FAQ

If I ordered an instrument (in black) today, how long will it take to receive the instrument?
We try to keep a good supply of instruments available for purchase. Generally if you were to order an instrument, you would have it within a week. Usually we try to get it to you the next day. Sometimes we won’t send out an instrument if the weather predictions are that there will be a blizzard, or some other condition beyond our control.

Do you paint in the color of traditional instruments?
We can paint the instrument any color you like.

Are the instruments made from an automated machine?
No, each instrument is handmade. The instruments are fabricated using molds and identical patterns, so they end up being as close to identical as possible, but they are handmade one at a time. The process is very lengthy and meticulous.

Is the fingerboard textured?
The fingerboard is not textured on the surface, but the weave of the carbon fabric shows through.

It appears from the brochure that the weave from the cloth will form a rough surface. Is this so? If it is not smooth how does that
affect the playing experience?

The fingerboard is smoother than ebony and unlike ebony will not develop hills and valleys from the pressure of fingers playing it.

Do you have more than one model?
No. We only want one, top of the line model, to leave our shop. When Louie created the third prototype of his cello, it finally met his high standards. We stopped experimenting and concentrated on making each instrument as good as the last. We don’t want to have any instruments of lesser quality represent Luis and Clark.

Is the lack of cornices done to improve the sound or is it a visual aesthetic?
It is absolutely to improve sound. The sole purpose of cornices on a stringed instrument is to support the structure. With the use of carbon fiber, having cornices is not necessary. The Luis and Clark instruments have the basically same shape as the inside of a traditional wooden instrument. The cornices in a wooden instrument, while needed, suck up sound. Doing away with the cornices makes the instrument more reverberant, while retaining the beauty of the sound.

As you have said there are no cornices. Is the cello hard to steady with the knees? Is it something you have to get used to or does
it fall readily to knee, so to speak?

The cello is easy to hold with the knees, but takes getting used to. The adjustment period is not a long one and not significantly more of an adjustment than going from one wooden cello to a different wooden one.

Do you think it would survive airline flights in a regular hard case?
Yes. In the spring of 2003, Louie toured South and Central America for eight weeks and the cello flew in cargo for 27 flights with no problems. We do recommend a strong traveling case because “luggage” can get very rough treatment. While the body of a Luis and Clark instrument is nearly indestructible, the bridge is not and you want to be able to play your instrument when you get to your destination.

Will the sound post fall down easily?
The soundpost is much less likely to fall down in the Luis and Clark than in a wooden instrument. The soundposts are fitted securely and as the top of the instrument doesn’t fluctuate with weather changes, the soundpost remains as “fixed” as when originally set. However, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible for it to move; it certainly can. Any luthier can reset the soundpost and there is no difference in the technique used to do so. These are just like wooden instruments, only better.

Your brochure states that the bridge should last a year. Can I replace the bridge myself?
The old brochure was misleading. What we meant was that one bridge will suffice for all year long, because the top of the instrument won’t swell up and down as wooden ones do. One bridge should last longer than a year. Eventually the strings will wear down the bridge and will be too low. Replacing the bridge is the same as with a wooden instrument.

Does the instrument have a sound post and bass bar?
Yes. The soundpost is wood and the bassbar is carbon fiber.

Does each L&C instrument sound the same?
Yes. The instruments are fabricated using molds and identical patterns, so they end up being as close to identical as possible.

Is the L&C instrument responsive to different bridge designs?
Yes, you can change the sound of the instrument by changing the type of bridge or strings. The instruments are set up in the manner we feel makes the best sound.

Are the neck, top and fingerboard removable?
The neck, sides and back are one piece; the top and fingerboard are separate. The top and fingerboard could come off, but we don’t know why one would want to do so.

How can adjustments be made to the instrument?
Any luthier can make adjustments.

How is your instrument’s tone quality compared to the average wooden instrument?
It is more beautiful and is more reverberant than most wooden cellos
we’ve heard.

How do I order one?
You may either order one through the website or call us 617-698-3034. You may pay by check or charge.

Have you made a five string model?
We have made numerous 5 string cellos and violins, but we do not carry them as part of our line.  All 5 stringed instruments are made by special order.

Someone commented that such an instrument would be very heavy, yet I know nothing about it, so I ask.
The instruments are much lighter than their wooden counterparts.

And how much does it weigh?
The cello weighs 5 lbs. 8 oz. And the viola weighs 1 lb. 4 oz.

Are all orders custom made, or do you have some in stock?
We try to keep a good supply of instruments on hand. Usually we can get an instrument to you within days.

Do the Pegheds look like regular pegs?
The Pegheds look like regular pegs. They have an inner gear that can’t be seen. Visit the website: www.pegheds.com

Do your instruments “play-in”? That is, does their sound, responsiveness improve with time, or does it remain the same as when
the instrument is new?

They do play in and sound better with time. Largely this is because the strings need to break; everything is new when they leave.

Does the price of the instrument include a bow? a case?
The instruments do not come with a bow or case.

Is the instrument set-up done at your factory or expected to be done by a local technician of my choosing?
The instruments are set up here.

Are your instruments appropriate for an adult beginner who already plays other musical instruments?
Absolutely, the instruments are actually easier to play than wooden instruments.

Am I correct in assuming the string length is the same as a traditional instrument?
Yes.

I am a smaller sized player and most recently have been comfortable with a cello that is in the 7/8th size. Any possibilities or suggestions with your instruments?
We have specially set them up for smaller people, reducing the string length. However, due to the shape, the cello sits closer to the body so even without reducing the string length, the cello is easier to play. The is much less stress on the bow arm, especially playing at the point on the A string.