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Author Topic: Glass mutes?  (Read 2372 times)

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Offline concertA

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Glass mutes?
« on: Jan 28, 2006, 04:24:22 PM »
I went to buy a mute last night and the lady wanted to know if I wanted a glass mute or a rubber mute.  I bought the Tourte mute like I always use, but I was intrigued by the glass mutes.  I've never heard of that before.  They looked like electrical fuses for cars with wires that hook onto the bridge.  Wouldn't glass rattle and sound unpleasant?  Has anyone ever used one before?


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Offline Joe_Maj

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 28, 2006, 04:40:03 PM »
I've got one. I'ts not glass, it's plastic tubing.

Offline concertA

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 28, 2006, 07:01:13 PM »
I wonder why she called it a "glass" mute?  Maybe she didn't know.  I didn't actually touch it so I don't know what it was made of.  Plastic tubing makes more sense, though, than glass. 

Offline sreizes

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 28, 2006, 07:24:03 PM »
I remember I had one once way back, don't remember why I switched to a tourte.

Offline apollonike

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 29, 2006, 12:11:52 AM »
Because those things fall apart.

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 29, 2006, 04:54:25 PM »
That was probabally it!

Ya know, when I first saw the title of this thread, I was picturing a classic style mute, made of glass (or crystal?).  That could be pretty cool looking if it has the right mass, I wonder if anyone has ever tried to make one.  A casting would probabally be the way to go, they should mass produce ok, just, watch out for the pieces if you drop it.

Offline Don Stackhouse

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 30, 2006, 02:49:25 AM »
The ones I'm familiar with have a piece of clear vinyl tubing, with three little cylindrical brass "beads" inserted into them, with a wire bracket that clips into the holes in the outermost beads. The loops in the wire clip onto the afterlength of the strings behind the bridge, and the plastic tube sits on top of the bridge.

You can vary the muting effect by sliding the mute back from the bridge. A lttile bit makes a big difference; by the time the plastic tube is about 1/4" behind the bridge, almost all of the muting effect is gone. Thus you have a mute that can be turn on or off, or even throttled to a partial muting effect of your choice. Before I switched to Warchal Karneol strings with their greater control and dynamic range, I needed a mute like this in order to blend properly with the dulcimers in our little quintet I play in. (With the Warchals I can just play on the edge of the hair without losing tone quality, but lowering the volume sufficiently without resorting to a mute)

I found that these "wire mutes" (the term I always heard tem referred to by) tended to have very little effect on the tone quality. The little rubber Tourte mutes also did not affect the sound of the instrument significantly other than reducing the volume.

The 3-prong clip-on ebony mutes I've used do tend to alter tone quality substantially, muting the higher harmonics more than the lower ones.

Of course a metal "practice mute" kills both the volume and the tone, and even alters the intonation! My Hopf, particularly since I installed the Karneol strings, really hates practice mutes. It vibrates in some new, bizarre and alarming manners, and even tries to shake the mute off (even succeeded once or twice, and the mute was firmly installed at the time). Also, all that vibrational energy gets trapped in the strings, and they proceed to scrape all the rosin off the bow hair (that energy has to go someplace!). I don't use that mute much anymore.



Offline sreizes

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 30, 2006, 05:03:01 AM »
and even tries to shake the mute off (even succeeded once or twice, and the mute was firmly installed at the time).
I had that happen, it prompted my putting adhesive bandage tape down in the slots of the mute to cushion the contact.  It has helped.

Offline suamor

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #8 on: Sep 19, 2006, 08:31:52 PM »
...
and the mute was firmly installed at the time). Also, all that vibrational energy gets trapped in the strings, and they proceed to scrape all the rosin off the bow hair (that energy has to go someplace!). I don't use that mute much anymore.

Wow, very interesting, that could be an alternative of how to easily getting rid of rosins of a bow without a large cleaning procedure.. what was the cost of that mute? ;D

Reinhard
 

Offline Steve_W

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #9 on: Sep 19, 2006, 08:43:37 PM »
I had that happen, it prompted my putting adhesive bandage tape down in the slots of the mute to cushion the contact.  It has helped.

I've had that happen as well; after thinking about how much damage that heavy brass mute could do if it hit the face of my expensive fiddle, I switched to a rubber practice mute.  Not quite as much muting but much safer. -Steve

Offline chrisandcello

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #10 on: Sep 19, 2006, 10:59:01 PM »
The only mute I have'nt tried is the wire one.....sounds interesting....can they mute down to practice level?
After trying wood and rubber variants (including clothes pegs, rubber tube, masking tape and anything 'off the wall' I could think of)......The heavier rubber ones I hated though the lighter ones were OK...just not quiet enough.
I finally settled on the 'tonwolf'. For me I find it small and effective. They do require a little work with small pliers and file to prevent excessive bridge damage though. After filing the slots wider it fits nicely on the cello too (brings volume right down). I have no idea why they are not marketed for cello...I think they are just the job.
I notice in Japan they are marketing a metal one with a thumbscrew to clamp onto the bridge vice like..........looks interesting but now widely available yet.
Here's a link for budding importers!

http://www.hosco.co.jp/HOSCO_ENGLISH/Pages/MyMute.html

Meanwhile I'll stick with the tonwolf  ;D

Offline chrisandcello

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #11 on: Sep 19, 2006, 11:02:55 PM »
Looks like they do some nice tools and luthier bits too ::)

Offline Steve_W

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #12 on: Sep 20, 2006, 06:22:30 PM »
The only mute I have'nt tried is the wire one.....sounds interesting....can they mute down to practice level?

No, it's a "performance" mute.  I don't like them; in my experience they tend to tear up the string wrappings.  I'm happy with my Tourte 1-hole for that, although playing for dancers I'm usually more concerned with being loud enough rather than muting. -Steve

Offline Richard

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #13 on: Sep 21, 2006, 12:49:04 PM »
I have used one for ages, I like the way its there to use, can vary the mute with small distance from bridge. Found it easier for quickly changing to con-sordini while playing.
Had it for over ten years and dissasembled once to clean and re-assemble. No problems with it falling apart or wearing strings. I prefer these to the rubber things.
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Offline sreizes

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Re: Glass mutes?
« Reply #14 on: Sep 21, 2006, 05:33:02 PM »
Ya know, when I first saw the title of this thread, I was picturing a classic style mute, made of glass (or crystal?). 
Every time this thread comes back up I think this.  It has occurred to me though that clear plex cut and polished up would be better since it would be able to survive the inevitable drops.

 




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