A Comparison of Three endpins

Comparisons of a New Harmony 19 inch, 10mm, 68 gram carbon fiber endpin, a New Harmony 24 inch, 10mm, 76 gram carbon fiber endpin, and a 24 inch, 10mm, 230 gram RESONANCE Titanium Cello Endpin. Actual length of the shafts are 18.5 inches, 22.5 inches, and 22.5 inches, respectively. All excerpts were performed with the endpin at the same length outside of the cello, 12.75 inches.

There is a good deal of commentary by cellists concerning how different materials change the sound or response of a cello, so I decided to put this to the test. The three endpins compared here were auditioned one after the other in exactly the same position, mic placement, etc., in order to have as true a comparison as possible. All were inserted into a 6-degree down-angled New Harmony plug/bung.

I wanted to compare the exact same length shaft of the two different materials, as I read of an experiment where someone cut off most of the part of a steel endpin that remained inside of the cello while performing in order to save weight. It was reported that this negatively affected the sound of the cello with that endpin in it, implying that the portion of the endpin inside the cello has a positive effect on the sound.

You be the judge!


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4 Responses to A Comparison of Three endpins

  1. Jonathan Hunt says:

    Thankyou for going to the trouble of doing such well thought-out and well executed tests, Clay!

  2. Susan Halderman says:

    I liked the titanium the best, had a sweet sound. But, all 3 good, all so close. I’d heard that it was best for wolftones to have less endpin length inside the cello and more outside.

  3. Gregor says:

    Interesting test!
    I would say the Titanium ( No. 3) sounds best, it produces the most overtones and has the best clarity. I also liked the No. 2, it has a warmer sound than No. 3 but it lacks the clarity and easiness of how the bow can speak on the string…

  4. Jim Denton says:

    Hey Clay – thanks so much for your hard work here as well as on the rest of your website … bravissimo!!! On the cello you are using for these tests/comparisons, I too, am a fan of No. 3, the titanium endpin. The minute you go from No. 2 to No. 3 the comparison ends, for me at least! The difference in the quality of sound between No. 3 and the others is astounding.

    I have had David Car?n install a number of different endpins on the two cellos he made for me over the years and I am taking my cellos out to him in New Mexico this summer so that I can have him work his magic on their sound. I believe I would like to have him install endpin No. 3 on the first cello he made for me.

    The reason for the choice of that first cello is twofold:

    First, a number of years ago I opened my shipping trunk and took my hard case out at one of the venues we perform at: Miller Outdoor Theatre. Then I opened the hard case, turned my back, and heard the terrible noise of my cello hitting the wood floor backstage, bridge first. The velcro around the neck had worn out! On close inspection of my cello, there was a soundpost crack on the top of the instrument. I sent the cello to David and he fixed it. Unfortunately, he did not think that a sound post crack on the top of the instrument affected its value at all! I had to go to a different dealer to get a new appraisal that accounted for this crack.

    Second, the other instrument David made for me is an exhibition instrument, made with inlays of Hawaiian curly koa wood diamonds on the back of the instrument, plus the pegs & the tailpiece with negative space in the shape of one half of a diamond, and finally, the endpin plug. So I’m not going to mess with that exhibition cello unless I can find a titanium endpin that fits the hole on the existing Koa plug … which should be possible, yes?

    Anyway, great article and thanks for the sound comparisons! ~ Jim

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