Bare with me here as I am a audio engineer and I play DB...
This morning, over a cup of coffee I was thinking about DB response curves, spectral curves, resonances, etc. I have recorded a dozen upright basses and even more electric basses and know certain notes on certain instruments have higher resonances than others. I can correct all this if it is too drastic with certain techniques to keep things sounding natural.
As I reached the 1/2 way point of my 16oz cup of coffee, it dawned on me:
If I set a DB in front of a subwoofer and mount a piezoelectric sensor on the sound board and sweep a sine wave frequency from 10hz up, I would be able to measure the resonance of the wood with the sweep and chart it. Along with the resonance curve, I should be able to see the complexity and harmonics in the wood. Knowing the sensitivity of the instrument could be a clue to what type of strings the instrument would like. For instance, with lighter more sensitive tops, more slinky/looser tension strings would get that board singing (speculating based on what I have read about string tensions and body types) Cool HUH? To the geek in me, YES!
Now I know that strings, neck projection, bridge height and player are variables, but wouldn't you think if you had the data from the sweep, then had the player play the bass as even as possible (meaning plucking and bowing) compare the results that similarities would be found? I think so, from experience as a player with time spent with my instruments. This brings me to another point: The sound post.
Sound post: If I was to take the sensor and mount it on the bridge, I could do the same sweep tone analysis. With comparing the data with the sweep data from the sound board, I would be able to see the transmission relationship of the sound post in the equation, then the only variable would then be the strings and player, further lessening variables and honing this physics experiment.
Now, lets move the sound post, do readings again and compare, or take the data and make a logical decision of which way to move the sound post for what we are after.
So if this is correct: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Soulpost2.gif
We could take our findings and place the "soul post" in an area what would achieve the balance of what we are after.
So to summarize, and if you followed me to here (kudos for baring with my insanity) this experiment could show us these things:
1) The DB resonances and the complexities of them
2) Wolf notes (maybe?)
3) Sound post transmission characteristics
4) That I am crazy
heh... is that all? Now I am thinking I just used my caffeine up. Well, just some food for thought from a physics/engineer mindset.