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VNO Design

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Reply with quote  #1 
By larger diameter I'm assuming you mean 6" or larger? While your larger surface area has an effect on sustain and generally speaking increases it, I've seen a large fluctuation in Tablas of all diameters. It really comes down to how that particular head is reacting with that particular shell. Sometimes magic happens, sometimes not.

Your tuning sensitivity is increased due to the stresses on the materials being less than a smaller diameter Tabla. Higher tension tends to stabilize easier as it "sets" all the stretching of the materials at their limits and the user can adjust from there. Without the high tension, the head and materials are more susceptible to forces and temperature, which negatively affects tonal stability. Larger diameter heads can't take the high stress unless they were specifically designed to be high tension large heads which I've rarely seen but some makers will build. The problem has to do with the amount of stretch that needs to be worked out, and in the larger heads, more stretch moves the kinar and sur out of balance and off the shell rim.

This is another reason TransTablas use engineered materials and metal components. By eliminating as much stretch as possible, stabilizing becomes easier. I've put together a couple 6.25" Tablas recently that are very easy to tune. This system doesn't change the head characteristics, so it won't allow higher or lower ranges than a traditional setup, just greater accessibility and balance to the users chosen pitch.

Regarding the tonal differences, placing a string, or not using a string under the kinar will make quite a bit of difference on the larger heads. The string generally needs to be thicker on the larger heads to lift the kinar adequately if the tone produced without one is undesireable.

Best Wishes,

-David

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VNO Design

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yes it will settle over time, but I was mostly referring to the starting tension or required tension for your pitch. Say for example a 6.25" diameter "G" needed 800lbs of tension and a 5.25" diameter "D" needed 1600lbs. The "D" drum will drop in pitch constantly from day to day, but will stay in tune and balance rather easily. The lower starting tension of the "G" keeps everything loose and fluctuating as described above, making tuning more challenging. You will add a strap on the gattas to bring it back to the 800 when it drops below the pitch desired and you run out of room to move the pegs downward. Adding a strap on a peg to keep your pitch doesn't raise the tension above the necessary amount, it just compensates for stretch.

Hope this helps,

-David

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Main Site: http://www.transtabla.us
http://www.instagram.com/transtablas/
Twitter: @transtablas
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