You might think that a professional orchestra could purchase and keep a fine violin for only $15, or even $10. But even the cheapest violin cost an incredible $50k.
You’d be surprised to know that the cheapest new cello is $400K, and you’d be surprised if you were to learn that it costs an average of only around $60,000. So it was really only reasonable to ask for a budget of $5K – $6K.
Let’s take a look at the average cost of a brand new violin made from all wood materials. This is an annual budget of around $1.5M.
Cost of a brand new cello
The price of a new cello can be quite different from instrument to instrument, given that different companies have different policies and tariffs on each, as well as different requirements for construction, materials, and construction, as well as various other factors in each instrument.
So let’s consider a simple model. Let’s call it “L” (a model made by one of the four major world companies). The cost for L is $1 million / year. The average new violin sold worldwide is around $3K, and an instrument made just for one price range costs around $2K.
That means that an instrument that costs $10K would cost around $14K. This would cover two instruments that cost around $150K each. That means that there’s $100K of capital investment needed to make one new cello, and the instruments are likely only made in the countries where each of the four largest world companies has an presence, as well as the cost of the materials.
That $100K of capital investment would make a huge difference, which explains why you would never find a more talented violin maker than Martin or Dvorak. That $100K goes into building new instruments, which is why they need to be very high quality instruments.
If we assume that the total cost of building a brand new cello is $150K/year for the entire industry, then in fact those four companies are taking in $150K/year, and that’s where the money goes. But how much can they do this year if the economy is on the slide? It would probably take them at least 3-4 years to pay back their $150K investment, in the case of one company, and 6-8 years for the other two to build one new cello!
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