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How necessary is it to replace the sound posts in a carved bass?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Eric Braunstein, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. I have a Strunal fully carved bass I bought a couple weeks ago, and was wondering how necessary it is to replace the sound posts during the winter to prevent damage. My bass in kept in my house, which is kept at around 71F, and about 25% humidity. I also have two dampit bass humidifier I always use. So is it really necessary that I get new sound posts. The cost of it isn't really an issue, but there arn't many good luthiers around my area, so I'd have to make a pretty long trip in order to get it done. Thanks.
  2. I have two basses, both carved. When they're not being played, I keep them in their cases. My house is kept at around 68-70ºF, and humidity between 35-50%. I've never had a problem with either bass or their soundposts - they both stay in tune to within a semitone throughout the year.

    Big changes in temp and/or humidity tend to cause problems.

    Hope this helps -

    - Wil

    PS: Dampits can cause all sorts of problems with mold if they are over-used (as they usually are…) - best advice is to throw them away…
  3. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Eric- If you are happy with the way the bass sounds and plays, and you live far away from a trusted luthier, then I wouldn't change the soundpost. You could visit him/her in the dead of winter, and get an idea of what the post is doing. Six months later, in the humid summer months, get it checked again. But it isn't neccessary.

    However, you should get a warm-air room humidifer and get the ambient humidity up to 35%-40%. 25% is too low and dampits aren't going to cut it.
  4. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I always think, if you want to keep only one post in your bass year round, keep a "winter" soundpost in it. Having a short post fall is far preferable to having a long one crack the top.
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Three of my Basses had long posts and had to be cut down recently. Three other Basses of mine had short posts. The short ones were 2 flat backs and one round back. Two of the Basses are in USA for their first winter ever. One is 200 yes old and the other 85 years. The 3rd has been here at least 70 years if not more. Of the 3 with short posts, one was only 4 years old, and the other 2 about 200 years old. Both older Basses have been in USA for at least 50 years. All 3 of these are round backs. On one Bass ( short post) the post said 80% and has been in the Bass for over 20 years. I asked the Luthier that put the post in and he said the Humidity was 80% the day he made that post so he marked it in pencil on the side of the post. Posts that fit snug in the Summertime can easily push the Back out in the winter months as the Back shrinks slightly. This can bow or crack a round back and also open it's joint as well as do the same on a Flat Back. I have seen all of the above results on both 'Back' types. One of my Round backs is a 3-piece back and the post is closer to the joint on that Bass. If you suspect your Post is too tight or too loose, fix it asap. If you Bass swells and contracts alot, then I think a winter and summer Post is in order.