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Dec 8, 2022 - 5:42:35 PM

554 posts since 11/10/2022

How many decimals does that dB scale go to. 3dB is double the volume. What i heard was less than 1dB or 26% increase. Probably 0.1 dB .

But it maybe just a timbre thing too.

Dec 8, 2022 - 6:19:45 PM
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Alex Z

USA

5180 posts since 12/7/2006

3 dB is double the energy output. The perceived loudness is much less than double. 
 

Hope this helps the discussion of the differences. 

Dec 8, 2022 - 6:28:34 PM

259 posts since 8/12/2019

I love experimenting with this kind of thing—my favorite modification is taking simple rolled ring banjos and doing the brass brad raised hoop / Curtis Electric-ish conversion. They always sound fantastic and it’s absurdly easy to do. (If no one mentioned this yet tag me and I’ll definitely pull up the old instructional links!)

One I just did was installing a wooden ring cut from a trashed 100-year-old maple Buckbee rim in the inner hollow of a cheaper old cast aluminum pot. I mated a banjitar neck to it and it sounds FANTASTIC. That was also raised on brass brads (contacting the aluminum).

Currently obsessed with the Dobson conversion where you slip a donut ring over an old spunover pot—11” is the standard but I had a double spun 10 3/4” Supertone pot and an old May Bell pot with the Bacon ring, so I was able to do a 10 3/4” conversion using the May Bell tension hoop and a cute Supertone (R&L) five string neck. This is on the bench and I’m really excited to string it up!

I also love playing with bridge materials—especially putting bone caps on hardwood for quieter nylon strung banjos. It really helps them project a little better.

And of course I love to play with damping using my invention The Dapper Dampener. Finding the sweet spot on any new banjo is always very gratifying!

(Edited for redundancy!)

Edited by - thefoxden on 12/08/2022 18:29:41

Dec 8, 2022 - 6:37:38 PM

259 posts since 8/12/2019

I need to learn to read threads before I post on them. I’m never going to get that 15 minutes back.

Dec 8, 2022 - 8:01:28 PM

554 posts since 11/10/2022

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

3 dB is double the energy output. The perceived loudness is much less than double. 
 

Hope this helps the discussion of the differences. 


You bring up a good point in i cant figure out what ratio was used for DB.  Any ratio can be dB'd.  I assumed that apple app used voltage ratio which is proportional to sound, but if it is a power ratio then it is a sqrt proportion.  Energy implies an integral  of power, its probably not that but yeah, your right.  It could be much less.

Nothing is easy apparantly.

Edited by - NotABanjoYoda on 12/08/2022 20:02:06

Dec 8, 2022 - 8:10:38 PM
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drdaveH

USA

61 posts since 8/11/2022

This seems like pseudo physics to me. You want to increase perceived sound, why not stick a few 3x5 cards around the rim, at the bottom and lower half. The sound will reflect off the cards back to your ear. Then go audition at the grand Ol’ Opry…

Dec 8, 2022 - 8:24:27 PM

554 posts since 11/10/2022

quote:
Originally posted by drdaveH

This seems like pseudo physics to me. You want to increase perceived sound, why not stick a few 3x5 cards around the rim, at the bottom and lower half. The sound will reflect off the cards back to your ear. Then go audition at the grand Ol’ Opry…


I prefer mike and amp through a mixer.  This thread is about a very specific experiment that yellowdog suggested.  and it will be my last btw Im willing to engage in.

Been to the Oprey btw.  Well, the post fire version.  Grew up in Clarksville.  It was a twice a year thang...

Dec 8, 2022 - 11:09:52 PM
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259 posts since 8/12/2019

I’m genuinely confused by the amount of serious and scientific responses. This is a facetious jibe at the magical thinking of musical instrument construction and set up embellishments from Guarneri to Gibson right?

Please tell me all the sincerity is in good humor and not to refract the spyro-acoustic geometrical patterns back into the wave frequency counter-balances of the intrinsic micro-intonational intervals that directly effect tonal grain disturbances in the ruptural amplitudes of 1934 sapwood (or 1978 depending on your altitude) via homstrom giga-micro field drifts of underamplified megalacitudinal triportulated businesscardnomitry?! (Depending on the length of your fingernails and your birthday of course...)

