For anyone who's been chasing after that perfect amplified cello tone, and perhaps especially for the classical player who is occasionally called upon to play "plugged-in", but has never been happy with the results, the Golden Tasman electro-acoustic cello from Bridge Instruments in the UK may well be the answer you've been seeking.
This cello's acoustic tone is warm and rich, with pure, singing highs in the upper register and full, resonant bass response. It doesn't project quite as well as some acoustic cellos in this price range (and it shouldn't), but tonally there's nothing lacking other than unamplified volume. Once you plug it in, we think you'll be impressed by the Golden Tasman cello's tone. Paired with a good acoustic amplifier, it gives you all the nuance and color of your good acoustic cello, now available to you at any volume.
The construction of the Golden Tasman cello is (for the most part) quite traditional. A top of tightly grained spruce and a highly figured maple back and side are finished in a golden oil varnish. That finish is heavily (but artistically) antiqued. There are three main departures from the look of a classical violin. The first will be familiar to anyone who's seen a Bridge violin. The shield (inspired by the 1710 Stradivari Viola da Gamba) that has become one of the company's trademark details sits atop the peg box, instead of a traditional scroll. The electro-acoustic's dual nature is also marked by a lightning bolt inlay on the shield, in place of the stylized lowercase "b" that marks their line of purely electric instruments. The f-holes of the Golden Tasman also sport a stylized lightning-bolt detail.
The biggest departure, and one that's less appealing aesthetically, but conceptually brilliant, is the placement of the Golden Tasman's output jack. Recessed into the arch of the cello's back, at first glance it appears jarring, even a bit awkward. Functionally, it directs the output cable away from the player, allowing for a more discreet appearance -- from the front, you'd hardly notice the cello was amplified at all, unless you noticed the tone knob on the bass side upper bout.
The cello's built-in preamp is powered by a single 9-volt battery. A custom hardshell case is included with all Golden Tasman cellos.