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Cello tones with cello timbre in a compact size! Just plug into any small instrument amplifier (guitar, etc.), and the sound becomes like a full size cello. Great for pit performances where space is extremely tight, on stage with a cable, or with a wireless unit attached for maximum mobility. Includes ChinCello, case, cello bow, and a Headway viola-sized "The Band" pickup that attaches in seconds to the instrument with no instrument modifications needed. This outfit was the "hit of the show" at the recent American String Teachers conference.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about Bellafina Electric Chincello Outfit:
I consider this to be a "crossover" instrument, useful for viola or violin players who might want to take up cello. It's useful & versatile on its own, but mastering this is also a good step toward eventually learning to play a regular cello.
I bought this amplified Bellafina Chin Cello outfit twice. Bought it, returned it, waited a month, then bought it again. There were scrapes & chips in the finish, the 1st time. Also, flaws in bow. The 2nd time, I specified request for pre-shipping inspection, and there were no problems. That was about a month ago, & I've been playing it every other day since I received it. If I was rating this strictly based on the 2nd purchase, I'd rate the product excellent - but, that 1st purchase is a glitch which can't be ignored. Therefore, it only received 4 stars; i.e., a "good" rating.
I studied all I could find about chin cello, before purchase. I recommend:
1) Immediately switch pegs for C & G strings upon receival. Sharp bend over nut on thick C string makes it break. I did this, and have had no such problem. There's potential confusion, tuning the wrong peg, but others (& me) have found it results in the C string not breaking - a small price to pay for durability.
2) Plan on using some other rosin. Included rosin is in small plastic "C" shaped tray. I worry about bow damage, so I use Super Hidersine.
3) Quality issues from 1st purchase make me wary of hidden issues. So, do as I did, and buy the extended warranty.
The zippered-lid case seems high quality. No problems, so far. (Note, that I haven't made any attempt at using the included shoulder strap.) The 16" viola body takes some getting used to. It still feels bulky & slightly awkward, but it's manageable. I haven't had any problems at all, re. peg slippage, other than when I drove an hour in the car, taking to show it off to relatives. Other than that, no slippage at all. I haven't done any trimming at all on the bridge height. (Usually, I need to do that upon getting a new fiddle.) It seems perfect. I haven't discovered any buzz points on the fingerboard; it seems just right.
Bowing does require a heavier pressure than viola or violin, to get the thicker strings to vibrate. Also, placement of the bow is more critical for ease of playing & management of pitch. This is normal for "octave" strings. But, the sound quality is very good; very much like a regular cello. I'm enjoying it immensely.
I've only used the included "The Band" pickup once, so far. I had some difficulties a couple of times, as if the signal wasn't getting out to the amp. But, messing w/ it, I got it working. I haven't really been able to pin down whether it's something I'm doing, possibly wrongly mounting the pickup, or whether there's a quality problem - but, since I DID buy the extended warranty, I'm not very worried. I'm still focused on mastering it acoustically, strictly in private practice sessions, so this isn't a big issue (yet).
To sum up, I'd recommend buying this - but, with the safeguards of
1) Pre-shipping inspection,
2) Purchase of extended warranty, &
3) Switching pegs for the C & G strings during initial setup.
Hope this was helpful!