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Marie_

Are wolftones on the D string (cello) caused by soundposts?

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Hello all, 

My mini Mirecourt cello (slightly smaller 7/8) developed another wolf-tone on smackdab on F natural on the D string in first position. It's clearly audible if I play louder than mf and sometimes seems to disappear altogether when the humidity is higher. It's a 

This one is a bit annoying because of the location and severity. My bigger cello has a wolf in the usual friendlier place -  between an Eflat and E-natural on the G string, so it only shows up to remind that I was in the wrong part of town.

Is it true that cellos with wolf tones on the D string are problems with the soundpost? Or is it mainly a fractional cello thing that the wolf tones appear there? 

Thanks in advance for any input!

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Wolf tones or wolf notes, are related to the main body resonance. Because of this, they are hard to eliminate.

Sound post adjustments can help, as this will change the way the instrument responds, but often the wolf will just move position slightly.

Have you tried a brass on string eliminator yet?

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On 8/16/2019 at 2:45 PM, Marie_ said:

Are wolftones on the D string (cello) caused by soundposts?

[Pokes her cello soundpost with a long probe; nothing happens.]  No, all of them I've heard were caused by someone bowing the cello.  :ph34r::lol:

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On 8/16/2019 at 8:45 PM, Marie_ said:

 

Is it true that cellos with wolf tones on the D string are problems with the soundpost? Or is it mainly a fractional cello thing that the wolf tones appear there? 

Decades ago, Proffesor Hesse, who had spent years resarching wolf notes, and invented the „Lupus ex“ to glue on the inside of the belly, explainded it to me thus. A wolf is when the vertical resonance (from top to bottom) comes into a turbulence with the horizontal resonance (from side to side). His Invention, a weight on a spring, introduced a third thing with that frequency, which killed the turbulence. One finds that almost any Cello that is any good has a wolf, even if people haven’t found their‘s yet, and that a Cello without a wold is normally junk.

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4 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

 

Have you tried a brass on string eliminator yet?

I haven't tried that yet because it seems the wolves are developing and I was hoping they wouldn't get so bad that one can't work around it. Would you put such thing on the D string then?

Edited by Marie_

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

[Pokes her cello soundpost with a long probe; nothing happens.]  No, all of them I've heard were caused by someone bowing the cello.  :ph34r::lol:

Hahaha @Violadamore  Sadly it begins to appear that most of the odd sounds emitting from this cello are caused by the person bowing...could just be a conspiracy theory though :D 

@jacobsaunders I suppose I should have asked whether the soundpost position could influence a wolftone on the D string, as well as the question: do fractional cellos tend to have wolves on the D string? Asking these two because I heard on the non-luthier rumor mill that wolves on the D string are a sign of "bad" resonances, whereas a wolf on the G string is rather to be expected and "good". Any truth in this or rather another fresh load of ...? 

Edited by Marie_

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This is not a sound post issue.   Put the brass thingy on the G-string afterlength, move it close to the bridge (experiment), and get the wolf on the G-string under control.  It is likely that the D-string wolf will disappear.

Mike D

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13 hours ago, Marie_ said:

 

@jacobsaunders I suppose I should have asked whether the soundpost position could influence a wolftone on the D string, as well as the question: do fractional cellos tend to have wolves on the D string? Asking these two because I heard on the non-luthier rumor mill that wolves on the D string are a sign of "bad" resonances, whereas a wolf on the G string is rather to be expected and "good". Any truth in this or rather another fresh load of ...? 

If you have a wolf on the f natural in first Position on the D string, you can be sure that you will be able to find it in forth Position on the G string, and once again, with interest high up on the C string. If you follow the reasoning of my previous post, moving the Sound post to an otherwise less advantageous Position, which leaves the Cello not working so well, could mean that the wolf dosesn't function so well either. I would recomend you to have one of Prof Hesse'S "Lupus-ex" glued into your Cello. After he passed away, they changed the design a Little, and called it "Resonator" probably to avoid paying royalties to his estate https://www.amazon.co.uk/Güth-Wolf-tone-eliminator-Resonator/dp/B00BRTSAOG

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Two things:

i can endorse the invention that Jacob mentions. It works extremely well. I’ve always called it a spring-mounted Wolf Eliminator. However in my experience it works Too well because it dampens too Much of the sound. I remember I was preparing for an audition and was using one of them in lieu of my nickel, because it worked so much better. A few weeks before the audition I was playing for my mentor and a colleague and my colleague, who also owns a Caron, mentioned how my sound was muted. We removed the wolf eliminator and the increase in sound was amazing. I put the nickel back on and have used it since. I just make sure I adjust it before I play or record. I still have two spring mounted wolf eliminators and one Krenz, but I’m happy with my nickel.

in my acoustics class I learned that there are three natural frequencies on a violin family instrument: the top, the back, and the air inside, which is a frequency resulting from the top and back vibrating together. The wolf is caused when all three are equally powerful on a specific note. The eliminator diminishes one of the natural frequencies, thus eliminating the wolf. 

