String gags

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StVitus
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String gags

Postby StVitus » Wed Jan 18, 2017 7:56 am

I need to add string gags to two instruments. I’m referring to the hooks tied to the frets to get low strings out of the way and keep them quiet. What wire should I use? Does anybody have a diagram of the knot used to tie these to the fret?

Lars
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Re: String gags

Postby Lars » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:26 am

I just use nylon fret thread with the hooks to tie, it's not usually elaborate just a simple square knot.. I can make you a traditional one as an add on to an order.... I use brass rod but many things will work. Welding flux also. Harry at Carbon sitars makes a clip on hook which would be easier than tying and inexpensive. Either way you go add a little superglue to make it rigid and hold the knot in place once the proper position is attained.

Lars
http://www.raincitymusic.com

barend
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Re: String gags

Postby barend » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:47 pm

Lars wrote:Harry at Carbon sitars makes a clip on hook which would be easier than tying and inexpensive.


How do these work exactly?
Attaching a hook can be a real PITA. Especially if you don't want to take the fret off.

CarbonSitars
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Re: String gags

Postby CarbonSitars » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:48 pm

barend wrote:
Lars wrote:Harry at Carbon sitars makes a clip on hook which would be easier than tying and inexpensive.


How do these work exactly?
Attaching a hook can be a real PITA. Especially if you don't want to take the fret off.


They are a simple C-clip with a slightly bent and notched wire attached. I can make them for any diameter fret wire, with my default size fitting a 3/16" diameter fret. You can see pictures here:
http://carbonsitars.com/store/Kharaj-pa ... tring-clip

I think I have a video somewhere on my Facebook page for 'Carbon Musical Instruments', and Instagram as 'carbonsitars' too.

barend
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Re: String gags

Postby barend » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:44 am

These look great! Can they be attached without any glue?

And another question: when I play higher on the low pa string (say 6th or 7th fret). The Pa string clashes against the hook on the komal Ni fret. It touches the top of the hook resulting in a metallic noise. I have that on both my sitars. These are just the standard hook as made by Barun Roy. Anything that can be done about that? and how is that with your hook? no interference with the other strings?

CarbonSitars
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Re: String gags

Postby CarbonSitars » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:47 pm

barend wrote:These look great! Can they be attached without any glue?

And another question: when I play higher on the low pa string (say 6th or 7th fret). The Pa string clashes against the hook on the komal Ni fret. It touches the top of the hook resulting in a metallic noise. I have that on both my sitars. These are just the standard hook as made by Barun Roy. Anything that can be done about that? and how is that with your hook? no interference with the other strings?


Correct, no glue. They are designed to clamp onto the fret with a little pressure, which results in a very satisfying click. The key is making sure I have the exact diameter of the fret or they will be a little loose or tough to snap in place.

When not in use, they rotate out of the way. There's only about 2mm sticking up after that, giving better clearance for the strings. Since they are removable, you can experiment with different tunings of the clipped strings as well.

StVitus
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Re: String gags

Postby StVitus » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:14 pm

Have you considered making the clip with a hex bolt that could adjust to different frets, similar to the bolts on Fender-style guitar bridges?

CarbonSitars
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Re: String gags

Postby CarbonSitars » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:37 pm

That could be a good idea to fit larger variations in fret wire if these were mass-manufactured. However, there are generally only a few gauges of wire used for frets, mostly between 5/32" and 3/16". The 3/16" clip will fit snugly on most, and it's pretty trivial for me to drill a different sized opening. I also prefer the idea that these can be easily installed and removed, which wouldn't be as simple with a shaft collar design, and the additional tooling, bridge height screw, and wrench would double the price for customers.

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nicneufeld
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Re: String gags

Postby nicneufeld » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:16 am

As a GP player this is less relevant to me but I'm curious...would it make sense to, instead of the all metal wire hooks that are normal...have some sort of felt (or other material) deadening when the strings are hooked? I just remember weird off-tones from my KP days, when the kharaj strings were hooked (I was a beginner so it could have been technique, or lack thereof). Harry's solution seems to have a synthetic body which may not transmit as much to the body of the instrument as the usual metal hooks. Probably my technique was sloppy/ier back then and I was dragging over the hooked strings in jhalla...

CarbonSitars
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Re: String gags

Postby CarbonSitars » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:12 pm

My particular design came out of the requirement for a particular customer to both clip the strings out of the way for jhalla, but then still be able to use them for certain effects much like PRS used to. They wound up being removable because he wanted the ability to tune the clipped strings to specific notes. They worked well enough that I started offering them for sale.

While adding a dampening material would make that particular use difficult, it would be an advantage in other situations. Last year, I made a chitravina which the customer needed the old-school tanpura-style sympathetics, but also the ability to mute those strings for faster sections, so I designed a leather-topped mute which could be rotated down on top of those strings. Works pretty well.

If your goal is simply to mute the two strings, then a small piece of dense foam or rubber with a couple of slots cut into it would work well, especially if placed on a spot where an inharmonic partial lies. Depending on technique, one might still hear the clank of the mizrab hitting them, but they wouldn't ring out normally.


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