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Question about strange wolf tones


vomitorio
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Hi everyone! im wondering if anyone knows whats wrong with my Cello, its an old italian cello recently restored and it sounds amazing but its making strange wolf notes on E, eb, D and C on the G string and its kinda making me crazy, i can only tame the E wolf with krentz or with string weight, the others notes still yell when playing loud.

Its 68.6mm string lenght(short neck) with a light tailpiece without tunners about 50g held with kevlar tailgut and Rondo cello strings.

I really apreciate any input since my luthier is gone for a few months.

 

 

Edited by vomitorio
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

Is the cello one that you heard or played before the restoration? Do you know What sort of restoration was done? 

No, i didnt play it before, it was really badly damaged, in a unplayable state, restore included a sound post patch and multiple cracks glued - reinforced on the top plate and a neck reset.

It sounds amazing but that number of diferent wolf tones is something ive never seen in a cello before

Edited by vomitorio
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2 hours ago, vomitorio said:

No, i didnt play it before, it was really badly damaged, in a unplayable state, restore included a sound post patch and multiple cracks glued - reinforced on the top plate and a neck reset.

It sounds amazing but that number of diferent wolf tones is something ive never seen in a cello before

Are these real wolves which oscillate or just notes which jump out or have an unpleasant tone?

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21 minutes ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Are these real wolves which oscillate or just notes which jump out or have an unpleasant tone?

E and Eb do oscillate madly, machinegun style, C and D its like when playing a crescendo the string widens then stop vibrating for a milisecond and restarts vibrating

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15 hours ago, vomitorio said:

E and Eb do oscillate madly, machinegun style, C and D its like when playing a crescendo the string widens then stop vibrating for a milisecond and restarts vibrating

I think you will have to take this up with the person who restored it. They are the only ones who would know what is going on inside.  It sounds to me as if there maybe be some really inconsistent graduations. Please let us know if you figure it out.

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On 4/8/2022 at 11:16 AM, vomitorio said:

Hi everyone! im wondering if anyone knows whats wrong with my Cello, its an old italian cello recently restored and it sounds amazing but its making strange wolf notes on E, eb, D and C on the G string and its kinda making me crazy, i can only tame the E wolf with krentz or with string weight, the others notes still yell when playing loud.

"Amazing" sounding cellos often have wolf problems. Kinda goes with the territory.

The Krentz wolf eliminator will work across a pretty wide range of frequencies, so if that hasn't solved the problem, I'd look for resonance issues or buzzes elsewhere.

Since you are using a Kevlar tail adjuster, the first thing I might try is wedging a toothpick in each of the holes that the tail adjuster passes through, to take up the space between the kevlar tail adjuster and the holes. The tailpiece holes are typically much larger than needed for either a Kevlar or steel tail adjuster, and the rattling around of the tail adjuster in those holes can do some really weird things.

That's my suggestion for step one, not that there couldn't be 100 other things causing the issue. :)

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6 hours ago, Michael K. said:

These have somewhat of a history of their internal parts coming loose, creating a horrible buzz, typically(?) right before or during an important concert, when there is not enough time to get the cello to a luthier to remove the darned thing, when it has been installed inside the cello.

There was a time when these were about the best thing going, but I no longer recommend or install them.

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5 hours ago, David Burgess said:

These have somewhat of a history of their internal parts coming loose, creating a horrible buzz, typically(?) right before or during an important concert, when there is not enough time to get the cello to a luthier to remove the darned thing, when it has been installed inside the cello.

There was a time when these were about the best thing going, but I no longer recommend or install them.

Exactly the answer I expected from you.
I know so many who are happy with it, and these problems you describe are new to me. But there are supposed to have been bass bars that suddenly fall around inside for the same reasons.

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5 hours ago, David Burgess said:

These have somewhat of a history of their internal parts coming loose, creating a horrible buzz, typically(?) right before or during an important concert, when there is not enough time to get the cello to a luthier to remove the darned thing, when it has been installed inside the cello.

There was a time when these were about the best thing going, but I no longer recommend or install them.

I never glue these inside the instrument but keep them on the outside attached with the provided putty.  In the NY area one sees this fairly often.

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On 4/9/2022 at 4:09 PM, David Burgess said:

"Amazing" sounding cellos often have wolf problems. Kinda goes with the territory.

The Krentz wolf eliminator will work across a pretty wide range of frequencies, so if that hasn't solved the problem, I'd look for resonance issues or buzzes elsewhere.

Since you are using a Kevlar tail adjuster, the first thing I might try is wedging a toothpick in each of the holes that the tail adjuster passes through, to take up the space between the kevlar tail adjuster and the holes. The tailpiece holes are typically much larger than needed for either a Kevlar or steel tail adjuster, and the rattling around of the tail adjuster in those holes can do some really weird things.

That's my suggestion for step one, not that there couldn't be 100 other things causing the issue. :)

Holy shit, toothpick wedge really really helped, weird wolfs are 95% gone, i would have never thought that could work, thank you so much!!!  Im just left with the "natural" E wolf wich i can tame easily with regular solutions.

I no longer feel im playing on top of a minefield.

Extra wood from toothpicks got cut later on of course.

