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mood2000

Hamberger Adjustable Soundpost for Violin

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One advantage to this post for the experimenter or incurably curious is that you can quantify how tight is tight by attaching the turning stick to an appropriate torque wrench (I'd guess 0 - 10 inch pounds) and using a simple torque wrench extension formula.  

-Jim the ex-helicopter mechanic (shamelessly borrowing Evan's new sign-off style) B) 

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I am a professional cellist and after reading your comments on this Topic, would like to give my (musician) opinion on the matter. After using the Hamberger Soundpost (having it fitted in Munich by Mr Hamberger) for over a year, I have to say that it had a major positive effect on my Cello. The sound had a sudden increase in overtones, particularly lower partials, increased projection (about 20% louder and crispier) and produced a quicker response in low dynamics or fast passages. This was immediately confirmed by my colleagues, who also knew my instrument from before. During this year, I have experimented a few times with the tension and position, a thing that I would have never even dreamed of as a musician. I might understand why certain luthiers might be against such an innovation (since it takes from their work), but would also recommend to give it a chance and try it before having a clear opinion.

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4 hours ago, cellopera said:

I am a professional cellist and after reading your comments on this Topic, would like to give my (musician) opinion on the matter. After using the Hamberger Soundpost (having it fitted in Munich by Mr Hamberger) for over a year, I have to say that it had a major positive effect on my Cello. The sound had a sudden increase in overtones, particularly lower partials, increased projection (about 20% louder and crispier) and produced a quicker response in low dynamics or fast passages. This was immediately confirmed by my colleagues, who also knew my instrument from before. During this year, I have experimented a few times with the tension and position, a thing that I would have never even dreamed of as a musician. I might understand why certain luthiers might be against such an innovation (since it takes from their work), but would also recommend to give it a chance and try it before having a clear opinion.

;)

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11 hours ago, cellopera said:

I might understand why certain luthiers might be against such an innovation, but would also recommend to give it a chance and try it before having a clear opinion.

You are suggesting that people try it thoroughly for themselves before condemning it as an abomination?

What a quaint notion ....

 

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48 minutes ago, martin swan said:

You are suggesting that people try it thoroughly for themselves before condemning it as an abomination?

What a quaint notion ....

 

Seriously Martin, there are a whole host of things that we do not need to try based on experience and common sense.    Then again, logic and common sense might be quaint notions as well.

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48 minutes ago, martin swan said:

You are suggesting that people try it thoroughly for themselves before condemning it as an abomination?

What a quaint notion ....

 

Absolutely not! I only suggested that one has to try for themselves, before criticizing and dismantling an innovation. I am only bothered by people who choose to throw opinions based on nothing but prejudice.

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10 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Seriously Martin, there are a whole host of things that we do not need to try based on experience and common sense.    Then again, logic and common sense might be quaint notions as well.

Well we've batted this one around quite a bit, on this thread and others - I've never had the sense that you've really addressed or absorbed any of the positive and very reasonably argued points I've made about these posts, whereas I am very happy to concede that your concerns (whether they are of value in 99% of cases and whether it isn't too easy to misuse them) are legitimate.

I have both experience and common sense, and I have experimented with these posts. If you choose to dismiss that, you can't expect me to feel very positive can you?

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1 minute ago, cellopera said:

Absolutely not! I only suggested that one has to try for themselves, before criticizing and dismantling an innovation. I am only bothered by people who choose to throw opinions based on nothing but prejudice.

Many of the criticisms I have seen about both of the screw jack soundposts out there have been from experienced professionals....The “prejudice” you speak of may be based on long careers and is the same experiencial prejudice that players rely on.  

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12 minutes ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

Many of the criticisms I have seen about both of the screw jack soundposts out there have been from experienced professionals....The “prejudice” you speak of may be based on long careers and is the same experiencial prejudice that players rely on.  

Being a musician, I rely simply on what I hear and nothing more. The sound tells me everything I need to know. Having fitted wooden soundposts my whole life by some of the best professionals (the last one being Florian Leonhardt in London), the Hamberger made a clear distinction between the two. The end.

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3 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Well we've batted this one around quite a bit, on this thread and others - I've never had the sense that you've really addressed or absorbed any of the positive and very reasonably argued points I've made about these posts, whereas I am very happy to concede that your concerns (whether they are of value in 99% of cases and whether it isn't too easy to misuse them) are legitimate.

