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Thread: Overtones

  1. #1
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    I have seen several mandolins with rubber gromets? on each pair of strings between the bridge and tail piece. Well I cant find them anywhere. Any info out there?
    Thanks in advance.

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    Steven Stone said he had them again in the classifieds, or PM him......

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    Registered User Bruce Evans's Avatar
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    I've held my tounge in the past, but that was the past.

    Those grommets do not prevent "ovetones". Overtones are the higher harmonics which give any instrument (or voice) its characteristic tone and richness of sound.

    The grommets prevent sympathetic resonance of sections of strings which are not intended to resonate.

    The correct term is sympathetic resonance, or wolf tones, or rogue tones, or several other names which I have heard, but do not recall right now. But the unwanted vibration of the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece absolutely are not overtones. If your grandfather or favorite player or well known luthier told you that's what they are, they are wrong. Go ahead and flame me, but overtones is the wrong term.

    Bruce

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    Registered User Mike Buesseler's Avatar
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    You can find out in another thread here that those grommets are available from Radio Shack, in an assortment package for about $2. #They work great, look cool. #You could also take my word for it.

    OR, you could check out Weber Mandolin's (STE) Wood Nymph, which does the same thing, looks even cooler, PLUS gives your hand a nice smooth surface to glide over just behind the bridge.

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    But if you put felt or leather under the tailpiece, do you still need the grommets?

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    Registered User Steven Stone's Avatar
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    [The correct term is sympathetic resonance, or wolf tones, or rogue tones, or several other names which I have heard, but do not recall right now. But the unwanted vibration of the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece absolutely are not overtones. If your grandfather or favorite player or well known luthier told you that's what they are, they are wrong. Go ahead and flame me, but overtones is the wrong term.]

    I couldn't have said it better myself.

    My grommets do exactly this, better IMHO than Rat Shacks'vinyl units do. Mine are rubber. Also my package of ten grommets all fit properly. Instead of a random selection, where most can't be used, you get 10 grommets that all work.

    Rat Shack's packs are only $2 (plus tax), but when you add in time and gas and wear and tear on your car and self driving to and from the mall,I think my grommets, at $3.75 (plus a stamp to send me a check) or $3.99 through paypal are not any more expensive.But for folks who don't think their time is worth anything, then TS grommets are cheaper.

    Some folks would rather slip in a piece of leather or a rawhide strap under their strings. That's their choice.I used to do that, but I make my grommets available because I think they are the best solution to the problem. They are certainly cheaper than Weber's $14 wood nymph.

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    Or you can just rest your hand on the strings just behind the bridge. #Personally I don't know why anyone needs those grommet things. Even if I play with my hand off of the ridge I can't hear the strings vibrating. #Now,my Breedlove has a piece of felt between the strings and the tailpiece cover to keep the tailpiece cover from vibrating, maybe that piece of felt also mutes that section of string behind the bridge.




  8. #8
    Registered User Steven Stone's Avatar
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    [Now,my Breedlove has a piece of felt between the strings and the tailpiece cover to keep the tailpiece cover from vibrating, maybe that piece of felt also mutes that section of string behind the bridge. ]

    Well, now, you COULD remove the felt and see how it sounds and then you'd know for sure. Then you might begin to understand the principles of sympathetic vibration cancellation instead of assuming it does not exist.Folks used to think the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe too.

    I think the felt probably does some muting. But resting your hands on the strings is a great way to develop some really bad mando technique, but it's your body...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by
    I think the felt probably does some muting. But resting your hands on the strings is a great way to develop some really bad mando technique
    It's probably a better description to say that I lightly rest my hand just barely behind the bridge. If it was exactly on the bridge my palm would be muting the strings. The technique seems to be exactly what Chris Thile suggest as the correct technique on his DVD.

    Now if you mean resting your hand on farther back then yes, I can see how that would cause big problems with your technique. And as I said, perhaps the piece of felt under the tailpiece cover is doing the same thing that the grommets are suppose to do. But at least the piece of felt can't be seen. Those grommets look so tacky.

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    Registered User Steven Stone's Avatar
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    [Those grommets look so tacky. ]

    I would have written IMHO (in my humble opinion)

    I happen to think they look really cool IMHO, of course

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    Registered User f5loar's Avatar
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    They do look cool! What if you use the leather under tailpiece, felt under your stings at the point it rest on tailpiece, felt on top of strings as you slid cover up and the little gorrmets? That should kill the wolfe tones totatlly!
    Steve what's your PayPal address to buy them for $3.99?
    And discounts for 30 or more?

  12. #12

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    Those are just regular ol' grommets. Available at Radio Shack! They sell an "assortment", but you'll only use the smallest size on mando. Mouser Electronics has em by 1, 10 or 100 (or more) cheap. Online at http://www.mouser.com

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    Ben Beran Dfyngravity's Avatar
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    You can also get them at www.gregboyd.com. I think I have seen them there. But here's what you can also do. Put a piece of leather under the strings where they meet the tailpiece. I also have a long thin strip of leather with velcro on the back(half of it has the male end and the other has the female end). Take that and put half under the strings and then just velcro the other half over the top of the strings inbetween the bridge and tailpiece. This works really well in combo with the leather under the strings at the tailpiece. But truely the unwanted sounds can hardly be heard unless you are doing some recording, in that case I definitly would want to mute those darn unwanted sounds. Well hope this helps a little.

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