Le Freque sound inhancer

Post Reply
User avatar
dukesboneman
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:40 pm
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Contact:

Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by dukesboneman » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:15 pm

Has any one tried these? I was skeptical that was just another "snake oil" treatment.
One of the guys in my Trombone Quartet came in with one on his 88H. So I asked him about it.
He took it off and played an excerpt of what we had just played. Sounded good. Then he put the Le Freque on and WOW !!! Instantly the tone was noticeably darker and richer.
So I asked to try it. Played something , then had him put it on my Mouthpiece/horn. BINGO !!
Instantly the other guys noticed a complete difference in my sound. Darker and more overtones in it.
From the back end, the horn felt instantly different. I was amazed and sold.
I`ve tried things before, like the Acousticoil. and it was Bull s...
This works . I don`t know how or why but it works
Image
Attachments
th.jpeg
th.jpeg (5.93 KiB) Viewed 1069 times
User avatar
Neo Bri
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:30 am
Location: Netherwhere
Contact:

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Neo Bri » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:41 pm

I haven't tried one, but I know some people who really like them. I know a flute player who is sold.

Some people really like the Acousticoil, too, though I've never tried one of those, either.

How do you think it works?
________________________________________________________
Get the word out! Make www.trombonechat.com our community!
Doug Elliott
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Doug Elliott » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:51 am

The shape of a mouthpiece blank can affect the sound and response. The placement of braces on the horn, counterweight or no, soldered or unsoldered bell rim, etc, can all affect the sound and response. If adding a small bit of mass at a certain point would be beneficial, it's an easy way to try it. Maybe, because of the design of the horn, it woudn't be beneficial, or it could make things worse.
It's not entirely snake oil, it can make differences just like those other things, or the difference between careful vs sloppy assembly of a horn with the same parts.
doctortrombone
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:50 pm
Location: Washington

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by doctortrombone » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:15 am

Hey--I use snake oil and bull s*** and they increase the richness and truth of my tone. Just don't use snake oil on large-bore horns. It thins the tonal darkness and adds impurities to the overtones, removing the hints of vanilla and rosewater in the pedal range and adding an unpleasant nose of bitter chocolate to certain pitches.

Seriously--I have no doubt that the LeFreque does something. Here's the thing though--Different is different, but not necessarily better. When people invariably say that something "different" is automatically better, I doubt their methodology.

If it does work, then you should be able to test what it does, how it does it, when it doesn't do it, etc. Does the sound change when you move it? Is it different if you use only one of the little skateboard thingies? Does it pick up vibrations from the oboes?

Then there's the stuff that gets me on full BS alert: I didn't look through every one of these, but it seems that all the inexpensive ones--well--if $180 for a brass strip seems inexpensive-- regardless of metal, serve to provide "round sound, a lot of 'core' in the tone and fast response." If you want more "depth" and "warmth" in the upper harmonics, you can have them gold plated. The solid silver one provides: "Pure, warm sound abounding with overtones, more mass, speed, brilliance and increased flexibility in dynamics," but the $5400 (yes, it's there) solid gold one provides: "Unequaled purity. Warm and fluid tone production in the whole range of frequencies. Incredible overtones."

Sorry, but if you want to convince me, you need to stop using words like "deep," "warm," "dark," "round," "pure," and "incredible overtones" in your descriptions. Unquantifiable adjectives may sell products, but they don't allow for comparison. I want to see frequency response charts from double-blind tests--easily done since there's only one variable being changed.

I'm one of the "true believers" here when it comes to bell materials making a difference in sound. I also know from experience that tiny differences in construction can radically change a horn's response. Still, attributing that range of tonal variations to a sliver of metal attached to the horn with elastic bands stretches my credulity to its limit.
Doug Elliott
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Doug Elliott » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:08 am

I didn't say there was no BS in the hype...
timothy42b
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:51 am
Location: central Virginia

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by timothy42b » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:13 am

Clearly it cannot function like the advertising hype claims, at least not without violating the laws of physics.

But a number of good players can hear some effect, so provisionally we can accept that adding mass to some spots seems to do something.

Could you do it cheaper? Ah, there's the rub.
Doug Elliott
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:12 pm

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Doug Elliott » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:26 am

We already know that moving mass around can change things, better and worse.
They're just selling a product to do that.
You can always do anything cheaper if that's your priority.
doctortrombone
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:50 pm
Location: Washington

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by doctortrombone » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:00 pm

timothy42b wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:13 am
Clearly it cannot function like the advertising hype claims, at least not without violating the laws of physics.

No, it follows the fundamental law of Thermos-ticity. If you want a bright tone out of your piccolo, put it on, and your tone will get brighter. If you want a dark tone out of your bass trombone, put it on, and your tone will get darker.

