“Silent shamisen” test



Here the video of my “silent shamisen” in action:
Silent shamisen test

Don’t shoot the player, a piece still quite raw…

Still experimenting with pickup to get the best sound.
So, On this video it is just the shamisen sound, no amplification.


There’s a pickup in/behind the dou?


Yes, round black thing on the photo.
Need good preamp for proper sound.
But on the video there is no amplification. Just the strings and the mesh sound.


How did I miss that? :woman_facepalming:t2:

It sounds quieter than “normal” to me however that’s based on video playback through a speaker. How does it sound to you?


I would say 20% of normal sound level


Maybe even less. Need to check with acoustic pressure level meter.


Just checked with the sound meter.
Normal shamisen: 100db!
Kyle was not joking about ear plugs.
Silent shamisen: 88db

12 decibel difference is an equivalent of 4 times reduction of the sound level.
So, 75% reduction of SPL it is.


Here is my “silent shamisen”. I saw your post so thought I’d take a video and share it with you.

Its a skin that was on a broken snare drum I got from Hard Off for ten bucks. I don’t know how to measure dB, but essentially when recording my normal shamisen at -18Db, this one will sit around -30dB. Its very quite but sounds awful lol.


Sound is not that bad actually. How did you get it tensioned and what glue you used?


I just tuned the snare as tight as I could (with my hands, may be if i used a drill I could have tuned more but I don’t know if that would break it) then glued the dou directly onto the snare drum. After that I just cut it out with a pen knife. The glue is an epoxy because the snare skin is mylar. I’m afraid of the pain in the ass that’s going to be come time to remove it…


You can do the same with the skin I suppose.


I was actually considering it… if i use a thick skin like fiberskyn it might actually work out OK, except its literally impossible to tune the head so I wouldn’t want to do it on a shamisen I care about the sound on.


I see. I am in the process of building an “adult” version of the stretching machine with ability to fully pre-stretch the skin before lifting the dou up. Full metal, toggle clamps, individual adjustments for each clamp and etc. Same like pro shops using currently. So I should be able to deal with any kind of skin by the end of the year.
I am quite interested to try Fiberskyn 3 Drum head as the skin replacement as well as ballistic nylon (I suspect this is the closest material to Fibersen if not the same).


Very excited to see your build when its done!