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Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials

 
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Dean Del Béne
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PostPosted: 2011-03-28, 02:20    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

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Calling all Tone Scientists to peer review an experiment first published on March 5th in tone comparison for shakuhachi materials presented with mp3s and videos at this link:

http://forums.fluteportal.com/index.php?showtopic=6799

Please post your preference or observations.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-03-28, 06:41    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

Dean,

I have listened to your recordings. You write the bore of the two flutes are identical. How are they identical? Are they cast bores? Have they been made in a mechanical way so the maker can ensure they are totally the same shape and he has done nothing manually?

It's an interesting project. I hear some differences, but not sure it is due to the material itself or it is the player that plays differently even though there might only be a few minutes between the recording. I am not sure either if the two types of wood make enough a difference on the sound. In my experience it is surely the bore shape that also have an influence on the sound, so it is interesting to try with two identical bore shapes.

I find the second flute has - what I will describe as - a warmer sound... but again I am not sure it is the material or the playing. Could very well be the shape of the utaguchi. Are the utaguchi identical?

Are you going to put the recording into some sound analysis program?
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-03-28, 07:21    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

I have 3 of them here, one is mine and the other two are to show students. They are all made from different wood. A violin maker with a pretty good ear came in and said he thought they all sounded remarkably similar (and good) but we both agreed upon which one we thought was the outlier. It was the one made out of the lightest wood.
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2011-03-28, 07:47    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

That's interesting! Nice experiment!
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Dean Del Béne
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PostPosted: 2011-03-28, 12:50    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

Thanks, Kiku. Colyn crafted and measured these identical bores/utaguchis. I'll defer to his technical explanations of the interesting particulars. The cedar is amazingly light, and the purpleheart surprisingly heavy, I'll weigh them out for exact measurement. You would feel a ready difference. I guess the extreme contrast for wood would be between balsa and lignum vitae :-) if that were possible.
Which program do you prefer for analysis?
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Colyn Petersen
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PostPosted: 2011-03-28, 14:21    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

The bores are made with reamers. The only way they would differ besides texturally, due to the different wood, is how far one pushes the reamers in. In this instance, tape was placed on the reamers at the stopping point so each one was inserted the same depth. The utaguchi were within three thousandths of an inch in depth and the angles were determined by a fixture I made which insures each one is the same. The chimney height at the holes as well as the diameter of the holes is the same. Each bore was sealed and given 4 coats of waxed shellac. As much as is possible by me, they are the same only differing in materials. I am aware that this does not meet the specifications nor the desired sample size of a more rigorous experiment. It was done for fun as well as for curiosity's sake. If anyone has a 2X2X24" piece of balsa wood, I'll try to dig up the same in lignum vitae.
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Michael Komatsuzen
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PostPosted: 2011-03-28, 20:37    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

Thanks for the experiment and for posting the impressions. Interesting.
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x moran
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PostPosted: 2011-03-30, 04:42    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

Colyn Petersen wrote:
It was done for fun as well as for curiosity's sake.


Good to remember that motivation!

Thanks Colyn and Dean. This is really exciting stuff for new shakuhachi players in particular.

I think it would be quite interesting to hear these same two flutes in a master Kinko player's hands and a master KSK person's hands and a Tozan master's hands so we could hear the shakuhachi in different approaches, different tone production styles.

Perhaps people who have already purchased a Shin-Sei could record them along side their favorite bamboo 1.8? That would be interesting if anyone wanted to contribute that.

For me, the difference in weight can make a big impression on a person's playing as it effects the way they hold the instrument. Too heavy can cause too much muscle stress. Too light might also be an issue for someone (not me).

Colyn, are all your flutes the same circumference at the middle of the instrument? Thanks again, guys. --x.
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Colyn Petersen
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PostPosted: 2011-03-30, 14:13    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

x-man, I can change the thickness in the middle of the flute and actually choose my hole diameter to a degree. 1.350" gives me a .420 hole and 1.375" gets a .4375"etc....
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Dean Del Béne
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PostPosted: 2011-04-02, 18:11    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

The weights for the two flutes used in the comparison:

Purpleheart 369.6 grams

Eastern red cedar 198.8 grams

Eastern red cedar is one of the few woods listed in hardness/density charts that falls within the same range as bamboo.

Brian, do you have a scale in the tea shop to weigh the grenadilla, madrone and bloodwood? Just curious, thanks!
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Brian Tairaku Ritchie
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PostPosted: 2011-04-02, 23:33    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

Dean Del Béne wrote:


Brian, do you have a scale in the tea shop to weigh the grenadilla, madrone and bloodwood? Just curious, thanks!


I am on the road. Maybe Colyn has those figures?


Last edited by Brian Tairaku Ritchie on 2011-04-03, 00:27; edited 1 time in total
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Colyn Petersen
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PostPosted: 2011-04-03, 00:05    Post subject: Experiment In Tone Comparison For Shakuhachi Materials Reply with quote

The Madrone was 260g and If I remember correctly the bloodwood was 386? I have a grenadilla here similar to Brian's that comes in at 428g. The bloodwood, as I recall, was a bit smaller in diameter, at least on the top end, and thus most likely why it appears less in contrast to the purpleheart. I have considered getting a duplicator, but have not moved on that thought yet. That would make the numbers more in line with what appears on the Janka chart ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test ). There is something fun about hand shaping them that makes the proces more individually pleasing though. Just for reference, my Suikyio 1.8 is 280g and is jiari.
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