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Discussion Starter #1
I couldn't find any posts on thumb rests on the site, so I figured I would start one. I swapped out the nylon thumb rests on my Mark VI's for metal ones, and there is a noticeable improvement in the resonance. I wouldn't have thought this would even make a difference, but it does--I also recorded a bit with both and there is an audible difference. Who would have thought--anyhow, its a small change to make but I was happy to find a positive change for the better...I did get the finished ones...hmmm, would the bare brass be any different in sound...!? (Just kidding.....)
 

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Oh man, wait 'til the acoustic engineers get their teeth into this one! My '64 VI tenor already has a metal thumbrest, as do my Bueschers. Maybe that helps explain why they sound so good......
 

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So wait: the material of a MOUTHPIECE doesn't make a difference (as discussed many times over here) but the material of a THUMB REST does?

I feel so uninformed. :?
 

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I heard a few reputable techs mention that the thumb rests (top and bottom) lay at some major nodes in the horns tube. They said there should be a noticeable difference in the responsiveness of the horn (I don't think they meant they way it sounded, just the way it physically feels from the players point of view). They also mentioned in the same conversation that using a neck strap with a metal hook as opposed to a plastic one has a similar effect in responsiveness.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey JL--That thought actually crossed my mind, perhaps part of why the Bueschers are so resonant. Believe me, I was a doubter when a friend of mine was espousing his views on the metal thumb rest being better--and then he let me try his on my horn, and I recorded a quick sample up close within a minute of each other, same exact reed, mouthpiece, room, etc and you can hear a difference in the sound between the two samples. And I could feel the resonance difference. I happen to think material in the mouthpiece matters also, but it would only make sense that the density of the thumb rest might change how the body is vibrating. I notice it particularly down in the lower register around c to Eb. But in general the ring is different throughout. Hey, if clarinet players find the best position for the bell to be facing, why is this so far fetched...?
 

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ving said:
same exact reed, mouthpiece, room, etc and you can hear a difference in the sound between the two samples.
But still a different horn, correct? You'd have to have samples of a horn with the thumb rests replaced for an accurate comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The samples I recorded were as follows--

1) with my Mark VI and the original nylon thumb rest

2) again my Mark VI, same mouthpiece, reed, same room, in fact same exact spot--played less than a minute or two after recording number 1; only time elapsed between the two was taken to swap out the thumb rest for the metal one...


And there is an audible difference, to me and a third party who later listened to the recording withour me telling him which was which.


The Buescher is obviously different for many other reasons, I mean to not compare it to the Selmer in that regard, but it does has a metal thumb rest as well....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I should say that while you can hear a difference in the sound between the two , it is a subtle change and the difference is more noticeable in the response and feel while you are playing it. There is no way someone listening to you play on stage with either thumb rest could tell you which was which I think...but it was interesting to hear up close a slight difference...

Anyhow, I was just as big of a doubter, but if you have a horn with a plastic thumb rest and you get a chance to try a metal one you might be surprised. Its an easy change to try, and if you like it a cheap one to make...
 

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ving said:
I should say that while you can hear a difference in the sound between the two , it is a subtle change and the difference is more noticeable in the response and feel while you are playing it. There is no way someone listening to you play on stage with either thumb rest could tell you which was which I think...but it was interesting to hear up close a slight difference...

Anyhow, I was just as big of a doubter, but if you have a horn with a plastic thumb rest and you get a chance to try a metal one you might be surprised. Its an easy change to try, and if you like it a cheap one to make...
I suppose I'll take your word for it then... it seems like such a strange thing to affect the sound. :] My CJS has metal thumb rests, and I rather like it's tone.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think what happens is the resistance is ever so different, and as a result you focus the air differently resulting in a different sound.
 

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Call me a simpleton but I prefer the metal ones because I fear the plastic ones will break at some inopportune moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
yes, simon, I think thats pretty much it--it feels different and maybe as a result you blow differently, I know there is some kind of difference for the better though...!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I should add that my friend who listened to the clips liked the sound of the plastic thumb rest better, but thats beside the point...!
 

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ving said:
yes, simon, I think thats pretty much it--it feels different and maybe as a result you blow differently, I know there is some kind of difference for the better though...!

If you like it then thats all that matters right?:)
 

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BobbyC said:
Call me a simpleton but I prefer the metal ones because I fear the plastic ones will break at some inopportune moment.
I use a plastic Ton Kooinam rest on clt. It snapped in the middle of a lesson once. If the circumstances had been more public this could have been very embarrassing. It's quite an operation to remove the screws and put back the original thumb rest. Still, it's comfy for my thumb and puts my hand in a good relaxed position.
 

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The thumb rest on my YSS-61 developed a crack, and my repair tech replaced it with one from a YSS-62. I find that there is a marked improvement in the tone.

Do you think it is the thumb rest, or do you think the rest of the complete overhaul had something to do with the improvement and ease of playing?
 

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hakukani said:
The thumb rest on my YSS-61 developed a crack, and my repair tech replaced it with one from a YSS-62. I find that there is a marked improvement in the tone.

Do you think it is the thumb rest, or do you think the rest of the complete overhaul had something to do with the improvement and ease of playing?


I'm gonna guess and say that the overhaul might have had something to do with it. I'm not sure though cause Im gonna make a thumbrest out of old Greenline clarinet joints and use the tone changes as my main selling point.

However things are different in Hawaii so you never know.:D
 

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I'll bet it is the thumbrest because it is an original part, not some aftermarket crap like pads or felt that somebody has messed up. New parts rule!!!!!!!!!

Can we make this a poll?
 
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