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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since there needs to be at least one thread on acoustics going at all times, if only to annoy those members who think everything possible has been said on the subject---I am starting another one on leaks.

This study by John Coltman is the only one I have been able to find that addresses the topic of acoustic losses of pads and leaks. You can read it at this link: http://ccrma.stanford.edu/marl/Coltman/ Click "Published Papers" then go to topic 1.41 near the bottom of the page.

Since in the repair trade we spend so much of our time looking for and correcting leaks in saxophones, it would be nice to know why we do this and more important if "all leaks are created equal". Does the size of the leak matter as much as its location? How much leakage is acceptable to still have the instrument play well. How important is the air tightness of the pad covering material?

Hopefully Toby and others who are well versed on the subject will weigh in with some useful information and/or opinions.

John
 

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jbtsax said:
Since there needs to be at least one thread on acoustics going at all times, if only to annoy those members who think everything possible has been said on the subject---I am starting another one on leaks.

This study by John Coltman is the only one I have been able to find that addresses the topic of acoustic losses of pads and leaks. You can read it at this link: http://ccrma.stanford.edu/marl/Coltman/ Click "Published Papers" then go to topic 1.41 near the bottom of the page.

Since in the repair trade we spend so much of our time looking for and correcting leaks in saxophones, it would be nice to know why we do this and more important if "all leaks are created equal". Does the size of the leak matter as much as its location? How much leakage is acceptable to still have the instrument play well. How important is the air tightness of the pad covering material?

Hopefully Toby and others who are well versed on the subject will weigh in with some useful information and/or opinions.

John
Why you do this?

so the horn willl seal and we can play it

Are all leaks equal?

in the interest of political correctness I should say yes but actually NO

Does the size of the leak matter?

the ole lady says size doesn't matter and she's not a known fibber

How much leakage is acceptable?

that would depend on the experience of the player

Air tightness of pad material importance?

installation and adjustment/seating is probably more important

next.
 

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The body of an instrument contains and defines the air column that is producing the sound.

The rigidity of the body determines that the air pressure outside the sax and the air pressures inside the sax, communicate as little as possible. This is because the air pressures we try to set up inside the sax ARE the sound that we are trying to create. At least that is what we assume. I guess JBT's post asks whether this assumption may be wrong.

We all know that a sax with serious pad leaks performs poorly, especially if those leaks are in vital locations. Taken to the extreme for illustration... If a high F pad is removed, that serious leak renders the sax unusable. If you don't believe it, stick a matchstick under the pad and try playing.

I have yet to have a customer not appreciate me removing as many of this type of leak as possible, aiming for leakproofness.

However there is another type of leak that I think Coltman was actually referring to. Allow me...

For those familiar with DC and AC power, and the manner in which a capacitor in series allows AC power to pass (read 'leak'), yet prevents all DC power from passing (read 'leakproof'), that is a very useful illustration to keep in mind....

Most people think of a pad fully sealing, in the sense of no water or air being able to enter or leave the tone hole. Technicians test for leaks by blowing the air in one direction, or sucking air in the other directing.

Let us consider another type of leak, where sound (i.e. "AC" air pressures) is concerned.

Take a sax, and instead of keys and pads, attach a membrane such as pieces of balloon, tightly over every tone hole. Glue or tie each piece, so that no air can escape from each tone hole.

By all our usual tests, the instrument has no leaks. Yet contrary to what we think for a leak-proof instrument, it will not play a low Bb. Why?

It is because the membrane allows the air pressures outside and inside the sax to fully communicate with each other at the sites of the tone holes. The membrane provides ZERO containment for those changes in pressure which constitute the sound we wish to produce. (Each membrane is acting like the capacitor, in the electric circuit, offering no resistance to the alternating current.)

(Likewise, if the sax body were made entirely form leather-covered felt, it would not play, for the same reason.)

A pad that 'seals' against a tone hole and allows no leaks, is far from being
the balloon membrane. However it does provide some of the same behaviour as the membrane, in that it does not provide as rigid a container for the air pressures inside the sax as does the body of the sax itself. i.e, no matter how well it seals, the pad leather does have a certain amount of freedom to vibrate up and down over the tone hole, as did the balloon membrane. Even the supporting key cup itself, is mounted on a hinge, giving it some freedom to vibrate up and down.

(Incidentally we reduce this freedom by using resonators. This is probably a far more important function of resonators than any sort of 'reflecting' the sound out of a tone hole, as most people imagine their function to be - an imagining that marketers of resonators are only too happy to exploit!)

