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 Post subject: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:49 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:45 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Hampshire
Forum members may have noticed a renewed interest in fibre needles, reflected in the high prices being achieved on uk ebay?
It would be interesting to hear people's views on the different needles available and the best cutters. To start things off I have attached a photo of a packet of EMG bamboo needles. This packet is a rare survivor being unopened (though worn) and possibly predates the split into EMG and Expert not being labelled 'Davey'? The mention of 'wireless' may help to date it more accurately?


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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:35 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:00 am
Posts: 65
Location: Nova Scotia
Funny you should bring this up today.

Stumbled on a youtube video of someone preparing needles from bamboo toothpicks and I had just picked some up from the Asian Grocery on a trip to the big city.

In the video he gives very detailed instructions but I was a bit puzzled about why he did somethings. He soaked them in a mixture of Gum arabic and water for a couple weeks ... but why he did so eludes me ... even after reading about the uses of Gum arabic.

He also cut the tips off and re-tipped them ... is the tip of the toothpick too sharp, not sharp enough?

I also found a video where someone just clipped off a toothpick and played it without further ado ... It sounded ok to me.

Here are the links:
treated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTqTyfj0B0Q
untreated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNLtT3EsNwc

Darrell


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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:51 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:17 am
Posts: 336
Very nice box. Never seen one of them before. Thanks for posting.

I'm very partial to the Japanese susudake bamboo needles (ebay). A bit pricey but I find they last the longest before needing cutting. Then again, I have made them myself from old car seat bamboo mats and they work fine enough.


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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:44 am 
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Victor O
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Keep'em well oiled
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:51 am
Posts: 58
Location: Madrid, Spain
I used to make my own needles from bamboo sticks that I found here and there from the trash containers I found in the street. Once I found several sticks of black bamboo, which is said to be the hardest one. They usually work fine for me... Later I will include a photo. I cut the stick in cylinders 2-3 cm long with a see-saw, then extract the triangular needles using a blade knife. I'm lately cutting them longer, because I've found that longer needles work better.
In general I obtain good needles, although sometimes I have to reject some needles that don't work. But provided they have costed me zero, I think it's a good deal..!
Attachment:
File comment: Black bamboos at left of cylindric file. Brown at right. The file is used to make the needles 'concave' as were the originals.
1521583447167-1977790107.jpg
1521583447167-1977790107.jpg [ 4.52 MiB | Viewed 404 times ]
Inigo


Last edited by Inigo on Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:58 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 647
Location: near Utopia, UK
Loudbass wrote:
Forum members may have noticed a renewed interest in fibre needles, reflected in the high prices being achieved on uk ebay?
It would be interesting to hear people's views on the different needles available and the best cutters.


Yes, I've wondered why prices seem to be going still higher of late!

I've yet to find any cutter as pactical and effective as the EMG one, but many of the others are OK.

Here are some packs of fibres from my collection. To my ears EMG Daveys outperform all other bamboo/fibre needles by a large margin, with HMV fibres taking second place. I did try some of Chris Ward's doped fibres some time ago and they were excellent. I bought some susudake and found them a modest improvement on ordinary newly made fibres, but not in the same league for sound quality as old EMG Daveys, HMVs or (changing the subject slightly) Burmese Colour Needles.


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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:40 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:45 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Hampshire
Great to see all those different packets, thanks for posting. I must admit I tend to get better results with Burmese thorns, but this could be because my fibres are not dry enough? I am thinking of getting a small dehumidifier jar, perhaps one meant for hearing aids. I have had some success making needles from bamboo skewers..another cheap source. Orcorsol’s final picture is the closest to mine, but has a different ‘phone number. Interesting to see how much cheaper the Meltrope needles were.


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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:57 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 647
Location: near Utopia, UK
Loudbass wrote:
Great to see all those different packets, thanks for posting. I must admit I tend to get better results with Burmese thorns, but this could be because my fibres are not dry enough? I am thinking of getting a small dehumidifier jar, perhaps one meant for hearing aids. I have had some success making needles from bamboo skewers..another cheap source. Orcorsol’s final picture is the closest to mine, but has a different ‘phone number. Interesting to see how much cheaper the Meltrope needles were.

A mutual friend of ours gave me some used clarinet and saxophone reeds, which made good fibre needles; likewise an old box of Tonkin bamboo which I gather was very much the favoured variety back in the day. Both were significantly better than average for newly cut fibres, roughly on a par with susudake I'd say.

Original dessicating pots from our favourite firms are also extremely expensive items, of course! With taking on and reinvigorating the BCN business, I'm thinking of offering little clear screw-top jars which can serve that purpose, using a sachet or two of silica gel inside, as a cheap and effective option.


