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Aluminum Bass Projection

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by mattzink, Mar 1, 2005.


  1. mattzink

    mattzink

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    hello all
    was just curious: i know the general concensus is that aluminum uprights (which are fairly hard to come by) have inferior sound quality to traditional wooden basses.

    my question is: are aluminum basses louder than wooden ones? (louder without amplificaiton, i mean) i'm pretty sure that was the reason (besides the fact they were cheaper to manufacture) they were concieved - is this the case?

    just curious,
    matt
     
  2. A local luthier/bassist/teacher I know has one. Pizz sounds awful- fair volume, no definition. Arco sounds sweet as I recall(it's been awhile). I have heard that the reason for making them of aluminum was that they were used for military bands in the South Pacific- the humidity suposedly wreaked havoc on the wooden ones. I have no idea if there is any truth to that at all.
    I also know of one similar bass in the rafters of a friend's pack rat/antique hoarding wife. I expressed interest in it- to no avail- a good 10-12 years ago. I should look it up & see if she might unload it(she's not a musician).
     
  3. mattzink

    mattzink

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    i think you're right about the military connection - i had heard the same thing. and i think that somewhere on bob ("all hail bob") gollihur's site, he mentions either that he started out playing an aluminum upright in the navy, or that he bought an aluminum upright from the navy. regardless, i think it was pretty common. i find, if nothing else, aluminum basses are visually arresting.

    yeah, you should see if your friend's wife still has the bass. if she'd part with it, i'd be interested. i'm not a serious "contender" for it yet (read: i'm low on money) but i'm sure i could sell something if the deal sounded too good to pass up.

    thanks for the info!
     
  4. But someone should be playing that thing! I'll check into it & let you know.
     
  5. mattzink

    mattzink

    Jun 21, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    that's interesting, sypher. for some reason, i thought rockabilly dudes loved it because of its precussive sound and volume. but i'm not really sure. a cool homemade upright can be found at:
    www.vonerickson.com - click on the "custom pieces" link. if nothing else, it's a cool looking bass. his building methods are kinda cool too.