This type of leak, demonstrated by the balloon membrane, concerns only oscillating air pressures, but oscillating air pressures is exactly what sound is. So we can call this an 'ACOUSTIC' leak.

I believe that this is what the Coltman paper is discussing. And I believe it is true indeed, what Coltman says, that flutes using modern flute pads suffer only negligibly if at all from this phenomenon.

I don't believe that Coltman is even beginning to say that we can have a high F pad that leaks air on a sax, that will not noticeably affect the way the sax plays.

The above has been my attempt to explain in lay terms, what I think the Coltman article is about. I stress that I may be wrong, seeing I understand the jargon of acousticians little more than any other person does.

Any comment, Kymarto? (I respect your superior understanding of acoustics.)
 

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Ah! This is an interesting article. Basically what I got out of it is that there are acoustic losses due to the structure of pads, even when they seal well, but those losses are small compared to wall losses. Note that the sax may well be a different case, since the pad area is greater, although it has to be remembered that total pad/wall area is probably about the same, so maybe not. Resonators definitely do help to eliminate acoustic losses, although I am not sure really to what extent, and I would guess that again, material in resonators does not make a perceptible difference if it is basically smooth and reasonably hard. Domed vs. flat could make a difference, as it changes the internal bore geometry somewhat. I have a "The" Martin tenor with original pads without resonators, and it is a tremendous player, comparable in response to my vintage Super 20. I'm sure it would change somewhat with resos, but it is fine as it is as well.

Back to flutes. First, I have to say that I am really happy that Jim Schmidt worked with Coltman on this. He and I had some exchanges on the sax newsgroup similar to the acoustic "discussions" we have been having here, with Jim absolutely convinced that material makes a big difference. Since he is an extremely talented craftsman I suggested a number of times that he get in contact with Coltman or others who could benefit from his skill, while he could benefit from their knowledge of theory and experimental methodology. He, of course, was very critical of Coltman's famous flute experiment, I wonder if they discussed it...

Reading this article, I found it interesting that a leak of a certain size (equivalent to a leakage of about .7 cc/sec of air under a pressure of one inch of water), placed at the point where it should have maximum effect, was almost undetectable by ear, although it was measureable as an 8% acoustic loss. So obviously there can be some fair amount of leakage and the instrument will still perform adequately.

I mean, this is quite clear--if you do a sealing test of a flute even in the best of regulation, it will not hold a vacuum for more than a few seconds, so there is always some leakage in the real world.

It would be interesting to carry Coltman's experiment even further, and test for leakages of different sizes to see at what point it becomes significant. Coltman mentions that they tried other sizes of calibrated leaks, but only cites the one size in detail. It would be nice to know what kind of function leak size vs. acoustic loss is: for instance is it more or less linear, or is it more exponential, where after a certain critical point small changes might have large effects?

My hunch is that it is more exponential, judging from the effect of key heights on intonation and sound quality. I'm sure there is math to predict this, but I'm also sure it is way beyond me.

Another interesting point is that the position of the leak *does* make a big difference. The maximum effect is always at the main pressure node, which is at 1/2 the length of the tube to the first open tone hole (in the lower octave), and would be at 1/4 in the second octave. I had never thought about this, and it is a bit counterintuitive, but actually a leak high up the tube could have much less effect on the lowest notes than one near the middle of the tube.

One point that Coltman touches on is finger pressure necessary to achieve an adequate seal. I think this is an extremely salient point, and becomes even more so on sax. You have the same sized finger to seal a whole lot more area, to begin with, and small irregularities in pad smoothness or tone hole levelling starting becoming a whole lot more important. So much of the feel of the instrument is dependent on how the note pops out when you depress the key, and how much pressure you have to exert to get the note to play.

Coltman seems to be pointing out that up to a certain point, leaks do not compromise the response of the instrument perceptibly. As a tech, I think once you have achieved that level, it is time to move on to getting the pad to seal to that level with the minimum finger pressure possible.
Toby
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This quote from Renold Schilke from this link http://www.dallasmusic.org/schilke/Brass Clinic.html I believe addresses the issue of the importance of where a leak is located.

