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New Harmony Music:  David Bice, Cello Maker Accessories

Carbon Fiber End Pins

My experience building and designing aircraft was important in developing carbon fiber end pins.  I now sell carbon fiber end pins, with and without fittings for cellos and double bass directly as well as through dealers. Our end pins are now being used in cellos and double basses played by thousands of musicians playing in symphonies throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and the Orient. A mark of success is the quality of our products is that they are used by professional musicians, but can also be afforded by students.

Carbon fiber end pins have several advantages:

1.  Weight--a 8 mm steel end pin that is 20 inches long weighs 201 grams.  In comparison, our 20-inch carbon fiber end pin weighs 79 percent less at only 42 grams.

2.  Our carbon fiber end pins are made with a sharpened heat-treated metal tip or an exchangeable carbide tip.  The entire tip is heat-treated so it can be sharpened many times. If a carbide tip breaks, it can be replaced. The points on both the heat hardened tips and carbide tips are very sharp and hold with out slipping.

3.  End pins absorb energy generated by bowing, and it is logical that a heavy steel end pin will absorb more energy than a carbon fiber end pin.  We believe that a carbon fiber end pin does have a positive effect on the sound produced by a cello. We have many testimonials from cellists using our end pins supporting this belief (see Endorsements). However, sound is subjective, and only scientific research could measure positive and any negative effects for each individual cello.

Sizes:  Our carbon end pins are being provided in two diameters.  Our 8 mm and 10mm end pins will work in fittings which is used in most cellos.  All that is necessary to change to this carbon fiber end pin is to remove the steel end pin and insert the new carbon fiber end pin.  Although the 8 mm carbon fiber end pin is stiff, they are a little more flexible than steel.  Most cellists do not notice this difference, and those who do actually like the slight increase in flexibility.  However, for cellists who require end pins longer than 20 inches, we recommend our 10 mm diameter carbon fiber end pins.  This size is much stiffer and can be used in fittings that originally used hollow steel or aluminum end pins.

We also make carbon fiber end pins for double bass that are 1/2 inch in diameter. These end pins have a sharp heat hardened tip with threads so a round rubber can be screwed over the end pin.

Carbon Fiber End Pin Fittings

Our 8 and 10 mm carbon fiber end pins can be used to replace 8 and 10 mm steel end pins by removing the steel end pin and inserting the carbon fiber end pin. As long as the thumb screw is not tightened excessively, a carbon fiber end pin can be used for years in a standard cello end pin fitting. However, the fittings we designed for 8 and 10 mm end pins and the 1/2 inch diameter end pin for double bass hold the end pin firmly, but can not damage the end pin regardless how tightly the thumb screw is tightened. Unlike the large end pin fittings supplied with other carbon fiber end pins, our fitting is compact and has a shape similar to standard end pin fittings (see photos). We provide these composite end pin fittings with the tapered portion in three diameters to allow easy fitting into cellos. The diameters at the large end of the tapered portion of the three sizes are 27.5, 25.5, and 23.5 mm. The smallest and largest diameters are shown. Our fittings are made from a black composite material almost indistinguishable from ebony, without all of the problems associated with wood such as shrinking, swelling, and cracking.

We also produce rubber caps for our end pins. The caps are produced with a plastic insert to prevent the sharp end pin tip from penetrating the rubber cap.

8 and 10 mm end pins and fittings
and rubber cap

8 and 10 mm end pin and fittings

Impressions:  Our carbon fiber end pins are new to the market.  Everyone who has tried them likes the light weight -- no one likes a heavy cello.  In addition, the sharp, heat-treated tip is a great improvement over the tips on most steel end pins that dull quickly.  Purchases are usually made when individuals try our carbon fiber end pin for these two reasons.  However, cellists who have purchased our end pins also believe that the tonal qualities of their cellos are improved (see Endorsements).  Only two individuals who tried our end pin liked the tone produced by a steel end pin better.

Prices: We recommend you purchase our pins and fittings from the dealers on our Dealer List. However, we can sell directly from us by telephone or e-mail at orders@newharmonymusic.com. Contact us for retail prices. 

Wolf Note Suppressors:

Wolf notes are a problem for almost all cellos, many double basses, and a few violins and violas. However, the severity of a wolf note varies with each instrument. The wolf note of some cellos is minor, while others seem almost uncontrollable. Our wolf note suppressors have several advantages. The first is that we provide wolf note suppressors in several weights (3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 gm for cello), (16, 18, 20, 22, and 24 gm for double bass), and (1, and 2 gm) for violin and viola. The multiple weights allow the selection of the lightest weight necessary to eliminate the wolf note. A second advantage is that our design eliminates the need for a rubber liner, thumb screw, and a lock nut found on other wolf note suppressors that mount on a string. Installation is simple. The suppressor is pressed onto the string starting at one end of the slot. The suppressor can then be removed and replaced on the string until a position that best suppresses the wolf note. Our wolf note suppressor stays in place, but is easy to readjust if the wolf moves because of humidity, etc. changes. In addition to their ease of use, possibly the most important advantage is that the New Harmony wolf note suppressors have minimal or no noticeable effect on the sound of the entire instrument, possibly because there is a direct contact between the string and the brass of our wolf note suppressor. For impressions of cellists using our wolf note suppressors see Endorsements. You can order our wolf note suppressors from the dealers on our Dealer List, or directly from us by e-mail at orders@newharmonymusic.com. The retail cost is $16.00 for each weight.

13, 11, 9, 7, 5, and 3 gm cello wolf note suppressors

New and Future Accessories:

Tail Loops--Many shops find the plastic tail loops tend to suppress the sound of the cello, and the stiff, thick plastic increases the difficulty of installation . We now make tail loops from fine, flexible stainless cable coated with black vinyl for both cello and double bass. We  hope to introduce stainless cable tail loops for violin and viola soon.

Bass Bridge Adjustor and Angled Bass End Pins--We now manufacture bridge adjustors made from delrin, a black self lubricating material for double bass. We also manufacture end pins that shops can install in an angle selected by the bassist.

 

cellos, cello accessories, cello maker, end pins, carbon fiber end pins, David Bice, Albuquerque, New Mexico, luthier