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Tone by Specific Gravity
Mildest Tone (0-.49 SG)

The bones on this page produce the mildest tones.

Specific gravity tells you how buoyant one substance is from another. It compares the weight of a material with an equal volume of water. As a rule, the greater the specific gravity, the heavier and denser the material. Since water has a specific gravity of 1.0, materials measuring less than 1.0 will float. Materials measuring more than 1.0 will sink. So if you want mild tones, then get bones that float. If you want the strongest most solid tones, then get bones that sink.


Get the Tone You Want
What is the difference between a mild tone and a strong tone? It's just the difference in tone relative to specific gravity. Scroll down to view musical bones grouped by similar tone quality.

Tone Variables
  • Higher moister content produces lower tone. Lower moister content produces higher tone.
  • Smooth textured bones produce sharper tone. Rough textured bones produce duller tone.
  • Wide bones produce a greater tonal range than narrow bones composed of the same material.
  • Thick bones produce lower tones than thin bones composed of the same material.
Tips
Choose less buoyant bones when you want mild tones that won't overpower other instruments. Choose bones that sink in water when you want the strongest most solid tones possible to help you stand out from the rest of the band. Heavy dense bones carry additional mass which provides the kinetic energy you need to make a pair of bones rattle easier. But if you want milder tones, then choose bones that like to float.


Geeky Facts
Specific gravity is also called relative density. In French, density is "masse volumique." Specific gravity is "densite."


How can this tone guide be improved? Send comments and suggestions.

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Pea Patch Minstrel-style Tunwood Bones, regular Pea Patch Minstrel-style Tunwood (Indian Red Cedar) Bones, regular

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Pea Patch Minstrel-style Tunwood Bones, wide Pea Patch Minstrel-style Tunwood (Indian Red Cedar) Bones, wide

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $27.97 pair
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Pea Patch Flat Tigerwood Bones Pea Patch Flat Tigerwood Bones

Slim easy-grip "soft-tone" design fits comfortably between fingers. Nice quality bones...budget price.

Only $21.97 pair
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Pea Patch Flat Tunwood Bones Pea Patch Flat Tunwood (Indian Red Cedar) Bones

Slim easy-grip "soft-tone" design fits comfortably between fingers. Nice quality bones...budget price.

Only $14.97 pair
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Percy Danforth Cedar Bones Percy Danforth Cedar Bones

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
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Percy Danforth Pine Bones Percy Danforth Pine Bones

Traditional minstrel style design.

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Percy Danforth Pine Bones, reclaimed Percy Danforth Pine Bones, reclaimed

Traditional minstrel style design.

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Percy Danforth Reclaimed Poplar Bones Percy Danforth Poplar Bones, reclaimed

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
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Whamdiddle Poplar Bones Whamdiddle Poplar Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Virgin Pine Bones Whamdiddle Virgin Pine Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Cedar Bones Whamdiddle Western Cedar Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

   
 
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Specific Gravity Guide
SG (specific gravity)
Figures are approximate (but pretty darn close)

Tone Quality/SG
Mildest Tone 0-.49 SG
Milder Tone .50-.59 SG
Mild Tone .60-.69 SG
Medium Tone .70-.79 SG
Strong Tone .80-.89 SG
Stronger Tone .90-.99 SG
Strongest Tone 1.0+ SG (sinks in water)


SG/Substance