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Recent Improvements To Geiger Movable Tone Amplifier For All Banjos

Posted by yellowdog on Monday, July 10, 2017


Recently I made several improvements to the tone amp and would like to tell you about them.

The first improvement wasn't my idea but was suggested jointly by my first customer and his friend.  They suggested that i consider making a holder to attach the tone amp to the banjo rim, perhaps with Velcro, so that it would not be damaged swinging inside the banjo when traveling, etc.  I told them that I thought the suggestion was a great idea and I would get right to work on it.  After giving it some thought and scratching several rough designs I realized that I was in luck because the tone amp would fit into a small manila coin envelope and cutting off one end would make the perfect pocket for the tone amp.  I immediately bought a case of coin envelopes, ordered 1/4-Inch Velcro dots and bought full page plastic label making sheets to put instruction labels on the envelopes.  Two staples on the envelope act as stops to keep the tone amp at the right depth in the envelope to keep the tone amp's tape from sticking to the envelope.  I named it, "Tone Amp Travel Caddy".  The Travel Caddy not only protects the tone amp from damage it eliminates the need for the player to un-stick the tone amp's tape before travel and re-stick it at the destination.  Tomorrow I plan to take a photo to post here and to make two tone amps and travel caddies as gifts for the thoughtful customers who suggested it.

A little over a week ago I made a change to the tone amp's tape that covers the cross, specifically to extend it down into the body of the tone amo so that its bottom edge is almost tangent to the top edge of the first small hole.  This is the area which contains three tiny, connected cantilever shapes believed to vibrate at harmonic frequencies.  This idea makes sense if you believe, as I do, that sound surface waves travel in the tapes adhesive layer between the tape's plastic and the tone amp's heavy paper body.  In my mind this design change was going to dump a "ton" of surface wave energy on these tiny harmonic frequency emitters.  When I played the banjo I could hardly believe the loud volume and the high notes literally screamed! I knew I had to send one right away to Pierre Bastide in France who had expressed an interest in using 30 tone amps at the large La Roche Bluegrass Festival in his Bluegrass workshop in August.  He had one of the earlier tone amps and I wanted him to hear this one and to tell me what he thought.

Yesterday, I decided that I enjoyed playing the original tone amp design much more than the "super screamer" which, admitedly was fun on some jazz tunes played at full volume.  And today I decided to send Pierre the design that I had selected as "standard" because that was the one I preferred to play.  When I finished typing my letter to Pierre I cheched my email and saw that I had just received an email from him. He had tried the "screamer" that I had sent him and had come to the same conclusions that I had.  He wrote that the new design "was very powerful" and "good for a crazy bluegrass jam at a crazy bluegrass festival!"  He didn't say so but I think he would agree with me that the "screamer" would eventually give the banjo player and everyone else a headache!  I mailed him my favorite design in one of the new "Travel Caddy" holders and with the last improvement described below.

The last recent improvement was to eliminate the single staple on the lower right of the tone amp.  Comparison tests showed that this staple, which carried sound surface waves from the back surface to the front surface, degraded sound quality. - Probably because of phase delay cancellations given its location with the high frequences in this area in the polygon "loudspeaker".  But for whatever reason the banjo sounded much better without this staple.

What a week!

(Added July 14,2017):  The very large increase in volume from the "Blaster" Tone Amp for All Banjos, (I had changed the name from "Screamer" to "Blaster" because"Screamer" didn't fit on the tone amp), gave me the idea that it might work on a guitar.  So I bent the "Blaster" 90-degrees down where the end of the cross joins the body of the tone amp, taped the cross in the usual manner to the upper bout of my Baby Taylor guitar with four strings tuned in fifths so I could play it.  The body of the tone amp extended into the sound hole.  Then I played it.  I noticed that the volume from the guitar increased and the sound was clearer.  So I changed the wording on the tone amp again from, "For All Banjos", to read, "For Banjos and Guitars".  The improvement on the guitar isn't as dramatic as on a banjo so I don't plan to market it to guitar players, but to let banjo players who also play acoustic guitar know that they should try this.  They might like it as much as I did.

I did something else today related to the new "Travel Caddy" that is interesting.  I played my banjo forgetting to first remove the Tone Amp from the Travel Caddy and found that it had a very pleasing, slightly muted sound that was perfect for playing the banjo in the wee hours of the morning.  It made me recall the tiny early transistor Japanese radios that sounded better inside a small cardboard box than they did on a table. - Because the Tone Amp was still working inside the Travel Caddy's manila envelope, and the Travel Caddy was, like the cardboard box, vibrating its stiff envelope and creating soft sounding, amplified low frequencies. Some good advice for "night owls": Leave your Tone Amp" in  its Travel Caddy when you practice in the middle of the night. You will probably like the sound as much as I did.

Be sure to click on the "Photos" button that is above my picture to see photos of the new "Blaster" and also the "Travel Caddy" in my Gibson.

3 comments on “Recent Improvements To Geiger Movable Tone Amplifier For All Banjos”

screen23 Says:
Thursday, July 13, 2017 @12:11:41 AM

Many a times we have been thinking to generate the hack pokemon go online and we can have the pokecoins and pokeballs.

yellowdog Says:
Thursday, July 13, 2017 @7:35:23 AM

I didn't understand screen23's comment so clicked on his handle to see who he or she is and learned that his account has been locked by a moderator. (No surprise there.) So I'll use this space to bring you up to date on my plans for the "Super Screamer" - the "super loud" modified Tone Amp design which Pierre in France described as "very powerful. As of right now it is a new product offered at the same price as the regular Tone Amp and is used the same way. It looks slightly different, however, with a red stripe at the lower right instead of blue and with the name " The Blaster" added on the left side of the body. ("Screamer" had one too many letters to fit.) For laughs it will come with an unsigned written pledge for the owner to be merciful to fellow musicians and especially to horn players because "The Blaster" can be heard over their horns. (Well, almost.) In other words, if you play "The Blaster" at full volume during a gig I wouldn't walk home alone.

jason007 Says:
Sunday, January 14, 2018 @10:07:01 AM

You can get if you visit the website.It will give you Dollars into your paypal account.

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