC-200 is sold with low grade strings. It really needs the strings changed. We can do this for $50.00.
In The price range, the Musino is our best cello. This cello is the bare minimum for a nice instrument that sounds good and is easy to play. You will find other all solid cellos with a similar looking case far cheaper, but corners start getting cut and the quality goes down hill quickly. All the cellos will be the same as far as basic specs such as, solid spruce, solid maple, ebony, etc. What this does not tell us is how dense the grain is on the ebony. How good the particular spruce and maple is, the thickness it has been carved to, the humidity levels the instrument was made at, the grade and freshness of the hide glue used, etc.. It is ultimately a combination of these minor things that make a good quality instrument, or in some cases, junk.
Part of the price here also goes toward our setup work and the good quality strings. We currently have around $80-$90 shipping expenses per cello to have it shipped to us, then out to the customer. Most online sellers, have the cellos shipped directly from the factory warehouse to the customer and save around $50.00. This also means there is no inspection or setup by the dealer (even though they may say otherwise). Something to watch out for when shopping. :)
The next step up from something like the Musino is a Scott Cao Scotti or instrument.
The differences are in the wood and workmanship. The quality of hand craftsmanship on the Scott Cao instruments is far superior to most brands in the under $1000 price range. Up above $1000, they are almost without competition. Scott Cao has made sure all his workers are properly trained. Even the workers making the lower models. The Cellos do not look all that special, but they sound great and are well balanced and responsive.
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