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Author Topic: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review  (Read 12945 times)

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Offline rcc

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Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« on: Oct 02, 2007, 07:48:24 PM »
I posted a review of the Bois Harmonie fine tuner tailpiece in the reviews section.

It's under "Acoustic Strings" because I couldn't figure out how to make it a generic "Accessory" review/product.

Text is here along with two small pictures.  I was able to load larger and higher quality versions of these pictures in the review itself.

- Ray

--

These are extremely high quality hand-made tailpieces with removeable very light weight and rigid carbon fiber tuners. These tailpieces are suitable for use on the finest violins.

The range of tuning is on par with the Wittner tailpieces, the tuners turn easily and as installed on this violin, the tuners cannot be turned so far down that they touch the top of the violin.

Tailpieces are available in boxwood (this one), ebony, pernambuco, or rosewood and in either the Hill (pictured) or French style. The typical violin tailpiece has a black (ebony) saddle not ivory as shown here. The tuners are black -- the sunlight made them show up lighter in the pictures. I suspect that the Hill tailpiece is stronger than the French.

These are very expensive relative to Wittners or Thomasticks and very reasonably priced compared to other hand-made high quality tailpieces.

Highly recommended but cost is definitely an issue. I suspect the sonic differences between the Harmonie and a Wittner show up only on high end benchmade violins that are set up very well.

Offline zaivanbuijs

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #1 on: Oct 02, 2007, 09:13:41 PM »
Thanks a lot for that review Ray :D

Quote
It's under "Acoustic Strings" because I couldn't figure out how to make it a generic "Accessory" review/product.
I guess there'd have to be a category "other accessories" for you to be able to do that, I can't set up new categories either though.

It's all still a bit new this reviews section, and what seems to have happened is that you uploaded the product and incorporated the review in the product text body.
The format of the section is to upload the product with a general description (for instance from the manufacturers website) and pictures and after completing that stage you add your actual review to that product by filling out the review form. Now I think you can fix that fairly easily yourself, if you need a hand just let me know. :) 

Inge

Offline rcc

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #2 on: Oct 02, 2007, 09:32:26 PM »
Yeah, unfortunately when I tried to upload the review with just the description and then tried to add a review to that description, I couldn't figure out how to do that.

Which is odd because when I clicked on other products, I could add a review just fine.

But when I click on the tailpiece review, the "Add your review" section doesn't appear.

Very odd.  As if you can't review a product you posted -- which is why I wound up putting the review in the description.

- Ray

Offline zaivanbuijs

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #3 on: Oct 02, 2007, 09:41:43 PM »
Hmm, that IS odd, because I've seen other people add reviews to products they added. When I looked at the review I had the option to add a review to it as well, so nothing wrong with that bit. I guess it's time for me to "call the help desk".

Have you checked it after restarting your browser?  (that's the full extent of my wizzkidness)

Thanks for pointing out the problem.

Offline sreizes

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #4 on: Oct 03, 2007, 12:32:32 AM »
Our lead cellist got one of those over the summer!  She absolutely loves it and it has really helped the tone of her (nice to begin with) cello, plus, it looks really classy.  Unfortunately, the Wittners etc can tend to look somewhat cheap on.

Offline rcc

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #5 on: Oct 03, 2007, 12:35:11 AM »
Yes.  These absolutely make a difference on cellos, probably even down to the level of decent-to-good student cellos.

With violins, I think you have to have a higher quality violin before the tailpiece really makes a sonic difference.

Offline Steve_W

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #6 on: Oct 03, 2007, 07:02:20 AM »
Thanks for the review!  How is ease of string changing compared with the Wittner Ultra?  This is the biggest issue I had with the Pusch (that and weight, and limited amount of adjustability convinced me to switch to the Ultra).  From the looks of it, this isn't an issue.

Offline Nfkfiddler

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #7 on: Oct 03, 2007, 03:38:55 PM »
I'd like one of these, in boxwood, for my better fiddle.   I'd want to choose it for myself rather than mail order as I find boxwood varies so in colour......perhaps its me just being fussy ;D

Offline sreizes

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #8 on: Oct 03, 2007, 05:20:51 PM »
Our cellist got her's from her luthier, Pernabuco in Hill style - but check with your's and see.

