As we have discussed before on Sound-Unsound.com, electric cellos are a great addition to your band. However, you should do a little research before getting one. So keep reading this article to find out how expensive electric cellos are, if they are practical and why you should take one for the studio sessions.
They are not that pricey
For a decent new electric cello, you will pay from $1500 to $4500. Even if you add an amplifier, the price is generally smaller than what you would pay for an acoustic model.
Of course, there are some more exquisite models with amazing features that cost from $5000 to several hundreds of thousands of dollars.
No need to worry when traveling
Almost any acoustic cello could get damaged by any kind of impact or shock. And because it is manufactured from wood, temperature changes have a significant effect on it. The electric cello has the advantage that it’s not vulnerable to any of these problems.
Even if the producer used wood during its fabrication, it is a solid piece that is less fragile which remains unaffected by any seasonal problems such as seams, cracks, or others.
An electric cello might not be any lighter than an acoustic one, but it’s definitely easier to transport. They are thinner and some of the models are foldable so there is no need to pay for extra luggage at the airport.
High level of practicality
Sometimes, musicians who are looking for an electric instrument are performing in clubs, basements or outside. So these are places or situations where somebody might be reluctant about taking an expensive acoustic instrument.
They have exclusive sound qualities
Since every musician is looking to obtain the best sound possible, electric cellos might be the right choice. There are a few reasons why an electric cello should be chosen instead of its acoustic relative.
The sound has no feedback
When it comes to playing an acoustic instrument, there are a few challenges and one of them is the feedback’s presence. Almost all musicians hate those screeching or low resounding notes coming out of the speakers. Nevertheless, the solution might be the electric cello.
If you need to perform at a high volume, an electric cello is clearly the right choice. There is no serious volume from a hollow chamber, making a large number of tones. So the feedback’s problem is minimized or even eliminated.
It delivers a better signal
When planning to process a sound, it is easier to use an electric instrument because it gives a clearer and stronger signal. The obtained signal is quite malleable and you can do more with it.
Using an electric cello will make your job easier if you are using a lot of effects or modifying the signal by using a computer. Some bands use acoustic cellos when performing live to maintain the classical appearance but use an electric cello for their work in the studio.
How different is an electric cello?
Some of the manufacturers tried to create electric cellos as similar as possible to acoustic cellos. So the resistance that you feel from its strings, the string’s thickness, the arching and angle of the fingerboard, all feel the same.
There are even some attachments so the electric cello replicates the depth and thickness of an acoustic cello. So if you are used to using a cello’s elements as a guide for knee braces or upper position you should have no problem playing an electric cello.
However, you have the possibility of going for something that looks nothing like the acoustic version. There are some cello versions that are known as “sticks” as they lack the voluminous bodies or are cut in an exotic design so they are pretty eye-catching.
Part of the show
All of these are part of the band’s image as rock, improv or jazz players are going for the most unusual body forms and daring colors. Also, having a lightweight cello that can be carried around while playing by using a strap, allows the musician to interact more with the crowd.
How to select the amplifier
When you will be performing, the electric cello will run through the main sound system. However, for your practice session at home or for live situations where there is no sound system available, you will need an amplifier. More experienced musicians will tell you there are two types of amplifiers: full-feature models and high-end acoustic amplifiers.
As the name tells it, the first type includes some features such as onboard effects, amplifier modeling, and distortion. The second type is less complex since it has only a basic reverb. However, using this amplifier will give you a cleaner tone.
Before getting your own amplifier, try and use different models in various environments, and see which one suits you better.