At last report, I was renting a cello because I wanted to get back into playing but my really really nice cello had the problem that, even after playing it for forty years, it always felt like the string length was too short and that I had to pull my left hand back toward the nut all the time.
Well — some changes were made. Sam Finlay, of Finlay & Gage in Maplewood, NJ, moved the bridge, thus lengthening the strings. He also made a new soundpost and did all the necessary tweaks. Then we put Warchal Amber strings on the cello. They’re kind of a non-gut gut string replacement; they’re wound over a non-gut, synthetic core, but specifically crafted to have a gut-like sensitivity and palette.
The result is that the Hill has a much bigger sound — which I consider absolutely fine (though it might affect the welcome I receive in ensembles with recorders and baroque flutes and such) — and feels comfortable under the left hand. The sound, though bigger, is still very Hill-like, and the strings do indeed have quite a range of color.
So I’m back to playing my cello! And working on a program of unaccompanied cello music. More as that progresses….