Offline rcc

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #9 on: Oct 03, 2007, 08:09:23 PM »
Steve,

I've not had any problems changing strings.  It's just as easy as using a Wittner Ultralight (which is what's on my other fiddle).  As opposed to the Pusch which was a royal pain (yep, I've tried that one too).

Tuning range is much better than the Pusch (likely comparable to the Wittner) and the tuning ease (at least on mine) was better than the Wittner.

And yes, boxwood color varies a lot.

- Ray

Offline Steve_W

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #10 on: Oct 05, 2007, 05:13:26 PM »
Thanks Ray, I think this will go on my want-list!  I like the Wittner but I'd rather put a nicer tailpiece on my good benchmade instrument.

Offline sreizes

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #11 on: Oct 05, 2007, 08:39:15 PM »
Actually reading around their site, I'm intriqued by the tailcord they have developed.  I'll have to talk to my luthier about them.

Offline Krugwaffle

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #12 on: Oct 05, 2007, 11:09:07 PM »
This stuff looks like Spectra Fiber.  I've heard of people using it for the tailcord.  It's famous for the new super strength, super flexible fiber type fishing lines.  Spiderwire is one brand.  I've seen spools as strong as 65 pound test on department store shelves and I know they make some powerful stuff for use in offshore fishing nets.

It should make a great tailcord.  Soft and pliable so it won't press grooves into your saddle.  Lightweight and completely stretch resistant, not like them little nylon things that are constantly creeping away at my afterlength.  This stuff should be acoustically inert and very flexible like a silk thread.  The only problem I can see is finding a suitable knot to tie in the ends that won't slip under tension and still allow minute adjustment of the afterlength.  It's hard enough getting a knot to hold to full test strength in fishing line.  I can't imagine what I would do if I had to tweak the position of my lure 1.5mm towards the reel by slipping the knot as I tightened it. 

Be sure and let us all know if you end up getting the tailcord, sreizes.

Offline sreizes

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #13 on: Oct 05, 2007, 11:12:59 PM »
I will, in the photos, I can't tell how they've tied it.  I would think though, if it is totally non-stretch, you could tie off the lenght length with a simple knot, then put some superglue on it?
« Last Edit: Oct 06, 2007, 12:33:57 AM by sreizes »

Offline rcc

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #14 on: Oct 05, 2007, 11:52:44 PM »
Dunno.  Harmonie sent Kelvin a tailcord for free and he said he'd use it if he liked it.  It's on there so I assume he liked it :).

- Ray

Offline sreizes

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #15 on: Oct 06, 2007, 12:35:39 AM »
So Ray, you're saying your fiddle has the tailcord and the tailpiece on it?  Do you notice any difference that you can ascribe to the tailcord?

Offline madfiddler

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #16 on: Oct 06, 2007, 01:36:56 PM »
Sorry I wasn't on the ball with this. There is now an accessories catagory, but please, uploaded products shouldn't be reviews - just general info about the product.

RCC the "Post a review" on your tailpiece section should be viewable, and clicking the link takes you to the equivalent of this http://www.fiddleforum.com/reviews/reviews.php?product=84
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Offline Don Stackhouse

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #17 on: Oct 10, 2007, 01:05:55 AM »
This stuff looks like Spectra Fiber. ...It should make a great tailcord.  Soft and pliable so it won't press grooves into your saddle.  Lightweight and completely stretch resistant, not like them little nylon things that are constantly creeping away at my afterlength.

If it really is Spectra, I think it will make TERRIBLE tail gut. Spectra is notorious for "cold flow" or "creep", far worse than nylon or other plastics. It's polyethylene-based, and like other forms of polyethylene, it stretches continuously when under a heavy load.

Shortly after it came out, I tried some Spiderwire for bracing wires and control cables on a variety of radio-controlled airplane applications. On al the places where it had to sustain a steady tension, it stretched out to the point of needing readjusting (by fairly large amounts) at least every day, and in some cases every few hours.

Offline sreizes

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #18 on: Oct 10, 2007, 03:06:46 AM »
From the description on the Bois d'Harmonie site, it must not be spectra then.  They say it is completely stable under tension.

Offline Don Stackhouse

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #19 on: Oct 10, 2007, 05:37:22 AM »
From the description on the Bois d'Harmonie site, it must not be spectra then.  They say it is completely stable under tension.

