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Bridge transducer?


IVSymphony
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This was mentioned in a topic about a year ago, and after about an hour of searches through the archives, I gave up trying to find the original post.

Here goes:

There is a device marketed which is a type of violin bridge that contains a transducer (speaker driver) that when hooked up to a stereo system turns the violin's body into a speaker, supposedly the vibration of the violin's body "loosens up" the violin (in a good way) allowing it to vibrate more freely, thus giving a better, richer, more mature sound when played in the normal way (with its regular bridge). One hooks up the violin with this transducer bridge and goes off to work while the stereo plays CDs of the complete Unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas of Bach all day. After a month or so, the violin sounds as if it had years of "breaking in" under its belt, rather than just a month's worth. In the early 1970s I know that this was being done with new classical guitars (my roommate at the time was an audio engineer familiar with the concept, and it was he who introduced the concept to me. He then used wall transducers to turn the entire wall of our apartment into a speaker!!!). If I remember the original post, it was a bridge with adjustable feet (and legs) that could be put on the instrument in front of (or immediately behind) the regular bridge, then "lifted" with adjustment screws until the strings rested upon the transducer bridge and the regular bridge could be removed without having to unstring the violin. The regular bridge would be replaced the reverse way, again so as not having to unstring the violin. There was also then mention of a famous violinist who supposedly touted this device and used it with his own instrument(s).

Does anyone remember the commercial name of this product?

I have several violins just sitting around unplayed, and I would like to give it a try with them.

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Well way before I even picked up a violin let alone make one I was{still am} a heavy metal god of thunder....as well as a hiphop house master{ that means I write "rap" style loops on the keyboard} and well that is a cute little device...but a' I don't think that thing puts out a quarter of what I expose my instruments to on a regular basis, both complete as well as free plates and such.......

My equipment that I play my guitar and keyboard through has "glue separating" vibrational force....I can and do put out stadium level volume.....both in the sonic high registers as well as the subsonic super low bass registers....all my violins are subject to ear shattering volume....the ones I am building will often sit right in front of the speakers, but there's more to it than that.....much like a bullet entering a ballistic gel pack, at the point of entry the bullet pierces the gel, punching through like the point of a knife blade,as it travels further in it simulates a wound channel that gets MUCH bigger than the entry hole that the bullet came through....as the shock wave expands FURTHER away from the entry point the wave puts out more force....So if we are to consider exposing violins to musical vibration, let alone any vibration to "stretch out" or "relax" plates I would say you can expose them to much more vibrational force with loud volume with the violin at a distance than loud volume right in front of the speakers.....Actually a good violin vibrates more radically about 10' away than 10"...you can literally feels the plates wobble back and forth more in your hands.....

Actually this is how I do my exterior plate tuning....I love all types of music and listen to virtually all styles....I run any listening devices into a P.A system and out 15" speakers with horns....at mid volume I will turn on "raging slab"{that's a band} "anywhere but here"{that's a song} and will use it to vibrationally "tune" my plates..I consider it real time plate "tapping" with tactile vibrational input into your hands......Now I have tried this with many different styles and types of music....but this raging slab song seems to have rhythm changes/beat that allow the violin to pulse in a manner that I find conducive for vibrational exploration....other music does work, Vivaldi a minor concerto at a good volume is ok....50 cent "in da club" is ok to....But slab so far seems to be the best....anyway I stand at different distance's and tune into how the violin is reacting in my hands as it is bouncing to the music....often times little shavings from a finger plane here or there or a little scraper here or there will effectively increase the bounce/spreed of vibration in your fingertips....

I think this is a great way to feel where the violin needs more freedom of movement, ones finger tips are VERY sensitive, dialing into "feeling the music vibes" is the best way in my opinion to improve the sound which in turn allows the violin to give back as it received, which allows for the violinist to feel the music and then let you feel it back.....very simpatico

In other words use the force, and a big ass speaker system :)

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I have seen the Tonerite product in catalogs before. It seems to be some kind of vibrator. It would make a good prop in a modernized version of The Red Violin. It also gives me visions of a fish tank air pump strapped to a bridge. I do think it would have some use in breaking in new or freshly setup instruments.

Can anyone offer a testimonial as to Tonerite effectiveness?

Scott

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I have never used one, it may be helpful in accelerating the "relaxation" of the plates, particularly if used for prolonged periods. I use heavy vibration in other ways...

During my graduation process when i get to about 5 mil I will put 120 grit on a Bosch random 6"orbit sander and run it, nose down on the insides of my plates for a considerable time. This process can catch wind splits ie. rift cracks as well a weak glue joints.

I'm not sure what the exact math is but I assure the vibration stresses on the plates well exceed what ever normal vibration that happens from the string vibration.

I have had the "mine goes to 11" speaker treatment open up a area on a top plate where my glue was insufficient. It would have probably failed after it was strung up due to playing vibrating it open or a weather change. It did not like the intro to "I like the way you move, by Outkast"

I would rather catch these things before strung, than after. After all my parquet backs have many seems that must be "bullet proof" hyper vibration exposes weakness. I feel that vibration therapy helps. Beyond what it may do for sound.

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What bothers me about the Tonerite (I have one) is that it vibrates only at low frequencies. (Yes, it sound like an aquarium air pump.) I will measure the actual output when I have nothing better to do (Don't hold your breath.) I suspect that the tone improvement is very short lived (because of the low frequency output.) Of course, there is nothing like actually playing a new instrument to break it in.