How does it know? Same way a thermos knows not to make your hot things cold, and your cold things hot. :tongue:
hyperbolica
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:31 am

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by hyperbolica » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:16 pm

This is similar to the Edwards Harmonic Bridge. It resonates at a certain harmonic, sounds like an overtone, so it changes the perceived tone somewhat. I believe that all of these hardware resonance devices have effect over the short range. It's the air resonance that makes the biggest impact on the sound. It's no accident that the harmonic bridge is right next to your ear. I'd bet the leFreque device has most noticeable impact (to the player) when attached to a similar location. I tend to doubt you could hear the effect on a recording or from the front row of the audience. Not that sounding better to yourself is a bad thing, just as long as you realize what it is. And I agree with Euph, different is not necessarily better.
User avatar
Neo Bri
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:30 am
Location: Netherwhere
Contact:

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Neo Bri » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:25 pm

doctortrombone wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:00 pm
timothy42b wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:13 am
Clearly it cannot function like the advertising hype claims, at least not without violating the laws of physics.

No, it follows the fundamental law of Thermos-ticity. If you want a bright tone out of your piccolo, put it on, and your tone will get brighter. If you want a dark tone out of your bass trombone, put it on, and your tone will get darker.

How does it know? Same way a thermos knows not to make your hot things cold, and your cold things hot. :tongue:
________________________________________________________
Get the word out! Make www.trombonechat.com our community!
doctortrombone
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:50 pm
Location: Washington

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by doctortrombone » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:45 pm

Neo Bri wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:25 pm
doctortrombone wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:00 pm
timothy42b wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:13 am
Clearly it cannot function like the advertising hype claims, at least not without violating the laws of physics.

No, it follows the fundamental law of Thermos-ticity. If you want a bright tone out of your piccolo, put it on, and your tone will get brighter. If you want a dark tone out of your bass trombone, put it on, and your tone will get darker.

How does it know? Same way a thermos knows not to make your hot things cold, and your cold things hot. :tongue:
Can you believe McDonalds threw away that idea, and kept the "McRib"?
Pre59
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 2:51 am
Location: Devon UK

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Pre59 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:24 am

Have you heard about the new brass craze?

Listen to us, I'm sure you'll be amazed

Big fun to be had by everyone

It's up to you, it surely can be done

Young and old are doing it, I'm told

Just one try, and you too will be sold

It's called Le Freque! They're doing it night and day

Allow us, we'll show you the way..
User avatar
Neo Bri
Posts: 614
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:30 am
Location: Netherwhere
Contact:

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Neo Bri » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:58 am

________________________________________________________
Get the word out! Make www.trombonechat.com our community!
User avatar
ghmerrill
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:41 pm
Location: Central North Carolina

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by ghmerrill » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:26 am

Concerning the observation that a significant number of players can hear some effect, we must be cautious. What we really know is that a number of players SAY that they hear some effect, and perhaps FEEL strongly that they hear a definite effect. But that's not evidence of a difference that others would likely hear.

And of course Doug is right that there ARE structural differences (even minor ones at times) that make a clear difference in the sound made by the instrument. Probably one reason we have so many different brands and models -- and that people have braces added/removed/moved, have lead pipes floated or unfloated, bell rims modified, etc.

There's a huge hole in things like this that confirmation bias rushes in to fill. Recent experiments with hearing the playing and listening differences between Stradivarius instruments and others (including ones newly produced) have shown a similar effect in the past ten years.

But if you can afford the (not insignificant) cost of one of these devices, and it makes you feel like you play better, then go for it. Me ... I think I'd try wrapping some solder on the horn first -- just as an experiment. But then there's the argument that $2 worth of wrapped solder just doesn't work like a $145 pair of polished plates. And it's difficult to dispute that. However, this reminds me that I need to find one of those little devices to attach to fuel lines that align the fuel molecules and enhance gas mileage. They've gotten harder to find for some reason. Thinking of putting it on my Diesel tractor.

If you want more discussion of this, there are some threads on Dave Werden's forum since some of the euph players went nuts about these a while ago. I don't recall there being any long term follow-up reports, but once the confirmation bias is gone, a certain amount of "investment bias" starts to appear. :?
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
User avatar
BGuttman
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 am
Location: Cow Hampshire

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by BGuttman » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:15 pm

You remind me of a time when it was popular to use something called a "Sound Sleeve", which was a metal cylinder that went on the mouthpiece shank and supposedly enhanced the sound. I was too cheap to buy one of the things, but I found a steel bearing cap that fit just fine. I put it on and found that it did nothing to or for my upper register, but seemed to make the lower register speak better. I got a bunch of these caps (we used to throw them away when we rebuilt a certain machine) and I shared them with friends. The only condition was if they didn't like it, I wanted it back (to give to somebody else).

