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Thread: Neck reinforcement vs a truss rod

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Neck reinforcement vs a truss rod

    The balance point on most mandolins ranges from under the neck heel to just slightly toward the tailpiece from the neck heel. A greater concentration of mass toward the headstock affects the moment of inertia of the mandolin about the balance point. That has an impact on the force required to rotate the mandolin about the balance point, but does not affect the balance of the instrument. The balance of the instrument is affected by any mass on either side of the balance point. Likewise, the whole body+neck barlike bending motions are affected by total mass as well as overall stiffness - more by the stiffness, but also by the mass. I know that because I have imaged those bending motions using interferometry, in addition to the body/plate motions.

    Regarding the concentration of mass in the ornate Gibson F-style headstock: I have posted on that before. I initially thought that all the scrolly stuff up there must surely contribute to excess or unnecessary mass, but when I got around to measuring the masses, I found that it doesn't make all that much difference. You can make a more significant difference by switching from heavier grommets to the "vintage" grommets (e.g., as sold by StewMac). Those lighter grommets weigh about 0.5 g apiece. The typical heavier grommets with the knurled barrels weigh anywhere from about 1.5 g apiece to up to 4 g apiece (for those really tall ones (old Schaller?)). So with the lighter grommets, you are adding only 4 g total to the mass at the headstock, while the heavier ones add anywhere from 12 g to as much as 32 g total to the headstock mass.

    Regarding tuner mass: You won't find any that are light enough to make a significant difference. The lightest I have weighed were a couple of older sets of golden Age vintage bronze F-style tuners at 134 g apiece. Currently, StewMac lists all their Golden Age mandolin tuners at 150 g. Most tuner sets weigh ca 150 g to upwards of 160 g apiece.

  2. #52
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Neck reinforcement vs a truss rod

    SOme of the weigths on Stew mac web are suspicious. They have GA tuners at 150g (both A and F!, plastic knobs) and Waverly A tuners at 190 g and Wav F at 300g (?!?).... The ebony knob A Wavs are 170g...
    I'd guess the 300 g is wrong number and the real difference between GA and Wav is some 20-40 g for A style, and perhaps at least as much for F style.
    Adrian

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Neck reinforcement vs a truss rod

    I weigh everything - all instrument parts, hardware, etc.,... - on my Mettler toploading balance. The more recent Golden Age tuners I have weighed did indeed weigh ~150 grams, +/- 1 gram. Haven't used any Waverlys in a while, but the last ones I weighed were in the 156 gram range. Haven't seen profound differrences between A and F tuners in general. Most of the tuner parts are the same for the two types. On the F tuners, while some of the tuner button bars are longer, others are shorter, so I would not expect there to be profound differences in weight between A and F. Never have come across a set of tuners weighing 190 g. let alone 300 g.

    Just weighed an ebony button and a plastic ("pearloid") button. Both weighed ~0.8 g, +/- 0.1 g

    Suffice it to say, the weight range for ALL the mandolin tuners I have weighed is between 134 g and ~170 g. The take-home message for me is that they are ALL a lot heavier than I would like. For guitars, octave mandolins, mandocellos, and other larger instruments, tuner masd, let alone neck mass, is not a problem. Those larger instruments are not head-heavy. Mandolins are.

  4. #54
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    Default Re: Neck reinforcement vs a truss rod

    Just looked at StewMac's site again. The figures I saw for the masses of Waverly tuners varied between 170g and 290 g. Something haywire there. Also put off by their sloppiness with significant figures; in some cases, reporting 4 significant digits for the weight pin pounds, then only 2 for the mass in kilograms. They need to sit in on a course in introductory physics or chemistry for the part about reporting measurements.

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