Make Tube Chime Louder

AllenMilewicz

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Nine tube sligh, recent acquisition, sounds muted and soft. How can i make it louder?
 

c.kugle

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This may sound goofy but I have heard of people putting rags in the tubes to muffle the tone. Take a small mirror and try to look in the tubes. Chris.
 

AllenMilewicz

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I see that the hammers on rods are supposed to be an 1/8 inch away. Is the same true for tubes. I can try to adjust the strings? It seems that if i pull back the hammer and let it fall hard, the sound is quite loud
 

wow

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There is an adjustment on each string. Adjust each so it will not double hit but will hit as loud as possible.
 

Dick Feldman

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It would be good to know what brand movement has been used and how old the clock is.
So far we know that the case was made by Sligh and that it is a recent acquisition.
Adjustment may not be enough to solve your problem.
Very seldom are functioning clocks offered for sale/gift, etc.
It is human nature for people to keep clocks till they do not work properly.
The clock movement may need some "real" repair.
How about some detailed pictures of the movement, chime drum, hammer assemblies, etc.
Dick
 

AllenMilewicz

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It would be good to know what brand movement has been used and how old the clock is.
So far we know that the case was made by Sligh and that it is a recent acquisition.
Adjustment may not be enough to solve your problem.
Very seldom are functioning clocks offered for sale/gift, etc.
It is human nature for people to keep clocks till they do not work properly.
The clock movement may need some "real" repair.
How about some detailed pictures of the movement, chime drum, hammer assemblies, etc.
Dick
 

J. A. Olson

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Tubular bells tend to be loud by nature and usually one is stuck trying to quiet them down instead.
The tubes used by Urgos, Hermle, Kieninger, were a hard brass alloy, sometimes with chrome plating.
Check the hammer string tension to ensure each hammer is being pulled adequately. Small but fine adjustments aplenty.
Also ensure the plastic hammer tips have not worn down. Poor hammer tips yield poor chime sounds.

As Dick noted, a complete overhaul would be ideal before doing anything else, presuming the clock wasn't overhauled recently.
Sligh went out of business in 2005 but their clocks still regularly turn up for sale. The 9 tube models tend to be more desirable among fanatics.
 

AllenMilewicz

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Clock was from estate of a ‘clock guy.’ He had three kids, bequeathed them each a grandfather clock, and they are selling the two ‘extras’
Clock is sligh 1980s kienenger or hermle. Seems to work well otherwise, perfect time, at least as good as my iPhone.
Will post pictures, thanks
 

Dick Feldman

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"Clock was from estate of a 'clock guy.' He had three kids, bequeathed them each a grandfather clock, and they are selling the two 'extras'"
Clock is sligh 1980s kienenger or hermle.
Or Urgos, or ??
It would be good to know what brand movement has been used .
We need to know, as each manufacturer has its own peculiarities.
Keeping good time has little to do with a chime train malfunction.
1980's manufacture makes the clock about 40 years old, maybe more.
Do you think the heirs would keep the three best of five and sell two extra, lesser clocks?
You may need a competent clock repair person.
Dick
 

AllenMilewicz

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It seems that it is recommended that the hammers hit the rods directly, hit the nail on the head so to speak. In the design of this movement, the hammers strike slightly off the maximum arch of the circle off the tube.
Does this matter with a tube chime?

8445873E-729E-4BA2-9A13-7E73B89CF6ED.jpeg
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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How far is the hammer being drawn back before release? A video would be good.
Willie X
 

wow

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Yours has two adjustments on each hammer. One is at the end of the string to adjust the distance of the hammer from the tube. The other is at the bottom of the hammer tail and is the spring/tail tension adjustment. The hammer should hit as near the center of the tube as possible to get the loudest and most resonant sound
 

AllenMilewicz

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Yours has two adjustments on each hammer. One is at the end of the string to adjust the distance of the hammer from the tube. The other is at the bottom of the hammer tail and is the spring/tail tension adjustment. The hammer should hit as near the center of the tube as possible to get the loudest and most resonant sound
The tension screw wont reposition hammer from left to right. I assume that is the screw immediately below it. Will the tension screw affect the impact of the hammer on the tube? Does access to these screws require disassembly of part of the movement?
 

bruce linde

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if you have a lathe you can very easily/quickly turn delrinAF hammer tips to replace the leather/whatever's-in-there-now ones.... hammer hits will be clear, tight and louder.
 

wow

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The tension screw wont reposition hammer from left to right. I assume that is the screw immediately below it. Will the tension screw affect the impact of the hammer on the tube? Does access to these screws require disassembly of part of the movement?
The tension screw will affect the impact some. You do not need to disassemble to adjust. Can you reach those screws? Finger adjustment is all that is needed. Some cases have removable top panels that allows you to reach the adjustments from the top.
 

Willie X

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The hammer tension screws are not supposed to be adjusted ...
Willie X
 

shutterbug

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I don't think you are talking about the same thing. The adjustable top screws are for hammer adjustments. The bottom ones are for tension, and usually don't need adjusting.
 

