Help me!

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by subcontra, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. subcontra


    Feb 4, 2006
    I rented a Wenzel Kohler standup today from my school. I don't know anything about these things, so I need your help.

    Is there supposed to be a crease in the fingerboard near the E string?

    The action is extremely high, even for an upright. I moved the bridge down and it collapsed, what do I do?
  2. subcontra


    Feb 4, 2006
    So sorry, I totally missed the setup and repair section as I was looking through the forums!

    My apologies!
  3. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Provide entertaining film moments of your adventure?

    First, you don't regulate the string height by moving the bridge back and forth on top of the body. The bridge pretty much needs to stay put in a specific position between the F-holes. You raise and lower the strings by using adjsuters in the bridge feet OR cutting down the top of the bridge. there are some pretty specific schools of thought as to how much wood should be left bewteen the top of the bridge and the heart or the feet and the arch etc. Given your level of inexperience I HIGHLY RECOMMEND taking it to a luthier to have any work done to the bridge.
    If the bridge collapsed, it's more than likely that your soundpost fell. Which is no biggie, but placement is kind of picky and, given your level of inexperience, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND taking the bass to the nearest luthier to get the bridge repositioned and the soundpost put back.

    Some fingerboards have a bevel, some don't. Either way , it ain't no thang. The thing to remember is that the finger board SHOULD have a curvature that will match the curvature of the bridge. SO if you have somebody plane out the bevel but DON'T have the bridge worked on to correspond to the new fingerboard shape, you're going to have problems.

    If you don't know about uprights, you don't know if the strings are actually too high. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND taking it to somebody who knows what they are doing, who works on these things all the time to advise you and maybe do some work to make this a more playable instrument.

    What was your bass teacher doing while you were having all this fun with your bass?
  4. subcontra


    Feb 4, 2006
    I don't have a bass teacher. I know it's too high because I've played them before, I've just never had them.
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    hmmm. OK. Enjoy life.
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Well my guess is that it's significantly lower now that you've gotten that pesky bridge out of the way.
  7. subcontra


    Feb 4, 2006
    Ok, nothing happened to the soundpost. I'll take a picture and maybe you can tell me if something looks wrong with it.

    When I tune it, it stays in tune for about 5 seconds and goes down like 3 steps. I know the note is out of tune, but the tension is still the same. Everytime I retune it the tension becomes higher and higher, what's happening?
  8. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    First, take the Bass to a professional Bass shop. Have them re-cut the Top of the bridge so the Strings are 5-7mm or the FB on the G and 9-12mm at the E. These are estimates. Then have them set the sound post abd re-cut or replace if necessary.

    This is a rental, but if you break something fooling around with it, it might be come a purchase!
  9. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    So, you’ve had a couple of very knowledgeable people reply and I’m infinitely less qualified and can’t add anything, but here I go anyway. First of all listen to them. Second, if you’ve rented it, you might take it back to whoever you rented it from and ask them if they can set it up or if they have something else that is set up better. If you’ve borrowed it from school or something, you might check with them before you have work done on it. Also, how long is the loan for? Is it worth your investment to improve the thing and then return it?

    Observations from the pictures: Aside from the fact that it looks like dogs***. Through the blurry photos I see several problems, some I won’t comment on, because I agree that you shouldn’t be fooling with it if it and I don’t want to tempt you. It looks like the bass side bridge foot isn’t sitting flush on the table, which it should be. I also have to ask, is it possible that you put the bridge back in backwards? Hard to believe that you would have, but it sure doesn’t look right to me from any angle. I’ve seen fingerboards cut like that before, I’m sure that was on purpose. If it’s your bass, it’s a matter of preference, but since it’s not I think you just have to realize that that’s they way someone wanted it. Speaking out of my element a bit, I think if the soundpost was the right length then it SHOULD have fallen when the bridge collapsed. The fact that it didn’t, plus your descriptions and what I can decipher from those photos suggests that that is one seriously poorly set up bass.

    If it makes sense for you to have work done on it, it definitely needs it and it’s not the type of tweaking that you can figure out on-line. If it’s not yours to improve then you might want to just take it back. I don’t think you’re going to get much useful practicing done on that thing.

    By the way, none of that is commentary on the quality of the bass. The instrument itself may be just fine, but any instrument is only as good as its setup.
  10. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    It appears that the bridge is on backwards.

    And, can someone tell me why the margins are so damn wide?
  11. idahohay


    Nov 22, 2002
    Priest River, ID
    The pictures are 1200 pixels wide. I didn't htink the software would allow it.
  12. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    wow--what the experts said. And yes, that bridge is on backwards, and it's not seated right, and it looks to be leaning forward.Try turning it around, could solve all your problems
  13. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
  14. I chuckled. :p
  15. This guy needs bass lessons and camera lessons
  16. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    I dunno, the second photo is the most exciting thing I've seen here for a while ... you can almost *feel* the string tension getting higher and higher as he tunes it up ... a strange creaking sound ... the rear of the bridge foot lifting ... its that split second before ... BANG!!

  17. It's this kind of edge of your seat action that keeps me on Talkbass. Who needs Hollywood blockbusters!