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germain

Pernambuco Tailpiece and Titanium Alloy Tail Gut

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1 hour ago, Juan Tavira said:

My last titanium tailgut lasted only a few hours of playing and broke in the middle of a group practice. Replaced with Kevlar and still going on.

 Juan

Interesting, since titanium is considered to have a very good fatigue life. A lot depends on the specific alloy, and how it was processed though.

Did the titanium wire itself break, or did it pull loose from the threaded portion?

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8 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Interesting, since titanium is considered to have a very good fatigue life. A lot depends on the specific alloy, and how it was processed though.

Did the titanium wire itself break, or did it pull loose from the threaded portion?

The wire broke itself,  I can only imagine there was a defect in the wire albeit I have to say it was a very tight fit into the tailgut. Didn’t investigate through, anyway not angry just surprised. I won’t say in public the model but PM if interested.

 Juan

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15 minutes ago, Juan Tavira said:

The wire broke itself,  I can only imagine there was a defect in the wire albeit I have to say it was a very tight fit into the tailgut. Didn’t investigate through, anyway not angry just surprised. I won’t say in public the model but PM if interested.

 Juan

It would be interesting to know the exact point in which the wire broke, I had heard of breakages caused by the rigid metal screw protruding from the holes of the tailpiece creating an evident point of weakness, in my opinion the only contraindication of this kind of cables. Absolutely the screws must not protrude from the tailpiece holes.

I like these titanium tailgut^_^

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40 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

It would be interesting to know the exact point in which the wire broke, I had heard of breakages caused by the rigid metal screw protruding from the holes of the tailpiece creating an evident point of weakness, in my opinion the only contraindication of this kind of cables. Absolutely the screws must not protrude from the tailpiece holes.

I like these titanium tailgut^_^

Davide, I haven't experimented with the titanium tail adjusters, only the steel single-wire and cable ones, and have never had a failure. I am very much interested in understanding any failures. None of us pros look forward to parts of our fiddles detaching and flying around the room, right? :blink::lol:

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I see that the talk shifted into tailgut only but I wonder how much difference could the wood type cause? The wood database lists Boxwood and Pernambucco at similar density so weight should be pretty similar unless the boxwod was not true boxwood or the numbers are wrong.

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1 hour ago, HoGo said:

I see that the talk shifted into tailgut only but I wonder how much difference could the wood type cause? The wood database lists Boxwood and Pernambucco at similar density so weight should be pretty similar unless the boxwod was not true boxwood or the numbers are wrong.

Yes, the term "boxwood" has been attached to many different species, with many differing properties.

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32 minutes ago, HoGo said:

I see that the talk shifted into tailgut only but I wonder how much difference could the wood type cause? The wood database lists Boxwood and Pernambucco at similar density so weight should be pretty similar unless the boxwod was not true boxwood or the numbers are wrong.

Pernambucco has very low damping.  Steel and titanium used for tail chords also have very low damping.

When a violin string starting at rest is bowed the bow hair  if it has sufficient stickiness (from the rosin) drags the string sideways in one direction until the friction can no longer hold it.  The string slips and flies backward in the opposite direction past the middle point until it is picked up by the bow hair again to complete one cycle in a certain amount of time which determines the frequency of the sound produced.

The bowed violin string has only a little surface area and it can not produce any appreciable sound.  The string vibrates strongly sideways during bowing and the bridge converts the sideways vibration forces to vertical ones to get the violin body to vibrate.  The violin body has a large surface and can efficiently produce sound with the frequency determined by the bow hair and string stick-slip cycle frequency.

Although the string sideways motion forces do produce a lot of sound there is also a lesser secondary sound production from a different string bowing effect.  When the string is pulled sideways by the bow hair it causes a longitudinal increase in string tension.  When the string slips its tension decreases to zero as the string moves in the opposite direction and passes through its middle position . The tension increases again as it moves further until the moving bow hair picks it up again.

Thus there are two periods of longitudinal tension increases for every one bowing stick-slip string cycle.  This longitudinal string tension vibration therefore has twice the frequency of the transverse string vibration moving the bridge.  So for example if a bowed A note has the fundamental frequency of 440hz, the longitudinal string tension vibration adds an overtone second harmonic of 880Hz.

A bowed string produces a saw tooth wave form which has all the upper harmonics of multiples of the fundamental frequency f so the sequence goes 1f, 2f, 3f, 4f, 5f etc.   The longitudinal string tension vibration goes twice that sequence:  1f, 2f, 4f, 6f, 8f, 10f etc.

The strings are attached to the tailpiece which is attached to the violin body by the tail chord.  So the longitudinal string tension vibration has to pass through them to reach the violin body which can cause it in turn to vibrate and produce some secondary sound in addition to the sound produced by the bridge motion.  The brightness of a note is dependent upon the amplitudes of its upper harmonics so this secondary longitudinal string tension vibration can make a note  sound slightly brighter and louder.

So finally:  Tail pieces and tail chords having low damping can increase the brightness and loudness a little.  This might be helpful for an  overly dark sounding violin or conversely it might be harmful for a violin that is too bright to begin with.

