Yes I read your previous note on that product. I am not familiar with it but at some point I wouldn't be opposed to try it and see what it does. I think however that the way I am putting these together the shellac is a necessary part of the design to help the papers to create the effect I need. I admit I don't understand the other product.
Post by lukewarmwater on Feb 17, 2008 20:44:05 GMT -5
It would infuse into the paper and then cure to plasticize the paper. The paper would then be more airtight, stronger because the polymers would bind the paper fibers, and make the paper more dimensionally stable (resistant to changes in humidity). What it would sound like, I have no idea, but I speculate it would brighten up the sound of a comparable untreated paper diaphragm. Polyethylene Glycol. Just in case you ever try it and it does work . . . you heard it here first! Luke W.
I will have to look for it eventually. At the moment I am in the depressed stage of this work again.. I have created a number more and all of them exhibit a tendency to blast in some quick loud parts of the piano. I think its the design but frankly being a real amateur I am at nearly a total loss as to where to look. The sound is really good, but finding these issues is not easy for me.
Mostly a good day for a change, although it didn't still turn out as expected. I went ahead and made a number of the newest one, but made a bit of a change to the cork center. It being flat cork I decided that the original was rounded and tapered at the edges. I had tried that last night and it seemed to improve the sound. So I went ahead and worked all these new ones down with a slope to the outside. Diaphragms being a touchy thing, I think the results were that it changed the rate of vibration just enough to increase the "ringing" quality of horns and piano notes, plus I think it effected the tendency for blast that was coming from the reproducer which was most noticeable with the mute closed most of the way. I went ahead and kept a couple that seemed the best still and removed the cork centers from those that didn't do as well. I will try them again with leaving more of the cork and only a slight taper along the edges. I was pretty happy with the fact though that the kind of sound I wanted is being for the most part duplicated in this design. Something that in the earlier ones varied wildly.
As usual some things that seem evident one day seem different next. Those diaphragms that I shaped the cork on seem to be the best all around and perhaps a bit better with a few days of aging. I tried removing the center cork and replacing it with the original thicker size and added a bit more shellac to hold it firm against the upper pieces. So far the results were less than satisfactory, it exhibited less volume and problems with clarity that I had heard in the previous one. My guess, and its only that, is that the shellac I added caused it to become too ridged in the center and less responsive and more prone to distortions. Since I have had the goal of sending out some test ones of this new design to about 7 people I heard from so far, I am going to concentrate on getting ones that sound as good as I seem to have been able to reach at this point. They will exhibit the fewest issues with feedback and distortion I have reached so far. After that I think the pressure to get something out there for comment will be off and I can continue to refine my experiment and hopefully reach even better results. I would particularly like some that have the current new diaphragms in use for a direct comparison of volume and tone.
I am happy to say that I am now able to reproduce within a fairly close range the sound I want. Not perfect sound, but very good. And when I put one together most of them come close. Well maybe two in three at this point. I made one last night and it is doing about as good as any this morning on test records. I mailed out I think four of them yesterday and have several more people on my list to get copies of this version off to soon. Then hopefully someone besides me can comment on what they are hearing.. I consider it to be a step along the way and will search for the remaining bugs. I may or not find them?
The end report for today is on the upside at least again.. I am still learning. The cork centers I made are about the width of the originals after much trials with smaller versions that just didn't play as clearly.. But they were a bit shrill on some highs. Or too loud if you can visualize that on a standard reproducer. I had previously tried adding yet another small piece of cork on the top of what I had once. In that case the effect I was looking for didn't work and I quit trying that. But now with the larger cork and the volumes and tones issues I have found that the addition of that small taped piece can make it even clearer on some things even though a slight loss of volume occurs. The overall effect is closer to the original but still lively. In fact after playing a couple with that one in the reproducer I had to go and put in the one without the added cork. Yes the one with the cork is indeed better. I am still getting similar results on the basic design which is a plus for sure. As usual once I sent a couple out, now I find that again it may be able to be better.. We will see.
Wouldn't it just be nice to be done with this thread! Things are one the right track but I still think I have most of everything ok and then I run into some new record that refuses to play well or distort in places the original doesn't. Well that is my problem, I didn't start out to get every last thing perfect. Well It seems I still don't. The addition of yet another central cork over the first adds the solidness that I didn't realize was missing till I heard it. Then I ran into the records today that still wanted to misbehave so I increased the size on that second cork. I must say I am not sure the total sound picture is really better, but we know it is a compromise between too much sound that overdrives the diaphragm or the less distinct sounds in places but fuller. I am really having a hard time telling between the original and mine. Maybe its wishful "hearing" to take off on a phrase. So the diaphragms I had created today with the smaller center cork addition are having a larger one replace it. That stopped for the most part another difficult to handle passage from trying to blast overly. I am not 100% sure I favor the sound as its developing or not. Will have to play more pieces to tell. One thing for sure, these Edison records vary wildly between ones that play clearly and ones that want to distort. It doesn't seem as if they were created on much of a level field. I got a few new ones in the mail today, one piano is fine, but one popular sound lousy on both reproducers to me and another somehow is I think and Electrical, at least it is a 2500 label.. I has way too much base and seems even more blury to me, but it wanted to do pretty close to the same on the Edisonic head so its hard to judge. All I know is when I think I have a few out that represent something pretty interesting, I find a flaw in it I didn't know was there and I am having to redo and try again.
