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Definition of overstand

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by drurb, Aug 2, 2005.


  1. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, this should be an easy one for you guys. Please tell me exactly how overstand is measured. Does it include the thickness of the fingerboard? I'm confused.
     
  2. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    "Overstand" -- To know way too much about something for your own good. It would be the opposite of "understand."
     
  3. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    No. It's the amount the neck foot sticks up out of the body... measure from the spruce top to the ebony/maple glue joint. At least that's how I was told...
     
  4. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Angle of the overstand is a crucial factor as well. This would be the angle of the face of the neck and the bottom of the heel. I usually shoot for 84 degrees here and a 34-36 mm overstand. That'll give you a 6 7/8 in bridge depending on the arch. Mebbe SS will notice I mixed and matched measurements.
     
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Thanks-- and your thoughts on what overstand "should" be? One finds on these posts that it should be 30+ mm. It seems that there are many fine basses that do not meet that spec.

    Please, go ahead and pontificate.
     
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    As Jeff has pointed out, the Angle of Pitch is equally important as the Neck is not 90% straight to the Top. On Older Basses it is often difficult to move or re-pitch the neck without Altering the Button on the Back. My Gilkes has this Problem but has an Ebony Shim under the fingerboard to Re-pitch the rather Straight Neck so the Height allows you to Clear the C-Bouts when Bowing. I also have a Shim in my Martini for the same reason.

    The Button areas of these two Basses must stay original for my taste. A wedge shaped Shim allows you to re-pitch the neck without altering the Button or Block Area as well as the Neck. The only Problem remaining is getting over the Shoulders as you move up into Thumb Position. Desicions, Desicions..

    Arnold has seen both the Gilkes and Martini. Both are good examples of older Basses (86 yrs/Martini and 194 yrs/Gilkes) that have Classic Button work that should remain as original as possible. Arnold can explain from a Luthiers stand point on these Basses if you ask him. The Gilkes was originally a Cello Shaped Bass before the upper Shoulders were cut in the late 19th century. The Original Neck Button was Spliced back in to preserve it. I will not be the one to destroy it.
     
  7. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ken-- Thanks for the info. Taking a look at your Gilkes:

    http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/GilkesBass/GilkesBass.htm

    it seems as though the overstand itself is quite a bit shorter than 30+ mm. I realize it's difficult to determine this from a picture but it certainly seems that way. My curiosity stems from reading over and over that the overstand should be 30+ mm. Yet, I seem to have seen fine basses with say, overstands of 25 mm, good projection and bridges of 6.5+ inches even with the strings 7-9 mm off the fingerboard. Is there something fudamentally "wrong" with such design?
     
  8. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Yesterday I could have sworn you had a Shen in your Martini. Several.
     
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Nothing wrong with your #s but remember, the Neck Pitch to the Body also determines the Bridge height. More Pitch = Less Overstand to attain the same Bridge height.

    The Gilkes needs a New Fingerboard at the moment. The Board without the Shim is only about 6mm on the Edge. The Bridge is Currently 6 3/8" high with the strings at 5mm/G and 8mm/E Height from FB to underside of String.

    The Overstand Neck alone is only 14mm and the Pitched Ebony Shim is 7mm for a total Overstand of 21mm. I don't know at what angle the pitch is but it is a 'D' Neck with a 41" SL. Neck Stand to Nut is 17 3/4". The Fingerboard is 33" long as well with 8" of Bowing area. Maybe one of the number crunchers can do the math and tell us the angle of pitch.
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    That's usually from where I glare at the drummer on big band gigs.

    Although SAM'L's definition gets a pretty good workout around here...
     
  11. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Damon, you mean SHIM (not Shen), Right? Shen is another Bass I have.

    The Martini came over from Italy with 3 pieces of maple overlapping each other in a strange way shimmed under the Fingerboard but they started under the Nut area. We made a single Wedged Shim from our Ebony stock here in the Shop and sent it to Paul Biase to correct this mess and get a similar/propper Bridge height. The current Martini Page shows the 'after' photos and has a link to the b4 shots as well.
    Before Ebony Shim; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/MartiniBass/martini_bass.htm
    After Ebony Shim; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/MartiniBass/martini_bass_2.htm

    By the way, this Bass is currently at Arnolds getting a Chromatic 'C' Extension added.
     
  12. Mostly what I notice is when a dimension is described but not defined by a measurement. I have both metric and English tapes, but I don't have any with long, short, wide, thin, narrow, high, low, etc. marked on them.... :smug:
     
  13. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    SS, as you get more experienced in this field, you will start to see those readings. They ARE there, you just can't see them yet. lol

    Ever eat food that was 'too Hot', a road 'too Narrow', a distance 'too Far'? A Question or Comment too "Nerdy"?

    Measure on....... have fun!
     
  14. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    So you insist on representing actual extension in space with an expression derived from a system of quantification that exists only in peoples' heads? Dude, you're only going to introduce error going down that road....

    (I'm looking for the anti-smug smiley but can't find it...)

    In working wood, there are only three measurement-related statements that matter:

    1. too long -- a good thing because you can cut some more off
    2. too short -- the bright side of this is now you have an opportunity to re-design! Otherwise you've just made some firewood; and,
    3. fits nice -- on to the next thing
     
  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Yes, of course. Thank you again. What I glean from your replies is that a bass designed as I described (25 mm overstand, neck pitch resulting in good projection and 6.5+ inch tall bridge) is not necessarily poorly designed. This was the crux of the matter as various posts seem to have suggested that if the overstand isn't 30+ mm, it's a dog.
     
  16. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    30mm may help the transition to thumb position but Basses vary so much. When working with older Basses you can only try for the best possible.
     
  17. Remember that top arching height plays into the bridge height as well. Stainer type arching will result in a lower bridge height than Pallotta arching for the same pitch and overstand. But we're talking about less than 1/2" probably.

    Jon
     
  18. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    How do you put Pallotta and Stainer in the same sentence? Stainer was one of the greatest that ever lived. Pallotta was just one of thousands that made string instruments. In Europe, the 3 main Schools followed were Amati, Stainer and Stradivari. Pallotta never came close to any of them. Sorry....

    BTW, on the lower Bridge point you made, my Hungarian Bass has a huge arch and 6" on that is like 7" on a flatter arched top. I agree totally on that. The Martini is highly arched as well. How much arch? SS?, my Archo-ruler reads "Thatsa Alotta Arch" when one measures after lunch! The Sun must be in a certain position to measure these finer points.....lol
     
  19. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I shoot for a 35 mm overstand with a 6.5 inch bridge height. This is just a middle ground... you need to fine tune it to the arching/outline/bridge height of the bass you are working on... which is?
     
  20. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Whoa! I'm no luthier! I was just curious about several comments I read that made it seem as if a bass with an overstand less than 30+ mm was somehow, necessarily, poorly designed or would, necessarily, be difficult to play.