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I wouldn't believe it if I didn't see it

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by pkr2, Feb 3, 2002.


  1. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I'm not sure which forum to put this in since we don't have a voo doo forum.

    About 3 or 4 months ago I decided to upgrade the maple FB on my old battle scarred Englehardt with an ebony board. While I was at it I replaced the bridge.

    When I finished I tuned her up and instead of big (for an Englehardt) open , resonant notes, the thing sounded like it was full of cotton. Dull, dead sounding and not even half as loud as it was before I started.

    I tried moving the soundpost around and double checking the bridge feet for fit but it still sounded lousy.

    I decided to get my mind off it and propped it in a corner pretty much in front of the cab for my toy bass and right beside my stereo speakers.

    I usually practice an hour or two a day on the toy bass and play the stereo several hours a day.

    The Englehardt had been there for about a month when I decided to try the old bridge back on it.

    Before I even started changing the bridge I plucked the g string and "BOING"!
    To my happy surprise, it sounded like a different bass.

    Full, rich and open on all the strings and all over the neck.

    I have heard of people putting a new guitar in front of a stereo to speed up the mellowing out period and always thought that they were only fooling themself.

    I know that nothing about the bass fell magically into place when the bass wasn't even being played but the fact remains that a big change has taken place.

    Has anyone else exprienced anything like this or has senility finally caught up with me?

    Actually, feel free to answer just the first part of the preceding sentence. :)

    Pkr2
     
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    You put it together during the high humidity of summer, and now played it again in the dry, heated air of winter. That'd be my guess.
     
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    There are a few acoustic-guitar-builders who swear by this gizmo that essentially couples the top of your instrument to a speaker-driver and blows long-tones through it for a day or so.

    Or, of course, it could be that super-secret list of tunes you've played through the stereo over the last month . . . don't tell anyone . . .
     
  4. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    My guess would be that sometime between the repair and now, it crossed the "Vintage Threshold"....you know, kind of like '70s and '80s Fenders do. They sound like crap (and everybody knows it) while they're newish, but suddenly a few years later, they're Vintage and they sound Fabulous!. :D
     
  5. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Actually, any of the three speculations offered make as much sense as anything that I can come up with.

    Ray, I suppose that you could be right on the humidity theory. The only reason that I might question that theory would be that I've owned the bass since it was new and, like most ply basses, it has always been nearly immune to humidity changes. Had I had the top off during the repairs, I would expect some settling in as everything under tension might tend to relax. Just changing the FB seems pretty unintrusive though.

    Samuel: that's very interesting. I seem to remember reading somewhere about using a driver to couple the sound directly to an instrument to loosen it up. I didn't pay too much attention at the time because it just sounded too gimicky at the time.

    Now I don't remember where I read the article.

    If anyone should stumble onto anything that has been written on the subject, please let me know where to find it.

    Then again, maybe it really is the secret tunes on the stereo. :)

    Pkr2
     
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    There was recently a thread on this over at MIMF (the luthiery forum). You have to register if you want to read the archived stuff.
     
  7. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    I believe there was a recent thread here also, which had links to several really in-depth articles where this had been studied scientifically.
     
  8. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
  9. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Well I'll be darned! That is a fascinating link, Mike.

    Just when you think you know everything....

    I've tried a couple of the low priced Chinese basses and they seem to have that "dead" sort of sound.

    Knowing what I think I know now, if I owned one, I'd be vibrating the heck out of it.

    Thanks for the links. The first opened OK but the second one wouldn't let me in. At least that will help me do a search.

    I'm still not totally discounting the voo doo thing, though. When a bass gets cranky, it's like it has a mind of its own.

    Pkr2
     
  10. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    Uh Oh...sorry about that second link. I didn't check it before I pasted it in...if I recall correctly, it was the more in-depth of the two. Durn it!

    Makes me curious, though. What if I got a C-clamp and that thing my wife keeps in the drawer of the nightstand....

    Uh...never mind...
     
  11. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Your wife keeps a c-clamp in the drawer of her nightstand?
     
  12. I thought that was called a plumbers helper.