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Endpin setup.

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by LemonSong, Jul 6, 2000.

  1. LemonSong


    Apr 1, 2000
    I have the standard Engelhart endpin w/ the screw and the slotted endpin...but I don't want this kind, I'm REALLY sick of it not catching correctly on the screw and etc.
    What kind of endpin systems are there?
    What are the benefits to this "aircraft cable" thing between my endpin system and my tailpeice?
    How much does all this stuff cost?
    Would I be able to do it myself without much knowledge of DB construction? etc...

    ANY advice would help!
    Thank you.

  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I would not have an end pin that did not have a slotted shaft engaged by a screw. I used to scribe a line around the shaft to know when it was at the right length, but I don't even do that anymore, and that's with 3 different basses. I don't know what the big deal is, you just do it. I don't know what the Englehart pin looks like, but it can't be any worse than my Kay. On my good basses, I install a Gotz endpin.
    The "airplane cable thing" is the least sound-inhibitive connector possible. The cheaper way is solid wire.
  3. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    Saw an interesting setup the other day on a Marcus Belgrave vid. The bass player had an offset end pin. Some kind of bracket came out of the original hole that shifted the center of the end pin out to the lower edge of the lower bout on the G side. Any body see one of these.

  4. LemonSong


    Apr 1, 2000
    Rufus Reid uses that kind of system...he told me that he got it from Rabbath...I played his bass and I found that unless that setup is SPECIFICALLY set up for YOU, then it's not very comfortable...on Rufus the bass sat exactly where it should on his body, but on me it was VERY unbalanced...oh well....Anyone know some really great Bass places in Chicago???
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    There are two types. The one described by Rock is pictured in Double Bassist #4, Autumn-winter 1997, page 23, taken at ISB convention in Houston. This has an arm that swings the pin off to the side. The picture is of Rabbath and a student, so it might be his bass. Another type has an angle in the pin. The pin stays in the collar, extends down and then bends so that even with the bass tilted, the last few inches of the pin are perpendicular to the floor. Michael Moore uses this and likes it. I've played his bass often, for hours, and I can't say I felt any great difference, although it's probably more secure.

    [This message has been edited by Don Higdon (edited July 06, 2000).]
  6. That' called an "eggpin". It supposedly shifts the center of gravity hence freeing the left hand from keeping the bass in its upright position as though the player were seated. I've never used one.

    As for the slots; you must be crazy to not want those. I had a bass with a cheap, smooth endpin. It sucked. Measuring the correct height was the least of my problems. The real problem was the endpin slipping while playing. That sucks.

  7. LemonSong


    Apr 1, 2000
    It's not that I don't want one its that I was curious as to what upgrades can be made to it...I like the design okay, but the screw sticks, so I'm forced to use pliars and unless it's INCREDIBLY tight it rattles and etc...I think that it somewhat inhibits my bass from its' full potential...I've used those endpins that tighten (the kind you said you were unsure of the height and were always slipping) and I dislike those also...what do the professionals use? I hate to bring up individual people, but what does Gary Karr use? Ray Brown? Duncan McTeir? What endpin setup comes on older basses? What is the best, where can I buy it, and how much does it cost?

    Thanx so far guys!

  8. If I'm not mistaken, a good endpin assembly costs a couple of hundred dollars. There's Camelopard, Kolstein (I have one of these models on my bass, it's nice), I think there's Goetz (I might be thinking of something else there). You should be able to find links to all these at www.gollihur.com/basslink.html

  9. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    The endpins on old basses get replaced. The people you named will most likely be using a Goetz (Gotz with an umlaut) or equivalent. The price is like Dave said, although I'll check again tomorrow, I've had 3 or 4 installed. Before spending money, try putting powdered graphite on the screw threads. Or a single drop of oil. Push it around into the threads with your finger and then wipe it with a napkin, paper towel, so there's no excess to get on the bass. Run the screw in and out a few times without the pin, so all the threads get lubricated.

    [This message has been edited by Don Higdon (edited July 06, 2000).]
  10. Jake


    Dec 11, 1999
    A Goetz endpin should do you just fine. I've got one and it does't buzz, slip, or anything. Plus, it won't slip off the floor either because if you screw the rubber thing off, it has a sharp metal tip. Lemur Music sells the regular one for $84.50 and the one that clicks on each groove is a hundred bucks. I actually found my catalogue!
  11. Gosh, all this time and I didn't know any better! My pin came out several years ago when the bass was loaned to my bro-in-laws high school jazz band, and I just put a drumstick with a rubber cap on it into the holder and I haven't had any problems at all! It only sticks out about three inches so I don't bother to put it all the way in.
  12. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I bought a Kay over two years ago that had a cello endpin assembly with nothing in it. I bought a proper endping assembly with the slotted rod for about $65 and then took the bass to Kolsteins in Freeport, NY, who installed the new endpin and installed aircraft wire for the tail piece and I think it all cost less than $50 and I waited maybe an hour and a half for it to be done.
  13. Oh dear, here I am again calling an old thread up from the dead. Well, it's a day from Hallowe'en, so at least my timing's decent.

    So far as I know, Gary Karr still uses Jim Ham's own special endpin, a collet-type thing with gold-plating and a pernambuco surround. There's no thumbscrew. It's more like a keyless drill chuck, on a larger scale, with a many-slotted tapered collet being the clamping mechanism, tightened with a large-diameter screw which you hand-tighten. Mary Rannie and a few other folks have these as well.