I have both experience and common sense, and I have experimented with these posts. If you choose to dismiss that, you can't expect me to feel very positive can you?

I am not really concerned about your positive feelings Martin.  The point is these things are dangerous and recognizing that fact and not wanting to see these things in widespread use is not a “quaint notion”,  it is understanding the risk and  understanding the basic flaws in the design.  Those things do not change no matter how many people try them.

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1 minute ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

I am not really concerned about your positive feelings Martin.  The point is these things are dangerous and recognizing that fact and not wanting to see these things in widespread use is not a “quaint notion”,  it is understanding the risk and  understanding the basic flaws in the design.  Those things do not change no matter how many people try them.

Nuclear power, cars, medical textbooks, guns, theology, bagpipes ... all lethal in the wrong hands!

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1 minute ago, cellopera said:

Being a musician, I simply rely simply on what I hear and nothing more. The sound tells me everything I need to know. Having fitted wooden soundposts my whole life by some of the best professionals (the last one being Florian Leonhardt in London), the Hamberger made a clear distinction between the two. The end.

That is hardly the end.  Everything that you perceive as making an improvement in sound is not necessarily good for the instrument, this is one of those times. History is littered with instruments damaged  based on sound perceptions at the time.

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3 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Nuclear power, cars, medical textbooks, guns, theology, bagpipes ... all lethal in the wrong hands!

You bet Martin, none of which I would put into a cello.....it is the common sense/predjudice thing I mentioned earlier.B)

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I have this hamburger post in my Andrea Guarneri for more than half a year now and I can only say good things. The best thing about this post is as Martin said, the ability to work around the post tension within a few seconds. I have to say the sound improvement is clear to my ears. And just to say, my last wooden post was fitted by one of the most respected restorers in the UK and worldwide.

I am not saying that a wooden post is inferior, but it's not as stable as the seasons change or when you travel. With this new post, I can maintain the ideal soundpost tension in a matter of seconds, and that alone is priceless. 

To be honest, I was very skeptical about this stuff at first too. But my senior friend was brave enough to try it  with his C. Testore and he was happy enough to put it in his beautiful Strad. So, it was a no brainer for me to give it a try, right?

 

Edited by Thaneadpol

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I am hardly at the level of expertise or technique of so many of the members of this forum, but this would appear to be a great tool for me

There has been a living maker cello that i have adjusted on and off for ten years, I have adapted several posts including some with a slight, relatively invisible, cupping on this relatively flat instrument. But the post tend to move over the winter which is not what i expect. Though the bass bar is a bit outboard the post sounds better inboard and thankfully snugs well into place. Graduations are not that symmetrical.

Anyway, being able to see how and when the post has moved, by the user would nice. This style post would be easier to see movement, if the user cared, and it would be a bit of fun to move around a bit if baseline positions do not achieve positive results. Also as the instrument settles in to the new post i would assume that there would be very little movement.

Though pricey, i think it might save me time. I wouldn't keep that particular post in place unless it produced the best sound, but this would get me closer to how the instrument could sound and feel.

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On 2/5/2018 at 3:33 PM, Stavanger said:

From their webpage: Cut, grind, polish. Doesnt that take away a bit of the «whole point» ?

E2DC5AAA-7268-48BB-8F84-63B2C1D4174E.thumb.png.6c5aa70c7068f950c1aa20f82c546912.png

 

B6BA52BA-2E6D-4AE2-AA2D-3BCCA3C3BB23.png

What? is good post, it's got Sony guts

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On 12/22/2018 at 6:17 AM, martin swan said:

Nuclear power, cars, medical textbooks, guns, theology, bagpipes ... all lethal in the wrong hands!

 

On 12/22/2018 at 6:20 AM, Jerry Pasewicz said:

You bet Martin, none of which I would put into a cello.....it is the common sense/predjudice thing I mentioned earlier.B)

[Kicks the sand-raddled carcass of something odd-looking (and once self-propelled on wheels) lying abandoned on the range at Yuma, causing it to emit a mournful "kabong!!" sound.]  Yup, that project got cancelled in a hurry:ph34r::lol:

IMHO, the adjustable soundpost thingy is an overengineered, overpriced gimmick which none of us have any real use for.   To be successful, anything like this needs to be visually unobtrusive, easily installed without much (if any) modification, using tools we all have already, and sell for around twenty bucks.  :)

 

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2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

 

 

IMHO, the adjustable soundpost thingy is an overengineered, overpriced gimmick which none of us have any real use for.   To be successful, anything like this needs to be visually unobtrusive, easily installed without much (if any) modification, using tools we all have already, and sell for around twenty bucks.  :)

 

And yet here you have testimony from various people like Cellopera and Thaneadpol who have a use for it ...

