Text Size

Ball and socket action or string mechanism?

Many amateures order ball and socket linkages, but almost all professionals prefer string. If  you examine the mechanism the reason is clear.

Ball mechanism




In its starting position the ball and socket action  is at an angle of 135°, not really bad, but not ideal. 











Half-way through the stroke the ball and socket reaches the optimal angle of 90 °, where the mechanical advantage is greatest.










Entirely pressed, the ball reaches the less than optimal angle of °135. Since the mechanical advantage is less the rotors need more pressure to move and the stroke is uneven.





String mechanism

schnurmechanikSince a string action always pulls at the optimal  90° angle, the action is even and the stroke can be made very short. A ball and socket action can be made to feel more quick and even by increasing the distance between ball and centerline, but at the expense of a longer stroke.  String actions have other advantages as well: They are silent and the height of the levers can be easily adjusted. Modern string materials will not break or stretch and need be replaced rarely.

For those desiring mechanical action, we have chosen a very light and durable nickelplated ball and nylon socket. The light weight is especially critical when used in the long balance thumb lever of the triple horn.