The opposite is also the opposite.  Tail pieces and tail chords with high damping might be helpful for overly bright sounding violin or harmful for one that is too dark to begin with. 

 

 

 

Thats my story officer and I'm sticking with it. 

 

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I just ran across a 2004 article in the Strad about tailpieces influence on tone which cites a 2003

Catgut study which found ' Certain woods (especially snakewood, pernambuco, African blackwood and boxwood)

were judged to cause an increase in volume and positive changes in the clarity and "edginess" of the sound.

Other materials (rosewood, ebony and composite) seem to correspond to hollow, soft, unfocused and unmatched

sounds across strings.'

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8 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

Thus there are two periods of longitudinal tension increases for every one bowing stick-slip string cycle.  This longitudinal string tension vibration therefore has twice the frequency of the transverse string vibration moving the bridge.  So for example if a bowed A note has the fundamental frequency of 440hz, the longitudinal string tension vibration adds an overtone second harmonic of 880Hz.

A bowed string produces a saw tooth wave form which has all the upper harmonics of multiples of the fundamental frequency f so the sequence goes 1f, 2f, 3f, 4f, 5f etc.   The longitudinal string tension vibration goes twice that sequence:  1f, 2f, 4f, 6f, 8f, 10f etc.

 

Marty is there any good study about that? Numbers, graphs etc?

I wonder how much the damping within the wood is really taking place... if we discard the vibrations perpendicular to string direction (where IMO mostly weight of taipiece plays a role) and look into the longitudinal tension vibrations I don't see much happening in the wood - the damping in that direction due too wood properties will be likely minimal and in very high frequencies (what would be the base frequency of tailpiece in that direction?) The difference of nylon of tailgut compared to the wood part would be dramatic IMO and using metal tailgut would remove much of that damping.

I don't think there is one universal truth about what is good and bad as there certainly are violins that could use some of that damping to make them sound better and vice versa.

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11 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

 

The strings are attached to the tailpiece which is attached to the violin body by the tail chord.  So the longitudinal string tension vibration has to pass through them to reach the violin body which can cause it in turn to vibrate and produce some secondary sound in addition to the sound produced by the bridge motion.  The brightness of a note is dependent upon the amplitudes of its upper harmonics so this secondary longitudinal string tension vibration can make a note  sound slightly brighter and louder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should be easily measurable. Anyone done it?

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1 hour ago, JohnCockburn said:

Should be easily measurable. Anyone done it?

I haven't measured it (I don't think it's all that easy to separate out longitudinal vs lateral vibration forces with a garage setup), but there's the logical problem that longitudinal tension variations increase with amplitude, and therefore the fundamental frequencies of the string will increase with stronger bowing.  Classical strings are very stretchy, so there isn't going to be significant longitudinal tension variations, but with non-stretchy steel G strings you can get the effect.

My untested opinion is that longitudinal vibrations of the string are not a significant factor in tone.

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On 11/18/2019 at 10:22 PM, germain said:

No same set of strings. I also realized the previous tailpiece was not boxwood but mountain mahogany. I am pretty sure that the thicker "sacconi" nylon gut was the reason for getting less resonance out of the instrument. It still sounded fine don't get me wrong but with the new set up the instrument opened up even more. 

What does "less resonance" mean for you?

Do the notes decay faster after bowing with less ring?  Does the instrument ring less during bowing? Not as loud?

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5 hours ago, HoGo said:

Marty is there any good study about that? Numbers, graphs etc?

I wonder how much the damping within the wood is really taking place... if we discard the vibrations perpendicular to string direction (where IMO mostly weight of taipiece plays a role) and look into the longitudinal tension vibrations I don't see much happening in the wood - the damping in that direction due too wood properties will be likely minimal and in very high frequencies (what would be the base frequency of tailpiece in that direction?) The difference of nylon of tailgut compared to the wood part would be dramatic IMO and using metal tailgut would remove much of that damping.

I don't think there is one universal truth about what is good and bad as there certainly are violins that could use some of that damping to make them sound better and vice versa.

The derivation of the equations of the string's longitudinal tension changes can be found in Chapter 9.3 'Force Exerted by the String' in the book "The Physics of Musical Instruments" second edition by Fletcher and Rossing,  1998, Springer 

The decay time t after a string is excited is dependent upon the air damping of the string, the damping of the instrument's body, and the damping of the string attachments to the instrument body.  This is discussed in the same book in Chapter 2.13.3 'Energy Loss Through the Supports'.

One statement was "If a finger tip is used to stop the string or if the bridge is so light that end losses predominate, the decay time for the upper partials varies more nearly as 1/f squared." This suggests the decay sound becomes duller and shorter with high damping.

These references were about guitars and I'm merely speculating the same thing happens with violins.  I have never seen any theoretical or experimental investigations of how the tail piece's or tail chord's damping affects a violin's sound that players have noticed.

