Quick Guide to the Costs of Repairs & Restoration 

The cost of restoring a cello can vary widely depending on the extent of the damage and the specific repairs needed. Here are some common repairs and their approximate costs: 

  • Crack Repair: Cracks in the cello can significantly affect its sound and value. Repairing cracks can be a complex process and can cost anywhere from £130 – £1000s or more, depending on the severity and number of the cracks. 
  • Sound Post Adjustment: If the sound post inside the cello has fallen or moved, it will need to be adjusted or replaced. This can cost around £70 to £170 for an adjustment or a new post to be cut and fitted. 
  • New Bridge shaped and installed: Often a bridge can become warped, and strings embedded in the wood. Once a bridge is beyond the point of no return a new one needs to be cut by hand from a bridge blank which comes in differing qualities depending on the level of player. Making a new bridge is a very skilled and time-consuming job and can cost upwards of £300.  
  • Peg maintenance: Pegs are vital parts of the cello and slipping pegs are an all-too-common condition. Repairs vary from a simple lick of peg paste to far more involved work depending on the situation. Cost can vary wildly from £40 – £100s for peg bushings and new pegs. 
  • Fingerboard maintenance: Fingerboards are made of expensive hard wood, usually ebony, and often due to wear they need to be resurfaced by planning them in a specific way. Once a fingerboard has been planned to the point of being too thin, a new one is required to be fitted which can cost upwards of £600.   
  • Varnish Touch-Up: If the cello’s varnish is scratched or worn, it may need a touch-up. This can cost between £100 and £1000s, depending on the extent of the damage and type of instrument. 
  • String Replacement: Strings can wear out over time and may need to be replaced. A set of cello strings can range from £70 to £350, depending on the quality of the strings. 

Expertise Needed 

Restoring a cello to its optimal condition requires specialized expertise. Luthiers, or cello makers and repairers, have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out these repairs. It is crucial to choose a reputable and experienced luthier to ensure the repairs are done correctly. 

While the costs of restoration can be high, a well-restored cello can fetch a higher selling price. However, it is important to weigh the potential increase in value against the cost of repairs. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to sell the cello “as is” and adjust the price accordingly.