False 'Shoulder' for BSX EUB

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by rickwolff, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. rickwolff

    rickwolff ‘Leave the clams in, let ’em know we're human,' Supporting Member

    Now that I've got the proper strings on my BSX Allegro (3/4 size Helicore Hybrid Light) I can play effectively in thumb position.

    Being fairly new to T-P I wanted all the help I could get, and quickly discovered that without the physical reference of the 'Shoulder' that my DB gives me it was much harder to find the proper position when going into Thumb Position.

    Enter the 'Bionic Shoulder'. This had been bouncing around in my head for some time so today I grabbed a spare piece of bendable 1" aluminum and, using my DB as a pattern, bent the aluminum to be the same shape as on the 'big bass'.

    I think I'll find that I only need about the 6 inches closest to the neck, and will likely use this aluminum shoulder as a pattern to cut a piece of wood which I will attach with 3m Dual-lock - which is also what I used to attach this aluminum one. Once I get a smaller wooden shoulder it will be able to stay on the bass and will fit in the bag. For now I'll be taking this one on and off.

    BSX Aluminum Shoulder.jpg
    Maple, Randy Ward and MDrost1 like this.
  2. rickwolff

    rickwolff ‘Leave the clams in, let ’em know we're human,' Supporting Member

    MARK II. Didn't really dig the aluminum thang, so I fabricated up a little wooden one which, I think, is a bit more 'organic'. Now I've got no excuse to avoid thumb position.

    And, it's easily removeable leaving only two 1 inch squares of 3m dual lock (which I can also peel off). There is foam underneath the brackets so they can't scratch the bass.

    False Shoulder Front.jpg False Shoulder Back.jpg
    MR PC and Randy Ward like this.
  3. MR PC

    MR PC Inactive

    Dec 1, 2007
    Some semi gloss on that would be icing. In the long ago I made something like this with 1/4 sawn laminated/sandwiched red cedar, painted it a nice trans black to match the rest of of my frankenstein creation
  4. rickwolff

    rickwolff ‘Leave the clams in, let ’em know we're human,' Supporting Member

    Your absolutely right. When I was at Home Depot today I picked up the 'Flat Black' just kind of out of habit. But for 97 cents a can I will stop back in and pick up one in gloss.

    I used 1/4 inch balsa because it was so easy to work with.

    I'm trying to do everything I can to make this little bass as fun and rewarding to play (and as good sounding) as I can. It will never be a replacement for my big bass, which I love, but it sure is easy to schlep. I've got a strap on the bass bag that goes over my shoulder, so with my little 20 pound Frankenamp it makes for a real easy 1 trip load in/out.
    MR PC and Don Kasper like this.
  5. I would prefer a wood that is a bit harder than balsa. If you haven't used the glue strips, I imagine the screw won't hold well in balsa.

    And I would round the upper edge more, so that it feels more like a bass shoulder. Maybe even glue something on top that sticks a bit over and gets rounded on top and lower edge like a bass top.

    Seems like you fixed it with Velcro on the bass side. Might be a bit wobbly that way. If you use a folded metal sheet with the long arm on both sides for the lower one and fix it over the whole length it would become more stable.

    And rounding the corners of the folded metal sheet for a final version would reduce the risk of damaging something when it's not mounted on the EUB.

    Maybe even put out some wood on the underside to let the folded metal sheets sink in to get them flush with the surface and maybe glue a thin wooden sheet over to hide the metal sheet.

    Maybe a MARK III?
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  6. Up and Away

    Up and Away

    May 16, 2015
    Interesting project!I love the sound of the BSX but I really like having the very nice false "shoulders" on my Yamaha SLB200.And no,it will never replace an acoustic upright but it feels great to play.I have often wondered why BSX among others have never built in a shoulder like some other builders(ex MK) do.
  7. rickwolff

    rickwolff ‘Leave the clams in, let ’em know we're human,' Supporting Member

    Guten Tag, Dopple,

    I'm sure a MARK III is in order. I did this as a 'proof of concept' as much as anything (and just because retired guys need fun little projects). I was severely limited not only by my woodworking 'skills' but by only having a $15 hand held sabre saw - not the most precise of cutting instruments. I tried cutting a 2x4 but it would have required a band saw to do it well.

    In playing around with the bass now I find that the 'reference points' are just the same as on my big bass, and since the BSX rings a bit more in TP (even with the new 3/4 size strings) it may lend itself to helping me develop my thumb position technique.

    I am going to contact Tony, who makes these instruments to see if I could interest him in producing the MARK III model. He obviously has the skills and tools to make a finely crafted product and I think it could actually help generate more interest in his bass. I will also mention that all of us who have switched to 3/4 size strings find that a VAST improvement and recommend that he use those as standard equipment in future.

    Thanks for your ideas!
  8. rickwolff

    rickwolff ‘Leave the clams in, let ’em know we're human,' Supporting Member

    PC, you were right. Some darker, gloss paint looks a lot better.

    Played the BSX on the gig last night - fairly loud 5 piece jazz group. It sounded GREAT. I had compliments from people who have heard our other gigs in that room and was told it had a nice 'warmth' to it. I'm wondering if a good bit of that isn't my new GB 6.2 with the tube pre-amp. I had played another gig with that amp and my 7/8 carved bass last week. The pianist also commented on the warmth of the sound. He said he wasn't used to hearing that from a solid-state amp (so I had to tell him about the tube). I don't mean to re-open that conundrum re: tube vs solid state. But, whatever is contributing to my sound, I am really digging it. And, for me, that's half the ballgame right there.

    Shoulder with gloss black.jpg