Dec 9, 2022 - 10:59:56 AM

492 posts since 7/20/2007

I woke up this morning regretting that I had recommended the business card amplifier because it isn't ideal and some couldn't hear the difference when they tried it. My apologies to all who tried it and were disappointed. I should have recommended an octagon instead of a rectangle because there are many more amplifying SAWS intersections of similar frequencies on an octagon.

So the first thing I did after getting up was to cut an octagon from a sheet of very small octagons, (1-1/4 inches point to opposite point), which I had made some time ago and taped it, top and bottom, to the side edge of the peg head of my Gibson tenor. Farther down the side of the peg head I taped a 1 x 3/8 inch rectangle of soft steel .007 inches thick, again taped top and bottom to the side of the peg head. The steel rectangle was to give a loud, bright, and metallic timbre to the sound of the banjo..

I played the banjo and the sound was just as I expected - very loud and bright. - A great "knock-em-dead" show-stopping sound. (Or would be if this was 1927!)

It is easy to make an octagon. I recommend making one a little larger. Find something like a large bottle cap or coin 1-1/2 inches in diameter and use it to trace a circle on a piece of smooth, thick paper. Next draw a square around the circle so that the square touches the circle at the mid-points of the sides of the square. Those four points will be on the octagon so you need four more points. Next connect the opposite corners of the square with diagonal lines. Those lines will intersect the circle in four places and those points of intersection will be the remaining four corners of the octagon. Connect the eight points with straight lines and cut it out. Before you cut it out it may not look like an octagon but it will when you rotate it 15 degrees. (You will see that it is an octagon as soon as you cut it out.)

I took a picture of this knock-em-dead amp combination and the pic is showing under "Your Attachments" , so I assume that it will appear if I push the button titled "Post Reply". So here goes.


 

Dec 10, 2022 - 12:35:41 PM

3598 posts since 10/17/2009

quote:
Originally posted by NotABanjoYoda

Its a difficult thing. I believe I heard effects of device on all but one, where it was more the effect of takes.

Of course we screwed the pooch for everyone by posting what we hear when we should email you our answers so as to not bias others.

I would suggest playing the same fret patterns 6 times all the way through each time. Make 2,3 or 4 of them with the device but dont tell us how many of the 6. Post all 6. Then have everyone pm you which ones they think were with the device. Compile the answers for a week then post results. Start a new thread so others will participate.

I think the useful numbers will be
1) % of people that hear no differences at all
2) % of people that get it perfectly right
3) % correct overall

But playing something like a 2 string scale will make it easier on the player to remain consistent.


Not sure I grasp why think test needs to be different, or what point would be? Or perhaps you are misunderstanding what this is testing? This is not a contest to see how many can get right; or who has exceptional or super human hearing, or some nth degree hair splitting of .1 dB.

Simply as mentioned numerous times in this and previous threads, there was lack of anyone (esp OP) providing solid evidence to support rather extraordinary claims about  improving the sound.  It's one thing to just make a claim, or what believe; it's another to see how stands up to evidence, like basic blind A/B test... if even noticeably effect sound at, what degree, if all. (or was just based on hype, myth, wishful imagination, using eyes?).  At very least gives folks an ability to judge merits for themselves. (method can be applied to other sonic aspects, like strings, bridges, PU, cables) 

 

All the examples were playing the same fret pattern.  For each the same fret pattern was repeated 5-7 times in one session, as a loop. I remained seated in same spot thru process, a few takes with, then simply took the card off and played a few takes without. I used a ORTF microphone set up (w/matched cardioid pair condensers), in order to get fairly wide field; though one example was wider using more of NOS. Tried not to change position, keeping distance/angle in room and to mics as close to same as possible. (a slight change in position will effect the recording to some degree). Fairly untreated small room, with fairly close near field early reflection, which IMO should perhaps emphasize differences that would exist. Again, I didn't process or adjust any of the files.

