Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Carbon Fiber Cello - a do-it-yourself video


PhilipG
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have seen some references to carbon fiber being used for violins, perhaps, but I had always wondered how they did it. Here's some neat videos:

Here's the second link, though you may see it when you look at the first. At any rate, it is kind of fascinating.

Hope this isn't too blasphemous.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice link, educational to me. I have no idea what carbon fiber is. Now I know

what it looks like.

The sound of the cello was not that great in spite of such a good player. It must be the recording or

the cello material. I like wood cello sound which is so tender. Like warm air in a cold cold night that

makes you feel soothing. Carbon fiber material still has a long way to catch up wood.

(Or make a better recording, I do not trust recording in general, too much distortions or

over editings)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An interesting point in referring to the sound of the cello is how it sounded through any particular speakers. I have a very nice stereo with wonderul speakers, so it sounded pretty good to me. Not absolutely terrific, but still pretty good.

Anyway, I don't know what a carbon fiber instrument would cost but I suppose they wouldn't be cheap at all. And I suppose that the carbon fiber technology would probably have a long way to go before it approaches the sound of an aged instrument made of wood.

I'm sure it's a lot stronger than wood and for a cello, this is definitely a plus. At any rate, I'm still for violins, violas and cellos still being made of wood.

It is still neat to see how it's done, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for Yuen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_fiber

It makes me wonder if different composites would be better than

just carbon fiber. Possibly even just different weaves.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevlar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiberglass

Or thin carbon layers over a honeycomb.

http://www.ae.utexas.edu/courses/ase463q/d...a/Honeycomb.htm

Sorry, my dad's a material scientist and I work with jet engines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keep Talkin'.

At the start, I noted that the video was not made for me, then declined to turn it off. What then I saw was very interesting indeed. As a clumsy struggler trying to bring something nice to a clumsy and strugglesome world, I hope for persistence from guys like Lewis and Clarke. (sic)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that has just occurred to me this morning about these... the process, as shown, would, I think, produce a part of uniform thickness all over. So, for instance, the back and belly of these instruments would seem to be of uniform thickness throughout. At least, I couldn't see in the video any means by which thickness would be graduated. Of course, they avoided any possible view of the bass bar, I'm sure that would amount to a trade secret for them. But it makes me wonder, since so much discourse is given to graduations of the top and back of wooden instruments, and how it affects the sound, and perhaps I'm mistaken about this in any case.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's unfortunate that the video starts with that plastic model violin with the announcer saying "this cello..."

Anyway, as has been mentioned in other threads about these instruments is that they would be great to have as a spare for playing outdoors. I play with a latin band that quite often get surprise birthday gigs where we have to come in from outside playing. I've done this in the rain and in the winter when it is very cold. I really feel for the instrument as I hear the tuning changing under my ear as I go into a centrally heated house and I wonder what sort of harm it is doing the wood. We also do garden parties and have to play in the hot sun on occasion. Do they replace wood? Under certain conditions, yes without a doubt. Will they become the standard for concert violinists? Probably not but one day they may replace cheap wooden school violins. I imagine the scenario will be much the same as with CF bows today which were surrounded by the same kind of controversy when they first came out.

So these instruments may not be a replacement for Itzhack Perlman's concerts but I could sure use one!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They did not show anything in the video that would indicate that

they varied the thickness but all you would have to do is cut out

material in the form of the countours and place it in the right

area during the lay up. When you vac bag it it will integrate with

the other layers and give you your graduations. I would think that

they made the bass bar as a seperate piece in a mold and glued it

in.

It looked like he was using a chisel to fit the bridge feet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by:
Marie Brown

How interesting to go ISO tiny black splinters in someone's gloves or skin:

The link to the patent presented is worth a peek. There are numerous descriptions in the "claims" section re bass bar which gives insight into their development/thought processes. They also tried a carbon post.
quote:


Originally posted by:
Francis

Does anyone use a bridge knife like the one in the video? I'd like to hear more about that kind of tool.

The tool for cutting the feet is a chisel. The knife shaping the top of the bridge looks like a straight edged knife...probably one sharpened on "one side" with flat back...seems to be preferred by bow makers...(I assume that is because they can't sharpen real knives...)

quote:


Originally posted by: Dean_Lapinel

My hope is that carbon fiber will become the standard for all stringed instruments.

Dean I would enjoy reading why? Are you serious or did I just take another trip to the Maldives?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I promised one of my students I would link these videos to him. After reviewing them, I am hesitant. The kid is VERY intelligent, and will quickly smell a living-room elephant or two. In my irrepressible hopefulness, I do so long for scheme of this kind to work in my lifetime.

So what do you suppose I will say when this budding rocket scientist asks me what keeps this instrument's neck from pitching forward? "I don't know" will undoubtedly suffice, "but it's summer, and we're runnin' out of ice."1

1Hammerstein, Oscar II: Oklahoma

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At this point, I believe CF instruments to be far too costly to replace school instruments, though the general indestructibility is an important factor, to be sure. And of course more or less ideal for the musician on the road. Airline baggage compartments? No worries, mate!

In the "nothing new under the sun" context, luthier Mario Maccaferri, who was responsible for the design and construction of the Selmer jazz guitars used by Django Reinhardt, pioneered the use of plastic in stringed instruments. Egged on by radio personality and ukulele player Arthur Godfrey to come up with an inexpensive plastic ukulele, he subsequently also produced and marketed pink plastic violins. They were more or less readily available for decades, and last sold for about $125. They disappeared from the market about a decade ago, when the supply was finally exhausted.

I keep watching the workers in their protective gear and thinking to myself there's no way I'd go anywhere near that shop. Looks like slow death in the making.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the Maccaferri story. He'd have done well to check out the products other sporting goods companies have come up with after years of marketing tiny soft footballs for three-year-olds. Most baby violinists are past wanting a pink fiddle by the time they cut their first tooth. My plastic fiddle (circa 1952) was brown, of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...