Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Cello endpins material


MarcoCello

Recommended Posts

I think it depends on the particular cello. I took a cello with a steel endpin into a shop recently, for the resident cellist to play and evaluate, and he said he thought it would sound better with carbon fiber. Then I took another cello in with a carbon fiber one, and the same person he said he thought the sound of the instrument was missing something? I realize this isn't enough information to make any kind of judgement, so I have the same question.

WW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You'll have to experiment to know what works best for a particular instrument. And before you do, make sure the fit of the bung is correct, otherwise the whole exercise is useless. Some celli are very sensitive to the end pin, while others are not so much.

In my experience, hollow CF pins always are the worst option, acoustically. They will make the sound superficial. All other types of end pins are potentially a good choice. Aluminum tends to brighten the sound, tungsten tends to darken the sound. I used to have a mitsuke triple brilliant which worked very well on my cello: dark with a brilliant side to it. But end pins generally have a smaller effect than, for instance tail pieces. (Where CF s a great material,  acoustically speaking).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be the weight that is a variable here. No doubt, as the body resonates, the dead weight of the end pin will have a dampening effect, akin to a practice mute on a bridge. Less weight more resonant. Could be good (obviously) but also bad as the sound loses focus and separation.

Never conducted any rigorous experiments but I'd suspect the effect to be minor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Guido said:

It would be the weight that is a variable here. No doubt, as the body resonates, the dead weight of the end pin will have a dampening effect, akin to a practice mute on a bridge. Less weight more resonant. Could be good (obviously) but also bad as the sound loses focus and separation.

Never conducted any rigorous experiments but I'd suspect the effect to be minor.

In regard to the sound, weight does not have the effect you describe at all, when it comes to end pins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, baroquecello said:

In regard to the sound, weight does not have the effect you describe at all, when it comes to end pins.

Yes, our posts just crossed and I didn't see your description of warm/ bright for different materials.

I suppose the end pin does carry the vibration. I'm aware of an amplification effect if you put the end pin on a box when playing. AS the pin carries the vibration different materials will dampen/ filter different frequencies to different degrees. Would be my guess,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Guido said:

I suppose the end pin does carry the vibration. I'm aware of an amplification effect if you put the end pin on a box when playing. AS the pin carries the vibration different materials will dampen/ filter different frequencies to different degrees. Would be my guess,

Yes, I would agree with that, but I couldn't say what happens exactly. My impression is that stiffness is much more of a factor than weight, and that generally stiffer is better. But it it difficult to separate the effect of stiffness and weight as they correlate to a degree. My feeling is that flimsy CF end pins vibrate at a speed (rather slow compared to stiff materials) and amplitude (rather large) that influences the contact between bow and string in a negative way, because the whole cello starts wobbling. Again, no idea if that really is what is happening. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the tons of informations that I've came across I can summarize the schools of thoughts as this (and yes, they are no compatible, of course...):

- the endpin is vibrating along with the cello (vibration transmission) thus, you need to have the lowest weight to not dampen the sound thus carbon fiber endpins are better than steel endpins

- that is correct but then, sound is going into the floor (this is true) which is not nice because a cello needs projection (btw, this explain maybe why carbon fiber pins have such round but empty sounding effect) so you need, on the contrary, to have an endpin that do not transmit vibration so their are sent back to the cello body (Krentz endpin theory) or have at least a high mass that is tuned or adding its own sound (Mitsuke and general heavy metal alloys, titanium etc) to have the cello projecting more 

- yeeeesss buuuut ! You need to have holes inside the endpin so the air inside the cello can go into the endpin and project through the endpin holes and not into the floor (Faster Sound endpins)

Hence this topic and my initial question, all this is very confusing....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While faster sound end pins may be nicely made, you may want to look for the recent thread here on the topic of the theory behind it.

Why don't you just try a few? Your colleagues should have plenty to try out. You'll notice soon enough what will work for your cello and what won't. I predict weight will be of little importance. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not the clamping force either, as the integration of the endpin is important. It's not just "fit" but how it fits.

