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Chris Goerner




Location: Roanoke, Virginia
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2009 6:31 am    Post subject: Question on harmonics...         Reply with quote

A recent thread on sword harmonics got me wondering about a particular sword in my collection. Of the 6 swords I own, 5 of them make a ringing sound similar to a tuning fork when the blade is tapped on any hard surface. However, one sword I own only makes a dull "thunk" when tapped. This also happens to be the most expensive sword in my collection having come from a reputable maker. So, I am wondering, is this something I should be concerned about, or is the lack of a "ring" to the blade completely immaterial? On the other hand, is it possible that this sword is better at absorbing and dissipating vibrations, and therefore has an advantage over my other swords?

Chris

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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2009 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not going to open up this can of worms, but I will try to answer your question.

The most expensive and best performing sword I have, by far, is a gendai katana (nihonto). It is harmonically dead...as in no vibrations that you can detect.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2009 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To me, the "noise" a blade makes really isn't necessarily related to a sword with good dynamic properties.

In fact, the swords that I've personally handled that have a very, very distinctive "ring" to them were absolute clunkers dynamically. This observation does not lead me to believe that a sword with a distinctive "ring" to it is going to be a clunker, however, but instead shows me there isn't a direct correlation between the two.

The more important things are the dynamic properties of the sword in question. Where is the balance point? Where is the center of percussion? The secondary node? How about the pivot point? How does it feel when in motion? Does it transfer undue vibration to the hand? Is it easy to transfer full force to a target? Etc. etc. etc. Most importantly, does the sword in question perform dynamically in the ways for which that specific sword was designed?

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Michael Edelson




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Apr, 2009 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A ring might also be indicative of tension in the hilt...it's quite common in compression hilted swords. Then again, that is not always the cause.

I think the answer to your question is "no, you should not be concerned." Happy

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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sirs-I would take the blade to an experrienced cutler and have him fit it ti ny hand, No use in buying an expensive blade that hasen't brr adjusted and hilted by a good cutler, Thats why rhe two professions were different.
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Apr, 2009 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Question on harmonics...         Reply with quote

Chris

Stop hitting hard surfaces and stop worrying about ringing sounds. All you need to do is cut some big chuncks of meat and/or similar materials. Similar to touching the end of a tuning fork the meat and/or materials will dampen any possible vibrations. If the sword cuts good then it is a good sword. If the sword cuts bad then it is a bad sword. Some things in life really are simple. Wink

Ran
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Kevin S





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PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 1:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems to me to also be related to tightness, since my Windlass war sword used to not ring at all, but after having tightened the pommel as much as I could (it's threaded) it now rings clearly and sustains that for a good long time, yet something like giving the pommel one more twist is clearly not going to change the way the sword handles. I have to agree with Randall on this one, even though it's kinda nice if a sword makes a clear ringing sound, all that really matters is that it cuts well, and I doubt ringing or not would have any effect on that.
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have often wondered where this myth began, probably as a selling point for threaded/compression-mounted swords. The ability to perpetuate vibrations seems like an odd benckmark of quality for a sword, anyway, does it not?
Of the 4 Albion's I own, 2 have a moderate ring and 2 are almost flat-if you put your ear very close to the blade after it has been struck you will hear a faint, lingering ring but it is nothing like the ring of a compression-mounted sword. My best "ringers" are without a doubt my threaded-tang swords.
IMO the ring or lack thereof has nothing to do with quality or performance of a sword. I personally find a flat, metallic "thwack" sound to be more menacing than a dinner-bell sound anyway Eek!
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 7:56 am    Post subject: Ring a ding ding         Reply with quote

Hi Guys

I would be inclined to agree with those that say the ring is not a real positive or negative. If we break it down, the ring is vibration. All swords (actually any object that shape and size would probably be the same on some level) vibrates, some make an audible sound some do not. The tightness of the components will contribute to this as well as the manufacture method and structure of the piece. MAny factors will go into it.

In any assembled item vibration is movement, movement is wear and tear on the piece, especially on joints and seams. Thus is everything is not tight it rattles. The modern consumer does not like rattle at all. No need for it to be there in most cases as modern production methods are quite good and the average sword today does not get used to the degree that a period sword would. The use of certain materials and elements in period would probably have reduced the ring in the swords of that age. I have seen some originals that still ring but many others that are probably as tight as when they where put together and do not. Also I have seen originals that probably rattled in period as well, but that would be another discussion Happy

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Craig
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Lancelot Chan
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to throw in some information, a sword friend of mine who turned to archery told me that the best arrows were those that were harmonically dead, which do not vibrate at all. It seems to echo Michael's opinion above.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

dear sirs,
If you buy 2 glasses of crystal, you hear the sound like a typical, if the mechanical sounds of the wheels of a train, the pice hear the typical sound. In all cases where the sound is not typical, it indicates that something is wrong. Can I still drink normally.
Wink

best
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Vincent Le Chevalier




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Apr, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah but Maurizio, the typical behaviour could be to make no sound Happy

The key thing to note is that the ringing sound is not linked to deadness so much. For example Michael's katana does not ring and I bet observing vibrations of the blade is not really possible. My Albion Squire does not ring much but you can see its blade vibrate allright.

Recent experiments have led me to believe that the ringing sound is in fact created by vibrations of the quillons that are 'aired' by the blade if the hilt assembly is tight. So if your quillons do not vibrate much, or do not resonate with the blade, or are not tight enough to transmit the vibration, the ring dampens. But this tells very little about the quality of the sword overall.

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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Apr, 2009 4:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If the sword had the same sound when it was new then I agree.
If the sword sound changes are in agreement with Mr.Michel: "A ring might also be indicative of tension in the Hilt "and also with Mr.Craig "any item assembled vibration is movement, movement is wear and tear on the piece ". A sword is right that vibrates, but limits its vibration, it consumes less.
The guard at the points of contact with the blade should not be large, but with interference, 0.03 mm should be sufficient. This is more difficult to achieve for the guard because the profile is internal.
Ciao, and good job to all.

Ciao
Maurizio
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2009 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some further thought and experimenting on this subject has led me to thinking that cross section may play a large role in this. None of the thicker, diamond section swords I have make a distinct ring, while the lenticular and hexagonal blades seem to ring the most, even the ones which are wedged/peened rather than compression fitted. Does anyone else notice this trend in their swords? Maybe it's just a coincidence to the few swords which I have on hand to compare.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Sat 18 Apr, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steel is my job. High content of carbon, chromium and vanadium to steel give a particular sound. All the blades have their typical ring. The difference is only hilt assembly. This is not say that if you do not have a typical ring the sword is not good, I say only that it is a feature that is missing.
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Maurizio
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2009 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin King wrote:
I have often wondered where this myth began, probably as a selling point for threaded/compression-mounted swords.

Most likely it began as an overly literal misinterpretation of the term "vibrational harmonics", I should think. Of course we know it refers to the way the sword conducts or dampens actual vibration, but for someone who's not as much of a geek about these things it's really not a huge conjectural leap to mistake it for a reference to how the thing sounds. Happy

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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2009 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lancelot Chan wrote:
Just to throw in some information, a sword friend of mine who turned to archery told me that the best arrows were those that were harmonically dead, which do not vibrate at all. It seems to echo Michael's opinion above.


Could he be commenting about arrows meant for use with centershot bows? I suspect a harmonically dead arrow wouldn't have been that good of an idea for a traditional bow that has to deal with the archer's paradox.
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