KC Strings extension, Self-installed

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by .matthew e wengerd., Jul 1, 2004.

  1. As some of you may know, I ordered a stopped C extension from KC Strings recently. I had nowhere near the budget for a custom, installed extension from some of the well-respected luthiers out there, which ran well up over two thousand dollars plus the transport of my bass to and from their shop. I did, however, have five hundred bucks, which was plenty more than enough to cover the cost of the brass KC Strings extension with shipping.

    Having done some woodwork before, I decided to give it a shot as the only modification to the bass was cutting the nut and screwing the 'L'brackets into the pegbox. Long story short, the install was incredibly easy, even with my minimal skills, and the extension did exactly what it was supposed to do. My bass sounds great all the way down to low "C". I even 'unofficially' have a low "B" with the amount of extension fingerboard past the "C" stop.

    There are pictures on various parts of my website: www.allmyheroes.org. Please forgive the poor design and inconsistency. I'm still in the 'fleshing-out' phase of my self-taught web-authorship.
  2. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Great. Do you get an even sound along the extension? You are much braver than me, I don't think I could have done that install.

    Nice looking Bass.

  3. Slapfiddle


    Jun 29, 2004
    New York City
    I just had them install one on my bass last week. I have to say i'm extremely happy with it. It did open up the sound of my bass and I really enjoy being able to play lower than the E. They also installed their tuning machines and end pin. Man, those machines are beautiful. They feel and look great and are totally precise with the 36/1 ratio. The end pin has a self-locking screw on rubber tip that will never wear out and because of the unique engineering the rod will never slip. check it out. :)
  4. I noticed on your public profile that you listed http://www.kcstrings.com/ as YOUR home page.
  5. i definitely have a pretty even sound down the extension. My new obligato long 'e' is actually still settling a bit, so it's been a little goofy, but it keeps getting better and better. I'd recommend it to anyone.
  6. Slapfiddle


    Jun 29, 2004
    New York City
    Hi Bob, it's Craig Akin. I've started doing some work for Anton via the computer. Have you ever checked out any bows by Don Smith? I've been playing on one that I really like. It's a German about 152 grams and sounds excellent, very easy to play at all dynamics. Has a little more weight at the tip than most Germans.
    more later
  7. I've known Don since before he started making bows (way back when). I agree with you that Don makes very nice bows.

  8. i dont know much about doing bass repairs... but i dont want to spend money on a costom extention. the KC extentions seem good. i do have a couple of questions for you though:

    first, is the nut held on by the tension of the strings, or is it glued on... and if it is glued on how do you get it off.

    second, i know that KC makes C and B extentions... is the B extention just a C extention with leaving more wood at the end, or is it a seperate product.

    and third, it looks like in the picture on your website that you did not drill a hole through the scoll, is that true... and if it is, is it hard to tune.
  9. The KC Strings website has detailed instructions for installing both types of their extensions. However, it is easy to see that they assume the installer has a good woodworking skills and knows the basics of how a bass is put together. If you lack either of these skills, you are better off letting a skilled luthier install it for you. If you are thinking this is a simple job that anyone can do, consider that on their website, KC Strings lists their price for installing (only) the extensions at about $1,300.00. EDIT I see now that the KC Strings ad on TB says that $1,300.00 includes the extension.
  10. i have a good friend that is a skilled carpenter, he makes cabinets and tables and stuff like that. do you think that with his woodworking skills and my moderate knowledge of the bass will be sufficiant for putting this puppy in?
  11. Considering that you are asking in another post how the nut is attached and how to remove it - NO.
  12. I do not mean to start arguments or belittle what anyone else says, but i have a hard time believing anyone with woodworking skills and the competence to ASK questions couldn't do this easily.

    The nut is glued on, but a light tap from a rubber mallet and wood shim tapped it right of. be careful, as the soundpost might fall. i put book weight on the belly to keep this from occurring. the old glue was cleaned off with warm water. and re glued (granulated hide glue!)

    no, there is no hole drilled through the scroll-it's part of the design. also, i think the 'b' extension is different, however, mine has a 'b' with no capos down as it is....

    hope this helps.
  13. No argument. He asked for my opinion and I stand by it. However, I would be interested to hear if Jeff Bollbach thinks this is the kind of job for a 16 year old high school student with a carpenter friend. Since Jeff is a highly qualified luthier who has recently installed one of the KC Strings extensions, I would certainly be willing to change my opinion if he agrees with you that this is an easy job for the untrained novice.
  14. Thanks to lowendgruv, your info really helped a bunch. but the more i think about this the more i am starting to agree with bob bransetter. my knowledge of bass setup is very minimal, and i would be scared to let even the most skilled carpenter start hamering my nut off and pouring water on my bass. i would also like to hear what jeff bollbach has to say about this. Also i know he mentioned that some basses wont fit a KC extention, and my scroll is pretty big, how can i measure if it will fit an extention or not.

    thanks alot guys i apreciate the info!
  15. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Take off your e-string. Put a 48in. ruler in place of the string and extend it to the front of the scroll while following the path of the string. You should have a good 7/8 of an inch twixt the front of the scroll and the bottom of the ruler for the KC to fit.
  16. ouch... i only have about 1/3 of an inch (and that is with a high nut and bridge, i am sure if i were to lower the nut and bridge to my liking i would only have about 1/4 of an inch). does this mean i wont be able to install any extentions?

  17. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    No, it means that you will likely have to cut into the scroll to install one. It used to be done de riguer but is now frowned upon. However it is your bass, you can do with it as you will. What is it?
  18. it is nothing AMAZING, but i like it alot. it is a 3/4 size fully carved kremona (not cremona) that i bought from bob gollihur. the pictures on the kremona website dont do it justice, so check out these .
    in the pictures they all have gloss finish but mine is a matte, mine is also a little darker than the ones in the pictures.
  19. lowendgruv: i was wondering if you could post a picture of the side view. i want too see how much of the extention you had to cut away when you installed it.

    thanks, no rush

    p.s. those tunning machines look awesome!