Mamou-Mani, Adrien; Sharp, David; Meurisse, Thibaut and Ring, William
Investigating the consistency of woodwind instrument manufacturing by comparing five nominally identical oboes.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(1) pp. 728–736.
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For large-scale woodwind instrument makers, producing instruments with exactly the same playing characteristics is a constant aim. This paper explores manufacturing consistency by comparing five Howarth S10 student model oboes. Psychophysical testing involving nine musicians is carried out to investigate perceived differences in the playing properties of the two Howarth oboes believed to be most dissimilar. Further testing, involving one musician and combinations of the five oboes, provides information regarding the relative playabilities of the instruments at specific pitches. Meanwhile, input impedance measurements are made on the five oboes for fingerings throughout the playing range and their bore profiles are measured. The main findings are (i) the two instruments used in the preliminary psychophysical testing are perceived as identical by most of the musicians, although differences are identified by two players when playing the note F6 and by one player when playing in the lowest register, (ii) a variation in the playability of F6 across the five oboes is due to differences in the elevation of the C key, and (iii) variations in the playing properties in the lowest register are related to input impedance differences which, in turn, appear to be at least partly due to bore profile differences.
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Investigating the consistency of woodwind instrument manufacturing by comparing five nominally identical oboes. (deposited 17 Jan 2012 09:40)
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