(I also tried adding 35g weight on different tailpiece spots but it didnt help, just muted the sound)

 

Screenshot_2022-04-13-10-20-18-101_com.google.android.apps.photos.jpg

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On 4/9/2022 at 5:09 PM, David Burgess said:

"Amazing" sounding cellos often have wolf problems. Kinda goes with the territory.

The Krentz wolf eliminator will work across a pretty wide range of frequencies, so if that hasn't solved the problem, I'd look for resonance issues or buzzes elsewhere.

Since you are using a Kevlar tail adjuster, the first thing I might try is wedging a toothpick in each of the holes that the tail adjuster passes through, to take up the space between the kevlar tail adjuster and the holes. The tailpiece holes are typically much larger than needed for either a Kevlar or steel tail adjuster, and the rattling around of the tail adjuster in those holes can do some really weird things.

That's my suggestion for step one, not that there couldn't be 100 other things causing the issue. :)

Pretty impressive long range diagnosis David! Would you use the toothpicks for diagnosis and then have a more elegant permanent solution or just cut them off and leave them? 

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1 hour ago, nathan slobodkin said:

Pretty impressive long range diagnosis David! Would you use the toothpicks for diagnosis and then have a more elegant permanent solution or just cut them off and leave them? 

I mostly use the toothpicks for quick diagnosis. The Dungey steel tail adjusters (which are what I mostly  use on cellos) come with a split rubber(?) bushing, which can usually be slid into place with some manipulation, to take up the rattle-space without even needing to release the string tension, if it is the rattling which turns out to be the problem.

Interesting aside: Chris Dungey is or was an avid bicyclist, and his tail adjusters were inspired by high-strength bicycle brake cables, including the attachment method of the threaded portion to the end of the cable.

 

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I mostly use the toothpicks for quick diagnosis. The Dungey steel tail adjusters (which are what I mostly  use on cellos) come with a split rubber(?) bushing, which can usually be slid into place with some manipulation, to take up the rattle-space without even needing to release the string tension, if it is the rattling which turns out to be the problem.

Interesting aside: Chris Dungey is or was an avid bicyclist, and his tail adjusters were inspired by high-strength bicycle brake cables, including the attachment method of the threaded portion to the end of the cable.

 


Ya but...., wasn't something else going on there since the tail cord is twisted?  Since it is, I doubt it was rattling around in the holes much like they usually do.

Like David, I use toothpicks a lot to reduce negative sound effects, tail adjusters moving around in the holes of a TP can cause a lot of extraneous noise.  Something I do on most instruments I adjust is to put a water based caulking material in the tail gut holes.  It's messy and a pain to do, but dramatically reduces buzzing problems which can rob a lot of sound and clarity from an instrument, especially violins.  It remains soft enough, at least in my experience, that it's not an impediment to changing lengths or removing tail adjusters at a later time.

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1 hour ago, Mark Norfleet said:


Ya but...., wasn't something else going on there since the tail cord is twisted?  Since it is, I doubt it was rattling around in the holes much like they usually do.

Like David, I use toothpicks a lot to reduce negative sound effects, tail adjusters moving around in the holes of a TP can cause a lot of extraneous noise.  Something I do on most instruments I adjust is to put a water based caulking material in the tail gut holes.  It's messy and a pain to do, but dramatically reduces buzzing problems which can rob a lot of sound and clarity from an instrument, especially violins.  It remains soft enough, at least in my experience, that it's not an impediment to changing lengths or removing tail adjusters at a later time.

The only thing i added were the toothpicks, i could fit 3 in each hole, i didnt release the strings and didnt change anything else, maybe it was just a massive space, it really helped, its not 100% gone but now only growls very rarely and not as hard as before, its a massive change.

Maybe its my mind because im extremelly happy, but i do feel my cello sounds fuller and clearer also.

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40 minutes ago, baroquecello said:

On my cellos, a ConCarbo tail piece helped focus the wolf tone on one pitch instead of a region. Makes it easier to handle.

Instead of toothpicks, you can also just stuff the holes tightly with some felt. Not as ugly, visually speaking.

Ive always wanted to try the concarbo, as the maker is in ukraine and away from his workshop its not posible to get one right now, but for sure ill get one eventually.

I did cut the toothpick leftovers so they are invisible now :P

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13 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

Ya but...., wasn't something else going on there since the tail cord is twisted?  Since it is, I doubt it was rattling around in the holes much like they usually do.

Yeah... I posted the toothpick suggestion before the OP put up the photo of the twisted tail cord. Weird that it would help in that situation, isn't it?

18 hours ago, vomitorio said:

Screenshot_2022-04-13-10-20-18-101_com.google.android.apps.photos.jpg

On a violin, it's important to trim those before playing. :lol:

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13 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

@David Burgess  I've done this for obscure rattles, but never for a wolf! I can't wait to try it out. Thanks.

Extraneous noise from tailpiece and adjuster interaction is one of the first things I check for when doing sound adjustment.  I tap hard on the TP with my finger and if there's any hint of noise something gets added to the holes.  It usually helps the sound and never hurts.
I also use the previously mentioned caulking compound to glue on the tailpiece clips from those infernal Bech Magnetic Mutes to get rid of at least one potential source of noise from them.

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