Dead notes or clunky notes

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
amezcua
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by amezcua » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:52 pm

Strangely there is a zero result for dead or clunky notes on the search button . I have a Madrid made guitar and I tested the notes to see if they all played properly . I counted nineteen clunky notes altogether . What causes that ?

Semitone
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:32 pm

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by Semitone » Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:05 pm

You can try searching wolf tones or wolf notes. Sometimes people mix wolf notes with dead spots.

hesson11
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by hesson11 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:22 am

Please see my suggestion for searching this site in your "Double Tops" thread. It's the first reply.
-Bob

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souldier
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Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by souldier » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:25 pm

Yeah you'll have to look into why the search isn't working for you. I am often surprised to discover that every CG topic you can think of has probably been discussed on these forums before
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

Dave M
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:39 pm
Location: Somerset UK

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by Dave M » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:12 pm

Bob could you point us more directly at your search advice. I also sometimes struggle to find the info Iam after.

Thanks Dave
Dave

hesson11
Posts: 509
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by hesson11 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:31 pm

You just use Google instead of the search bar on this site:

1. In the Google search bar, type the word or phrase you're searching for and leave one space.
2. Follow that with "site:" leaving no space after it
3. Follow that with the URL of the website you want Google to search.
4. Press your Return key.

In this case, you would type the following into the Google search bar:

dead notes site:classicalguitardelcamp.com

-Bob

amezcua
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by amezcua » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:18 pm

I googled the most sensible thing to do in an all out nuclear war , just now. Plenty of black humour from 2016 and a film called Threads . Then I messed up my password and was hit with a scary red message. Now I am confronted with complicated search box info . It`s all making me feel very nervous . Time to tip my sofa upside down and hide underneath .

amezcua
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by amezcua » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:33 pm

So I googled the way suggested and the page about "double tops making guitars louder "appeared. It`s part of this site let`s face it . Above the topic headlines is a search box . So I entered Double Tops and got Zero . Uhuurgh . Colour me confused .

amezcua
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:50 pm

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by amezcua » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:51 pm

What is the difference between a Wolf Note and a Dead Spot ? Is there a way to analyse this or a systematic approach . Normal Savarez strings are not to blame .Take that as a given . Wolf notes are a well known phenomenon in string instruments but effective cures are not well known.
I experimented with some violins that had no extra problems with wolf notes. They all had a normal wolf high on the G string . But adjusting the air volume created a number of wolf notes . I used small cubes of soft foam rubber . If you play around with milk bottles partly filled with water you can tune them to different notes . Just change the bottle to an instrument and change from water to foam rubber . That advice came from a Mandolin site . "Just pop in a lump of foam rubber to get rid of a dead note " .
You can`t see the air in a guitar but it is part of how a guitar functions . There are other ways to affect dead notes and this is one of them . Easily reversible .
Last edited by amezcua on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

soltirefa
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Location: Southern California

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by soltirefa » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:38 pm

The only problem searching this site for answers is that there's so much fluff, both from so many members and talking about meaningless topics (eg. What's the weather like where you are?; what are you eating now?) that you have to weed through a lot of needless information that the search words bring up.

astro64
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Location: American Southwest

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by astro64 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:13 pm

A wolf note is a loud but short sustaining note. Most "dead spots" I have heard on guitars behave that way. But I have never played a guitar that had 19 of them... Do you mean with a "dead note" a "quiet note that does sustain but is less loud"? Those can improve with sustained playing. I have not heard notes with no sustain that are quiet at the same time, I think.

Alan Carruth
Luthier
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Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by Alan Carruth » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:56 am

In my mind, a 'wolf' is any problem note caused by a resonance of the guitar. They can take a number of forms. The most usual one is the 'thuddy G' on the low E string when the 'main air' resonance coincides with that played note. In that case, since the guitar is very efective at extracting energy from the string and turning it into sound you get a note that is twice as powerful for half as long, more or less. Since 'power' doesn't always translate into a perception of 'loudness' you only really notice the lack of sustain. I've seen other wolf notes that sound like strings buzzing on frets, or that 'warble' or 'flutter'.

There actually is a well-known and fairly effective remedy for the usual 'cello wolf. It's caused by a strong couple between an air resonance and the top, which gets the bridge top rocking at the fundamental pitch of the played note. The end of the striing moves so much that the bow doesn't get the feedback that's required to sustain the normal stick-slip regime at that pitch, so the string shifts up an octave to the second partial where the bow gets the proper feedback. With no energy going in at the fundamental the resonance dies out fairly quickly, and that stops the excess beidge motion. Suddenly the string 'knows' how long it is again, and begins to produce the fundamental, which starts the whole thing over. It's the rapid allternation between the fundamental and the octave that causes the 'growl' or 'bleat' of the wolf.

The key to fixing it is to stop the excess bridge motion. This is often done by putting a weight with some damping on one of the back strings between the bridge and the tailpiece. The amount and location of the weight are set up so that it will vibrate just at the wolf pitch. The weight tends to move out of phase with the motion of the bridge top; when the bridge goes 'left' the weight wants to go 'right'. This produuces a force on the top of the bridge that tends to cancel out the motion caused by it's rocking, leaving the bow with the proper feedback.

One of my students brought in a vielle with a wolf the other day. When adjusting the sound post didn't clear it up we cut the eraser off a pencil, and cut a lengthwise slot part way through it. This was stuck onto the back string of the G string, which was the only one low enough to work. Once we got the eraser to the right spot to get the back string in tune the wolf went away.

jebejava
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Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by jebejava » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:47 am

How did you finally resolve the problem? I've done a bit of wolf hunting with the blue tac method and resorted to adding weight at a crucial spot inside the guitar, but a vielle poses a different problem of access.

I must mention and thank you, that my efforts were greatly helped by your very informative posts over the years.

Alan Carruth
Luthier
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Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by Alan Carruth » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:35 pm

jebejava asked:
"How did you finally resolve the problem? "

With the eraser on the back string, as described. The added mass of the eraser drops the pitch of the back string. You start with it in the middle of the after length, which gives the lowest possible pitch for the amount of weight on that string. If it's too low you move it toward one end or the other, until you get the right pitch. Moving it up toward the bridge makes the given mass more effective at controlling the wolf, but may also alter the tone of the fiddle more. Moving it back toward the tail piece has the opposite effect. Using a piece of rubber, such as an eraser, adds some damping which helps it to work and spreads out the workable frequency band, so the adjustment is not so critical. 'Cello wolf note supressors need more weight, so they use a metal tube that is slit down one side, with a slotted rubber plug in it, and usually have a set screw to fix them in place once you've found the right spot. You need to reinstall it every time you change the strings, of course.

There are patented 'wolf eliminators' that can be glued up inside the top near the bass foot of the bridge. Since most 'cellos have a wolf at more or less the same pitch they can be pretty standardized, with, maybe, a small tuning range. A acquaintance of mine who works in a violin shop once got a call from the Customs Service about them. They had ordered a box from Germany, and when they arrived at the airport the customs folks noticed the label. What did she intend to do with these devices? Was she aware, they asked, that wolves are an endangered species? It took a while for her to satisfy them.... ;)

Dave M
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Location: Somerset UK

Re: Dead notes or clunky notes

Post by Dave M » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:53 pm

Bob thanks for that. So it seems that the internal search facility in the forum isn't that good, and we have to go to the Google search engine and tell it to search our site.

That's fine now I know.

I guess it would be easier if the forum software passed queries automatically to Google along with the originating site, to at least save us some typing!
Dave

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