A friend’s old German cello(I shared pictures a few days ago) was just set up and has an AWFUL wolf, so bad it renders an otherwise very nice cello almost unplayable. But it turns out the cello had the neck height and angle changed. The fingerboard appears to be non-original as well. I was wondering if those changes might have made the wolf as bad as it is and we are hoping that removing the modification will also minimize the wolf.

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18 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Decades ago, Proffesor Hesse, who had spent years resarching wolf notes, and invented the „Lupus ex“ to glue on the inside of the belly, explainded it to me thus. A wolf is when the vertical resonance (from top to bottom) comes into a turbulence with the horizontal resonance (from side to side). His Invention, a weight on a spring, introduced a third thing with that frequency, which killed the turbulence. One finds that almost any Cello that is any good has a wolf, even if people haven’t found their‘s yet, and that a Cello without a wold is normally junk.

 

Another explanation which I hope the scientists here can expound upon is that the body resonance and the air resonance are going back and forth from in phase to counter phase and in the process momentarily cancelling each other out creating the warbling sound of the wolf. In my experience sound post adjustment can help by moving the frequency of the wolf to a point between notes where it will not be heard as much. This is especially true when the wolf can be heard on the D string as well as on the normal, lower strings. Various wolf eliminators definitely can help as well although usually at some cost through out the instruments range. I do wonder if the size of the cello in this case may have some relevance but again would wait for the scientists to weigh in on that.

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There is no question that Professor Hesse' device works, and they are still available.  The unit is glued into place on the inside of the instrument.  The problem with it  is two fold: (1) the location of the wolf resonance can change with time, season, humidity, but the resonator is fixed in one place, and (2) it can dampened the sound too much.

I think it is safe to say that you always lose something in the cello response when any of the wolf eliminators is used. 

The Krentz is the latest of these devices, but my research indicates that any collection of weights (multiple magnets) that weighs 35 grams will work as well as the Krentz--the air resonator in the device does not do anything.

In most cases, the simplest is the best--namely, a weight placed on the C or G string afterlength.

Mike D

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Soundpost position has an effect on the prominence of wolf notes, but the cause is not necessarily the post. The brass wolf eliminators are easy to install and use for experimenting. 

I’m not a fan of any wolf eliminators that have to be glued in place, though. Given that a wolf can change with adjustments or environmental conditions, it doesn’t make sense to me to attach it in a way that can’t be undone by the player. For that reason, I like the magnetic eliminators like the Krentz better—the simplicity and ease of removal appeal to me. 

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14 hours ago, Mike_Danielson said:

There is no question that Professor Hesse' device works, and they are still available.  The unit is glued into place on the inside of the instrument.  The problem with it  is two fold: (1) the location of the wolf resonance can change with time, season, humidity, but the resonator is fixed in one place, and (2) it can dampened the sound too much.

I think it is safe to say that you always lose something in the cello response when any of the wolf eliminators is used. 

 

Yes, Professor Hesse’s “Lupux-ex” (later “Resenator”) certainly works. Over the last 4 decades of fitting them, I have found that the position isn’t half as critical as some seem to think. The brass weight on the G string “after-length” is probably better for people who like to incessantly fidget around with their cello, the “Resonator” better for those who want the wolf gone and out of mind. I have over this time span fitted hundreds of these, and have about two dozen in all frequency's in stock, ready for any wolf-harassed cellist who might walk in. I dispute the contention that they dampen the sound at all, since I have never, despite copious opportunity been able to ascertain such a consequence for myself and consider it a myth.

 

I once fitted a “Lupus-Ex” for an excellent cellist in Bremen, when I worked for Machold, since he complained that he could hardly play one of the Brahms sonatas like that.. He was thrilled, and his cello certainly didn’t sound in any way “Dampened”. A few weeks later he returned, slightly crestfallen. He had been studying the Shostakovitch sonata Op. 40, and the “senza vibrato” “con sordino” part of the first movement had unearthed a new wolf quite somewhere else!