"At the point of rarefaction on an instrument, if we only had one note to play, it would be possible to lay that particular note without any disturbance even if the tubing at that particular point was completely removed from e instrument. I have often given demonstrations of this with a C trumpet. When the 2nd line G is played on a C trumpet, a pressure point is directly at the water key and when the water key is opened, it completely stops the tone. If a C is played on the instrument, it is on the taper-off of the pressure point and when you open the water key, it sharpens the note a full tone so you could use it as a trill key. If you played the E on the forth space, the note sound would be true whether the water key was opened or not. In other words, there would be absolutely no disturbance from the fact that the water key was open. In fact, at that area, five-eights of an inch of tubing could be cut out of the instrument and if you only had to play that one note, you could play it all day and never have a disturbance in it with that piece of tubing missing."

I'm not sure what he means by "taper off" of the pressure point, but it is also interesting to me that a leak could also change the intonation of a given note.

Toby mentioned the use of resonators to reduce the "acoustic losses" of pads. I think Coltman's experimental design would be ideal to test the effects of resonators in different sizes, shapes, and materials. It is unfortunate that conical shaped tubes are not as easy to come by as cylindrical ones. Maybe this is why most acoustical experiments have been done on flutes and clarinets.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I can follow your reasoning pretty well Gordon, but perhaps the use of the word "leak" to describe two different effects can be a bit misleading. The dictionary defines Leak 1. a : to enter or escape through an opening usually by a fault or mistake <fumes leak in> b : to let a substance or light in or out through an opening

The term "porosity" seems to be applied more often to denote the absorption of liquids or the movement of liquids through a permeable surface.

At this link are some observations by Benade on "acoustic losses" of wall materials (and pads). http://ccrma.stanford.edu/marl Click: The Arthur H. Benade Archive, Writings, 70's, scroll down to '77- "Acoustical Evolution of Wind Instruments" The information on point can be found from page 65 (62) to 69 (66).

I am eager to point out Benade's remark about the difference in thermal loss between wood and metal of about 2% being just at the level of detection for the player. His remark that different parts of the air column "eat the energy" in different ways is a novel way to express "acoustic losses". In fact, I have played some saxophones that seem to be a lot more "hungry" than others.:tongue8:

In closing, I'd like to pass on a cartoon that my wife said reminded her of me. I will leave it to the readers of this post as to whether any other SOTW members come to mind. (Hint---it's not you Doug.);)

John
 

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jbtsax said:
Since in the repair trade we spend so much of our time looking for and correcting leaks in saxophones, it would be nice to know why we do this and more important if "all leaks are created equal". Does the size of the leak matter as much as its location? How much leakage is acceptable to still have the instrument play well. How important is the air tightness of the pad covering material?
This Coltman paper is one of my favorites particularly because it is so very interesting. The basic question of how much the existence of a pad on an air column contributes to acoustic loss or robbing the standing wave of it's vibration is interesting and some of Coltman's observations are extremely interesting.

The dichotomy between finger pressure/setup is something that good flute techs are keenly aware of. The conclusion of the difference of rigid structured/rigid supported pads perhaps gives some insight into the same question as applied to sax.

For instance, Straubs and Schmidt pads were quite immune to acoustic conductance losses when compared to standard installations. The question left for us is WHY? If there are losses in the other pad types then we can theorize as to what might be happening.

Are the pads resonating with the air column? The whole finger touch/Mass loading phenomenon indicates too many possible variables to be controlled for application in the repair trade. But the other basics might... Why do the rigid supported materials exhibit less loss? Does the hard contact area of the pad back to the keycup couple the mass of the components reducing the losses? Add the setup and finger pressure into the equation and there might be some correlation there.

So what does that mean for sax padding? Sax pads are not normally installed with rigidly supporting backing structures. On the simplest level the choice of shellac or hot melt might have a similar effect if shellac appears to be more rigid. But I would doubt that is the case since the pad itself would negate the benefit. You really would need a rigidly supported sax pad ala a schmidt or Straub pad to couple the pad Mass to the key cup, IF that is really what is happening..

So those are some musings of this madman..

Joe B
 

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I muse similarly. So many questions.
Joe, comparing top quality, fairly firm, fairly thin "standard" pads with Straubs etc...
Do you know of any anecdotes where Straubs were replaced with standard, unbeknown to the player, and the player has been disappointed with the result, in spite of great workmanship?

I am really asking if players do notice a significant difference, EXPECTATION eliminated from the equation. If expectation is an element, then results are pretty meaningless, the human condition being what it is.
 

