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interesting question about f-holes

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by tww001, May 13, 2004.


  1. tww001

    tww001

    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    I was wondering if there's any functional use of the f-holes being shaped the way they are. Now obviously I know they're there to allow the instrument to breathe and whatnot, but is there reason for there shape? Why not just circles or bars, or for that matter hearts, stars, clovers, or blue moons?
     
  2. No reason what so ever as long as the total surface area of the ff holes is approx. the same as the conventional design.
     
  3. Aroneng

    Aroneng Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2001
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    I would say that there might be some difference in the shape that would affect how the top vibrates and also the placement of the f-holes on the top.
     
  4. They (or at least one of them) should allow access to set the sound-post…

    - Wil
     
  5. We've talked about many different ff hole shapes here on TBDB. Do a search under Paul Toenniges. A great California luthier who sometimes put diamond shaped holes in his basses C bouts, without any holes in the top at all. Sound post access was available through the treble side diamond shape.
    My partner Bob Ross www.rossdoublebass.com has some interesting ff hole designs on one of his removable neck basses.
    Right now, under Basses, check out Patrick Charton's new travel bass with some very artistic ff hole shapes.
    The Violone had kind of backward C shaped, guess you call em' backward C holes?
     
  6. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I had to steal this photo off the Mr. Ross's site that you listed Paul, as this bass is just too cool looking.

    I have seen several basses with the fb trimmed like that and I think it is just too cool. Couple that the the Mike Pecanic tailpiece and you have some really compelling lines.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. I believe that is the bass that Bob built for TBDB member Marc Neihof. I think that Marc uploaded several more detailed photos of the bass, but apparently they got deleted in the software upgrade. Maybe he would be kind enough to upload them again if he's still hanging around this forum. You will find a list of Marc's posts about his bass here.
     
  8. I couldn't get that link about Mark's bass to work Bob. I'll talk to Bob Ross and see what we can get.
    If you go into Bob's site and click on Mark's bass, there are pics of the door in the C bout to set sound post or make repairs. The neck is removable and Mark had a case made for the whole thing.
    The fingered extension is built in and the stops are the claws of the dragon whose head replaces the scroll! If you look at the head straight on, it looks as if the dragon is playing the extension!
    www.rossdoublebass.com
    Chas, thanks for posting the picture!
     
  9. I see what you mean. I tried it last night and it worked when I made the post. It may have something to do with the info coming off of the profile page. If you go to Marc's profile, you can select show all posts and it will bring up a listing.
     
  10. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I've worked on a Toenniges bass with the diamond holes. It has two holes in each c-bout, plus two where the f-holes would normally be placed. Are you sure he made some with no top holes? BTW, my understanding of his diamond-hole bass concept was to make the bass more audible to the other rhythm section players in big bands, by directing some of the sound sideways. The one I worked on has a lovely birch back and ribs, with a sitka top; made during WW2 when european woods were unobtainable. That thing is loud! And the workmanship is excellent.
     
  11. Arnold, I dug out that old ISB from the winter of 1989, and there actually isn't any mention of the "Diamond" basses having no f holes in the top, so maybe i'm not remembering as good as I use to. I could have sworn the Toenniges Diamond bass that Victor Gaskin had when he worked with Billy Taylor years ago didn't have holes in the top, but to answer your question now.....no, i'm not sure!