This is getting close to a month now of daily work. I am still trying to see and hear what the larger extra cork piece is actually adding or subtracting from the records. As in other changes the glues used were an issue. If I used one I hoped would hold the cork securely it dried and caused worse sound probably because it became less flexible. Now I am testing the same size cork with Rubber Cement which I am dubious of the long term ability to keep two pieces of cork together tightly and not cause sound issues from being loose. Again the variations in records is making judging the results harder. I had some that really were fine, then I had one where the voice seemed weak, but that was compared to a Edisonic head with an original diaphragm. Today Steven Medved is returning two other reproducers with new needles and adjustments. One has my Waltrip diaphragm that Steve graciously gave me a while back.. I plan to test mine against that one to see where I am. Then the other I may put the strickly cardboard version in the other to again compare where I am from my original goal of doing better. That passed so long ago I don't know if its worth it except to feel a bit better about how things are going when I think I am doing poorly..
I know I am not the only one reading this! And I already have a few people that are going to try the diaphragms as they progress. But I am still looking for a few serious listeners of records who can gauge where I am and where I need to be and are willing to do some emails and perhaps a few phone calls about the project. If that is you and your not on my list to get one, please send me a private email. I need some critics that wish to participate.
When I think I understand something, I am humbled to find out I don't. I have usually equated adding some weight, in the current case cork, as to have a dampening effect. In some instances it seems to. I am still attempting to get some passages of a vocal duet to not vibrate too much in some high places where the original is able to play though them with less. It was a particularly loud sounding diaphragm so I removed the upper cork I had sanded down quite a bit and replaced it with a larger and a bit wider piece. It will run you out of the house its so loud. So much for dampening effect? And the tendency to buzz in those passages is still apparent, maybe a bit less. Due to the ice storm were having around here the two reproducers with new needles were not delivered yesterday although they were at the distribution point yesterday as they should have been. I guess monday now. I am inclined to wait and see if I hear exactly the same thing with a new diamond? I probably will, but at least it would settle that part in my mind. I may also switch the original diaphragm into the test unit and see if the results stay clear as in the Edisonic head or will I hear the buzz with it too? Again probably not, but I need to know. What I can't figure out so far is where its at and how to fix it.. Otherwise things sound pretty good.
That was informative. I put my new diaphragm in the Edisonic Head and the original in the head I had been testing with. I got pretty much the same buzz as I had heard with mine from the original. The one I made in the Edisonic played clearer in it. That is up to question as to if its the needle or the weight or a combination of both. I also discovered that the "gig" I made for the length of the loop I am using to the stylus was too long even after several adjustments. That may be a slight factor also. Maybe I have heard these too much.. I am getting significantly better sound than anything you can buy that I have tired. Its pretty obvious that there are lots of variables in Edisons that may differ from machine to machine and record to record and maybe what I hear here someone else may not. I sent off today the yet again improved version the Steve Medved and will see what he thinks in comparison to the first one I sent him which I feel was too resonate after hearing the one I am working at now. I can probably go ahead and send out a few more of this current design also to those others waiting to try it. At least I will have more opinions as to what they are doing in other machines which is the whole idea of testing. I know my sheraton has a aggravating buzz in the cabinet somewhere which I have to put a rag under the lid while its down to stop. It may also be in the diaphragm and just mimicking a external sound too? I hope not too much. I wouldn't think that opening the lid would pretty much stop it if it were? But who knows with this project.
If a better diaphragm can be made, I think you're the fellow to make! You certainly have the intestinal wherewithal to do it. The cabinet rattle doesn't sound good. You'd better track that down pronto, Larry, that could make a mess of all your tests!
"...Comparison With The Living Artist Reveals No Difference"
Today has been another in a long string of learning. Plagued by the tendency to overdrive some records I reduced the materials simply to the basic diaphragm and cork parts I have been using. Loud, Loud, and too loud! I tired changing the links but still loud. So far it seemed I had worked endlessly to get the same results. Good tone, but overdriven distortion in places. Finally I looked at what I have used as the top cap or sound amplifier and replaced it with one a bit wider and a lot shorter. Wouldn't you know it so far is showing good promise. But its the story here so far, good promise followed by lousy results. It shows the basic parts are pretty stable as the quality of sound is reasonable. I am about resigned that some records just cause things I may never find out why. But overall its progress for today.
I can't go to bed without relating this experience tonight. Having hopefully found a reasonable approach now for the basic unit and having worked out the situation with the rear cap to a better size, I decided to toss out many of the old ones lying around and save the metal wire parts that attach the caps to the diaphragm and the link. I had some marked as possibly good examples of styles and for grins I put one of the smaller cap on it and put it on the machine. At once I knew why that early design had been of interest. Such clean sound while remaining tonally wide. It seemed much less prone to a bit of blasting with the new cap also. I played several classical records otherwise somewhat dull, but not with this one, the instruments and changes in volumes was amazing! I doubt that edison got that expressive effect when his diaphragms were new. Partly because he used as I have been now trying, a large dampening cork to provide the acoustic input to the diaphragm. Within limits that really is pretty good. But my earlier design used a different system with smaller center area and no cork surrounded with several rings leaving open the main diaphragm to move freely. It was my guess for some reason before I started this project that that approach might have merit. And indeed it does. I think I will continue with the later that resembles the Edison for now. But when an if I accomplish getting them out as promised, I am going to return to this first idea, it needs to be heard.