Originally Posted by LouisF
I was President of a small college in the High Sierras for a while and we considered buying the L&C cello and viola for a chamber music group in residence. They actually weren't bad instruments. No one can quite figure out what went wrong with the design of the basses.
I haven't played a CF instrument (yet
), but the little bit of research I've been able to do on CF violin and cello construction (very little on violins and cellos, none on DB's available AFAIK
) have given me a few ideas about that.
Just transfrering wooden construction 1:1 into CF will most likely not yield desired results.
On violins, the research is relatively cheap because of the minimum amount of material used.
After the (tiny) moulds have been made, it's just simple elimination and fine tuning process.
It is still labour intensive with PITA to work with materials, and that does cost dearly, but nowhere near the amount that the larger members of the violin family require.
In my estimate, on cellos the amount of material used (/wasted) is easily 10 times that of a violin. For that reason I'd guess
there are way smaller amount of great CF cellos than there are great CF violins around.
Finally, on a DB, the research can easily take 30 times the material of a violin.
Per a single try.
If my rough estimate of ~100€ material/violin top in research is even in the parking lot of the ball-park, it's pretty easy to see why there's not been many (if any) truly good CF DB's.
IMO as an BEng mech. anyway.
I suppose that given the amount of R&D -or more precisely the lack of it- the end result of the available CF DB's is still better than the very first wooden DB's were.
The ancient DB luthiers didn't have anything to copy from, they had to scale existing smaller instruments up, doing a great work at that (in the end).
At some point, I'm sure that someone will eventually do the legwork needed to transform the lifeless composite of CF-cloth and resin into a design that will give great results in DB construction.
How that someone chooses to divide the probably insane R&D cost to the final products will pretty much seal the end result's fate in the market.