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21 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

The derivation of the equations of the string's longitudinal tension changes can be found in Chapter 9.3 'Force Exerted by the String' in the book "The Physics of Musical Instruments" second edition by Fletcher and Rossing,  1998, Springer 

The decay time t after a string is excited is dependent upon the air damping of the string, the damping of the instrument's body, and the damping of the string attachments to the instrument body.  This is discussed in the same book in Chapter 2.13.3 'Energy Loss Through the Supports'.

One statement was "If a finger tip is used to stop the string or if the bridge is so light that end losses predominate, the decay time for the upper partials varies more nearly as 1/f squared." This suggests the decay sound becomes duller and shorter with high damping.

These references were about guitars and I'm merely speculating the same thing happens with violins.  I have never seen any theoretical or experimental investigations of how the tail piece's or tail chord's damping affects a violin's sound that players have noticed.

Oops, I made a mistake.

The Chapter 2.13.3 'Energy Loss Through the Supports' is in the book "Principles of Vibration and Sound" also by Fletcher and Rossing,  2003, Springer

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

These references were about guitars and I'm merely speculating the same thing happens with violins.

Violins and guitars are designed very differently.  Violins are extremely sensitive to lateral vibrations, and guitars hardly at all.  Most guitars are arranged with the strings solidly terminated at the bridge, and violins are not.  So in looking at how the sound from longitudinal string vibrations might end up compared to the total sound, I don't think guitars and violins would be anywhere near comparable.  Try bowing a guitar.

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If you tap the end button of a violin with you do get some appreciable sound so I assume if the end button  sees some string tension vibration input it will also produce some sound.  If that string tension vibration is dampened by the tailpiece or tail chord materials I  believe this sound output should be decreased.

I also assume germain's observations are real and significant to him and I'm offering a possible physical explanation of why these might happen.

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3 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

If you tap the end button of a violin with you do get some appreciable sound so I assume if the end button  sees some string tension vibration input it will also produce some sound.  If that string tension vibration is dampened by the tailpiece or tail chord materials I  believe this sound output should be decreased.

I also assume germain's observations are real and significant to him and I'm offering a possible physical explanation of why these might happen.

I failed to mention that the other end of the string is terminated at the nut end.  Open string D, A, and E notes are louder and brighter sounding than the same fingered notes because the player's finger tips add appreciable damping.

This suggests the tailpiece and tail chord's damping might have a similar effect.

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1 hour ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I failed to mention that the other end of the string is terminated at the nut end.  Open string D, A, and E notes are louder and brighter sounding than the same fingered notes because the player's finger tips add appreciable damping.

This suggests the tailpiece and tail chord's damping might have a similar effect.

I don't see that finger damping, where soft fingers are in actual contact with some part of the laterally vibrating string, suggest anything about the tailpiece or tail cord.

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2 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I don't see that finger damping, where soft fingers are in actual contact with some part of the laterally vibrating string, suggest anything about the tailpiece or tail cord.

I do see them as potentially useful metaphors.

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If there is an similarity to finger damping, I think it would be for the over-wrap of the string afterlength, which can get exercised at higher frequencies.  I see the tailpiece as primarily a rigid body with only one or two significant vibration modes, at low frequencies.  I suppose there could be some excitation of the higher vibration modes of the tailpiece, but trying to excite the higher modes of the tailpiece thru the afterlengths or thru the saddle (from the body) seem awfully weak to me.

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58 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Consider the difference in sound between an over-the-tailpiece chinrest firmly gripped vs a side-mount rest, or none at all, violin resting on the shoulder?

Agreed, these differences can be rather large, depending on the skill level and perceptiveness of the player, as always.

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7 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Agreed, these differences can be rather large, depending on the skill level and perceptiveness of the player, as always.

Yes, Maia Bang via Leopold Auer was a big proponent of not using a rest so as to have the instrument resonate through the collar bone and into the chest cavity in order to have the body act as a sympathetic resonator.

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On 11/20/2019 at 1:49 AM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

So finally:  Tail pieces and tail chords having low damping can increase the brightness and loudness a little.  This might be helpful for an  overly dark sounding violin or conversely it might be harmful for a violin that is too bright to begin with.

The opposite is also the opposite.  Tail pieces and tail chords with high damping might be helpful for overly bright sounding violin or harmful for one that is too dark to begin with. 

Thats my story officer and I'm sticking with it.

Agreed, this is also my way of thinking about these things

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On 11/19/2019 at 11:01 PM, David Burgess said:

Davide, I haven't experimented with the titanium tail adjusters, only the steel single-wire and cable ones, and have never had a failure. I am very much interested in understanding any failures. None of us pros look forward to parts of our fiddles detaching and flying around the room, right? :blink::lol:

I've been using them recently, before I used the Wittner steel ones that work very well or at least my violins seem to like them. It seems to me that the titanium ones have the same effects, but with the advantage of a greater diameter of the cable and a greater softness, so more friendly with the ebony of the saddle.

I like titanium because it does not cause allergies, I also use it for the mechanics of the strings especially for this reason rather than for the lightness of the material.

Knowing about failures and how exactly they occurred is always very interesting (when they happen to others in particular:lol:) but sometimes if you don't know the details you risk to reject options improperly, because maybe caused by incorrect use.

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