It's a given, that each performance is going to be sonically slightly different; no matter how perfect, even if playing scales. Part of the reason I chose this fairly standard method was to accommodate this, multiple takes with and without; overlapped on timeline; soloing between takes at random points. Based on extraordinary claims of noticeable improvement, it should be beyond what would expect from just swap of differences of performance takes. EVERY take swap transition between with/without effect of device should be stand out and noticed. Missed transitions are telling... indicate no noticeable difference, debunking merit to claims. 

Its a difficult thing. I believe I heard effects of device on all but one, where it was more the effect of takes.

That's the point of blind A/B test. It's not a matter of what an individual believes they can hear... it's having evidence whether they actually can. 

It doesn't need to be secret ballot, and reporting feedback; both positive and negative; is useful for others, to compare if it's just their hearing inability. As well gives actual science/evidence based inventors useful information (taking away their bias, maybe they are getting things wrong?)

So far no one has demonstrated they can differentiate in any reasonably accurate way.

 

(FWIW, that's only the first part of the testing hypothesis and claims).

Dec 10, 2022 - 12:58:31 PM

3598 posts since 10/17/2009

quote:
Originally posted by Tim Mullins

I tried testing yellowdog 's device on a Gibson Mastertone. I played FMB once through without the business card and used a dB Volume iPhone app to measure the loudness at 12 inches from the strings to the iPhone mic. I got 96dB. I then repeated the same thing with the card taped to the side of the peghead in the manner of yellow dog's picture. I got 96 dB. To me, there was no perceptible difference in volume or timbre.


I applaud you for testing and looking for evidence. 

But as mentioned before, this is about how it sounds; ears are overall better judge that eyes... which this kind of illustrates. Not sure what the image is really telling, if the 96 dB is the loudest peak, or some averaged over whole time; is based on few frequencies? Really the dB changes constantly as you play, if you was to put in on a graph 20-20K Hz... and watched over time... would see dB going up and down over time, and at different frequencies. Even with that, visual comparing gets kind of complicated.

However; with your iphone, you can do a similar test as I did, record each, keep in mind to minimize variables, like distance and angle in banjo to phone. Then set up some blind listen to A vs B. Maybe have partner control swap between so you don't know which. As well, using iphone app, like Garage Band, or Band Lab (also as web browser) can time align each take on top of each other, then swap between mute/solo. (provided play at same tempo, to a click helps).

Feel free to post the files, to get blind feedback what others can hear.

Dec 10, 2022 - 1:19:40 PM

3598 posts since 10/17/2009

quote:
Originally posted by NotABanjoYoda

How many decimals does that dB scale go to. 3dB is double the volume. What i heard was less than 1dB or 26% increase. Probably 0.1 dB .

But it maybe just a timbre thing too.


The reference quantity is the smallest pressure change detectable by the ear (hearing threshold), 20 µPa in air. The dB is ratio between two quantities on a logarithmic scale, (as mentioned there are other dB references, so have to pay attention to which). For overall perceived loudness; typically would refer to dBA as it's weighted to human hearing; and varies depending on frequency. 

In context of music, for amplitude, the JND limen for humans, is stated around 1 dB.

I think in the context of this discussion, it's about typical human perception how it sounds in music; not really necessary to get down to the nth degree. Importantly, start running into much more complicated effects that would overwhelm any 0.1 dB difference in air... for example the degree a small difference in distance/angle from source to mic can have, following inverse square; amplitude, across frequencies (affecting timbre); compounded by environment and where seated in room, reflections (reflective/absorbent/pass); walls, ceiling and near surfaces. People moving in the room, to even things like temperature and air pressure can have effect of more than 0.1 dB.

Edited by - banjoak on 12/10/2022 13:33:03

Dec 10, 2022 - 2:07:02 PM
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533 posts since 1/24/2004

Hi @banjoak,

I also applaud you for doing such an elaborate test.

The dB Volume app has a setting to capture and hold the loudest peak, which is what the 96dB readings were.