I work with a tall pre- teen on a 1/2 size that should clearly be on something larger, but for the hands. The luxury for me, is that she develops literature without having to over work her hands.

The endpin integrations matter, then length ( fit ) and then the mass ( the sound and feel. ) Without getting out the tape measures, depending on if she is the cellist in the simpler London ( Haydn ) trios or the opening of the Dvorak, the force she applies needs to work together to output the necessary  ( crucial? ) sound. In her case, a heavier longer steel endpin allows her offer a larger sound than the 1/2 size Chinese box that she plays. Her sound is not larger than the 4/4 cellos she sounds like a better cellist.

And this is just my experience. Mileage might vary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I will suggest that weight will be of very significant importance, and also how effectively that weight is clamped, rendering it either "one with the cello", or more like a loose appendage.

Oh, the bung is of big importance,  as I've written in an earlier post. A bad bung or a badly fitting bung makes the whole experiment useless. As is the length of the end pin remaining inside the cello, longer seems better, probably up to a point, but.... I have found heavier pins to work better for me, but I believe this has to do with stiffness rather than weight. I now use a hollow steel end pin that is not light, nor heavy and it works very well with a bender bung. Mitsuke worked a bit better but is terribly expensive. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is an odor of "snake oil" here.  Small changes, yes, but not major changes. 

When you get tired of this idea, you can move on to the "mystery of the tailpiece."  There are a huge number of these devices, many claiming miraculous powers.

And finally, the acoustic platform (works to amplify the cello sound through the end pin).  You might have to build you own.  I think this device might have some use.

Just a small reminder, you are sitting behind the instrument, but the major amount of sound comes from the front--makes it hard for the player to determine acoustic effects.  But the acoustic platform might allow the player to hear what is going on.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mike_Danielson said:

There is an odor of "snake oil" here.  Small changes, yes, but not major changes. 

 ( ... )

Depends on the player? Most higher end changes have perceived effects at the limits of player or instrument? This is most important until the perceptions reach to other players or the audience. 

The endpin interactions matter to me, but am starting to think that player/ instrument geometries could use better understanding.

For example, with sufficient feel, a better player will be confident diving in, thus working the output. A stable fit also means the feathering of the bow easier and hand independence. Greater contrast, faux power?

On upper strings, there are classes of player that loves the Korfker. I admire the Korfker but as someone who plays right on their collarbone, colours and full range of angles, the Korfker will be used where it benefits playing music that requires the most precision?

Skepticism is essential. Is it just the tonal aspect? I do own a narrow 8" ( 20cm ) platform that I have used outdoors and in cases where electronics were not appropriate. And several cello stops. 98% of the time, I will not stab cello into the stage floor. Maybe 1 in 50? When I was growing up, most institutional buildings had manufactured tiled flooring and looked for the corners with chipped holes to settle in heavy steel endpins. 

   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Endpins do have an effect. The effect is not small in the player's hands and hears. The difference in sound itself can be quite small in regards with the influence of the player's technique, of course. I can definitely feel on which endpin I'm playing (steel tube vs carbon tube) and the cello itself is reacting differently. There is for sure a lot of marketing at work for expensive endpins that will "improve the sound" but it is not useless to look for the endpin that will provide your cello the best behavior for you and the best balance among the strings/register, tone etc. 

I cannot try a lot of endpins, most other students have steel or carbon tubes as I have. Teacher has carbon fiber but the cello is already very powerful and focused so it doesn't need much stiffer endpin. Luthier of the town is small, nothing fancy to try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is a chance for you to do some inexpensive experiments on your own to see the magnitude of this endpin effect--for example:

1.  Play with the rubber thing on the endpin and compare it to when the rubber thing is removed.  Effect?

2.  Add weight the the exposed portion of the endpin (say a clamp) vs without the weight.  Effect?

3.  Put the endpin of the floor versus putting it on a brick.  Effect?

4.  Play with different exposed lengths of the endpin.  Efffect?

You can learn a lot without the expense of purchasing endpins.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Mike_Danielson said:

Here is a chance for you to do some inexpensive experiments on your own to see the magnitude of this endpin effect--for example:

1.  Play with the rubber thing on the endpin and compare it to when the rubber thing is removed.  Effect?

2.  Add weight the the exposed portion of the endpin (say a clamp) vs without the weight.  Effect?

3.  Put the endpin of the floor versus putting it on a brick.  Effect?

4.  Play with different exposed lengths of the endpin.  Efffect?

You can learn a lot without the expense of purchasing endpins.

