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Do Bibs dampen a bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by anonymous12251111, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    Does a bass bib dampen the instruments sound at all? I'm talking about the ones that drape also over the back of the instrument, like the ones at the contrabassshop.co.uk.

  2. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    Just the opposite. Bibs keep the bass dry and clean when you spill your food and drink.

  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    :D I was gonna say, "dampen" means "make wet"- "damp" as a verb means "absorb vibration".
  4. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    Does anyone have any actual information?

    Thank you.
  5. Information? Probably not. Hearsay, anecdotal/experiencial input, sure. I've heard basses with and without various sizes and shapes of bibs, of materials from heavily quilted home-made stuff though two-ply velvet to my own bibs which are a rather lightweight polyester fleece with synthetic suede outer layer. Mine are probably among the lighter ones, though I've also seen one which was two thin layers of silk... Haven't noted any difference with/without bibs in any cases coming through my shop. Not even when the bib is tied across the belly with a cord to keep it in place. But as I said, no actual measurements taken nor double-blind studies, so take that with a grain of salt.

    My guess would be that one would find a greater difference between a fixed bridge and one with adjusters, for example, or between a 1:6 scale:tail string ratio. Both of those seem to make small differences, with the latter at times making a big difference, depending on the bass and the string, along with other factors. I'd expect the sort of jacket or sweater one wore while playing, as compared to a t-shirt or no shirt at all (ewww... belly sweat on the bass) to be somewhat similar in significance to having a bib or not.
  6. Not in English they don't.
  7. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I can't see how a bib would affect the tone, unless it's really heavy quilted material or something like that. All the ones I've seen have been very light and loosely attached. I've never found one that worked for me. When I have a belt on that squeaks against the rib, I just stuff my bass rag in my waistband; more of a problem standing than sitting. The jackets I wear for performance have no buttons or cloth-covered buttons, as well. This all serves to eliminate the need for a bib.
  8. Heifetzbass

    Heifetzbass Commercial User

    Feb 6, 2004
    Upstate, SC
    Owner, Gencarelli Bass Works and Fine String Instruments, LLC.
    Nothing "dampens" the sound of the bass more than the human body. A piece of material against my bass is going to get shaken to shreds before it affects the sound at all.

    It sure keeps the scratches off the back though!
  9. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    In my personal experience there is no change in the sound.

    I have noticed a change when using a quiver and with certain mutes (while hanging idle), but not with bibs.
  10. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    Great, thanks a lot! Do you guys know of any bibs that drape around the back of the bass? Basically like the ones at contrabassshop.co.uk but cheaper. I need one that can cover part of the back of the instrument while I play.
  11. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    calvin can you sew?, if so make one yourself, it is really cheap, I made one for myself, $12 dollars of material from fabric land and one hour of work because I can't sew worth a damn, has lasted me for the past 3 years great
  12. And if you use newspaper and some tape, you can lay out various shapes without costing much of anything. Just snip away anything that doesn't look like a bass bib to you after taping sheets to the bass where needed, then peel away the resulting 'pattern' and cut the cloth based on that (or those, if you're getting complicated about tailoring to the ribs/back) shape(s) and stitch up some seams. I get my polyester fleece from Dressew and there's a bunch of thicknesses and colours to choose from. They have some soft 'rope' cord as well, to sew into the corners and use for tying off the neck and lower ends as you like.
  13. I bought the Strata three panel model (fitted; back, side and front) from Hammond Ashley years ago and it is still in great shape. Cost under $30 I think, and it is a nice dark blue corduroy with soft backing (not the tacky shiny velour stuff). Little pocket is perfect for a pencil and a tuning fork, and the thin elastic band keeps everything neatly in place. No flopping or sliding, and as long as you give the band a few twists on installation, no buzzes. The fit is perfectly snug on my main 7/8 bass (deep but not extreme ribs) and perfectly fine on other smaller basses. Also, no sound loss; I figure wearing a heavy sweatshirt probably makes a bigger difference, let alone different techniques that involve touching parts of the bass with your knee/leg/gut/other appendages.

    As much wear as my bass gets, without a bib the top bout would probably be gone in another decade. Varnish would be a memory...

    For some playing though like chamber and solo work, I'll take it off just because I think it might look a bit "casual", and besides people always ask annoying questions. "What is it? It's just what it looks like; a piece of soft cloth strapped to the bass. Cute, I know. Now check out my wheel/mute/wolf modifier/extension etc. Play bass kids, you get lots of little toys." :eyebrow:
  14. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    I really like the bibs that Gage sells. Here is a pic of one on my former bass.

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