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Future UB designs

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by mheintz, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    I was just visiting Gary Karr's site (principally because I like to listen to the music in the background while I'm surfing) and I came across one of his posts, where he states that he is surprised that modern luthiers haven't surmounted some of the ergonomic issues of playing the bass. I remember seeing him play James Ham's bass at IU for the ISB conference. Brief article on some of Mr. Ham's innovations: http://www.manningawards.ca/pressroom/2001f.htm.

    So for discussion. What changes to the existing bass design would you like to see?

    To start, I'll name a few.

    1. I like Ham's movable neck. Very practical. I'm not sure that Mr. Karr is right when he suggests that a one piece bridge is the only way to go. But the movable neck eliminates the issue.
    2. Good five strings. I'd like to see more of them. Some luthiers have developed solutions for the extra string tension. Others haven't.
    3. Changes to the neck heel. Though the heel feels like home-sweet-home, there have been so many times that I wish it wasn't there or that it were a whole step higher. Perhaps half heels are the answer. Like the http://www.jordanmusic.com/EUB.html.

  2. Have you seen Arnold's ergonomic bass? Scroll down this page and take a look at it.
  3. mheintz


    Nov 18, 2004
    No, I hadn't seen the Ergonomic Contrabass. Very nice. Those are exactly the sorts of features that I am interested in. I look forward to hearing reviews of the instrument at the June 2005 ISB. There is a big flaw in the instrument, however. I play a Jakstadt so I can blame the upper bouts for any mistakes in thumb position. A very useful self deception innovation. :)
  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I like that bass of Arnolds. I would really love to find a cornerless bass. or comission one...
  5. Talk to Ken McKay. He is building a cornerless DB, as we type... :)
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I am going to Convert my newest aquired Hungarian? Bass into a 5-string. Any suggestions? Here's a link to the Bass; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/Mystery2/Mystery2.htm

    Arnold is going to do the job for me.. I hope!

    I met a retired symphony player today and he told me after seeing my Morelli with an Ext. that he doesn't like Extensions. He prefers a 5-string Bass. He has an 1891? Glasael made for a west coast Symphony maybe san fran.?.. They made I believe 5 of them for the Orchestra. I have the Beeth. 5th now on my stand and I see how important a 5er is to play the music. Somethings can't be played well, easily or at all on a 4 with a fingered ext.

    My point is, I believe we need to see more musicians (as with the Electric Bass in R&B/Jazz), trying to play the the lower notes of the Classical music as they do in Europe, mainly Germany, Austria, Czech, etc.

    I bet we could learn a few things from those guys if they would just give us 'Yanks' a chance.......
  7. Go for it!!!!! My next bass (should arrive soon) is a 5-er. I've played on one once, after which I have never lost sight of the advantages. The 5th (and the 5th) go well together.

    "My point is, I believe we need to see more musicians (as with the Electric Bass in R&B/Jazz), trying to play the the lower notes of the Classical music as they do in Europe, mainly Germany, Austria, Czech, etc." - Ken Smith

    I could not agree more, Ken. The lower frequencies transcend hearing and can be felt. This is our space, and uniquely ours. :)
  8. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I got a chance to play(not well) with a youth symphony in Germany over 15 years ago. The majority of the bass section was 5 string, Pollmann I believe for the most part. Hearing and feeling those those C's for the first time really had an impact on me...
  9. Initially, when I bought my five string Bomann, the low B wasn't the main reason for the purchase. It was the sound and the eveness in all the registers. But after living with the ability to go all the way down to low B, i'm sold.
    Especially on ballads!!
  10. i was wondering if any luthiers out there had thought about using some kind of carbon fibre/graphite type material to make a DB? would it work? would there be any point? i would love to know...
  11. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    It's been done... Help me out, gang, what's the name? Quantum??

    EDIT: Ahh, here it is... Quintus: http://www.qstrings.com/
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I mentioned before how I saw a Russian Orchestra playing a Shostakovich Symphony which ends with the basses playing a rhythmic low C pedal - amazing sound!! :)
  13. Brian K

    Brian K

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    Here in Toronto, Inokuchi and Son Violin make cornerless double-basses. I don't know how many they have made, but one was for for Joel Quarrington, and about a year ago they were making another that Dave Young was somehow involved with. I don't think they've made any basses that weren't cornerless.

  14. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I have been in touch with Ken McKay about a cornerless bass that he is making...Looking forward to the details.