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Gordon (NZ) said:
Do you know of any anecdotes where Straubs were replaced with standard, unbeknown to the player, and the player has been disappointed with the result, in spite of great workmanship?
In my experience...no, I don't know of anyone who has been disappointed. But the setup would be important for them to not notice a difference. If you mimic the rigid structure setup (An Gordon you know what is involved with that from my descriptions of padding) you can place felt next to straub without anyone being able to tell a difference. If you remember, that was what frankenflute was all about...(I created my own anecdote!)

It's my experience that the setup is more important than the material. Great workmanship can overcome just about any pad material out there...

Joe B
 

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JerryJamz2 said:
Hey Joe,

You know you're bound to get asked the story behind that octave key pic don't ya?:shock: :D
Jerry, When you mix beer, boats, and fish...that is what happens :shock:

Joe B :toothy7:
 

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jbtsax said:
I can follow your reasoning pretty well Gordon, but perhaps the use of the word "leak" to describe two different effects can be a bit misleading. The dictionary defines Leak 1. a : to enter or escape through an opening usually by a fault or mistake <fumes leak in> b : to let a substance or light in or out through an opening

The term "porosity" seems to be applied more often to denote the absorption of liquids or the movement of liquids through a permeable surface.

At this link are some observations by Benade on "acoustic losses" of wall materials (and pads). http://ccrma.stanford.edu/marl Click: The Arthur H. Benade Archive, Writings, 70's, scroll down to '77- "Acoustical Evolution of Wind Instruments" The information on point can be found from page 65 (62) to 69 (66).

I am eager to point out Benade's remark about the difference in thermal loss between wood and metal of about 2% being just at the level of detection for the player. His remark that different parts of the air column "eat the energy" in different ways is a novel way to express "acoustic losses". In fact, I have played some saxophones that seem to be a lot more "hungry" than others.:tongue8:

In closing, I'd like to pass on a cartoon that my wife said reminded her of me. I will leave it to the readers of this post as to whether any other SOTW members come to mind. (Hint---it's not you Doug.);)

John
I think at the end of the day acoustic losses are acoustic losses, whether they are from a hole between the body tube and the outside air or are due to flexing of a soft pad surface which converts the energy of the air column into heat, or perhaps from very small leakage of air into the body of the pad and possibly on to the outside due to porosity.

Of course the magnitude and the location do make a difference, and this would be why the small losses from soft or porous pads all up and down the sax would be different from the localized losses from an actual leak. I think...

I doubt that porosity makes a big difference in normal life. I had the interesting experience of playing a Matit carbon fiber flute not too long ago. They do not have pads, but rather some sort of rubber gaskets. Nor do they have springs; the keys use magnets.

The feel was actually pretty good--much better than the sound. I did not notice any spectacular improvement in the response due to the "padding" as opposed to the Powells that I played at the same time.

Benade's comment is interesting, as the other sources I have read say that all rigid materials have thermal characteristics that are so similar as to be insignificant in terms of effects on the air column. Note that later he says that "the difference between wood and metal is at the ragged edge of detectability by the player in laboratory tests". This certainly does not explain the great differences most players seem to find between wood and metal instruments. It is a tiny difference at best.

Your hungry saxes might seem hungry more due to bad bore profiles more than anything else. This kind of thing is easy to see in instruments like bamboo bansuri flutes or quenas, in which bores vary significantly. I have sometimes gone through 40 or 50 different flutes like this at a sitting, and the differences are quite clear and sometimes stark, even though the workmanship and material are similar.

Nice cartoon, but I can't imagine who you are referring to....

Toby
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
kymarto said:
I think at the end of the day acoustic losses are acoustic losses, whether they are from a hole between the body tube and the outside air or are due to flexing of a soft pad surface which converts the energy of the air column into heat, or perhaps from very small leakage of air into the body of the pad and possibly on to the outside due to porosity.
This sounds very logical to me.

kymarto said:
Of course the magnitude and the location do make a difference, and this would be why the small losses from soft or porous pads all up and down the sax would be different from the localized losses from an actual leak. I think...
I agree with your previous post that it would be of interest to measure at what point the size (volume) of the leak becomes significant to the sound (or perceptible to the player as resistance).

