@Mouse Very interesting observation. I have long skinny fingers, maybe you could send Belle my way. Seriously though, I agree every instrument will feel different. It is interesting that you did not see or measure the exact difference until you purchased your cello. Maybe a good lesson is to bring your old one with you when shopping, or have a take-home test period with the new so you can more thoroughly explore how she works. Best of luck in your upgrade/change out of Belle.
I don’t think people bring a measuring tape when they look for a cello, viola, or violin, or guitar for that matter. I am not complaining about Belle. She is really comfortable and has a great sound. Just, for this bowing and fingering, for me, she is not working as well as the average width fingerboard. For the simpler songs that I was doing at the time of the purchase, it was great.
I don’t think there is any “lesson” here because I did nothing wrong. I just wanted to point out to others how the subtle differences of an instrument make a difference in level of play, by posting my experience. Two reasons students, and probably professionals trade up, or just get a different instrument without exactly “trading up” may be due to a change in their ability, or type of playing.
Bringing a cello with me in my car is really not practical, and I really do not think it is necessary. I doubt anyone, or very few people, do that. I would have had to bring two cellos home with me if I had brought a cello with me.
When I purchased that cello, a trial at home was going to yield the same results because I have not been doing this sonata for that long. That trial period would have been with the same songs, and by the time I started the more advanced fingering and bowing, the trial period would have been over.
You can do home trials with that violin shop. They also have a very good trade-in policy of instruments you purchase from them. Personally, I either buy something, or I don’t. I am there testing instruments all afternoon when I go. One reason I go on Tuesday or Wednesday, it is their slowest time.
When I purchased Belle, I knew I would be trading her in after she was paid for. I am stepping up to keep payments low. I am not interested in taking money out of the bank, and I do not pay interest. I had a plan, as I did with the violin and viola, to work my way up to the instrument I want, within reason. I won’t spend beyond a certain amount for an instrument for recreation, even by doing baby steps.
I have had three months on Belle, longer than a home trial, to figure out what I like and do not like about her. More likes. I will have another three months while I finish paying her off. When I bring her in, I will get full amount I paid for her towards the new one, unless something happens to her between now and then. I am extremely careful with my instruments. If something happens, they just deduct the cost of getting it fixed from the amount of trade in value towards the new one. I have always received full purchase price of the instrument I am trading in towards a new instrument of equal or greater value. This system works very well for me. The one I have my eye on is more money than Belle was, but, Belle was a good between instrument. The one I have my eye on is a little higher quality level than Belle, which I was aware of then. Belle was a good step up from my extreme student level cello, that was not purchased there.
When I trade Belle in, I will again, spend an entire afternoon playing, and letting their cellist play multiple instruments, and repeat the process on those that catch my ear. The look of the instrument is not as important, it is the sound. I often close my eyes when their cellist is playing. I lucked out that Belle is super pretty. Nice reddish tint, not red red.
So, I do not feel I did anything wrong. Everything I do when searching out an instrument at the violin shop, is calculated by my plan and expenses.
I hope I cleared up the purpose of my post.