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Bass Weight

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Steve Killingsworth, Nov 28, 2004.


  1. I spent about 30 minutes this afternoon playing a friend's new laminated Kohr (I think I spelled it correctly). It had excellent pizz tone but when I put my bow to it, I was really impressed with its sound. It was easily head and shoulders above my ES-9 Engelhardt and sounded almost as good as some carved basses I have played.

    The thing I really noticed was its weight or rather the lack thereof. I am curious enough to weigh both it and my bass because it feels like it is probably 3-5 pounds lighter than my bass. Is weight that big a factor in the tone, resonance, volume? Why or why not. Also, what does an "average" bass (if there is such a thing) weigh?
     
  2. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Steve, your question brought to mind a piece of information that's posted on Arnold's New Standard Bass website...maybe it'll tell you something:

    I have noticed that my Cleveland is the lightest ply bass I've run across...and it certainly has the best tone by far.
     
  3. Those Kohr basses are astually Christophers I think. The named is Howard Core's last name Germanized.(Core is an American dealer)
    I've had a couple and they are amazing. I've only played the 100% laminated ones and. as you say, the sound is great both pizz and arco. Those strings that they come with are IMHO, the nicest sounding strings i've come across for arco and pizz. I started a thread on this, but nobody came up with any answers as to the name of these strings. Guess they're Chinese.
    The only thing I dislike about these basses is the ugly, too shinny spray on varnish.
    There are a whole slew of threads on these basses.
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Excellent discussion. I've noticed a direct correlation between bass weight and volume. My Czech carved bass weighs about 3 tons, whereas my LaScala feels like a feather. However, I don't think you can draw as direct a relationship between weight and tone, although it works in my case. When I bought the Czech bass originally, it was in a showroom with many other basses, most of which were lighter than it was, and yet I liked its tone better.

    I still wonder if heavy (read THICK) basses are by nature easier to amplify when it comes to very high volume situations. It seems to me that their thickness would act as a form of insulation against all of the sound waves flying around on the stage, whereas a thinner bass would be more likely to pick them up and get wolfy and/or feed back.
     
  5. Agreed. My Bohmann, being a fiver and with alot added weight from fancy carvings and heavy duty machines is not the loudest bass i've ever heard. With an amp it's one of the best basses i've ever heard.
    I really think that the rule of thumb is....the louder a bass is acoustically, the harder it is to amplify. The softer the bass is acoustically ........easier.?
     
  6. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hmmmm. I have a Musima ply bass that is pretty loud acoustically and light weight. I also think it amplyfies well. I use a realist and get a nice even tone throughout with the pick up (although this could be more of the right pick up on the right bass syndrome).

    I haven't had to play in any really high volume situations with the bass.
     
  7. I saw that in another thread. I am going to a shop in Nashville in a couple of weeks to look at a hybrid Shen. The luthier just told me that he also has a hybrid Kohr he wants me to try. All this on top of a NS laminated LaScalla that I plan to try out. I fear a difficult decision may be forthcoming.

    My friend's Kohr has lots of volume without requiring lots of work. That might be in keeping with your comments about your 5.
     
  8. FidgetStone

    FidgetStone

    Jun 30, 2002
    Allen, TX
    Weight: I rented a no-name plywood bass before I bought my hybrid Christopher that weighed a full seven pounds more than the Christopher. It was bigger as well. I don't know if it was a full 7/8, but it was at least a large 3/4.

    The ribs were thick as well. The tone was pretty good, especially compared to the 1/2 beater that I was renting before. Though the tone was a litter deeper in the lower registers than the Christopher, the overall tone was a little more one dimentional and less complex. The volume was also less than the lighter Christopher.

    Feedback: The big, thick and heavy bass would feed back much worse than the Christopher. This thing would feed back if I looked a speaker, much less stood near one. It may, however, had as much or more to do with the fit of the K&K pick up as it did the bass. I don't know.

    Additional Question: What tension string helps volume on light and heavy basses? Low tension on light basses and high tension on heavy basses?