Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tips from Mr Z (Part 3) - Dampener

The dampener (piece of thing below the bridge), when installed will eliminate wolf tones and noises from your Erhu.

The problem is that there is not really a 'correct' way of installing the dampener. There are definitely better ways in the relative sense but it is hard to pinpoint the best way.

The general concept is to have the dampener stuck between the strings and the snakeskin below the bridge so that it has ample contact with the snakeskin without being too tight or too loose.

I have seen a lot of different materials used as the dampener. There is of course the standard issue of a rectangular piece of foam. I have seen people use tissue paper as well!

However, the material that most people favour is a piece of felt.

So comes the next question, how thick should the piece of felt be? Too thick and it will mute the tone too much, too thin and it hardly has any effect. To fold it such that it makes good contact with the snakeskin without being too tight takes some skill.

So here comes tip number 3 from Mr Z:

Put a piece of sponge in between the felt.

The material of the sponge will give provide more elasticity and at the same time more mass and body to the dampener.

Folded felt might be too hard and sponge by itself might be too soft. So together they make a great combination.


I've just listed 3 new products on my online store. One's the big Sanxian you've read about in my previous blog posting. The others are 2 new models of Erhu between the range of US$200-$300.

Check it out.

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