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Sound hole cover for a Martin 00-body ABG

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by debris, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. debris

    debris

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    I played at an open mic last week with my Martin 00C-16GTAE and encountered, not surprisingly, quite a bit of feedback. Some tweaking with the preamp's phase switch and "notch" control made it playable, but it was still squeaky. I plan on doing a lot more live playing with that bass, so I decided it would be wise to invest in a soundhole cover.

    Doing my research on TB and in general, it looks like that's indeed the best move; people seem to have had success with the Planet Waves Screeching Halt and with Lute Hole covers.

    Since my sound hole is only 3 3/4" in diameter, I don't want to use the Planet Waves one (which is 4"). I'd rather not have to fight to get it in the soundhole (or take very long to do so), and I have no desire to mark up the edges of my soundhole any more than need be. This seems to leave me with Lute Hole.

    My question then is this:
    If I'm buying from Lute Hole, who makes wooden covers, does the wood choice make a big difference and, if so, which wood would be best for my bass?
    It's got a spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard.

    Specs on the bass are here, in case anything else might be of service. It says the neck is a "select hardwood," but it looks like mahogany too.
    http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/item/479-00c-16gtae-bass.html#tab2

    Their woods (on a plain, undesigned cover, or "mute hole," as they call it) are as follows:
    $29 for maple or walnut;
    $55 for spruce, koa or mahogany;
    $75 for roswood or cocobolo.

    More info here if so inclined.
    http://www.lutehole.com/customshop.php

    A bit pricy for the woods that are on my bass (and potentially in general), but if it's worth it I guess I'll pay up. I do love my acoustic bass.

    Thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated!
  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

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    Anything that fills the hole and stays in position will work. You might check ACE Hardware and see if they have any rubber plugs that would work. Heck, one for a bathtub drain might even be close.

    I realize that a Martin is a high-end instrument and you may not want a sound hole plug that says "American Standard Plumbing"....but for a Martin instrument, $40 (price shown on the Lutehole website) doesn't seem like a big deal.

    Or check out the Planet Waves one and see if you can trim it to size with a razor blade. For that matter, the Amazon description says it's tapered to fit a variety of instruments.
  3. grisezd

    grisezd Supporting Member

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    The wood is going to be glued to a piece of foam. If wood type ever had a chance to affect the sound it cant do it now. Pick the one you like the looks of.
  4. RandyMolson

    RandyMolson

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    Easy to make a SHC out of a block of closed cell foam. Oversize it by 1/4" then etch a groove into it. It won't look too bad if you coat it with spraypaint.

    In addition to SHC, throw lightweight foam or bubblewrap sheets inside the body to break up the cavern effect.
  5. No Malarky

    No Malarky

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  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

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    NO!!!!!!! Duct tape is nasty stuff, not even used on duct work much any more. If you're going to put tape on your instrument, invest in real Gaffer tape.

    John
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Indeed. If you're going to put tape on anything, don't use duct tape. I almost had to fire my band leader for pulling out a roll of duct tape at a gig. Instead, I bought him his own roll of gaffer's tape.
  8. debris

    debris

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    I didn't think of going DIY. Not my first choice, for the reasons you've stated, but I think I'll look into it anyway. You never know what you might find.

    I'll just have to go and try it out--hopefully my local music stores have it in stock. Thanks for the tips!
  9. debris

    debris

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    I take it you have experience with Lute Hole covers?
  10. debris

    debris

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    Interesting. Any method to follow there, or do you just kind of stuff them in?
  11. debris

    debris

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    I have to say I agree with the general reaction to this, haha.
    While I can appreciate the simplicity, I'm just not the biggest fan of putting duct tape on anything I spent over $1000 on.

    Out of curiosity, is it even thick enough to make a difference?
  12. RandyMolson

    RandyMolson

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    If money is not an issue, that rosewood SHC from lutehole would look awesome on your Martin. :cool: But you would get the same effect acoustically from duct tape or a block of foam.
  13. RandyMolson

    RandyMolson

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    Nope. Just trying to break up the hollow volume and absorb echos. Don't want to use anything with mass, so it doesn't pack and slide around
  14. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Gold Supporting Member

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    Have you seen the Screeching Halt from Planet Waves? If price is an issue...
  15. Tom Spaulding

    Tom Spaulding

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    D'Addario Artist Relations|Nashville
    There are commercial solutions of plugging the hole or using an acoustic enhancer, which I will not mention by name or in any way link to. ;)

    Another option:

    When I was working as a guitar tech, one thing that worked was using a black balloon. Just insert into guitar body, inflate, and the balloon dampens the top and back and takes up space inside the body without killing too much tone or adding weight. Black is more discreet, and you still might find some on sale from Halloween.
  16. RonniePudding

    RonniePudding

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    Wow, that's a great idea... I'm going to try that. Simple and inexpensive = great engineering. =))

    There is a luthier whom other TB'ers have referenced in older threads (Lawrence Pimental?) as having made custom feedback busters... but he seems to have disappeared from the internet. Failing to find him, Lute Hole came up as a likely candidate on Google.

    Before I saw this thread, coincidentally earlier today, I sent a request to Lute Hole to see how much it would cost for a paisley-shaped soundhole mute for my Thunderchief. If they come back and tell me it will cost more than $50, I'm going to make my own... I'm sure I can do it for less than $20 worth of materials and a weekend's spare time.

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