Posted by yellowdog on Thursday, September 7, 2017
A little over a week ago, and I have no idea why, it occurred to me that the design of my Geiger Movable Tone Amp For All Banjos (see the BHO Classifieds under Banjo Accessories) enables the tone amp to be greatly improved simply by bending it along two bend lines. This is because the tone amp has three separate audible sound outputs - low frequencies on the left, high frequencies in the center, and harmonic frequencies on the right. This happy and undeserved realization meant the outer two outputs of audible sound from the tone amp could be "aimed" at the center output to cause all of them to intersect and be amplified. (Amplification would occur because sound waves in air, just like sound surface waves on surfaces, which have the same or similar frequencies and meet coming from from different directions, will amplify when they meet. This principle of physics, called "constructive inteference", is why music sounds so beautiful in a concert hall, and why everyone thinks that they sound great singing in a shower! (Because they actually do!)
So I did some experimenting to determine how much to bend the left and right sound output planes on my tone amp to get the best sound from my Gibson Mastertone tenor banjo. I got the best sound with the left low frequency plane (the one with the two amplifying staples) bent up 90-degrees, and with the right sound output plane (the one with the steel tone piece and "harmonic loudspeaker") bent up 30-degrees. When I finished this bending experiment the lows from my banjo were incredibly rich and loud (and never were before this improvement) and the highs were crystal clear and ringing with nice sustain. I wondered why I hadn't thought of this simple improvement before, since everyone knows that beautiful sound is 3-D, not 2-D! Why in the world did I even design a 2-D tone amp in the first place? Duh? (No, ...Duuummmb.)
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