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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:07 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:00 am
Posts: 65
Location: Nova Scotia
Orchorsol wrote:
Loudbass wrote:
Great to see all those different packets, thanks for posting. I must admit I tend to get better results with Burmese thorns, but this could be because my fibres are not dry enough? I am thinking of getting a small dehumidifier jar, perhaps one meant for hearing aids. I have had some success making needles from bamboo skewers..another cheap source. Orcorsol’s final picture is the closest to mine, but has a different ‘phone number. Interesting to see how much cheaper the Meltrope needles were.

A mutual friend of ours gave me some used clarinet and saxophone reeds, which made good fibre needles; likewise an old box of Tonkin bamboo which I gather was very much the favoured variety back in the day. Both were significantly better than average for newly cut fibres, roughly on a par with susudake I'd say.

Original dessicating pots from our favourite firms are also extremely expensive items, of course! With taking on and reinvigorating the BCN business, I'm thinking of offering little clear screw-top jars which can serve that purpose, using a sachet or two of silica gel inside, as a cheap and effective option.


The reed idea is very interesting and perfectly logical ... I am filing that away. I have hoarded silica packs over time and revived them in the oven ... 200 degrees for an hour or two if memory serves. But a bit for internet searching will likely turn up more reliable information. Also when storing hand tools in non climate controlled environment, I have used silica cat litter wrapped in J-cloth in a box with the tools. Its exactly the same thing and cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:52 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 699
Location: Italy
Orchorsol wrote:
Loudbass wrote:
Forum members may have noticed a renewed interest in fibre needles, reflected in the high prices being achieved on uk ebay?
It would be interesting to hear people's views on the different needles available and the best cutters.


Yes, I've wondered why prices seem to be going still higher of late!


I think everybody vaguely interested in "organic" needles noticed this. In the case of cactus needles it makes sense, as needle picking is now prohibited so all that is left is old stock and prices are ever growing. In the case of bamboo needles, instead, I wonder how much will it take before someone will "smell the business" and provide an affordable product.

On my side, few years ago I was very willing to try out all kind of natural needles. I also tried, on occasion, to participate in auctions for sharpeners/cutters, always being kicked off at the final bids. All attempts of owning the proper gear failing, I lately kind of gave up on that. I have also grown some skepticism about this type of needles being effectively more gentle on the records, and the lack of control over volume is another issue that refrains me. Wether the kind of organic residue that they leave on groove might be harmful or not concerning mold growth etc. is another issue that kind of cooled down my enthusiasm. Still, I would be curious to try them out.


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 Post subject: Re: EMG Fibre needles and others
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:54 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 647
Location: near Utopia, UK
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
Orchorsol wrote:
Loudbass wrote:
Forum members may have noticed a renewed interest in fibre needles, reflected in the high prices being achieved on uk ebay?
It would be interesting to hear people's views on the different needles available and the best cutters.


Yes, I've wondered why prices seem to be going still higher of late!


I think everybody vaguely interested in "organic" needles noticed this. In the case of cactus needles it makes sense, as needle picking is now prohibited so all that is left is old stock and prices are ever growing. In the case of bamboo needles, instead, I wonder how much will it take before someone will "smell the business" and provide an affordable product.

On my side, few years ago I was very willing to try out all kind of natural needles. I also tried, on occasion, to participate in auctions for sharpeners/cutters, always being kicked off at the final bids. All attempts of owning the proper gear failing, I lately kind of gave up on that. I have also grown some skepticism about this type of needles being effectively more gentle on the records, and the lack of control over volume is another issue that refrains me. Wether the kind of organic residue that they leave on groove might be harmful or not concerning mold growth etc. is another issue that kind of cooled down my enthusiasm. Still, I would be curious to try them out.

Marco, would you like a few sample Burmese Colour Needles free? Please PM me your address again if so, and I'll send them.

Even after I have to put the price up soon, they will continue to be much cheaper than any of the bamboo fibre needles being offered by people making those, and the price difference is multiplied even more because they can be sharpened many more times. They sound at least as good as the best fibres - but I can no longer claim to be impartial of course! :lol:

The exterior of the BCN thorns has a surface treatment, but nothing is added to the core, so the sharpened point is pure hardened plant material (lignin). I don't believe that any significant residues remain in the groove, but it would be interesting to check this with a microscope. I imagine there might be a few tiny particles if a point has failed during playing for whatever reason, but they would not be of a nature to cause wear. The only other possibility of concern is an occasional particle of abrasive from the sharpener, but if good quality fine emery paper/cloth is used, this should be avoided. Without even thinking about it I always give the point a quick twist between my fingers, and some people wipe them on a pad of felt, to make sure.

Apologies if this seems like an advert - not intended - I'm not quite ready yet (working on a website and a bit more organising needed) but will post in Yankee Trader soon.


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