Polish that bore!

Discussion in 'Tárogató' started by kymarto, May 6, 2016.

  1. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Just thought I'd pass this on. I recently got a new Stowasser tárogató, which turns out to be quite different than my other one. Luckily the top tenons match so I can use the same mpcs on both.

    The new one has a narrower bore, and so as expected it offers a bit more resistance and has a brighter timbre. However even though my original horn has a "rounder" sound, it also sounds very clear. The new horn sounded a bit woody. Not bad, but not as clear.

    Checking the bores, I noticed that the new one was not nearly as smooth as my first one. This is not to say that it was rough or uneven, Just not as polished.

    As an experiment I decided to polish it. I took a rod and put some thick, sticky double-sided rubber tape on one end. I first attached 480 grit sandpaper and sanded until it was evenly smooth inside, then switched to #1200 to get it shiny. I had to use a flute cleaning rod to do this in the top of the bore. All together this took about 15 minutes.

    To my surprise this made a significant difference in both timbre and response. The increased resistance of the smaller bore horn is still there, but it has taken the "fuzz" off. It seems louder for the same amount of air put in, and it has increased edge.

    Some may question whether this is desirable in a tárogató, but with original low baffle mpcs it gives some extra presence and is certainly nicer to play. Better response is never a bad thing IMO.

    I mention this because I know that many tárogaók have rather rough bores. If you have one like that I don't think it could hurt to do this. This is not about changing the bore profile; rather smoothing out the one that is already there. Acoustically this reduces viscous losses at the walls, especially for the higher partials.

    The difference is not night and day, but it is nice :)
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Years ago I did similar experiments on sax necks. This was the time when Cannonball started using wire brushes to scour the inside of the necks.

    I had noticed that my Selmer Paris necks had non-smooth patterned surfaces. I originally noticed this when moisture on Selmer Paris necks wouldn't just roll out as compared to smoothness of other necks. And the asian imports which were water pressure created were smooth as glass. And those I tested with roughing up.
    I tend not to favor the super smooth bore surface with saxes.
    On clarinets though I prefer the smoother bore surfaces.
     
  3. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I agree that if a horn is bright to begin with, you may not want to make it brighter. The added efficiency is not really a big deal, because generally by blowing a little harder you can get to the same level. Some people might like the extra resistance. On the other hand, I've played tárogatós that had extremely rough bores, with a loud but rather fuzzy and unfocused sound, and I think those could generally be improved by smoothing the bore.
     
  4. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    I wonder if it also has something to do with how big the instrument is. If you consider that the tried and true method of helping with low notes on an alto and lower saxophone is tossing a wine cork or plastic mouthpiece guard in the bell, you could consider that as "roughing up the bore." I also remember seeing Mark VI horns with a "spoiler" in the bow, which probably worked on the same principle.

    It'd also be an interesting thing to test on a non-conical bore instrument. Steve mentions the clarinet: non conical bore.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Clarinet CE/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    From what I recall in my experiments.

    on saxes, the rougher the internal neck, increased resistance a bit, but higher partials were reduced, and thus a darker overall tone was created.
    I really preferred the textured neck bore from my Selmers - it was like the "happy" medium. But then I was used to the tone and the instruments too.

    The CB I had included 2 necks, One roughened up the other not. Excluding one was silver plated the other was lacquered sprayed I excluded in my thinking. As the internal structure was changed. I preferred the roughened up neck for a darker tone.
    Truthfully I preferred the Yamaha 875 to the CB in all regards except $$

    But sax resistance has a couple other factors. The neck (at the mouthpiece) opening diameter and also the size of the octave pip. Response between registers also is correlated to the diameter of the neck (and body) octave pip opening, and let's not forget the mpc, reed and players embouchure/skill.

    Everything we talk about is mute if the player pinches.

    On clarinet, roughed up bores can create problems. If I recall I had intonation problems after the fact. Not to mention you create pockets were water can stay which in temperature variant climates frozen water expands. Not good. But for lack of better words, for "smoothness" of playing the smoother bore clarinet I found much better. My experience only used one barrel and one quick test so nothing significant. It was like "eww" and I put it aside and end of experiment.

    I also recall playing an early Selmer 55 clarinet which has a big nut protruding into the bore. The clarinet had the largest resistance of any that I can recall. ==> http://www.clarinetperfection.com/galleryclar/SelmerParis/55/02.jpg
     
  6. kymarto

    kymarto Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    No, it's apples and oranges. A spoiler or a cork in the bow reduces the bore diameter at that point, so that is an actual perturbation, which affects the nodes of the standing wave. There is a wall boundary effect in which molecules of air are slowed near the wall, losing energy to viscous losses at the boundary. When you consider that 99% of the energy going in to a wind instrument is lost at the wall boundary, you can see how smoothing it (which effectively reduces the surface area in which molecules are affected) could be significant.
     

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