Well, I had a major accident with my symphonic tenor and while it was being repaired I used a different model horn. The bearing cap didn't fit on this new one. Guess what? My lower register was still strong like I had the aid. I can only think that it made me do something to my playing that actually made things better; I don't believe the bearing cap really did something by itself.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
timothy42b
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:51 am
Location: central Virginia

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by timothy42b » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:51 pm

ghmerrill wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:26 am
Concerning the observation that a significant number of players can hear some effect, we must be cautious. What we really know is that a number of players SAY that they hear some effect, and perhaps FEEL strongly that they hear a definite effect. But that's not evidence of a difference that others would likely hear.
I would put it a little more strongly. It is possible to actually hear an effect that isn't there.

I'm not saying this particular item is in that category. I'm just saying it is easier to fool ourselves than most of us think.
whitbey
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:44 am
Location: Rochester Michigan North of Detroit.
Contact:

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by whitbey » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:56 pm

I don't mean to hijack the thread but I put 4 copper washers under the valve caps on my Cerveny euphonium. It made the horn blow a bit more solid for me. Years after I did it someone else had the same model horn as me and a third person was trying both. He noted mine played more solid. Threw the washers on the other guys horn and then it did for all of us. The other guy made a trip to the hardware store.
Little things in the right place do matter.
User avatar
ghmerrill
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:41 pm
Location: Central North Carolina

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by ghmerrill » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:33 am

Did addition of the washers maybe end up aligning the valves correctly? :shock: Was valve alignment checked before and after the washer addition? Sometimes physics really matters.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
whitbey
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:44 am
Location: Rochester Michigan North of Detroit.
Contact:

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by whitbey » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:10 pm

ghmerrill wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:33 am
Did addition of the washers maybe end up aligning the valves correctly? :shock: Was valve alignment checked before and after the washer addition? Sometimes physics really matters.
All is good. But I was careful to measure the 4 I bought to make sure they were flat.
User avatar
ghmerrill
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:41 pm
Location: Central North Carolina

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by ghmerrill » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:41 am

What I was suggesting was that it was the addition of the washers that brought the pistons into alignment, and that this was the cause of the improvement. But to know that, you'd need to measure/observe the actual state of the alignment and not depend on (even published) dimensions for washers and shims.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
hornbuilder
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 9:20 pm

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by hornbuilder » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:02 pm

Why pay huge money....

whitbey
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:44 am
Location: Rochester Michigan North of Detroit.
Contact:

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by whitbey » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:01 am

ghmerrill wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:41 am
What I was suggesting was that it was the addition of the washers that brought the pistons into alignment, and that this was the cause of the improvement. But to know that, you'd need to measure/observe the actual state of the alignment and not depend on (even published) dimensions for washers and shims.

I put the washers under the Rotary valves bearing caps. Not pistons.
User avatar
ghmerrill
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:41 pm
Location: Central North Carolina

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by ghmerrill » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:15 pm

Then I confess to being totally mystified about how it could have had any objective effect at all. My best shot would be to speculate that it removed some vertical play in the rotors and forced them to retain correct vertical alignment. But given how the bushings work and fit into the casings, that seems a real stretch. Maybe we just have to ascribe the result to one of the mystical properties of copper, I'd be more inclined to suspect confirmation bias -- and wonder why it ever occurred to you to do this in the first place. Why did it? Or was it just a random "think I'll throw a washer in there" kind of feeling?
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
User avatar
Matt K
Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:34 pm

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Matt K » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:56 am

hornbuilder wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:02 pm
Why pay huge money....

The peppermint really sweetens your tone!
afugate
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:47 am

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by afugate » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:00 am

ghmerrill wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:15 pm
Then I confess to being totally mystified about how it could have had any objective effect at all. My best shot would be to speculate that it removed some vertical play in the rotors and forced them to retain correct vertical alignment. But given how the bushings work and fit into the casings, that seems a real stretch. Maybe we just have to ascribe the result to one of the mystical properties of copper, I'd be more inclined to suspect confirmation bias -- and wonder why it ever occurred to you to do this in the first place. Why did it? Or was it just a random "think I'll throw a washer in there" kind of feeling?
This strikes me as similar to what a heavy valve cap purportedly does for response.

--Andy in OKC
User avatar
ghmerrill
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:41 pm
Location: Central North Carolina

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by ghmerrill » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:55 am

I'm inclined to focus on the "purportedly" part of that. But there does seem to be a market for such things.

