Michael Griffin - Carbon Fiber D-Tube Neck Stiffener

Michael Griffin installs the Carbon Fiber D-Tube Neck Beam in a Bass

Michael Griffin
Michael Griffin

Michael Griffin uniquely enjoys incorporating the insights of a professional orchestral musician in his making/repair of violin family instruments, a combination of pursuits he has maintained over thirty-plus years. As full-time Acting Principal Bassist of the Rochester Philharmonic, he has long firsthand experience both playing and actively listening to string instruments of the orchestra, all of which he makes in his Fairport workshop. His professional violins include patterns of Golden-period Stradivari, Joseph filius Andreas Guarneri, and del Gesu Guarneri. His basses include four distinctive models of his own design, ranging from a low-shouldered solo model, to larger Italian-influenced orchestral sub-woofers. All his instruments are fully handmade in the Cremonese tradition.

Michael finds the D-tube to be a solution to problems inherent in instrument necks, specifically resonances resulting from flexibility, and ambient conditions affecting neck angle. His recent installation in a 2008 bass summarizes the player experience in comparative before/after terms:
"The influence of the D-Tube was everything I anticipated, plus more. A noticeable change was new evenness across the strings, and especially ascending up each string. The immediacy of body resonance is evened out from note-to-note. The usual hot/cold resonances are brought to awareness by virtue of their absence. This is evident in the left hand, also under the bow in terms of resistance feedback, and enjoyably in the immediacy of pizzicato. The most dramatic change is the full body activity of the instrument, which bassists experience by virtue of their contact with the bass. The audible effect is a full-range boost of EQ across the frequency spectrum, resulting in greater presence. The player's sense is the stiffness of the neck is transferring all physical energy to the body of the instrument, maximizing its acoustical production. The D-tube is a new tool for makers to heighten player satisfaction."
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Allred and Associates, Inc.
321 Route 5 West, PO Box 321
Elbridge, New York 13060
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