Endpin, an essential component to cellos and double basses, is an extensible rod usually made of metal, carbon fiber or sometimes wood with a pointed tip to stick to the ground and to keep the instrument stationed. It not only allows more stability but also has great influence in sound production.
Endpin first appeared to improve acoustics by lifting the instruments above the ground and away from the body’s embrace to prevent dampening and darkening the tone quality due to absorbed vibration. When a string is played, the vibration transmit to the sound box and the endpin via the bridge and some energy will be lost during this process as the sound box and endpin vibrate as well. In recent years, various researches are conducted to explore the possibility of further reduce vibration loss and enhance tone quality.
According to the research, the ideal endpin should be stiff and strong enough to resist vibration and preserve power and projection of sound. Unfortunately, stiffness and strength often come from thickness and increased mass which will increase energy loss. If stiffness is increased while the mass is decreased, the sound will texture and resonance. Therefore, in the pursuance of reserving maximum vibration and securing best tone quality, there is no magic formula and it is very difficult to get everything we want.
There are a number of product in the market which have various emphasis such as on amplifying projection, enhancing overall tone quality, or reducing weight/energy loss, etc. No matter which aspect you have more preference in modifying, it is important that you are familiar with your instrument and its sound and understand your needs when you consider changing an endpin.
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