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  #1  
Old 04-02-2017, 07:54 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Default Suppressing Afterlength Harmonics/Resonance

A lot of archtop mandolin family instrument players use leather straps or rubber grommets in the strings between the bridge and tailpiece (known as the afterlength). Some, like Mike Marshall do this in the area between the nut and tuner posts as well (forelength?). This dampens those parts of the strings to prevent vibration and unwanted tone. This is never done on orchestral strings, where the tailpiece is adjusted to make the afterlength 1/6 of the scale length. I don't think I've ever seen this done on an archtop guitar. Does anyone know why or why not? Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:22 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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I really do not have a clue about this kind of stuff. But I do know somebody who switched out the tailpiece on his guitar for a longer one which I assume was to lessen the string length between the tailpiece and the bridge and another who uses a leather bootlace as a dampener.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:45 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
...This is never done on orchestral strings...
Actually, it is - from Wikipedia:

Quote:
Wolf tones are usually only noticed on bowed instruments, most notably the violin family, since the tones produced are played for much longer periods, and thus are easier to hear. Frequently, the wolf is present on or in between the pitches E and F♯ on the cello, and around G♯ on the double bass. A wolf can be reduced or eliminated with a piece of equipment called a wolf tone eliminator. This is a metal tube and mounting screw with an interior rubber sleeve, that fits around the offending string below the bridge. Different placements of this tube along the string influence or eliminate the frequency at which the wolf occurs. It is essentially an attenuator that slightly shifts the natural frequency of the string (and/or instrument body) cutting down on the reverberation.
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:31 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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The overall length of the strings (above the nut and below the bridge) affects what Ken Parker (and I) call dynamic tension. That is the change in tension as the string is fretted or bent. Long overall length strings feel softer when playing than strings that have no after-length (like a strat with locking nut, for example) but very short overall length strings bend notes more effectively. It's a subtle difference, but it's there. I am currently building a new neck for one of my archtops that is more of an electric guitar with a 6 on a side tuner setup like Parker's, to see what happens...

Sympathetic resonance from the afterlength is a thing with archtops. I quite like it, the more noise the better for me, and that echo/reverb is what I associate with an acoustic archtop. It's really common to see strips of felt wound through the strings to deaden the afterlength, and Herb Ellis used a string damper just below the nut to dampen all open strings. He never played open strings, I guess, and didn't want them to resonate at all.
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Old 04-04-2017, 07:58 AM
Jabberwocky Jabberwocky is offline
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Yeah, archtop guitarists weave wool yarn or a strip of felt between the strings or wedge something soft between the strings and the top.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:01 AM
Jabberwocky Jabberwocky is offline
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Cris Mirabella of NYC makes a version of the George Van Eps/Pat Farrand String Damper that Herb Ellis used. Scotty Moore (RIP) used them, too.

There is the Jennifer Batten String Damper. And hair scrunchies achieve the same effect just a little before the nut.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:00 PM
Pnewsom Pnewsom is offline
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I use a length of leather boot lace woven loosely through the strings right at the tail piece, leaving the space up to the bridge clear. Gets rid of high pitched overtones.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:17 PM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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Velcro wire ties work great for damping.
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