I felt that yellowdog's claims of "jaw-dropping," "You will be amazed," "knock-em-dead," etc., sound improvement should be of a measurable magnitude and obvious to hear. In my test, and to my ear, there was no measurable nor perceptible difference.

Dec 10, 2022 - 7:11:34 PM
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492 posts since 7/20/2007

I would be very interested to know how many of those making comments above took the trouble of making an octagon and testing a divice like that shown in my photo above. or are their comments about my business card device.which is much less efficient.

Also, my goal as a solo banjo player and experimenter was to achieve a very good ("pleasing") sound from a banjo. For example, to me, (and probably almost everyone else), the sound of Earl's Mastertone Gibson Banjo was very "pleasing", (but so was John Cali's Vega Vox). But "pleasing" is certainly a judgement call and is almost impossible to measure. My approach to achieve a very good banjo sound was to amplify harmonics which necessarily come with amplified overall volume, but not to just amplify volume.

I'd like to describe my approach to achieve this in more detail here for those interested. The only thing necessary to understand my approach is to recognize that when any audible sound impacts a surface it generates surface acoustic waves (SAWS) that are analogous to the audible sound but can't be heard.

Here is my approach: When the string of a banjo is first plucked a surface acoustic wave is produced on the string. I call this SAWS Generation 1. It travels to the body of the banjo via the bridge and the body produces Audible Sound Generation 1. Audible Sound Generation 1 impacts surfaces in the banjo's sound chamber and produces SAWS Generation 2 on all surfaces of the banjo SAWS generation 2 is much better than SAWS Gen 1 because it includes SAWS containing characteristics from the banjo's materials, craftsmanship, age, etc. SAWS Gen 2 travels to all surfaces of the banjo and enters the open strings at the nut and fingered strings at the fingered lications on the fret board. SAWS Gen 2 replaces SAWS Gen 1 and the banjo sounds much better if it is a good banjo. That much occurs on all banjos.

What my device does, or is meant to do, is to collect the SAWS of Gen 2 on neckwood above the nut, amplify the harmonic frequencies in SAWS Gen 2 using the Physics "Principle of Constructive Interference" to improve ("Plesantness"), and produce SAWS Gen 3 at the open strings at the nut and fingered locations at the frets, (or equivalent fingerboard locations on violins and violas). Then SAWS Gen 3 on the strings travel to the bridge and the body of the banjo banjo converts them into improved Audible Sound Gen 3, Aufible Sound Gen 3 impacts surfaces in the sound chamber which generates SAWS Gen 4 which travel to the peghead, enter my device again and this process is repeated continuously and automatically until notes are changed. Keep in mind that although SAWS move very fast, it is possible that I would hear improvements playing my music on my tenor banjo that would not be heard on a five string banjo playing Bluegrass very fast.

Thanks to all who tried my ideas.

Yellowdog

Dec 13, 2022 - 5:43:21 PM

16 posts since 2/16/2015

Whether you buy into yellowdog's methodology and perceived benefits for your banjo, he's not pulling your chain when it comes to SAW potential, especially in quantum information transfer. For those with sufficient stamina to read all 4 pages of this "discussion", here's a link that might interest you further...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_...stic_wave

and oh, yeah, there's a complementary article on SAW sensors [yes, Virginia, they do exist, although they are usually slightly more complicated than a business card and a piece of tape...

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_...ve_sensor

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Dec 13, 2022 - 6:21:19 PM
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3598 posts since 10/17/2009

Yes, SAWs are areal thing, complex and have specific limed uses; unlikely any involving actual audio/sound; for many reasons.

What yellowdog seems to refer to as SAWs are not what the same. Hard to tell what he is trying to explain, but mostly seems conflating or misunderstanding of how just basic, longitudinal or transverse waves work?

Judging on how describes his sound experimenting, seems mostly noodling,  is not very scientific;  it seem rely on assumptions, or imagination; which seem based on rather thin understanding of the physics of acoustics, how sound works; leading to conflation or misunderstanding of terminology and concepts; even some fundamental principles. The experiments don't take into account neither good testing isolating those individual principles; bias; nor documentation and details; nor that assumptions/understanding concepts could be wrong. He has certainly got many things wrong. FWIW, there are much easier and straightforward tests to help understand sound. 

