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My youngest son is 11 years and an aspiring cellist. There is no way come off as anything other than a proud dad but the kid has a talent for the instrument. Only 3 years into it and he's killing it in auditions, at the county level, competitive against kids who have been playing longer than him. His teacher recently moved and gave up a number of her students but he was one of a couple that she insisted on keeping.

Great news, the kid has talent! Oh, cr*p, the kid has talent....we need to start upgrading his equipment. He is still on his initial cello (still sounds good, would like it to carry him another couple of years before we spend equivalent of a college semester's tuition to upgrade his instrument. At least, that's the plan). So we'll upgrade at a lower level, his bow. His teacher warned us the bow could run a couple hundred bucks. So I took him to ye olde strings specialty music store with his cello and he tried no fewer than 14 bows ranging in price from $300 to (gulp) $600. The thing is, he was blind to the price of the bows, only I knew the price. I couldn't believe it, his attack was crisper, technique smoother, with the more expensive bows. <sigh> Side note, he didn't like any of the three carbon fiber bows, said they didn't "feel" right.

A great store, they gave us the top two bows to try for the week, took my credit card info with instructions to bring one or both of the bows back at the end of the week. Yeah, I took home two bows with a combined worth over $1200. Holy moly, and I thought mouthpieces got expensive....these are sticks with horse hair.

But his teacher said she notices a difference in his playing already, maybe she's using some psychology to make me feel better! My GAS sax stuff is going to be put on hold for a while, looks like I need to save for a new cello. (And truth be told, I'm happy to do it....the way he plays....he had an audience at the strings shop listening to him, this 11 year-old kid, as he went through his paces testing bows.)
 

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We're all very lucky that we buy saxophones, and not cellos… or marimbas… or grand pianos….
 

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The violist in the string quartet I play with off-and-on recently toted around two "new" viola's to try before deciding. this guy is a good, but not outstanding amateur violist. Once viola was available for $30,000 the other was asking $22,000.

..and I got all excited when I got my "new" Selmer Series 9 A clarinet for about $500 off ebay, plus another $800 at the best Clarinet repair shop in the City.
 

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Duuuuude, you would make so much money! But, not just any sticks, mind you...something called "pernambuco". You KNOW anything that hard to pronounce is going to be pricey.
 

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The violist in the string quartet I play with off-and-on recently toted around two "new" viola's to try before deciding. this guy is a good, but not outstanding amateur violist. Once viola was available for $30,000 the other was asking $22,000.

..and I got all excited when I got my "new" Selmer Series 9 A clarinet for about $500 off ebay, plus another $800 at the best Clarinet repair shop in the City.
Thanks...Alan....you're making my day. LOL...I know, I see it coming. You know you can get small rebuilt Steinway baby grand for that kind of dough!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good luck to your son. But I don't think you realize what you may be in for. :) Bows for string instruments can cost many, many thousands of dollars. Here's one that went for a paltry $289k: https://theviolinchannel.com/beares-auction-world-record-violin-bow-huberman-tourte/. Even "normal" bows can easily cost more than a pro saxophone. Here's a collection of some cello bows you may wish to window-shop: http://metzlerviolins.com/bows-cello-bows-wood-cello-bows-over-4000-dollars.
:)

Yes, I believe I see it coming. A $289K bow? Wow....and I can say it backwards....WOW.
 

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The bow is more important than the cello itself. I played for many years until I had to give it up for about a year due to a bad accident but I would love to get back into it. There are good cellos out there in the 3-4k price range, even some of the Chinese made (cough) are really getting competitive. But again, every $10 extra spent on a bow gets you more mileage than $100 on the cello. Now if they could make them a bit smaller without sacrificing the 4/4 :evil:

And you are lucky that it is not a grand piano. I just had the pleasure of playing a $130k Steinway at an auction (and it was already 50% reduced). That's when my heart was bleeding but they also had a very nice 100 year old cello and it was only $12K...
 

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The violist in the string quartet I play with off-and-on recently toted around two "new" viola's to try before deciding. this guy is a good, but not outstanding amateur violist. Once viola was available for $30,000 the other was asking $22,000.

..and I got all excited when I got my "new" Selmer Series 9 A clarinet for about $500 off ebay, plus another $800 at the best Clarinet repair shop in the City.
If I'm not mistaken I've heard of violin bows going for those and higher prices. That string stuff can get outrageously expensive!
 

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Picked up a sax in 2002 and here I am.
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You guys got me wondering about all this bow stuff and it's crazy what a difference it makes, like a mouthpiece. I listened to this violinist trying numerous bows and definitely impacts the tone, etc... Would never have guessed!

https://youtu.be/2W_uM5DCIJc
 
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