    Nic Boychuk of Calgary, Alberta has recently entered the scene with a series of 'cello and bass endpin products. He's had a custom neodymium magnetic endpin rubber thingy made too, which is pretty slick. His normal endpin cones come in two flavours: one uses a massive chunk of aluminum, very nicely machined, and a double-tapered collet which pinches either a stainless or carbon-fibre ½" endpin at two points. I've found the one that I fitted for a VSO player to be kind of slippy, requiring a lot of torque to get it to hold properly with Nic's offset endpin, the 'anti-gravity' model which hangs out to the rear of the bass about 6".

    The other model is a lot smaller. I haven't fitted one of those yet, but it looks to be a good idea. Cheaper and lighter than the big collet thing, it incorporates an existing and proven mechanism, the Kona mountainbike seatpost quick-release collar. This lever-cam simply squeezes the slotted aluminum plug and that in turn puts pressure on the endpin. If it can hold the weight of a 200+ pound cyclist, surely this thing can handle a 30+ pound bass! Still, I've not even seen one in person, so time will tell.

    Nic's offset endpin is interesting. It's not a great beauty of machining nor design work, but does come at a smaller price than the Egg Pin (if you can even find one of those - no one anywhere seems to be offering the things), and is quite light and reasonably secure. It'd not likely work safely with a normal thumbscrew-type endpin socket, hence his collet and quick-release plugs.

    Since fitting this thing to a bass I've been tinkering with possibilities. I've got a machinist/designer friend helping out with yet another prototype. We're hoping to come up with a fairly versatile offset endpin, something which covers a lot of range of positions while being both rock-solid accoustically and in terms of instrument security. Can't have a bass suddenly swinging around on a loose endpin; that'd be bad. I've got one prototype in the field, and it's managing okay, but the side-swingy thing is still a bug.

    So, anyone got any other news on the endpin front? Or is it mostly still Götz y'all recommend? I've found theirs to be acceptable, if a little soft in the mushrooming thumbscrew department and in general all being prone to shaft-waggle-induced buzzing for short players. The cork doesn't quite seem to do the job in some cases. And their auto-clicky model, the one with the sprung detent mechanism for 'blind' height adjustments, that's rather weak, usually wearing out in a few years or less.

    I once had an old English 'cello in the shop with a really sweet endpin. Fine bit of craftsmanship in every detail. The thumbscrew never touched the pin, rather it mated neatly with a spring-steel clip, which in turn pressed a hardened-steel ball-end into perfectly round and matched detents along one flattened edge of the high-carbon steel rod. Beautifully turned brass stops and ferrule, very graceful rosewood plug, this thing was a work of art. And me with no camera that week, dang. It'd be a day of hard labour to reproduce, at least, even for a machinist of considerable skill. Something similar for bass would be nice. Stops every half-inch or so, and with a substantial flat along one side to prevent rotation even with a long offset endpin trying to twist it. Is there already such an endpin? Would such a thing be welcomed if released as a higher-priced item? I'm hardly in the league where I can just jump into production with things like this. Just wondering out loud really.
  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Great to hear from you again, Gerard! Been a long time.

  15. After years of using the goetz endpins with frustration...

    having to "Swing" the bass around to tighten the stopper on the end;

    having to constantly sharpen the soft metal tip underneath;

    having to take the whole pin out to put on a wheel;

    I found the set-up made by my favorite bass shop, the Cincinnati Bass Cellar. Together with Charles Malott, they have made an endpin design that serves beautifully.

    you can see a prototype at:

    but the one pictured there doesn't have the crowning touch shown: the current model has a release for the rubber tip: a small screw releases the tip and reveals a case-hardened steel tip that stays super sharp! They also offer a carbide tiped-endpin, that'll stick in Marble!

    The super beauty in the current model is that when you take off the tip you can just attach your wheel where the tip attaches, No Need To Take Out The Endpin At All, just put the wheel on the end and off you go! I love it!
  16. That's a nice looking endpin. I'm not clear on just how it works though. A lot of the emphasis seems to be on 'tool free operation' which is nice, but how does the rubber tip stay on securely while also allowing squeak-free rotation, and how does the wheel fit to it without swapping out the pin? What keeps the wheel from swivelling to one side and the other, making it better for steering the bass? Or is this stuff proprietary?
  17. look in that picture.
    See the dial that secures the endpin?
    On the latest version there's another dial-secured attachement that allows the rubber stopper to be removed to reveal the point, and also to reveal the place to attach the wheel - which stays quite firmly!

    I keep trying to get them to update the picture, but no luck yet....
  18. Ah, sorry, I see that you explained this (if in less detail) in your previous post. Looks like a decent enough solution. Thanks for spelling it out.
  19. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I replaced the endpin in my Engelhardt with one made for and sold by KC Strings in Kansas City, MO.

    They are the best quality conventional pin that I have ever seen. They are pricey, but certainly worth it if you move the bass a great deal and are regularly collapsing and extracting the pin.

    Link if interested:

  20. I've seen those KC endpins around. They work great for holding the bass up and in place.

    What really sold me on the Cincinnati endpin design, though, was that there's nothing to unscrew at the tip, and you never have to extract the pin to install a wheel.

    You just "undial" the stopper and there's your tip, or you "undial" the stopper and attach the wheel over the tip.
    No screw-on tip to loosen and rattle!

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