Similar there are quantum, phonons... but just throwing those science-y terms in doesn't really mean that's what explains on macro level. These are often should raise skepticism red flags (possible marketing hype or pseudoscience); esp if lacking going into or unable much detail; most especially if getting a lot of other fundamental concepts of physics wrong.

Edited by - banjoak on 12/13/2022 18:28:24

Dec 14, 2022 - 6:51:19 AM

2724 posts since 10/17/2013

quote:
Originally posted by banjoak

Yes, SAWs are areal thing, complex and have specific limed uses; unlikely any involving actual audio/sound; for many reasons.

What yellowdog seems to refer to as SAWs are not what the same. Hard to tell what he is trying to explain, but mostly seems conflating or misunderstanding of how just basic, longitudinal or transverse waves work?

Judging on how describes his sound experimenting, seems mostly noodling,  is not very scientific;  it seem rely on assumptions, or imagination; which seem based on rather thin understanding of the physics of acoustics, how sound works; leading to conflation or misunderstanding of terminology and concepts; even some fundamental principles. The experiments don't take into account neither good testing isolating those individual principles; bias; nor documentation and details; nor that assumptions/understanding concepts could be wrong. He has certainly got many things wrong. FWIW, there are much easier and straightforward tests to help understand sound. 

Similar there are quantum, phonons... but just throwing those science-y terms in doesn't really mean that's what explains on macro level. These are often should raise skepticism red flags (possible marketing hype or pseudoscience); esp if lacking going into or unable much detail; most especially if getting a lot of other fundamental concepts of physics wrong.


You hit the nail on the head right there.

No need for me to comment much further, suffice it to say that the way Frank is spinning it, he makes it sound like the banjo will have a drastically noticeable change in volume/tone, simply due to tape and cardstock cut/taped to different locations on the banjo.

 If this were unequivocally true, then why isn't Deering including plastic/cardstock business cards and Scotch Invisible tape w/instructions on how to turn a Goodtime into a Sierra or Rustic Wreath, tonewise?

 At least that's what Frank would have us believing could happen. 

  At no point has Frank hinted that this may be more wishful thinking on his part than he wants to admit, or that he may be exaggerating the results.

Edited by - okbluegrassbanjopicker on 12/14/2022 07:13:26

Dec 14, 2022 - 7:43 AM

554 posts since 11/10/2022

It seems we have solved the mystery of where some of the tech workers went that refuse to re enter the workforce that the news outlets keeps complaining about.

Vaporware physics degrees come with Walmart computers I hear.

Frank is on the tail end of the greatest Generation, a US army vet and where I come from deserves respect. I dont care if he claims shoving a tuning fork where the sun dont shine makes one have perfect pitch. Hua Hua!

Dec 14, 2022 - 7:55:26 AM

492 posts since 7/20/2007

OK, I'll try one more time.

Do you think that the surfaces of musical instruments do not move when the instrument is played when everything in nature is always moving whether you see it moving or not? (If it is not moving it must be at absolute zero.) Pretty cold banjo!

If the surfaces are moving how are they moving? Up and down? What is connecting the up and down? How does the surface move from down to up? Could it be like a wave, smoothly moving up and down?

What kind of wave? It would have to be a wave of energy if the surface is moving since it is not absolute zero.

Where is there any energy on a banjo when it is played?

Mostly on the strings!

Could it be that the the energy on the surfaces of a banjo being played come from the moving strings?

Where else could it come from unless you're singing.

Where is energy on the banjo when it is played and you're not singing?

On the strings!

Would the waves on the surfaces of a banjo be like the waves on the strings?

Why would they be any different?

Good point!

yellowdog

Dec 14, 2022 - 8:21:53 AM

151 posts since 2/7/2017

If you put a tuning fork on your banjo and play, it will seem to add an additional sound which you might perceive as better or louder. No particular reason not to if that's what you like but I think most folks would rather the sound of the banjo be engineered into the banjo itself.

