Carbon Fiber Endpins vs. Steel Endpins

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by anthem274, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. anthem274


    Jul 19, 2003
    Arlington, TX
    As of late, I have been considering buying a carbon fiber endpin for my bass (more specifically, the Upton one).

    I am self conflicted about the decision though. Would the investment do much for my sound? Other than the weight and strength of the shaft, is there any significant difference(s) on the tone, ergonomics, etc.?

  2. mje

    mje Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Is there a "theory of endpins" that's accepted by luthiers? I would think that the ideal endpin would try to approximate zero mass to interfere with vibration, and infinite stiffness, to prevent energy from being absorbed, and to provide a solid platform to support the bass. So a large diameter carbon fiber pin would seem ideal.

    I have a tubular endpin on my Czech bass that replaced a solid steel rod. It certainly feels more solid- I don't know if it has improved the sound. It has a much better tip. And it's prettier!
  3. One theory is that a wooden pin is best. Everyone has a pet theory, it seems. Each may be valid in a different situation, or none valid in any situation.

    My bass seems to get louder when it is balanced vertically on the endpin as opposed to leaning. My theory: Off axis torque puts uneven sideways stresses on the ribs and dampens the axial vibration pattern. On axis vertical balance point aligns gravity with the natural vertical vibrational pattern of the ribs. Imagine pulling down on a vertically hung spring vs. plulling sideways on a verically hung spring. On the sideways pull energy gos up and down and sideways, but the instrument vibrates in the axis of the string tension. Gravity can add an assist to the string in the downward phases equally when the bass is vertically balanced. In each case where does the vertical energy go with respect to the axis of the spring? That's my best shot at a theory for what I have heard from my bass. Keep it vertical through the endpin for maximum resonance. That might matter more than the type of endpin.

    Also I can't prove the theory, it's not in the Traeger book, I'm not a luthier, I've only played DB for 2.75 years, set 3 sound posts, carved one bridge, dressed one fingerboard, never built a bass, and my teacher, Seth Gamba, also teaches Suzuki violin method (but Rabbath to me). (And Silversorcerer isn't my REAL name.)
  4. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    Another possibility may be that the angle of your right and left hand to the strings is changed ever so slightly? Or a combination of endpin, weight distribution of the top on the bouts, angle of fingers...???
  5. rick123


    Oct 20, 2001
    Evanston, Wyoming
    I noticed with interest that Brent Norton is advertising a new 1/2" dia. CF endpin with a "grip-lock" aluminum collar. I anyone has installed and tried one please post a review.
  6. The angle of my right and left hand changes dramatically, not slightly, during my playing with the bass in any position. If you want a theory you have to have your own observations, you can't hypothesize without observations. And no, you can't borrow or suggest mine are other than what I observed. :p Try it yourself, listen, and test your own hypothesis as well as mine. All of those things you point out do make a difference, but when I thought I heard a difference, I made a conscious effort to keep other variables constant. In another case I just played full out improv with the bass leaning a couple of different ways vs. straight up. And the effect is noticeable with pizz. as well as bow, just not as much. It appears, "posture" is possibly an issue for the instrument and player. I can't prove it, but it is consistent with my somewhat limited experience. If you test it with your bass and technique, I'd love to hear what you find.

    The thread that I first posted mentioned problems with stress fissures in CF pins because of undistributed pressure from the set screw on the pin. Perhaps Brent's new grip-lock collar remedies this situation.
  7. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    Silver, it sounds like you have it well under control. :)
    Time being my limiting factor right now, I think I'll just stick with learning to play.
  8. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes I'm very interested in that too. Very tempting.