kymarto said:
I doubt that porosity makes a big difference in normal life. I had the interesting experience of playing a Matit carbon fiber flute not too long ago. They do not have pads, but rather some sort of rubber gaskets. Nor do they have springs; the keys use magnets.
Here is another study by Coltman on the Acoustical Losses of Bassoon Pads that may apply more directly to saxophone pads. http://idrs.colorado.edu/Publications/DR/DR17.3.pdf/43.Pad_Losses.pdf
Note how poorly the saxophone pad does in comparison to the bassoon pads. Maybe its just me, but Coltman's research always seems to raise more questions than it answers.
kymarto said:
Benade's comment is interesting, as the other sources I have read say that all rigid materials have thermal characteristics that are so similar as to be insignificant in terms of effects on the air column. Note that later he says that "the difference between wood and metal is at the ragged edge of detectability by the player in laboratory tests". This certainly does not explain the great differences most players seem to find between wood and metal instruments. It is a tiny difference at best.
The next paragraph reads: "Because the porosity of wood is greater than metal, actually the porosity/thermal (i.e., pressure-associated) lossen in wood are somewhat greater than in metal, 2 to 10%, depending on surface condition and material. It can go higher yet, but then the musician complains seriously. "

He then goes on to say that the the viscous (flow-associated) dissipation for polished Grenadilla wood and metal are virtually the same approximating that of an infinitely smooth surface. This would also be true of plastic, I'm sure.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
JButky said:
This Coltman paper is one of my favorites particularly because it is so very interesting. The basic question of how much the existence of a pad on an air column contributes to acoustic loss or robbing the standing wave of it's vibration is interesting and some of Coltman's observations are extremely interesting.
Interesting seems to be the "operative" word here. Do you have any idea as to why the 'very thin firm skin pads" did so poorly at both frequencies and why they would have the greatest air leakage as well? Why would the air tightness of a double bladder skin be dependent upon the thickness of the layer of felt beneath it?
JButky said:
For instance, Straubs and Schmidt pads were quite immune to acoustic conductance losses when compared to standard installations. The question left for us is WHY? If there are losses in the other pad types then we can theorize as to what might be happening.
The common elements of those two pads lacking in the others are the ultra suede layer backing in place of felt, and the attached Delrin backing-stabilizer. I was surprised that the "Valentino" synthetic pads showed an air leakage even at the higher key pressures.
JButky said:
So what does that mean for sax padding? Sax pads are not normally installed with rigidly supporting backing structures. On the simplest level the choice of shellac or hot melt might have a similar effect if shellac appears to be more rigid. But I would doubt that is the case since the pad itself would negate the benefit. You really would need a rigidly supported sax pad ala a schmidt or Straub pad to couple the pad Mass to the key cup, IF that is really what is happening..
I understand that Straubinger is currently working on a sax pad. It would be interesting to see the acoustic loss of the Schmidt gold sax pads compared to conventional pads. The only sax pad with a rigid backing structure I have seen has been the original Buescher pads with the snap in resonator. Maybe they knew more than we realized back then about the acoustics of the instrument.

John
 

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jbtsax said:
Here is another study by Coltman on the Acoustical Losses of Bassoon Pads that may apply more directly to saxophone pads. http://idrs.colorado.edu/Publications/DR/DR17.3.pdf/43.Pad_Losses.pdf
Note how poorly the saxophone pad does in comparison to the bassoon pads. Maybe its just me, but Coltman's research always seems to raise more questions than it answers.
This is normal. It is how scientists stay in business :D

Coltman does say that untreated pad losses in the bassoon amount to 2.1% of total bore losses, and that this would be undetectable, as as earlier experiment with the flute showed that players could not detect losses of 12, though at 20% there was "clear deterioration". Now roughly, losses with sax pads seem to be about 3x worse than with untreated bassoon pads, so let's say that sax pads would contribute about 7% to bore losses. Considering that the sax bore is much wider for its length than then bassoon bore, which would reduce bore losses it seems to me (at least viscous losses at the boundary layer), let's put that figure at 10%. That is just at Coltman's "ragged edge" of perceptibility, as quoted in the other paper your provided links to. So it seems to me that a "perfect" sax pad would certainly be desirable, but while the difference would noticeable it wouldn't be remarkable. OTOH I am only guessing about percentage; if it were slightly higher in the sax due to the surface area of the pads (much larger than in a bassoon) or higher as a percentage of bore losses than I threw out, non-porous pads could make a clear difference.

Note, however, than some of the losses that Coltman mentions are eliminated by resonators, so porous pads with resonators would be much better than the same pads without.

There, that's not much more conclusive than Coltman, is it?

