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baroquecello

tonal tail piece, any experiences

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So there's this new tail Piece manufacturer who Claims his Cello tail pieces are worth between 800 and 1200 $. Now, normally I would have a laugh at their Claims and the Price tag, but this guy has some big Name cellists promoting his tail pieces. He has a patent pending, though I wonder what about this design is worth a patent, as there seems to be nothing new about it, all done before, the Thing just seems to cut some weight. Has anyone tried These tail pieces?

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This?  http://tonaltailpiece.com/

On my experience with tailpieces (I've made a few experimental ones), sometimes lighter is good, other times lighter is bad. Also some instruments have noticeable difference in sound with different woods while others don't seem affected by what you use. I doubt this would be an improvement to every instrument out there.

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I totally agree. The biggest disapointment was for me testing a pernambucco bois dharmonie. It did not fit my violin to well. The cheaper boxedwood from ErgoVio is way better (still not really cheap I guess). 

Best case would be to fit a specific tailpiece for every instrument, and I surely dislike the looks and feel of the CF fittings. 

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For violins, I have had the most problems with tailpieces that weigh the least.  Larger instruments may react differently.

I too am skeptical of lofty claims that try to justify lofty prices, although the manufacturing that they do won't be cheap.

"Patent Pending" means a patent has been applied for, not that they will actually get one.  I don't see anything new here, either, but who knows what has been claimed in the patent.  As I understand patents, you really don't have to prove that your claims actually work as described, just that the claims have to be a bit different.

After reading some of the glowing testimonials, they seem to glow too brightly, and with similar colors.  It makes me suspicious that some kind of compensation went behind the reviews, or even that someone else wrote them.  But I'm the skeptical, suspicious type.

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36 minutes ago, James M. Jones said:

wish I knew how to upload Audasity here.

Easiest to host the file someplace and then link to it. If yo don't have access to a server, you can send the the files to me and I will host them and post the link(s).

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There is so much certifiable snake oil that flows through the history and present of this business that I admit to a naturally heightened sense of skepticism regarding innovation. 

My natural inclination is this - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you do think your instrument isn't giving enough, practice more! Then once you're sure it's not you but the equipment, take it to a top flight luthier and see what more they can help you squeeze out of your gear. 

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Disclaimer:  I know Ted White.

I have to take issue with you lumping his innovative tail pieces with "snake oil".  He is currently the secretary of the Violin Society of America and many of us benefit from his efforts.

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55 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Disclaimer:  I know Ted White.

I have to take issue with you lumping his innovative tail pieces with "snake oil".  He is currently the secretary of the Violin Society of America and many of us benefit from his efforts.

There is no need to become defensive. If you reread my post carefully, you'll note that I'm not accusing either product of being snake oil, merely saying that because there is so much dishonesty in marketing in our field I have become gun-shy. 

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If you look at the website for Ted's tailpieces, it's mostly a technical description and measurements of the very limited things it actually can do.  As opposed to most of the others, who claim a wide range of shocking, amazing improvements and benefits, stopping just short of washing your windows.  The latter is probably what works best in terms of sales to the gullible public.

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35 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

The lowest strong peak at 120Hz might be an artifact from your computer

yep ... but it's the other end of the spectrum I find interesting . # 1&3 are wood ...2&4 are the carbon..... These were done for a client who was interested in seeing, not just hearing.I have not nor do I intend to accept any remuneration financially or otherwise from Ken. 

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Ted and I had a good head to head at the last Convention, Smart guy with lots of background to draw from. We both have had ideas to "build a better mousetrap" He put his into action, I just puttered. I will say that his being a Canadian didn't hurt as they are much more apt to support the Arts up there.I only bring this up since with the current direction down below ... oh well.  As for the other cello OP, light can be good, as some here have already  posted but sometimes it can bring out some undesirable effects. As I have said many times, a good, pretty tailpiece is a difficult task, especially if you are not mass producing a uniform or molded model.

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I'll assert that the mass (and also mass distribution) of the tailpiece matters a lot, for both playing qualities and sound, and that lighter isn't necessarily better.

On my cellos, I mostly choose between a Wittner metal tailpiece, and their "Ultralight" tailpiece, depending on what the cello seems to want.

For the most part, my personal conclusion has been that when a heavier tailpiece works better, it's a hint that I might consider putting more mass or stiffness into the instrument body. Same thing with instruments needing tight soundposts.

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On 29/05/2017 at 3:34 AM, baroquecello said:

So there's this new tail Piece manufacturer who Claims his Cello tail pieces are worth between 800 and 1200 $. Now, normally I would have a laugh at their Claims and the Price tag, but this guy has some big Name cellists promoting his tail pieces. He has a patent pending, though I wonder what about this design is worth a patent, as there seems to be nothing new about it, all done before, the Thing just seems to cut some weight. Has anyone tried These tail pieces?

I've got one of Ken's carbon fibre violin tailpieces, and I'm quite pleased with it. To underscore a comment above, these tailpieces are not a silver bullet. They do not make mediocre fiddles sound anything other than mediocre, just more definitively. Installing it on a quality luthier instrument has nice results: the same instrument is more responsive, has a qualitatively "cleaner" tone envelope, and a bit more punch. As a Baroque player, the carbon feels far more sturdy under my chin than does wood or Wittners. Most impressive is that the tailpiece makes it an order of magnitude easier to properly voice chords.

All that said, is it worth $350 for the violin model? Well, I spend about $125 on a set of strings, because it helps my instrument be more decisively itself. That amount of money is difficult for me to scrape up, but because this is my livelihood, I have no choice but to spend the money. For the cost of not quite three sets of strings, I have a non-consumable tool which helps me leverage my current instrument. So yes, I think the carbon is worth the cost, if one is making music as a livelihood.

Given that the viola, 'cello, and bass models are each much more expensive than the violin model, obviously a grain of salt has to be taken in translating my violin-specific comments to the larger instruments. I have no experience there, so I'd be interested in hearing your comments.

As a note, I'm not paid by Ken. :)

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Lighter is not necessarily better.  The Wittner lightweight cello tail-piece (cord/gut not included) comes in at about 74 grams--this is a good place to start.   The Akusticus weighs about the same.  As an experiment, you can easily add weight to this tail piece using pennies and tape or those powerful magnets.  !/2" by 1/4" magnets weight about 6 grams, each.

 

I read Ken's specifications, and  his tail pieces can be as low as 28 grams.  I would worry that there is not adequate strength at this low weight.  Time will tell if he gets them back for breakage. 

 

Mike D
 

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