AllenMilewicz

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I don't think you are talking about the same thing. The adjustable top screws are for hammer adjustments. The bottom ones are for tension, and usually don't need adjusting.
The tension screw wont reposition hammer from left to right. I assume that is the screw immediately below it. Will the tension screw affect the impact of the hammer on the tube? Does access to these screws require disassembly of part of the movement?
393B616D-ED77-4B84-AF72-79BD5F4DC21C.jpeg
 

AllenMilewicz

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Here isa photo i found on the internet. I believe A is the tension screw. I think B can control left to right position of the hammer. C adjusts the string tension. I have adjusted C with improvement in quality of chime, but not volume. The hammer doesn’t hit every tube square on, but off by about 1/8-1/4 inch. Should screw B be used to reposition hammer? In order the have access to all the B screws, especially with a screw driver, I believe the movement would have to be dismantled. My movement is actually a Kieninger, but this photo illustrates the key components.
Am I being too OCD?
Is that a ridiculous question to ask clock people?
 

Willie X

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The tension adjustment is a factory adjusted preload. Just the right load to make for good hammer action with no chance of stalling.

If the drawback is good and there is nothing binding, the only answer for a louder chime will be better hammer material, as already mentioned by Bruce L.

The tubes are a bit high. The hammer should hit each tube at the very edge.

Willie X
 
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AllenMilewicz

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The tension adjustment is a factory adjusted preload. Just the right load to make for good hammer action with no chance of stalling.

If the drawback is good and there is nothing binding, the only answer for a louder chime will be better hammer material, as already mentioned by Bruce L.

The tubes are a bit high. The hammer should hit each tube at the very edge.

Willie X
 

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AllenMilewicz

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A
Here isa video that hopefully gives you more information. The hammer strike is about - half inch below the edge of the tube, entirely on the cylinder part. The tubes are held in place by metal hooks. I can create a string loop to lower the cylinder so that the hammer strikes the edge, if that is optimal. Thoughts?
 

wow

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It’s difficult to tell, but I think you have one of the chime tubes in the wrong place. Could you change the tune to the other selections and make a longer video of them? Westminster especially.
 

J. A. Olson

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Hammers look to be adjusted properly and all tubes are in correct order. The tubular bells tend to have a slightly off-key sound which is characteristic of how they are tuned. The most that can be done is switching out the Delrin hammer tips with leather as suggested already. Beyond that, there isn't anything else that can be done to alter how it sounds. You're working with unplated brass tubes which are quieter compared to nickel-plated tubes.
 

Willie X

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Tubes on 'metal hooks'. That might be yer problem rite there.

I've never seen a tube chimer that wasn't on the loud side.

Willie X
 

J. A. Olson

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Tubular bells were traditionally hung on strings but a quick look at a modern Kieninger tube chimer shows metal hooks holding the tubes up instead. Is this what your complete movement looks like?


1980's Urgos with tubes hung on strings instead of metal hooks. It pays to put the extra effort in.

 

AllenMilewicz

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Tubular bells were traditionally hung on strings but a quick look at a modern Kieninger tube chimer shows metal hooks holding the tubes up instead. Is this what your complete movement looks like?

The tubes

1980's Urgos with tubes hung on strings instead of metal hooks. It pays to put the extra effort in.

The tubes are hanging from wire clips. The movement I have is The kienenger, not urgos with strings, I could suspend each tube with a loop of string from the frame hook to the wire clip. Would this enhance the sound.?
Interestingly I found an instructional video on you tube on how to play tube bells. As has been pointed out, the correct area to strike is the tube cap
 

J. A. Olson

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You can try using strings but knowing this particular movement outline used clips to hold the tubes up, it's debatable how much it may improve the sound. Newer tubular bell chime outlines only give so much room for improvement, it'll never be the same as an American Herschede or Jacques tubes set. German tubes don't always have the large caps that old American tubes had and that also affects the sound. Then we have the metal composition of the tubes, thickness of the tubes' inner walls, cap shape and diameter of the tubes. Tubes are normally struck on or just below the cap and this varied with so many different outlines. There are so many factors that result in different sound quality but this is largely overlooked since most of the documented repairs on this forum do not pertain to chimes.

I uphold that Herschede's tubes tend to give the deepest, most resonant voice of all tubular bells used on clocks, owing to their customary bellmetal alloy and nickel-cadmium plating. Their later clocks made from 1968 to 1984 had a neat 'eyehook' hanger which allowed the tubes to resonate much longer. A real bright spot in the modern dark age.

 

AllenMilewicz

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May 16, 2022
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You can try using strings but knowing this particular movement outline used clips to hold the tubes up, it's debatable how much it may improve the sound. Newer tubular bell chime outlines only give so much room for improvement, it'll never be the same as an American Herschede or Jacques tubes set. German tubes don't always have the large caps that old American tubes had and that also affects the sound. Then we have the metal composition of the tubes, thickness of the tubes' inner walls, cap shape and diameter of the tubes. Tubes are normally struck on or just below the cap and this varied with so many different outlines. There are so many factors that result in different sound quality but this is largely overlooked since most of the documented repairs on this forum do not pertain to chimes.

I uphold that Herschede's tubes tend to give the deepest, most resonant voice of all tubular bells used on clocks, owing to their customary bellmetal alloy and nickel-cadmium plating. Their later clocks made from 1968 to 1984 had a neat 'eyehook' hanger which allowed the tubes to resonate much longer. A real bright spot in the modern dark age.

Thank you for your instructive comments. It is interesting that the ‘orchestral’ chimes that I seen in videos all have a capped or sealed end. The Herschede tubes in the video are also capped. The ones in my clock are open on both ends. Obviously the sounds must be different.
 

Willie X

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Make a simple cord loop, hang the tube a little lower (hammer at the edge), and fashion a hard plastic hammer head/tip. Shouldn't take long to do just one ... and your question will have an answer. Willie X
 

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