Indian stringed instruments sometimes have an additional gourd resonator at the peghead end so perhaps there is some energy there that can be redirected into sound.

Dec 14, 2022 - 8:31:21 AM

554 posts since 11/10/2022

I like the idea that Gibson had with the trap doo banjo. Allow the use to modulate amplitude between audience and player.

I have one banjo that projects outward very well but if I dont play with a slight tilt, I cant hear it very well while playing with others. I often though of an adjustible double resonator design to slide back and forth on the front of the resonator to allow different levels of reflection. I have ironically got this to work by taping metal in front of the flange holes.

No need to SAW my banjo for that. Simple reflection of sound waves.

Dec 16, 2022 - 10:59:54 AM
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730 posts since 10/23/2003

The most easy improvement I find I can make is to change the strings regularly when they are needed. This is particularly because I like a bright sound to my banjos, which might be because I am a bit hard of hearing. This is the quickest way to improve the sound.  There are a lot of great online video instructions to do that if you need to know how to do it.

The second thing which people neglect is to learn to set the bridge properly. This is not complicated.  There are a number of easy instructions online about how to do this. Earl Scruggs himself set the bridge for his banjos every time he took the banjo out of the case, keeping the bridge flat in the case.

A third thing which I find afflicts new and not so new clawhammer banjo players is keeping the brackets tightened which indicates that I am chiefly talking about open back banjos, but I guess applies to RBs too. There are so many times that I have been confronted with new and not so new banjo players who have brackets that are loose. I was once handed a banjo to play during a presentation at a major state university in Tennessee, where the brackets were falling off.  

There I am talking about keeping them tight enough not to fall off.   Particularly if you have a banjo with skin heads, but also the other kind, it helps to maintain proper head tension.  If you live in a climate like we have in Florida with a lot of humidity and heat, and worse if you are constantly taking the banjo from air conditioned environments out to  the natural climate, pay attention to the head as you may need to loosen it or tighten it, again particularly if you have skin heads. 

I would urge every new banjoist particularly to find a good luthier. We are blessed here in West Palm Beach to have a great banjo luthier at our local music store called the Amp shop. When I buy a new or new to me instrument of any kind, I take it to her even if there is not a problem, and it can be wonderfully improved and she is quite willing to figure out problems for free.

If there is not a good luthier, very many experienced banjoists have a lot experience in setup and adjustment of banjos. New players should not be shy. I played the guitar only until I was 53, 22 years ago. I continue to be shocked at the generosity and kindness and good advice experienced banjoists have given me about maintaining and adjusting my banjos or finding good banjos at a good price when my finances were not good.  

Of course, especially if you are new, you also have to avoid the experienced banjoists who will come up to you every time they see you and recommend you change everything,  your bridge, the strings you use, your toothpaste, and more.  I had one guy do that every time he saw me when I just started out playing a Good time 23 years ago.  

But the best thing is to find another banjoist right where you live to ask for ideas.  Like I say banjo people around the country and beyond have been so generous and helpful to me even when I was new to the banjo and worse than brand new person, had every wrong idea guitar players have about banjos.

Thanks.

Edited by - writerrad on 12/16/2022 11:10:04

Dec 19, 2022 - 8:34:58 PM

204 posts since 4/19/2011

? ???????? ???, ??????? ???? ?? ????????? ?? ??????? ??? ??.

Dec 19, 2022 - 8:36:20 PM
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204 posts since 4/19/2011

Estoy asombrado por la increíble cantidad de tiempo dedicado a hablar de esto.

Dec 19, 2022 - 8:44:35 PM

554 posts since 11/10/2022

quote:
Originally posted by Tom Meisenheimer

Estoy asombrado por la increíble cantidad de tiempo dedicado a hablar de esto.


All languages in Google translate cant be pasted in all ascii based text.  Now that was a waste of time. 

Edited by - NotABanjoYoda on 12/19/2022 20:47:11

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