Personal Qin w/ Marusan Hashimoto Silk Strings


Below is the data I have collected for a set of Marusan Hashimoto silk strings that I have borrowed in order to study. They are older and quite well played in, and are currently my favorite set of silk strings that I have used and tested on my qin. They are well balanced, though on my qin the lowest string feels like it has a bit less volume. The lowest strings on my qin also seem to have a noticeable spike in the mid-upper range, which results in a bit of a metallic ping to the tone – however, tuning the strings lower (as I usually play with the first string tuned to G1) minimizes this overtone.

The graphs below are the harmonic content data, spectrograms, and autocorrelation graphs for the tested Marusan Hashimoto silk strings, with the tuning and technique specified for each data set. You can enlarge the images by clicking on the thumbnails. At the bottom is a brief description of each set of data:


DATA

1. Linear Spectrum Harmonic Content Graphs

 

2. Autocorrelation

 

3. Spectrograms (Window 4096)

 

4. Spectrograms (Window 2048)

 

5. Spectrograms (Window 512)


DATA DESCRIPTIONS

  1. Linear Spectrum Harmonic Content Graphs – Shows the harmonic content of each string, graphed along the linear spectrum in terms of frequency to intensity. A very accurate way to easily visualize the harmonics and overtones of each string.
  2. Autocorrelation – Shows the periodic nature or trends from a given set of data. Autocorrelation can provide a unique look at data, and can reveal repeating patterns from seemingly random datapoints. For this application, it is derived from the original signal and more clearly shows the decaying oscillatory nature of the plucked string.
  3. Spectrograms (Window 4096) – Shows the spectrogram of each string, with a window setting of 4096. This setting allows one to clearly view all of the harmonics by showing the frequency, intensity, and duration of each harmonic. This graph can be most easily cross-correlated to the linear spectrum harmonic content graphs to compare durations and intensities of harmonics in a string.
  4. Spectrograms (Window 2048) –  Shows the spectrogram of each string, with a window setting of 2048. For this application, I have found that this setting is ideal in viewing the oscillatory instabilities of the guqin string more clearly, which cannot be seen as well in higher window settings. These are seen as wavering lines, which are most noticeably present in the mid-upper harmonics.
  5. Spectrograms (Window 512) – Shows the spectrogram of each string, with a window setting of 512. For this application, I have found that this setting, while having the lowest frequency band resolution of the three settings, allows one to zoom out on the entirety of the harmonic spectrum, and see how the overall power level and intensity shifts from one string to another, and where the harmonic content is overall most present for a given string.