I know a lot of people who use them, not idiots either ...

So the idea that you don't like/approve is quite different from the idea that none of "us" have a use for it.

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

And yet here you have testimony from various people like Cellopera and Thaneadpol who have a use for it ...

I know a lot of people who use them, not idiots either ...

So the idea that you don't like/approve is quite different from the idea that none of "us" have a use for it.

OK, I admit to committing the semantic sin (particularly in debate) of using an unsupported absolute statement.  I'll restate.

We have testimony from two (2) players who like the Hamberger.  In a previous thread, some luthiers had positive experiences using the Anima Nova, but as a shop tool, and several (including me) have said that they find the Hamberger style interesting (for the same use), but balk at paying the price asked.  Add in your anecdotal "lot of people", and we still don't have a landslide vote in favor of it.

For the same price, one might buy several excellent hand tools, XOR a good small bandsaw, XOR a bench-made, signed, bush-British (or equivalent), resurrectable fiddle, XOR various other attractive things for use or resale.  From my POV, a soundpost that costs me as much as a fiddle, when I already have a working procedure for doing fittings, isn't a viable proposition.  It isn't a matter of subjective like/dislike, or approval/disapproval, it's simple accounting, dollars and cents.

OTOH, I'm not averse to innovation when it's profitable.  I've certainly adopted Wittner 8:1 geared pegs, for instance.  If someone offered me an adjustable soundpost in the same wholesale price range, I'd be installing and evaluating it as soon as it got here.  :)

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2 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

OK, I admit to committing the semantic sin (particularly in debate) of using an unsupported absolute statement.  I'll restate.

We have testimony from two (2) players who like the Hamberger.  In a previous thread, some luthiers had positive experiences using the Anima Nova, but as a shop tool, and several (including me) have said that they find the Hamberger style interesting (for the same use), but balk at paying the price asked.  Add in your anecdotal "lot of people", and we still don't have a landslide vote in favor of it.

For the same price, one might buy several excellent hand tools, XOR a good small bandsaw, XOR a bench-made, signed, bush-British (or equivalent), resurrectable fiddle, XOR various other attractive things for use or resale.  From my POV, a soundpost that costs me as much as a fiddle, when I already have a working procedure for doing fittings, isn't a viable proposition.  It isn't a matter of subjective like/dislike, or approval/disapproval, it's simple accounting, dollars and cents.

OTOH, I'm not averse to innovation when it's profitable.  I've certainly adopted Wittner 8:1 geared pegs, for instance.  If someone offered me an adjustable soundpost in the same wholesale price range, I'd be installing and evaluating it as soon as it got here.  :)

That seems more reasonable ...

However, for someone like Thaneadpol who has an Andrea Guarneri and who has to face the challenges of a tropical climate (and presumably severe a/c), it offers a great deal of flexibility for a very small relative cost.

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7 minutes ago, martin swan said:

That seems more reasonable ...

However, for someone like Thaneadpol who has an Andrea Guarneri and who has to face the challenges of a tropical climate (and presumably severe a/c), it offers a great deal of flexibility for a very small relative cost.

The belief that this is true shows a pretty basic misunderstanding of how instruments react with changes in RH......jacking these things up under this misunderstanding is an extremely valid argument why they are so dangerous.  Sorry Martin, you went too far.

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With the hypothesis that you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, what guidelines should be given to an owner of a historically relevant cello (for example) so that the use of an adjustable sound post will not put the instrument at risk?  You could recommend not using it. This advice would be for the musician that’s going use it with or without your help. 

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37 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

With the hypothesis that you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, what guidelines should be given to an owner of a historically relevant cello (for example) so that the use of an adjustable sound post will not put the instrument at risk?  You could recommend not using it. This advice would be for the musician that’s going use it with or without your help. 

Don't touch it! If you do any liabilities I have to your instrument are invalidated

 

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