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A Magnetic Tweak on Top of a Magnetic Tweak, and an Alarming Discovery!!!

Posted by fiddlepogo on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

After the purchase and successful application of the large penny diameter rare earth/neodymium magnets, I had bought some much smaller ones.  They sounded kind of cool with all of them opposite a large magnet, BUT then they would BUZZ on a loud low note which is definitely NOT a cool sound!

I was sitting at the computer looking at the little magnets attached to my steel monitor stand (heavy enough steel for the largest CRT monitor, but it does keep my flat screen at a nice height!).  Suddenly the proverbial "light bulb" popped on in my head, and I realized I should try taking just one at a time, and stack them on the larger magnets that have become a permanent fixture on Booker.

I discovered that having one little magnet on top of each of the large magnets works really well, AND you can slide them around and it will "dial in" the sound you want, sort of like a tone control.  One of the "settings" sounds even better than the two large magnets alone on Booker, which were already sounding good. I have the little magnets off set, so one is towards the treble side, and the other is towards the bass side.

Well, excited by this discovery, I went to the hardware store and bought a pack of three more large magnets.  It occurred to me to look on the packaging for a website url before I tossed it:

(Click on the second tab marked "neodymium discs" for the ones WITHOUT adhesive!!!)

The ones I bought were the 07047 package of three- diameter of about the size of a penny, and the thickness of one and a half pennies, more or less.

The small ones I bought were from another store and packaged differently, but look to be about the same diameter as the 07045 10-pack, and also came in a pack of 10.

I was tempted to buy the 07046 pack of 5 medium sized magnets since I haven't tried them yet, but I wanted to stick with what was working, and another pack of three would give me enough large and small magnets to do all three fiddles the same way.

Last night I went to put the magnets on Carthy after applying some masking tape.

But I surprised myself because I had left Carthy tuned in cross tuning.  Still, I put the magnets on, and it seemed to help... it made the cross tuning harmonics a little less extreme.  But Carthy had not done well at a gig with just the two large magnets, so maybe it's going to be just a practice thing. Or maybe Carthy will like the mediums sized magnets better.

This morning I went to put the magnets on Stinky.  First I played Stinky a little, and it's more nasal than I remembered- at first I thought it was because I've been neglecting Stinky in favor of the other fiddles... but then, maybe because of the good morning light in my bedroom of the new apartment, I saw them- two cracks in the finish above the right f-hole round end, about 1/4 inch apart, and extending maybe 3/4 of an inch above the round end. BUMMER!!!

Puzzled.  That's not a place I've been tweaking a lot, so it's probably not caused by finish tweaking... but it could have been a weakness that a slight bump caused to pop loose.  It has been warm lately, and Stinky is the one that has either the top or the sides and back made from an alternative (and smelly!) wood... maybe it's the top, and the alternative wood isn't as flexible as spruce.

Maybe it had started earlier, and I just hadn't noticed it due to poor lighting in the previous apartment.... the cracks are really hairline at this point.  I have to assume they go down into the wood, but it's hard to tell.  The finish on Stinky is the thickest of the 3 Knilling 4 KFs I have, and I think the top is thickest overall as well.

Seems strange that they would show up now after having the fiddle for 6 years.

Anyway, now I have to decide what to do about THAT!

1 comment on “A Magnetic Tweak on Top of a Magnetic Tweak, and an Alarming Discovery!!!”

fiddlerd Says:
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @11:59:31 AM

Keep your tweaks and tips coming. I tried the coffee filter on my strings and it worked!! Thanks. I commented on the forum "Fiddle Stopped Singing".

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