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Tau: Question about the cello spike

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written by: stuwyatt

The cello spike arrived today, and it is worth every penny. :)

written by: stuwyatt

Mon, 24 Sep 2012 12:20:47 +0100 BST


I've just done an equipment deal with an old friend in Paris, and part of the deal is that he is going to buy me the cello spike for the Tau. (YAY!)...

While I know that there must be very good reasons as to why the spike is £200, I can't seem to locate any info about it on the site. I'm wondering if someone at Eigenlabs can give a bit more info about it (i.e. type of material(s) used, the sorts of impact and pressure it can handle etc)?

Many thanks.

written by: john

Mon, 24 Sep 2012 15:04:29 +0100 BST

The Tau 'Cello spike is made from extruded aluminium, black chrome plated steel and stainless steel parts. It is reasonably tough and should not break in normal use (we've never had one fail yet) though it's certain that given enough abuse it would fail. When maximally extended it's a long lever, and you will break it in some way if you whack it against a hard surface, sideways on, with enough vigour. We haven't seen this as yet, but I'm sure someone will have a good go at some point. It will not fail in normal use, you will need to do something nasty to break it.

It's expensive for several reasons - firstly it's way more complicated that you'd think as it had to meet a very specific (low) weight so that it didn't ruin the mass balance of the Tau when it's attached, which means that it can be left on when using a strap. This was a serious design challenge (it took our head designer months of work) and to meet it required a lot of engineering effort and testing. The end product, like many 'designed to be light' objects doesn't feel like it's worth £200 and we have had people say things like 'there doesn't seem to be much to it for that money', which does kind of miss the point as the 'not much to it' bit is exactly why it costs quite so much. We also make them in small quantities and they involve both bespoke extrusions and a lot of CNC machining. These processes only become cheap in very large quantities. For your information, we make very little selling you one as the parts alone come to more than £100 to have made. I originally wanted to ship one with every Tau, bit this cost sadly prevented that being an option.

I hope that answers your questions.


written by: stuwyatt

Mon, 24 Sep 2012 15:06:38 +0100 BST

Thanks for the prompt reply John :)

And it answers everything perfectly. After watching your explanation of the EigenKey on youtube, I knew that there were valid reasons as to why it cost so much for something that at first impression appears relatively simple. I was just curious as to what those reasons were.

Knowing your attention to detail means that it will be worth every penny. I used to spend a fortune on lightweight carbon-fibre bows back in the day for my violin, and have even spent a few hundred euros on a single string before (Bottom Bb on a 7 string - custom made)... so I don't mind paying for quality, and appreciate lightness and good balance.

Thanks again.

written by: stuwyatt

Fri, 28 Sep 2012 13:16:01 +0100 BST

The cello spike arrived today, and it is worth every penny. :)

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