AquaSonic Waterphone Preparation and Care
If bowing the AquaSonic, it first must be rosined so that there is enough friction to create sound. Rub an ample amount of rosin on the tines (spokes), as well as making sure that the bow is well rosined.
We recommend a 1/4 size to 1/2 size bass bow, but any type of bow can be used. Bow at the lower end of the tines when playing.
Amount of Water
Only a small amount of water is needed to create beautiful sounds with an AquaSonic waterphone. Add water an ounce at a time until you get to your desired sound. Never fill it to where the column is joined or even to where it is joined at the perimeter. Too much water will deaden the sound. It can also be played without water.
Emptying the Water
Make sure to completely empty the water from the AquaSonic when it is not being used. The water-containment area is made from stainless steel, not including the additional material used where it is joined. In theory stainless steel does not rust, however it can become corroded when exposed to acidic water or impurities in the water, especially in low-oxygen environments, so empty the AquaSonic when not using. Because of the shape of the water-containment area, water will hide inside if not thoroughly emptied. Just turning it upside down will not get all the water out. Hold the AquaSonic upside down parallel to the floor and shake horizontally from side to side. Then rotate the AquaSonic slightly and repeat. Do this until you complete one revolution. Then tilt it from side to side at different angles while shaking. It usually takes a number of repetitions to completely get all the water out.
Concerning the Shape and Uniformity
Because of the high heat produced when welding and brazing the various metals, irregularities such as slight buckling of the top of the water containment area usually occur. Also, the column may not always be at a complete right angle to the water-containment area. This can also happen over time due to changes in temperature and through normal use. Be assured that this in no way compromises the instrument structurally or tonally, and is perfectly normal.
Before leaving the shop each AquaSonic is tested for tonality as well as leakage. The critical area for leakage is at the perimeter of the water-containment area where the top and bottom plates are joined, because it could leak while playing. Please note that the area where the column meets the top plate will sometimes develop pinhole leaks. Since it will not leak while playing this is not a problem and will not compromise it structurally or tonally. If desired a two-part epoxy can be applied to plug the pinhole leaks. To find the leak, just blow into the column, and feel where the air is coming out.
The AquaSonic has been in production for over 30 years and will provide you with decades of enjoyment. Thank you for your purchase, and please try to reuse the packing material.
When you receive your AquaSonic Waterphone, please reuse the packaging material.