 

Ok, cellists, reply. My answers will be general since the scenarios will be different. Make sure the assembly is fit well. At schools I use thin cork and paper templates as it is inexpensive. Sometimes the assembly works its way out if it was improperly fit, or the string tension mostly released. Most kids do not notice. I do have an old German reamer for clean up.

1. Many players have endpins that will not fit a protective cap. Of generic endpins, many kids may not have the ability to produce a difference in tone quality. I do play with the rubber cap, but carefully not to split it. 

2. Clipping at the body vs the pin matters upon the fit of the assembly. We did these experiments in the shop several times a week for players at the time. This to illustrate if there is a change in sound. Mass but "bad fit" did very little to offer usable playing information. I used larger metal clips from the stationary store mounted with lead tape for these tests.

3. Putting it on a brick on the floor? Otto Musica used to make a cello stop/ resonator that did alter the sound for even the most basic player if it mattered. I have played at many garden parties. As the cellist was on the path rather than grass, dirt, mud, sand. Brick is better than any soil. Brick sounds worse than concrete path. The Stahlhammer will sink deep into soil. It's time consuming to clean. Yes, I tried several times. Assumed someplaces had better compaction.

4. This is an interesting question. As for pure tone variation, the old bear hug playing vs Tortellier? In teaching students to better understand arm weight, speed, manipulation and arc, especially in the lower positions, the end pins are longer. For third octave thumb position work, my arms are shorter and require a more vertical instrument position. Given my personal needs being a shorter player, I do over play in the bear hug to better control the upper octaves.

And your suggestions might be correct, that the endpin type may not matter at this level of playing. But for those who are taller that have lovely "Swan Lake" arms the voicing of that treble voice matters. Not that I will sound ever like the greats, the pushed sound is better achievable. As it has an angry- er core to the sound it might superficially be perceived as expert playing, but to have the transition between cello, violin and some violinistic sound would be much more impressive. I find it much more difficult to change voices when the instrument is more vertical. Just me. The sucky one in the section.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have experimented with most endpins that are on the market, on three different instruments, and the conclusion is not very clear. What is clear, though, is that endpins can influence the sound and playability of a Cello. Some Cellos respond better with endpins that are heavier (e.g. Mitsuke Triple Brillante) and others with lighter ones. In general, 10mm thickness is the way to go, so that there is no wobbling while playing. The best endpin that I discovered for my instruments is made of Titanium and is hollow. It has the best combination of projection and core. There is only a small problem though… it’s custom made and not available on the market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, cellopera said:

I have experimented with most endpins that are on the market, on three different instruments, and the conclusion is not very clear. What is clear, though, is that endpins can influence the sound and playability of a Cello. Some Cellos respond better with endpins that are heavier (e.g. Mitsuke Triple Brillante) and others with lighter ones. In general, 10mm thickness is the way to go, so that there is no wobbling while playing. The best endpin that I discovered for my instruments is made of Titanium and is hollow. It has the best combination of projection and core. There is only a small problem though… it’s custom made and not available on the market.

So what remains for us ? Lol

Any information from your vast testings on the endpins that are available so we can have a chance to test them ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, MarcoCello said:

So what remains for us ? Lol

Any information from your vast testings on the endpins that are available so we can have a chance to test them ?

You have to try endpins on your own, until you find what suits your instrument. I would suggest you go to your local luthier and try out everything. I would not advise you to buy something that suits my instrument, but might not work on yours. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...