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About Extended Range/Multistring Basses

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Stewmc5222, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. As luthiers, what are the biggest challenges in making good playing, nice sounding, and well balanced 7, 8, 9, and higher number stringed basses?

    from the low end.

  2. effbee


    Mar 9, 2002
    Hi Stew,
    I personally havn't ventured past a 7, but my biggest challenge in building extended range basses is making sure that they are comfortable. I am very concerned with balance and playability, and the more strings I add to my basses, the more difficult it is to make them comfortable for the player. Personally, I find that the wider, multi-string necks feel better if they are carved to a thin profile. This, of course, also helps the instrument to balance better. I also think a 16'' fingerboard radius feels great for the wider necks.
    Getting a good sound isnt a huge issue, as I find that if my construction is rock solid, then the sound will be happening.
    Oh... I just thought of another challenge: Fingerboard prep, and installing & dressing the frets takes a lot more care and patience!

    Bee Basses
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    DItto for me on fingerboard prep and fretwork. Radiusing the board by hand is just no fun on wide necks. Getting a good, quality radiused bridge to match does make things easier. Beyond 7 strings, that can be a problem.

    On the other hand, I find that wider necks are generally stiffer necks, and so while there's a lot of tension on these necks, they tend to set up pretty easily if you get the fretwork/surfacing done properly. I shipped out an 8 string fretless that needed almost no truss rod tension for a good setup.
  4. thank you both for your replies. as an 8 stringer I'm always curious about the mechanics of my gear. I live in absolute awe of luthiers and luthiery. as a high schooler I desperately wanted to learn the craft, but I realized 2 things:

    first, I couldn't be the player I wanted to be and the bass maker I wanted to be at the same time. and my passion has always been as a performer and a composer.

    second, I will NEVER be smart enough to run my own business. and I didn't want to work for someone else.

    what you cats do is amazing and as someone who gets to see firsthand what it is you do on a daily basis, thank you for making instruments for those of us who want something more and different from the production line. take care,

    from the low end,


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