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Is my bass in danger?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by CQBASS, Dec 12, 2005.


  1. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    I have a Wilfer ply that I just got a few months back. It seems that the back is bulging out a little where the soundpost sits. There's another piece of wood between the post and where it meets the back. The top of the bass is fine however. Is my soundpost too long? Is this endangering my bass? The bass does sound a bit choked. It was set up by a decent luthier, but I suspect it could be better. I guees what I need to know is should I even have it strung up if there's a problem. Thanks in advance. Chris
     
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    It's luthier time! Seriously, for any kind of weird bulges, getting it looked at by a reputable luthier is probably the best thing to do ASAP.
     
  3. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    How old is this Wilfer ply?
     
  4. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    It's from 1975. Why do you ask?
     
  5. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Some of the older plys, even with a soundpost patch, tend to bulge over the years... it's not uncommon. Can you post some pics of this area of the back?
     
  6. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    Here's the best I could do. It doesn't show up like it does in realtime. Although this bass is from 1975 it had never been strung up until I had it. It had been in storage. Thanks again.
     
  7. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    My '74 Paesold ply has a mound where the soundpost is. But it's not a localised problem, it's rather a wide bump that just shows where there is contact pressure from the other side. I've had the bass a few years now and it hasn't changed in that time, so I doubt its a problem. I tried putting a shorter soundpost in, too, but it was already the shortest it could be without falling over. Plywood is wierd stuff. I'd only be worried if i saw the laminations cracking.

    Hows the top? Is it evenly arched or is the ply flattened a bit where the bassbar is?

    BTW, the thing that opened my bass up most was a lighter tailpiece.
     
  8. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    The top seems fine so far, no flattening at all.
     
  9. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004

    Where did you get this bass and who set it up?
     
  10. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    I got it from Steve Greene at Ideal in New York (online) and Danny Bishop of Bishop Violin shop here in Asheville NC set it up. I'm waiting for an opportunity to get it over to Bob Beermans in Greenville but haven't had a chance to do it yet.
     
  11. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Can you post any face-on shots of the back in this area? A little bulging is nothing to get excited about...

    uh oh... ;)
     

  12. but getting excited could cause a little bulging... :eek:

    sorry, had to say it! ;)
     
  13. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    Here's a couple of shots of the back. It's hard to see in the pics.
     

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  14. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    Oh yeah, and here's the bass.
     

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  15. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Doesn't look too bad from here. Mine's similar. The varnish is a bit worn where the hump is.
     
  16. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    OK, this isn't funny anymore. Today I've noticed that the seam around the uper top bout is open. Maybe for about 4 inches. I'm starting to wonder if this bass is going to self destruct on me. I truelly sincerely hope not. This is the second seam to go. I had my luthier fix the first ne when he was setting it up. I'm just wondering if it's time to call ideal or if this just happens more often than I think. Any opinions?
     
  17. BTW, the thing that opened my bass up most was a lighter tailpiece.[/QUOTE]

    What Kind of Tailpiece did you get? I have an old German Ply, the sound is there, but I want to get as much out of it as possible. I just put Obligato strings on, and currently use Pirastro Medium, and Jade Rosin. My Bass has the same bulge in back, and it hasn't changed in five years...i don't think there is really anything to worry about....
     
  18. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    I made my own tailpiece out of what we call silky oak but I think in the US is called lacewood. It was an experiment. I used a "compensated" profile to increase the afterlength of the E and A strings which were sounding choked. Whatever I did, it worked for me, and it looks lovely. There are a number of threads here on tailpiece design, check them out.
     
  19. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004

    No, this should never happen to a new instrument unless there has been some kind of abuse. I assume you have not kept the bass in a sauna or anything like that so that the glue is being softened. This is, after all, a ply bass about which we are speaking and should be rather impervious to normal (even slightly abnormal) variations in temperature and humidity. If I were in your position, I'd be plenty upset!
     
  20. CQBASS

    CQBASS

    Dec 1, 2004
    Asheville NC
    I am plenty upset, especially because I really like the bass. Here's a couple pics of the seam (#2). It appears that when the seam pooped the varnish took some wood with it. That and the fact the I live WAY out in the middle of nowhere and all these things add up to a huge and unfortunate hassle have got me pretty cranky. I'm going to call ideal today and begin the process.
     

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