Could be an aramid (Kevlar, Nomex, etc.), except that those tend to have high structural damping coefficients, which would tend to kill resonance. Simple fiberglass in an elastomer matrix would fit the description, among others.

Offline Krugwaffle

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #20 on: Oct 10, 2007, 06:35:40 AM »
I was unaware of the cold flow problem with Spectra, Don.  My only experience with it is in fishing and snare making.  I know that a little stumpknocker striking at the end of a 80 foot cast feels like he's chomping on the end of your rod, the line is so sensitive.  The hook sets itself because there's absolutely no stretch.  It's like you're connected to the fish with a glass rod.  This cold flow would explain why knots fail a lot in this material. 

No telling what they're using for the tailcords, then.  I wonder if acrylic in microfiber/superbraid form would have any flow or creep issues. 

Offline Don Stackhouse

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Re: Bois d'Harmonie tailpiece review
« Reply #21 on: Oct 10, 2007, 10:00:10 AM »
I was unaware of the cold flow problem with Spectra ... there's absolutely no stretch. 

The "elastic" or "Young's" modulus of the stuff is very high, in other words it's extremely stiff. If it weren't for the cold flow problem, it would be a good candidate for a replacement for carbon fiber.

However, under a steady, sustained load it stretches continuously. For example, there was a kit on the market (not one of ours), a very simple electric powered backyard airplane, that was built with too little dihedral in the wings, resulting in stability and control problems. The wing was made from molded styrene foam, and pretty flexible. Folks took to adding rigging lines on top of the wing to pull the tips up and bend the needed additional dihedral into the wing, which fixed the problem.

I'd just bought some Fireline, and tried some of it for rigging line on one of these models. I pulled about two inches of additional dihedral into the wingtips. The plane flew much better that afternoon. However, by the next morning, all that extra dihedral was gone, because the Fireline had stretched out over night.

I tried it on some experimental spoilers (i.e.: narrow panels in the top of the wing that pop up to "spoil" the airflow in that portion of the wing, to help the plane come down steeper, typically used like a sort of "airbrakes" for landing) in a prototype sailplane wing. These particular spoilers were opened by one small spring, about like a ball-point pen spring, in each of the two spoiler panels. A cable of Fireline ran from each spoiler panel to a servo to pull them closed. The Fireline saw the continuous tension of the spring when the spoilers were closed. The system worked well, except that the cold flow in the Fireline caused the spoilers to be about halfway open every morning. I typically had to readjust the cables before every flight.

The stress on a Spectra tail gut and the effect of cold flow on tuning on the violin could be expected to be much worse than either of these examples.

Quote
No telling what they're using for the tailcords, then.  I wonder if acrylic in microfiber/superbraid form would have any flow or creep issues. 

All materials cold flow to some extent. Plastics in general, especially thermoplastics (i.e.: plastics that melt when heated, like the polyethylene that Spectra is made from), tend to creep faster for a given stress than other materials. Acrylic would be better than Spectra, probably similar to nylon (like what most synthetic tail guts are made from). In both of those, I doubt that the stretch in service would be sufficient to significantly alter the afterlength setting of the tailpiece. Theoretically the nylon tail guts we normally use do creep in service, but personally I'm skeptical about claims that it's anywhere near enough to significantly alter the vioin's setup. Sounds to me like advertising hype.

Thermoset plastics (i.e.: plastics that don't melt when heated, but just chemically break down, such as epoxy, or aramids like Kevlar) tend to creep less than thermoplastic materials, though still more than things like the common structural metals.

However, even things like metal or glass creep under load. Turbine blades in jet engines stretch over time in service, and one of the criteria for deciding when to replace them is whether they have grown too much in length.

After WW II, there were centuries-old stained glass windows in cathedrals all over Europe that had been damaged by the bombing, and had to be restored. The glass pieces in these windows had been standing vetically for hundreds of years, with gravity acting on their own weight that whole time. The glass had cold-flowed under this small but steady load, to the point that the restorers could measure around the perimeter of each shard with a micrometer and find the thickest edge, which told them which edge was the bottom. This was a significant help in figuring out how to put all the pieces back together.
« Last Edit: Oct 10, 2007, 10:14:08 AM by Don Stackhouse »

 




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