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endpin length

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by LukeS, Jan 7, 2012.


  1. LukeS

    LukeS

    Sep 10, 2009
    New York, NY
    I'm not a particularly tall bassist, and my endpin is much longer than it needs to be. When I have it at my normal playing height I can see about a foot of endpin inside the bass when I look in through the f-hole. Sometimes I think it causes a bit of a rattle.

    I'm thinking about cutting it off to about half of its original length. Any reasons why not to do this? I'm not planning on selling the bass to a taller guy any time soon.
     
  2. Bijoux

    Bijoux

    Aug 13, 2001
    Denver-CO-USA
    yeap. I had the same problem with both my basses. They would rattle a little, but especially if I was sitting down on a low bar stool and a just a small potion of the end pin was out.
    So i shortened both of them.
    no more issues here.
     
  3. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    It might even improve your sound by taking the weight off. When you shorten it, make sure it will stick out a little bit beyond the ebony plug on the inside when you have it to playing height. Otherwise it will wobble.
     
  4. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Excessive length wastes (absorbs) good vibrations. Cut it.
     
  5. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I had a noticeable buzzing on my Kay, that I cured by taking a couple inches off the top of the endpin.
     
  6. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Funny. All the spam in my inbox suggests the opposite to be true:rolleyes:
     
  7. RCWilliams

    RCWilliams Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2007
    Merriam Kansas (Kansas City)
    owner RC Williams Co. LLC
    it all depends on whether the excess length is in an active or passive role
     
  8. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings

    ?? If the excess length affects the sound at all, isn't it always in an active role when the bass is being played?
     
  9. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    To be serious, it is hard for me to imagine that a foot of steel rod sticking up into the body wouldn't resonate at some frequencies and hence have an active and negative role in the sound. Best to shorten it.

    Oh man. I just can't stop what I've started:scowl:
     
  10. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Okay, I'll ask - how long is your endpin? :D
     
  11. RCWilliams

    RCWilliams Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2007
    Merriam Kansas (Kansas City)
    owner RC Williams Co. LLC
    actually, I was responding to robobass'es comment on spam, I was assuming it was similar to my spam... and extra length.

    as to end pins I think the extra pin acts as a harmonic damper, cut it off.
     
  12. I think girth matters more :D

    Seriously though, make sure to leave enough of the rod in case you decide that you want your basses playing height to be taller. That's my addition to this thread based on my experience.
     
  13. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I had a nasty buzz in my Kay and couldn't figure out what it was. I was afraid it was the bassbar, since the buzzing would stop if I put my hand on the face of the bass. I was mentally preparing myself for an expensive repair, but luckily I take my bass to a great luthier (Sid at Loft Violin Shop in Columbus, OH) and he suggested cutting off some endpin length. Problem solved for cheap!

    Thanks, Sid!!!
     
  14. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    After reading this thread, I measured, and had about 5 inches excess endpin length. I'm not sure it helped the sound, but I did get rid of about 1/3 pound dead weight by hacksawing it off and dressing the end with my dremel. That in and of itself was worth it.
     
  15. Chuck Traeger, luthier and author of "Setup And Repair of the Double Bass for Optimum Sound," highly recommended using a wooden endpin, preferably of black walnut (for most basses; every bass has its own impedance-matching preferences).

    I just tried this and it REALLY opened up my bass' sound. Before I was using a solid metal, long endpin that I wasn't using much of (most of it stayed inside the bass, like in your case). This is how I went about it:

    Go to your local wood-working store, buy a dowel of black walnut slightly larger in diameter than your endpin. Saw the dowel to the length you want for an endpin (as DallasStrings points out, not too short so as to wobble inside the end block, but not much longer than that). Then carefully carve (assuming you don't have a lathe) from one end until you can fit a little bit into the bass, then carve around that spot that couldn't go in until you can fit it in farther and so on. Stop when you've reached your desired shortness. Dowel is cheap and you can always make multiple endpins and/or just keep your old endpin around for letting others use your bass or experimenting with height. The reason I didn't put notches in mine is because the wood is soft and malleable under the screw. As well, thinner dowel may break more easily, especially at longer heights. Buy thicker dowel if you want a longer endpin.

    For tips on fitting it with a grippy foot, see here:
    ENDPIN: Replacing the rubber endpin tip on a Kay/Engelhardt - FAQ courtesy of GollihurMusic.com
     
  16. Those hardware store rubber tips can be OK but the ones I've seen are soft and not very thick. Fine for curtain rods and so forth that always sit perpendicular to the surface, but not really meant for this kind of use. They will keep the metal post away from the floor for a while, though.

    Fretwell sells these really big tips; I have one on my bass. The bottom is quite round and nearly 2" wide:

    [​IMG]

    If that link breaks, they are at www.fretwellbass.com under "Bass Parts."
     
  17. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    My buddy and I just cut the vestigial lengths from our respective endpins, in the ultimately vain hope that it would cure the slight, but nevertheless faintly irritating rattles on the open G (his), and the open D (mine). Alas, but it did no harm, and it did provide one of those manly bonding experiences one needs to indulge in from time to time. :)
     
  18. rprowse

    rprowse

    Dec 17, 2005
    Wellington NZ
    Yeah, he's right, it was a good bonding session but the rattles remain.
    By the way, Shiney, what does vestigial mean? I hope it's not rude.
     
  19. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    :D. Vestigial
    - adjective
    1. forming a very small remnant of something that was once greater or more noticeable: he felt a vestigial flicker of anger from last night.
    2. Biology (of an organ or part of the body) degenerate, rudimentary, or atrophied, having become functionless in the course of evolution: the vestigial wings of kiwis are entirely hidden.

    Like your ... appendix. I was nearly rude there, degenerate even.
     
  20. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Winged fruit? :D
     

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