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Jun 10, 2020 - 4:18:14 PM
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4 posts since 9/13/2007

I haven't posted on this forum in ages, but I read something that intrigued me that I wonder if y'all know anything about. Here's the back of John Hartford's LP Nobody Knows What You Do:

 


 

It says "Benny Martin on the fiddle (with a spring on the bridge to give it an echo effect)." Anyone ever heard of this spring echo effect? I'll play around with looping pen springs on my strings at the bridge to see what it does, but I'd love to know exactly what Benny Martin did. His fiddling is fantastic on this album. 

Jun 10, 2020 - 6:40:39 PM
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195 posts since 3/1/2020

There was an old novelty decide that clipped onto the bridge. It was a steel ball mounted onto a small mute with a piece of spring steel. The idea was that the vibrating ball would create a vibrato without moving the left hand as well as producing a modified sound.

The device was intended as a way to get a continuous vibrato but ended up just being a gag. Playing with one sounds as though one is playing underwater. Every once in a while one shows up in an old case.

Jun 10, 2020 - 8:06:42 PM
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2044 posts since 10/22/2007
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My old luthier pal had one. I have a thick pickup bridge so it wouldn't fit on mine, but i played his violin with the gadget on it. It was fun for ten minutes. Anything on the bridge attenuates the volume. This is no acception.

You could probably make one with a paper clip. Somehow wrap/attatch a springy wire on it. Maybe pinch a led split shot on the end of the wire. If i make one i'll take a picture.

Jun 11, 2020 - 10:51:53 AM

Skillet

USA

4 posts since 9/13/2007

Thanks for your replies, Rich and farmerjones! My vibrato needs work, but not like that. I wonder if Benny Martin ever actually used a gimmick like that? That would surprise me.

Jun 11, 2020 - 1:27:09 PM
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4837 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Skillet

Thanks for your replies, Rich and farmerjones! My vibrato needs work, but not like that. I wonder if Benny Martin ever actually used a gimmick like that? That would surprise me.


I think if Mr Hartford said he used it for during this recording, he used it. 

Jun 11, 2020 - 5:16:54 PM
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2044 posts since 10/22/2007
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NFN Benny Martin was also early to electrify. I believe he's quoted as saying, "I'd wear electric shoes if it would help me be heard."

Aug 23, 2020 - 12:37:11 AM
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346 posts since 8/21/2007

I have seen Benny do this back when I played in his band. It gave a beautiful reverb effect. Very natural sound. The old Tige was a true genius in his own right.

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