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Endpin, tailpiece and TP wire upgrades

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by flatback, May 9, 2004.

  1. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    I just wanted to put out some info that I have come across in my various bass upgrades. One is an endpin upgrade that makes a huge tonal difference. It is called Camelopard and the pin is titanium filled with some special stuff. there is a pin for Pizz and one for arco and when I had it installed it added a large volume and tonal increase. Also Mike Pecanics tailpiece (I got the non adjustable one type 2) and tail piece wire they both make a really significant increase in the resonance of the bass. Mike says that by extending the length of the lower strings it reduces the tension and puts the bass back on an even keel, I love it, the e string and a string are like butter and sound as though they are resonating at their fullest potential.
    My next upgrade will be the slone tuners from David Gage which cost a fortune but allow tuning to be a much finer adjustment.
    I'd be really interested in anyone elses experience with these or other upgrades...
    All the best
  2. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I couldn't find much about this endpin on the Internet and could not find any place that sells it. Do you have a link?
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I have to second the tailpiece wire suggestion. I just put a fabric one on a students bass and it made a significant change in the tone of the bass.
  4. They appear to sell direct - I was a bit confused as to what the different options are - seems like a $200 carbon fiber economy model or the full monte 24K gold plated all singing and dancing $330 model. I'd like to know which Flatback installed - the economy, the piz orietated endpin or the arco orientated model - too much choice for me - I want one that does all equally well :D :D .

    Follow this direct to hte price list - I assume everone knows how to back up a url for those sites silly enough not to put a back to home button on a page.
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    You can't find better quality than the Sloane tuners. Be prepared to loathe changing your strings though!
  6. Ok, so Mike P knows what he's doing and he's talking about but I was thinking, no matter how dangerous that is:

    * for a particular sting to be tuned to a certain frequency over a fixed length it has to be the same tension between the bridge and the nut no mater how long the afterlength

    * the bridge (as my luthier called it) is a flexible coupling - it moves or oscilates

    * the tailpiece has no elasticilty but the afterlength of strings does therefore

    * what Mike Ps tailpieces must be doing is allowing greater oscilations in the bridge

    * this may be felt as less tension in the string, but if so, you're just feeling greater springiness from the bridge which can now move more freely.

    Right guys, pile in and tell me this is crap, but all this reducing tension really doesn't make sense to me at the moment, and it gets re-hashed in every description of Mike Ps tailpieces I've seen in TB - and I plan to get one for my bass too, just for the record.

    I played a really nice carved Chinese bass with a thin top and low tension - it had spiro mittels on and I thought they were weichs because of the ease of play, a beautiful rich loud sound with little effort. If I'm going to improve my bass, reducing tension and presure on the top ain't going to do it - increasing the amount of vibration applied to the top should - though the corollory of this is I then might be able to reduce tension because of the increased efficiency caused by Mike Ps tailpiece.

    Ok guys - pile in. :eek:
  7. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    I have all the endpins...the truth is I talked to the cat on the phone when I lived in NYC and he wanted me to try it out in the jazz scene and so I had David Gage install it (he dug it too) so he sent me all of them. I have a hollow titanium pin too as a control. The pizz is the one I use and I love it. The whole thing is super classy and really not a good investment unless you have found your career bass and want to pamper it. Anyone in the bay area in California can come try them out if they want to.
    I think the best cheapest solution to a huge increase in sound and tone is the tail piece cord from either Mike or Velvet (the Velvet is about 3x as expensive and the same stuff)
    But the Camelopard endpins (according to the maker) make such a difference because the pin actually is a resonating part of the instrument and solid endpins dampin the sound because of their mass. The maker of these pins (i think his name is Phil) is a cellist and he made them for cello firs.
  8. Thanks very much for the info Flatback - at $200 for the economy with the exchange rate being £ freindly I could be tempted. Mine looks like a very cheap fitting. You and Donz convince me on the wire - mine looks like braided cable coated in black epoxy or something.

    Mike Ps tailpeices arn't too bad either for price and as for the wire it's so cheap relatively I now wonder why people use what on my last bass could have been a coathanger.

    Its not that I have a great bass - I don't - but since I'm unlikely to be able to afford another for some years I'm quite willing to make sure I'm getting the best out of this one.

    A pitty I never knew about all this earlier since I went to visit my brother in San Ramon at thanksgiving and had a scoot around the bay. Great offer Flatty - thanks - great spirit there. My bro will be living over here again shortly but not before I've sent him shopping!!

    ... and I thought I was going to turn on my pc to find loads of abuse about how the tailpeice works - there's still time I supose ;-)
  9. You are correct from a statics standpoint. The tension on the string remains the same regardless of the length between the tailpiece and bridge. You are probably on to something with your hunch about the flexibility. It would seem that if there is more string to flex and stretch behind the bridge, then the string tension would not change as much when the bridge moved as the string vibrates. This would reduce some non-linear component to the string vibration. Also I believe with more total string lenth to stretch, the string might feel more flexibile. One thing for sure is that the relative pitch of the vibrating string behind the bridge will be different in comparison to the main vibrating length of string for all four strings. This might add some complexity to the natural resonances of the instrument. Generally the after length is set to some perfect interval in relation to the open string with non-comp. tailpieces.
  10. Because I can see some daylight through the C bout I took my bass to my luthier who on mention of mods pulled a face. He couldn't see what any of them would do - especially the tailpeice wire. He pointed out that the design has only changed in 350 years by increasing he neck angle and strenthening the bass bar. However, I am prepared to be convinced - as a clarinet player it is well known the design of the register key is faulty because it serves a dual purpose that does niether well and mechanisms exist to correct and enhance that have not been adopted. I'd be interested to know what a Conservative Mid Western Luthier makes of all this, especially as he is a keen studier of all developments bass, as well as Jeff, Arnold etc - do they ever consider fitting these (or would they as Camelford is new) to their new builds?

    ps - humble apologies to Jeff - in a couple of posts or so where I recommended people look up his views I spelt his name wrong - sorry Jeff Bollbach - how I could mess up someone who's name ends in Bach heaven only knows.
  11. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas

    While not our particular Conservative Mid Western Luthier, you could put my excellent luthier Rocky Werning in the same camp.

    I brought him a Velvet cord (they sent me one to try before released to the public) and a new tailpiece from Mike Pecanic. He was very skeptical, but he experimented a bit and thought that it did make enough difference to be worth doing.

    You might point out that if a more flexible aircraft cable wire is better than the coat hanger style, why wouldn't the new type be better than the aircraft cable wire?