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KC strings extensions??

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by basswraith, May 24, 2004.

  1. basswraith


    Mar 10, 2003
    Has any one here ever tried or installed a pre made KC strings extension on their bass? I would like to here thoughts on these extensions.
    Are they heavy?

  2. Here is a thread you may find interesting.


    I had the chance to play one at the ISB Convention last year. It is a beautiful mechanism.
  3. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I also first witnessed the KC deal at the ISB. My first impression of their extention was that although seemingly well made, all that extra weight can't be good for the sound. However I had never worked on one at that time. Recently a NYC bassist approached me about putting one on his new old Italian bass. I acquiesced[fully prepared to regret my decision]. He chose the gated c extention. Installation went surprizingly well[after a few misstarts] and I was very impressed with how well it worked. The individual gates did require some tweaking to get the closed string centered well enough. Another possible negative is that there will be a fairly high % of scrolls in which this machine cannot be installed[having to do with the clearance of the line of the scroll and the board].
    Now, about the sound and playability. Unfortunately there won't be much science in this equation. Had I just added the extention I could maybe say more but I changed the soundpost and made a new bridge[one that had the correct width-the original was way too narrow]. The bass came in sounding great and after the work I felt there was an easily hearable improvement in the overall tone. The owner agreed[perhaps he'll chime in here-he's a TB'er]. I also felt an unusual feeling of groundedness while playing on the c string. Now, as Arnold said in a previous thread sometimes it is just the addition of the extra string length that helps open up the bass and not the extra weight[2 and a half pounds here]. Maybe, and while I can't say for sure that the extention helped the sound, my gut feeling is that it did-and it sure as hell didn't hurt it.
  4. basswraith


    Mar 10, 2003
    OK sounds like we scored 2 points for the KC extension. Any one else? I like the idea of the sliding stop but it does not have a separate cappo for the E stop. The gated extension seems like it would work better. And there is the choice- B or C extension? Well, B might mean extra weight? Would some basses be better with a B and some others with a C extension? Who knows. Just want to get some feed back before I spend $ :eyebrow:
  5. well, BW, I have no experience for you, ut wanted to chime in to say that I have the exact same questions as you do. All this talk about weight, string length....also, does the B extension make the bass too big for most bags? I know each situation's different, but what are other people's experiences?
  6. basswraith


    Mar 10, 2003
    What if KC made their extensions from Titanium? Would that cost them more $ It might bring down the weight significantly.
  7. Does anyone have a picture of their bass with this extension?
  8. Martin Sheridan

    Martin Sheridan

    Jan 4, 2001
    Fort Madison, Iowa
    Bass Maker
    Go to www.kcstrings.com. Click on Bass Stuff, then click on C-extensions.
  9. Thanks, but I've seen those pictures a million times. I'm looking for fellow list member who have them (or have friends who do) to get a better perspective on the aesthetic/design of the extension.
  10. Slapfiddle

    Slapfiddle Craig Akin Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2004
    New York City
    I just had the C extension installed and I'm totally happy with it. It's a beautiful device, easy to use and the sound opened up. And my bass still fits in my 3/4 cover, it's a little tighter fit because it took up some of the slack. Check out their tuning machines and end pins. I had both installed also. The machines are awesome. 36/1 ratio so they are totally precise. The feel and look great too. The end pin has a self-locking rubber screw on tip and the and you don't have to worry about the rod slipping out of place because of the unique clamping design.
  11. I ordered and installed one myself. please feel free to check my website at www.allmyheroes.org for pictures.
  12. Just the opposite, I think. The weight should add low end and sustain, because the end of the neck will move less with vibrations, meaning more of them go to the bridge and be productive. Kind of like a Fat Finger, which is a little weight that clamps to a guitar headstock.
  13. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Sorry but you are delusional if you think adding a large weight to a vibrating part of a stringed instrument improves the tone. Your bass "opened up" because you now have a 53" or so length on the E string and you have lessened the pressure on the bass bar. I submit that it sounds great IN SPITE OF this heavy brass piece on the scroll, not because of it.
  14. Well, my thinking goes that the head and neck of a bass should not be vibrating parts of an instrument. That way less energy is wasted, and more of it goes to moving the top.
  15. I agree totally with Arnold. Your idea that the neck should not vibrate is absurb. Modern violin family acoustic studies, as pioneered by the Catgut Acoustical Society, show that maximum energy is generated when the resonance frequency of the neck assembly (B0) matches the resonance frequency of the air mode of the body (A0) so that they vibrate as a unit.
  16. Huh. Okay, but I wonder why that is, and why some instruments benefit from adding weight to the end of the headstock. I also wonder if only electrically amplified instruments will respond well to that kind of treatment. In addition, I am now wondering why archtop guitars boast an increase in volume when the headstock weight increases, as I remember reading in the MIMF. Ah well, maybe I'll find out sometime.
  17. Guitars and doublebasses are both (usually) made of wood and have strings. Other than that, there is very little resemblance in how they produce sound from an acoustic standpoint. You'll have to ask the guitar folks at MIMF why that happens in guitars (if it does in fact happen).
  18. if extra weight on the end of the neck takes away from the sound then why arent people making smaller scrolls? it seems like the scroll is there to add weight and hold the neck stiff.
  19. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    Being also a low brass player, the weighted parts/instrument thing is the modern orchestra sound these days. I think it's related to what's going on here. Lots of players are going for heavyweight mouthpieces(&valve caps, etc.) because they supposedly dampen vibrations and send them more into the horn and out the bell, something like that. And then there is the heavier horn idea, that they have a darker sound and project better. You couldn't pay me enough to carry a 50 lb tuba around and blow into a mouthpiece that responds like a brick.