The next paragraph reads: "Because the porosity of wood is greater than metal, actually the porosity/thermal (i.e., pressure-associated) lossen in wood are somewhat greater than in metal, 2 to 10%, depending on surface condition and material. It can go higher yet, but then the musician complains seriously. "

He then goes on to say that the the viscous (flow-associated) dissipation for polished Grenadilla wood and metal are virtually the same approximating that of an infinitely smooth surface. This would also be true of plastic, I'm sure.

John[/QUOTE]

Aha! So it's porosity-related! Phew, I thought I was finally going to have to give in on the issue of wall materials...

Nederveen mentions an interesting story concerning recorders, that after treatment certain wood recorders responded much better in the low notes. It really looked vibration-related, as the treated wood was much heavier than it was before treatment, but then it was discovered that the treatment had made the bore much smoother by filling in small irregularities in the surface, and everybody breathed a sigh of relief, I suspect.

Toby
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
kymarto said:
This is normal. It is how scientists stay in business
:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
kymarto said:
Aha! So it's porosity-related! Phew, I thought I was finally going to have to give in on the issue of wall materials...
Don't put away the white flag just yet---isn't "porosity" a necessary component of "material"? Also note how Benade treats viscous losses (rough or smooth walls) different from porous losses which behave like thermal losses. He seems to imply that a surface can be smooth (without exterior roughness) and porous at the same time. When I spin a cloth impregnated with carnuba wax inside the bore of a wooden clarinet, does it fill in the pores, or smooth (polish) the surface or both?

Coltman's article on the acoustical losses of bassoon pads was a response/rebuttal to the attached article which first appeared in the Woodwind Quarterly. The pertinent question is do you put more stock in Coltman's acoustic loss measurements of one pad at the end of a plastic tube, or the real life experience of a principal bassoonist of a major symphony orchestra who has done A B comparisons of bassoons, contra bassoons, and bass clarinets with and without pads with resonators. My money is on the latter, of course. :salute:

John
 

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I have butted out of this 'conversation' because I do not know the precise meanings of the technical language of acoustic science that is being thrown around and quoted.

However I do know enough to suspect that there are occasions here where such terms ARE being bandied about, with little regard to what their precise technical meaning may be. This opens the field for all sorts of ambiguity and misunderstanding.

It's no use quoting an expert who uses technical language, then semi-guessing what that technical language means, and giving it a slant to back up ones case. It renders the quoting of the expert meaningless. Indeed, we do not even know just how much ambiguity there was in the language used by these experts. It is quite common for experts to miscommunicate.

So my advice to readers is to take quite a bit of the recent discussion with a grain of lycopodium powder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gordon (NZ) said:
I have butted out of this 'conversation' because I do not know the precise meanings of the technical language of acoustic science that is being thrown around and quoted.

However I do know enough to suspect that there are occasions here where such terms ARE being bandied about, with little regard to what their precise technical meaning may be. This opens the field for all sorts of ambiguity and misunderstanding.

It's no use quoting an expert who uses technical language, then semi-guessing what that technical language means, and giving it a slant to back up ones case. It renders the quoting of the expert meaningless. Indeed, we do not even know just how much ambiguity there was in the language used by these experts. It is quite common for experts to miscommunicate.

So my advice to readers is to take quite a bit of the recent discussion with a grain of lycopodium powder.
This is quite an indictment of some of us participating in this thread :!:

If there were a requirement on SOTW that one must be an expert on a given topic prior to taking part in a discussion, the membership would drop to triple digits overnight. On the other hand, if the requirement were modified to allow those who merely "think they are experts" to take part in a discussion, then the membership would increase exponentially back to its current level in no time. :) :) :)

The purpose of a "discussion forum" such as SOTW is to provide a vehicle for its members to learn and grow (and open their minds a bit ---if possible) by discussing, debating, and raising questions. Having total knowledge of the subject beforehand is an unrealistic expectation for most of us here. To say that one must have Einstein's level of understanding of the implications of the Theory of Relativity prior to making reference to that scientific discovery in a discussion would be silly.

Even something as simple as the word "embouchure" has a totally different depth of meaning and concept to a beginner than to a professional player who has truly mastered the instrument and all of its possible tonal colors even into the altissimo register. Does that mean the beginner should not make reference to the term?

If there are acoustic terms that are "being bandied about" here with little regard to their meaning---throw them out and let's discuss them. That way we will all learn more about the subject.

By the way thank you for adding "lycopodium powder" to the list of terms I can bandy about. Did you know it is a homeopathic remedy for flatulence among other things? ;)
 
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