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27 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I dispute the contention that they dampen the sound at all, since I have never, despite copious opportunity been able to ascertain such a consequence for myself and consider it a myth.

 

I certainly don’t attempt to speak for everyone, but my own experience was certainly no myth, and was witnessed by the principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony and a successful mutual colleague who also owns a Caron. I still have two of those wolf eliminators, and happy to use them for a student in need, and I own a Krenz. The nickel has been entirely adequate, but before I perform or record I adjust it if necessary.

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40 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Yes, Professor Hesse’s “Lupux-ex” (later “Resenator”) certainly works. Over the last 4 decades of fitting them, I have found that the position isn’t half as critical as some seem to think. The brass weight on the G string “after-length” is probably better for people who like to incessantly fidget around with their cello, the “Resonator” better for those who want the wolf gone and out of mind. I have over this time span fitted hundreds of these, and have about two dozen in all frequency's in stock, ready for any wolf-harassed cellist who might walk in. I dispute the contention that they dampen the sound at all, since I have never, despite copious opportunity been able to ascertain such a consequence for myself and consider it a myth.

 

I once fitted a “Lupus-Ex” for an excellent cellist in Bremen, when I worked for Machold, since he complained that he could hardly play one of the Brahms sonatas like that.. He was thrilled, and his cello certainly didn’t sound in any way “Dampened”. A few weeks later he returned, slightly crestfallen. He had been studying the Shostakovitch sonata Op. 40, and the “senza vibrato” “con sordino” part of the first movement had unearthed a new wolf quite somewhere else!

Jacob,

If these come in varying frequencies then they are different than the one's I usually see here. Do you match the frequency to the principal of the wolf or do you need to experiment to find what works best? 

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2 hours ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Jacob,

If these come in varying frequencies then they are different than the one's I usually see here. Do you match the frequency to the principal of the wolf or do you need to experiment to find what works best? 

 

 

Dear Nathan

I have “Lupus-ex” or “resonator” wolf eliminators in the frequency's

d to e

es to f (e flat to f)

e to fis (e  to f sharp)

f to g

in stock. If a cello has , say a wolf on the “E”, then I would chose one where the wolf eliminator has the “E” at the middle of its frequency, i.e. the es to f one.

 

I am still adamant that they don’t “,dampen” the sound at all, and acknowledge that PhilipKT disagrees with me

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Do wolf tones tend to change with a different set of strings? I had a wolf tone at B on my A string, which I was able to fix with a lead shot fishing weight on the afterlength of the A string. I put new strings on the cello last month and I don't hear the wolf.

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3 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

I am still adamant that they don’t “,dampen” the sound at all, and acknowledge that PhilipKT disagrees with me

I have never run across any "wolf eliminator", or wolf reducing strategy, which doesn't alter the sound.

Whether a musician-player defines this a higher or lower damping is very much open to their personal interpretation, just like "resistance". Both can be all over the map, sometimes opposite, and it comes down to the experience and observations of the sound adjuster to interpret what they are really trying to communicate.

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31 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I have never run across any "wolf eliminator", or wolf reducing strategy, which doesn't alter the sound.

I’m not going to rise to the bait, sorry. If you are bored, you could always help Crazy Jane decice where to shove her cork.

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28 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

I’m not going to rise to the bait, sorry. If you are bored, you could always help Crazy Jane decice where to shove her cork.

Hugs and kisses, Jacob. :)

(can't say stuff like that to girls anymore, lest the pitchfork-wielding mob chase me around the neighborhood all day. :lol:

So you'll have to do for now. ;)

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They do literally function by absorbing their resonate frequency.

Not to say that necessarily implies a reduction of overall effective response.

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19 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

 

 

Dear Nathan

I have “Lupus-ex” or “resonator” wolf eliminators in the frequency's

d to e

es to f (e flat to f)

e to fis (e  to f sharp)

f to g

in stock. If a cello has , say a wolf on the “E”, then I would chose one where the wolf eliminator has the “E” at the middle of its frequency, i.e. the es to f one.

 

I am still adamant that they don’t “,dampen” the sound at all, and acknowledge that PhilipKT disagrees with me

We have argued enough, that in the sense of familiarity, you are welcome to just call me “Philip”

:-)

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