Mike

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What bothers me about the Tonerite (I have one) is that it vibrates only at low frequencies. (Yes, it sound like an aquarium air pump.) I will measure the actual output when I have nothing better to do (Don't hold your breath.) I suspect that the tone improvement is very short lived (because of the low frequency output.) Of course, there is nothing like actually playing a new instrument to break it in.ike

Does it seem as if it might be a small motor with an excentric? If the device were driven from outside, you could play your radio through it. The small magetostriciont motor I bought for $100 will play mfbut not really loud. the large lab model would play a 440 A VERY loudly. It does however have a high mechanical impedance. Bettter driver than an audio speaker.

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I have seen the Tonerite product in catalogs before. It seems to be some kind of vibrator. It would make a good prop in a modernized version of The Red Violin. It also gives me visions of a fish tank air pump strapped to a bridge. I do think it would have some use in breaking in new or freshly setup instruments.

Can anyone offer a testimonial as to Tonerite effectiveness?

Scott

Here's a review:

http://www.seerystrings.com/tonerite%20review.html

Not a really positive one...

I definitely agree with Jezzupe on placing fiddles in front of speakers to (virtually) play them in. I had someone build hangers for my fiddles that would sit on top of my speakers. The violins hung about 3" in front of the woofers and were subjected to loud music...no measurements but the SPL in the room was around 90 - 95 dbl so maybe 110 dbl right in front of the speakers?

I listen primarily to fiddle and eletronica. The sympathetic vibrations really do rattle the fiddles pretty well, especially the low frequencies. Although, you could feel the plates buzzing when listening to vocals and violins. Sonically, the violins are surprisingly transparent - but not enough to make audiophiles happy.

I really think this seasoning helped the sound of my violins, especially at the low end. They have that nice, open sound of old, well played fiddles. Their response to the bow was also quickened.

I wonder if there's a point at which the SPLs get so loud a violin would explode like a wine glass subjected to a soprano?

ALB

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  • 4 months later...

I bought one of these out of curiosity when the original thread appeared. Been meaning to write an update for ages but keep forgetting.

After many months of using this (eight or more hours every day) on a new violin I made, I can hear absolutely no difference at all. Playing a new violin for a couple of hours has much more effect and playing it for two months even more. I don't think this device has made the slightest difference to the test violin. It's probably made a difference to my electricity bill though :)

Another one for the gizmo graveyard. More confirmation that Luddites will always rule.

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After many months of using this (eight or more hours every day) on a new violin I made, I can hear absolutely no difference at all.

Another one for the gizmo graveyard. More confirmation that Luddites will always rule.

A low-frequency driver would, at best, slightly hasten the settling-in of the static forces. Might appear to work on a brand new violin. However, this would do absolutely nothing to excite the higher modes of vibration in the right way, so IF playing does have an effect on these frequencies (unproven), this device would do nothing.

True practicing Luddites would not be using computers or internet, not learn anything from Meistronet, and probably have plenty more time to get some actual work done :) .

Is it even possible in today's world to survive without twitter and facebook? :)

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True practicing Luddites would not be using computers or internet, not learn anything from Meistronet, and probably have plenty more time to get some actual work done :) .

Is it even possible in today's world to survive without twitter and facebook? :)

I'm actually sending this stuff via semaphore which some outrageous group of young Luddites set up for me.

Twitter and Facebook?? I see the heavy irony in your comment. But can anyone tell me honestly what use they are? As far as I can see FB is for women with hordes of kids to send pictures of their grandkids to each other, and twitter is for journalists who are scared not to be on it because they wouldn't be journo-cool.

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Twitter and Facebook?? I see the heavy irony in your comment. But can anyone tell me honestly what use they are? As far as I can see FB is for women with hordes of kids to send pictures of their grandkids to each other, and twitter is for journalists who are scared not to be on it because they wouldn't be journo-cool.

It's not as much of a time-waster as people think. Don't most people do it while they're driving? :)

I saw one guy who was texting or something, walk into a light pole. :)

Jezzupe, since you're the one with experience at blasting fiddles, would THIS "Queens Of The Stone Age" song work, if I turn the volume up to "eleven"? It's off their "Songs For The Deaf" album. :)

Actually, I think it would be cool to hear a string quartet play this.

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A low-frequency driver would, at best, slightly hasten the settling-in of the static forces.

I am still interested in what goes on when any stresses from static loading equilibrate. That is a big question because I know that after stringing up a violin, sometimes it changes over a couple of days.... a lot.

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Easy to make your own vibrator--I take a loudspeaker apart, insert (and glue) a stick into the voice coil portion, have it sit off to the side of the instrument and vibrate the bridge. I use white noise and a voice coil that can handle 80+ watts of power because you want it to be loud--say 100 db. Using white noise, you get all the audible frequencies up to 20,000 hz. I think it helps open up an instrument, but I never do it for more than a few hours.

How does it operate? I think it relieves surface stresses because the vibration is always within the elastic limits of the wood. See Gerhard Reumont's comments as well in his book "How to Improve the Resonance...."l.

Have you ever measured the elastic modulus of a thin piece of spruce or cedar (3 mm) and then repeated it after wetting the wood and letting it dry? There is a big increase in stiffness after wetting (and drying) but if you vibrate the wood, it returns to the original modulus. I think this demonstrates what is happening with the vibration technique.

Mike D

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Have you ever measured the elastic modulus of a thin piece of spruce or cedar (3 mm) and then repeated it after wetting the wood and letting it dry? There is a big increase in stiffness after wetting (and drying) but if you vibrate the wood, it returns to the original modulus. I think this demonstrates what is happening with the vibration technique.

This is something I have never heard of, and don't at the moment see how it could happen. I'll test it, though... how wet, soaked, or just surface wetting? Along the grain, or crossgrain, or both?

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