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Digital Subscriptions > The Strad > June 2019 > CELLO ENDPIN Straight to the point

CELLO ENDPIN Straight to the point

Can changes to an overlooked part of the cello anatomy help improve your sound?

Matt Schiebold, founder of Cube Acoustics, and cellist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in Ohio, US, set out to create an endpin that matched the rest of his instrument and set-up for quality and precision. ‘I was curious as to why people thought carbon fibre, steel or any other material was best suited for making endpins, ’ he says. ‘It seemed to me that everything going on down there is just as important as the bridge and the soundpost.’

He collaborated with a specialist foundry and designed a prototype using an alloy engineered for minimal acoustic impedance and which he claims boosts the sound waves’ longitudinal frequency. ‘After I had fitted this endpin to my own cello, the instrument just exploded with sound, ’ Schiebold says. ‘A patent lawyer advised me to come up with an easily repeatable experiment that demonstrated its properties. I struck five different endpins and measured how long it took the sound to die away. Of those made from carbon fibre, steel, stainless steel and titanium, the maximum time was 20 seconds.’ His, he says, rang for over two minutes.

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About The Strad

We conclude our investigation of Stradivari’s moulds and examine some radical teaching methods. Vadim Gluzman, Philip Dukes and Matthew Barley are interviewed and there’s our annual Accessories supplement, featuring carbon fibre bows, wolf eliminators, mutes and lots more.