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body shape

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Milothicus, Apr 6, 2002.


  1. I understand that body wood may have an effect on the sound of a bass.i also understand that the size will have an effect, but do other body shape aspects have a big effect on tone characteristics? if i were to make two basses using identical weights of identical woods; one with a pretty much round body...just a circular disk, and one with a 'standard' bass shape with an overexagerated upper 'horn', would they sound different? or is it more of a style (and balance and comfort) thing that should determine body shape? any insight is appreciated.
     
  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    From what I have seen, bass bodies tend to be for function and comfort rather than for tonal reasons. Longer upper horns allow better balancing on heavier necked instruments. If we say that the resonance of the body has a significant impact on the sound of the instrument (some think it does and some think it doesn't, I persanally think iit does) then the body shape will affect the tone. But what I don't know is if the body shape will have a greater influence than variations between different pieces of wood. If not, then I don't know how you would judge to what extent the body shape in fact influences the tone (perhaps testing using some more homogeneous material, plastic or something). Maybe some of the (much) more experienced luthiers have some insight.

    Geoff