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Godin A4/5 thumbrests?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mchildree, Jan 31, 2002.

  1. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    A question for anyone else here who owns a newer Godin A4 or A5 without the long factory-installed thumbrest: Have you heard or seen any good methods for adding the thumbrest? I'm having a tough time adjusting to having no point of reference, but with a soft cedar top, I wouldn't wanna just screw something into the top or put something on that would interfere with the resonance.

  2. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I would glue it on the bass.

    I wouldn't make any hole that's for sure.
  3. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Two words: duct tape. :D
  4. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    well...screwing anything into the cedar top will not hold...the pressure of resting your hand there will pull the screws out...and will hopelessly falw the top.
    On that subject...the revised A4/5 models do not have thumbrests as the top plays a major role in the tone production (along with the newfangled bracing pattern). Putting anything on the top will impede the vibrations across the top, and thusly alter the tone. For better or worse I cannot say.
    It would be best to learn how to float your thumb on the strings....it is a much more verstaile technique, allowing you to shift to many positions along the speaking length of the string, rather than being locked into the thumb rest position.
    If you must, though, visit a qualified repair person or luthier and check into the various kinds of adhesives they have available for doing just this type of job. Whatever you do...don't screw anything into the top, and please no super glue-do-it yerself jobs or (fercrissake) duct tape. (really, duct tape??)
    I have found the A4/5 an exceptional bass with a terrific tone, it would be a shame to spoil that.
    Do REALLY need the thumb rest?
  5. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    and..by the way... glueing something to the top WILL effect the tone of the bass.
  6. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I'm actually doing ok without the thumbrest, but I do lots of vocals and the combination of fretless, no anchor for the thumb and singing is a recipe for disaster (at least when I'm the bassist!). Just too many ways to split the concentration. And it doesn't help that I have an A4 and have been a 5-stringer for a few years now. Enough whinin'...

    Oh well, I guess I'll just tough it out for a while. I've only had the bass for a few weeks and haven't really had that much time to adjust. Max, I know what you mean about having the freedom to move along the length of the string...I've never had a bass with as much possible variation in tone by just moving the right hand position.

    Duct tape.... :rolleyes:
    (Y'know, I play in a band with a guitarist named John Davis, and he'd actually do something that stupid...)
  7. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Yea, I know what you mean. I keep telling people that if you really want a bass with tons of expression and dynamics fromthe hands...check out the A4 or A5 from Godin.....ok ok ok, yes I AM a Godin Endorsee (I am even in their new catalog), but they do not pay me for these kinds of praises. And they don't give me any free basses (contrary to popular belief) I pay for mine too.
    But, they are SO good and SO expressive I am getting a fretless 5 to go with my 4!
    Oh by the way...it is best top leave that top alone. The way the physics of guitar building works is that on a solid instrument the top drives the strings, but on a hollow, chambered or semi-acoustic instrument, thhe strings drive the top. This is what provides the unique and blossoming tone. It is best not to impede that in any way.
  8. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    I must say that I am amazed to hear that a little glue would affect the tone in any way,not saying you're wrong.

    I heard that double sided tape would do it.I thought 'how could that be strong enough?'
    Well at work I was replacing a refrigerator gasket that was held in place with that stuff and noticed it was exactly the width of a thumbrest.I had a lot of it left over so I tried it on my P bass and it worked really well.It is thicker than,say scotch tape so it 'gives' a couple thousanths of an inch(I'm guessing)and doesn't let go when pressure is applied.The catch is I put it on the pickguard,I don't know if putting it on wood is a good idea.
  9. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I wasn't being serious. I had nothing useful to add to this topic, so that was my bad attempt at humor! :)

    Your guitarist is named John Davis? That's funny, well I think it is anyways....
  10. is the way to go. I did the same thing with my new F P-bass. I didn't want to drill through the pickguard.

    We'll see if it hold up.
  11. jackofalltrades


    Jan 18, 2002
    My Godin A4 is starting to get wear marks above the E string where I rest my thumb. I think it adds a bit of character to the bass. I think the best place to rest you thumb on an A4 is right at the end of the fretboard - Upright or What !
  12. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Cedar is a soft wood, and the finish Godin puts on the A series is light, so you will wear thru if you rest your thumb on the top a lot.
    I play with a lot of different hand postions, so I use a floating thumb technique. Also, my A4 has bridge pins (not all of them did, but Godin is re-introducing pins on the 2002 models, along with pop up battery compartments) so I can employ an apoyando classical/falemnco technique and rest my wrist on the pins.
    I visited the Godin room at NAMM where I played one of the new fretless A5s. The have added fretlines ony at the top of the fingerboard, so that the clean elegance is maintained, but sight-intonation is aided (nice touch). The radius of the neck is a little flatter, too. I also was shown the new Godin catalog, where my picture graces the pages for the A4 and A5 ( I was suprised and honored).
  13. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Max, do you find the bridge pins helpful when stringing the bass up? I restrung mine tonight for the first time (no pins)...what a pain in the butt! Couldn't keep the ball ends in the slots correctly and had to get my wife to hold them in while I tuned up to pitch.
  14. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Yes I do find the bridge pins useful (very useful). I am lucky that mine came with them, and in fact I was suprised when I saw other A4s that did not have them! I am glad Godin is putting the pins back in!
    You can get bass bridge pins. Both Martin and Guild ABGs use bridge pins, as so Dean and some others. You might want to check with a local music store on the availability, or try someplace like Stewart-MacDonald or Allparts. They shouldn't be too expensive....and will make you life much easier.
    By the way, what type of strings are you all putting on your Godin Basses? I have found Thomastick Acousticore strings (nylon core w/ bronze windings) exceptional and provides a wide array of tones; from growling URB-esque to ringing "electric" tones.
    I am guessing some of you are using flats....if so what type?
  15. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    My A4 came with a set of black nylon tapewounds on it and I didn't care for them much. Yesterday, I got a set of GHS Brite Flats and installed them and found to my surprise that the tapewounds were brighter, had a richer and more detailed tone, and a much more even response between strings. I tried some of the various bronze/nylon core ABG strings on a Taylor I owned earlier and didn't like the low tension and the rolling under my fingers.

    Guess I'm back to the drawing board on this A4 now.
  16. 45cmckay105

    45cmckay105 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Frederock, Maryland
    Have you tried a higher tension Phosphor Bronze string as of yet? I had basically the same issues you describe on my Rick Turner RB-4 and went to the Ernie Ball Earthwood acoustic strings. Most any AEB neck with a truss rod can handle the increased tension, and the Earthwoods have the smallest gauge E-string that I am aware of, with the exception of possibly GHS phosphor bronze.

    I am looking to pick-up an A4 as a back-up and will definitely be sticking with the EB strings.

    Good luck!!!

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