A Look at the Scott Cao STC 900 Cello (or SCC 300 in Australia)
Scott Shu-kun Cao is one of those extremely gifted luthiers who, for such a relatively short time, have literally carved a name for himself as one of the modern masters of cello-making. The list of soloists, concert masters, known professionals, and collectors is as impressive as the string instruments coming from the workshops of Scott Cao. Also, renowned string instruments shop the world over have a staple of Scott Co works in their fold. While the choice of a good cello should be based on the cello’s beauty and performance itself, one can be fairly certain that the cellos with Scott Cao’s stamp are worth more than a cursory glance.
Scott Cao is originally from China, but has since moved to the US. Unsurprisingly, he has a couple of shops in both countries that are producing cellos and other string instruments of exceptional quality and beauty. The STC 900 could be made from China or the US then. Regardless of the origin of the STC 900, it carries the principles and ideas of Master Cao himself.
While the STC 900 can be a generic copy of an old master cello, most of the models are patterned after the best of Stradivari cellos. Most of these cellos do not look like the usual 300-year old cellos that are so common in the market. They feature a mostly smooth and almost glossy kind of look. Although they still come out as old-looking, one is always certain that it is a newly-made cello that is designed to look aged.
Cellos of this price range from Scott Cao usually use top quality spruce for the top and Bosnian maple at the back, sides, and neck and the STC 900 is no exception. The timbers used for these cellos are aged for at least 10 years in their storage rooms. These timbers are of really fine quality. The superb varnishing is clearly evident because it allows the timbers to flaunt their best assets. More than likely, the varnishing is also designed to aid the way the cellos sound.
When it comes to sound quality, the STC 900 has the kind of power that is coveted by soloists. It has a projected power that sounds even better and clearer for those sitting farther from the cellist. While there are cellos that can be downright deafening, this one carries the sound smoothly and seamlessly across the distance. One can really appreciate the smooth and mellow harmonics coming from the STC 900 if heard from a range.
Power is important in a cello since it allows the cellist to concentrate on the other aspects of his playing. If the cello lacks some punch in power, the cellist might have to compensate that with his mechanics or trouble himself with too much effort that it affects his overall playing.
Another clear feature of the STC 900 is a superb balance in all of the strings. All four strings have a very consistent volume and playability. Again, this is a very important quality that must be present in cellos. Overall, this is a cello with exceptional beauty and sound quality. This cello is a very good choice for intermediate students and early professionals.
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