It's just fascinating (to me) that no one seems to have done any objective studies about these things -- like, say, the double blind studies a few years ago that demonstrated the inability of (even expert) players to tell the difference between a Stradivarius and newly made violins (some of which weren't even particularly expensive). I think, for example, that if I were a manufacturer/vendor of "tone enhancing devices", I'd really want those sorts of studies to boost my marketing (and help the performance community).

I do wonder if there aren't some DMA theses done in that area, though I haven't looked for them. But maybe that's more of an acoustics thesis than a music thesis, and maybe the acoustics people already know the answers. Or maybe the people who design and manufacture these instruments already know the answers.
Gary Merrill
Wessex EEb Bass tuba
Mack Brass Compensating Euph
Amati Oval Euph
1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba
Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/110 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)
User avatar
Burgerbob
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:10 pm
Location: LA
Contact:

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:17 am

Heavy valve caps absolutely do change things about a horn.

Adding mass anywhere will change something!
Bass Trombone
DL Band
SLO Symphony
mrpillow
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:19 am

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by mrpillow » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:23 am

Nobody has done any extensive studies because beyond the world of brass nerds it is of more or less complete insignificance. The world of Italian string instruments can leverage resources because it is a high-stakes, big money game and has a much broader relevance to musicians, makers, investors, collectors, museums, historians, and even the general public, who are far more likely to know the name Stradivari than that of any brass maker.

Makers of these sorts of innovations aren't particular inclined to pump out objective evaluations for many reasons. It's expensive, and they aren't usually rolling in cash. It's time consuming, and they aren't likely to have much of that either. Perhaps above all, a true transparent objective approach always has the unfortunate risk of working against you instead of for you.
Organologique et plus!
Kbiggs
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:46 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by Kbiggs » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:49 am

whitbey wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:01 am
I put the washers under the Rotary valves bearing caps. Not pistons.
Many years ago I played around with some bronze washers under the rotary valve caps of my old 50B. At the time, my perception (subjective) was that it definitely affected the response of the instrument. IIRC, the instrument “slotted” more, but there were trade-offs. There was hampered flexibility between partials. It felt as though there was more resistance, esp. at lounder dynamics—the instrument was more difficult to get the “sizzle” sound that is characteristic of the bass trombone at louder levels, esp. in the lower middle and low registers. I also felt as though it was easier to project, at the cost of some of the harmonics/overtones that lent character or interest to my tone quality. It also seemed as though the horn wanted to play loud all the time, almost as if my dynamic envelope was shifted upwards a notch or two while cutting off the lower levels. Again, this was many years ago.

If I understand the promotional lit from La Freque, that’s not what they’re aiming for, which is impoved liveliness, projection, overall “improved tone.” I take “improved tone” to mean that it is easier to produce a characteristic tone with La Freque, or it’s easier to get the tone you want.

Either way, and in the absence of verifiable objective studies like mrpillow describes, there are two undeniable factors at play: adding mass anywhere will change the sound of the instrument (thanks Burgerbob, gabelangfur, others), and the placebo effect is real.
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
whitbey
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:44 am
Location: Rochester Michigan North of Detroit.
Contact:

Re: Le Freque sound inhancer

Post by whitbey » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:18 pm

Kbiggs wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:49 am
whitbey wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:01 am
I put the washers under the Rotary valves bearing caps. Not pistons.
Many years ago I played around with some bronze washers under the rotary valve caps of my old 50B. At the time, my perception (subjective) was that it definitely affected the response of the instrument. IIRC, the instrument “slotted” more, but there were trade-offs. There was hampered flexibility between partials. It felt as though there was more resistance, esp. at lounder dynamics—the instrument was more difficult to get the “sizzle” sound that is characteristic of the bass trombone at louder levels, esp. in the lower middle and low registers. I also felt as though it was easier to project, at the cost of some of the harmonics/overtones that lent character or interest to my tone quality. It also seemed as though the horn wanted to play loud all the time, almost as if my dynamic envelope was shifted upwards a notch or two while cutting off the lower levels. Again, this was many years ago.

If I understand the promotional lit from La Freque, that’s not what they’re aiming for, which is impoved liveliness, projection, overall “improved tone.” I take “improved tone” to mean that it is easier to produce a characteristic tone with La Freque, or it’s easier to get the tone you want.

Either way, and in the absence of verifiable objective studies like mrpillow describes, there are two undeniable factors at play: adding mass anywhere will change the sound of the instrument (thanks Burgerbob, gabelangfur, others), and the placebo effect is real.
I also tried two washers.
It was too much just as you said.
Without the washers the horn waffled rather then slotting.
Post Reply

Return to “Modification & Repair”