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Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Istar, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Istar


    Apr 5, 2005
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if you could help me with a little problem.
    I live in an apartment and since a bass is a load instrument it’s quite noticeable for my downstairs neighbour.
    Now I talked to my neighbour about this and we have come to an agreement, but since I often work till late it is often impossible for me to practise.

    So now I was wondering if it would be possible to temporarily lower the volume of my bass so I can still play without my neighbour hearing it.
    I don’t know if that is even possible, and I certainly don’t want to completely rebuild my bass, but I would really appreciate your advice.

    Please Help….. :help:
  2. Savino


    Jun 2, 2004
    I wish we all had this complaint.

    1. Get a mute $5
    2. Stand your endpin on a pillow
    3. plug you f holes with a towel or rag
  3. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    typically addition of mass to the bridge will serve to lessen the apparent volume of the instrument. This could come in the form of a big rubber practice mute or if you need more muting, you could get creative...I have personally had luck with using mini quick grip clamps (rubber feet to not damage the bridge) to clamp a smooth, 6" x 1" x 1/2" brass bar to the bridge. A warning though...you can do a tremendous amount of damage to your instrument if a heavy, clamped on object should fall on the bass. Only try this if you feel that you can safely attach and remove this type of an object. This brass bar nearly shuts down the entire sound of the bass, but you can remove it with no hassle. The idea came from the solid brass mutes that are made for cello, viola and violin.

    An added benefit IMO is that it seems to help with intonation practice. It eliminates almost all of the overtones from your sound and the only frequencies that make it to the top are the fundamental ones. This is helpful because overtones can be misleading from behind the bass, but listeners hear a good amount of fundamental pitch from out front. If you get used to listening mostly for fundamental, you have a better chance of hearing what your audience hears.
  4. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    I was in a similar situation and did all that Savino recommends. I also glued studio foam to a 12" square peice of plywood to make a platform that isolated the endpin from the floor more than a pillow would. Attaching anything with a lip (jar lid for instance) will help keep your endpin from sliding. You will need to adjust your endpin to compensate.

    A cross section should look like this:

    _____[___]______ -->Lid
    ============== -->Plywwod
    \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ -->Foam
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I had the same problems. The floor in my apt seems to transmit sound well unfortunately. I tried plugging the f-holes, rubber mute, and sticking the bass on top of a phone book. None of them seemed to make it quiet enough. I tried getting an Ergo EUB just to play late at night but the playability didn't cut the mustard for me. My final solution was to go split the rent with a friend for a rehearsal studio. :meh: I have to drive 10 minutes each way to get there, but I can be as loud as I want til the wee hours.

    I'll have to try that brass bar idea for kicks. I have a spare big vise-grip clamp at home.
  6. Ben Rose

    Ben Rose

    Jan 12, 2004
    Yeah, I ultimately decided that the lady who lived downstairs was nucking futz and moved to somewhere where I could make more noise. :meh: Barring that, splitting a studio may be a sound investment. Just don't leave you instrument there.