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Knot in wood

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by basslessonsnow, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. basslessonsnow


    Jul 31, 2009
    I have a student who bought a bass new from a well known bass maker about 2 months ago. About 3 or 4 inches below the right F hole there is a knot in the wood. Since getting the bass the wood knot has risen, so that the surface of the wood now has this bump in it.
    My student's mother called the company and explained the situation. Apparently they just gave her a vague answer (she doesn't know anything about instruments) and said something like "Oh, it's a canary in a coalmine"....
    Now, I don't know what that's supposed to mean, nor did she, so she asked me to get involved and speak to the company. I ask for some advice from others here who may have experience with something like this. Should the company fix the knot? Replace the bass? Refund some money? Should I be the one, as his teacher, to be asking them to do something about it?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Pictures would be helpful.

    If the knot isn't causing any buzzes or rattles, you can't see daylight through it, and it's just a bump (that is stable) then they likely aren't going to do anything. If it is stable I would keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't become a problem, but otherwise just live with it.

    If it is a problem, (see above) then yeah, the company or the shop you bought the bass from should be doing something about it. That could mean some glue and it's fine, or if it's a complete disaster but it wasn't when you got it, then you could be looking at new bass territory. Again, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    The canary in the coal mine was the early warning that SOMETHING VERY BAD was about to happen. Unless the rep is ignorant or misspoke or both, I see that as a negative comment.

    Tell her to document everything in case SOMETHING VERY BAD happens. A friend sells Shen seconds with minor knots in the tops. I bought one with confidence because this guy is a classically trained violin maker with 35 years of experience, and I trust him not to sell me a time bomb. But you know as well as I do not everyone is scrupulous when it comes to money.
  4. jamminology101


    Aug 22, 2012
    Indianapolis In
    Endorsing Artist: Glockenklang
    I bought a squier that had a little knot in it....you dont really get the cream of the crop wood cuts when buying the low buck models. It didnt really bother me...kinda added a lil character to her...

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    This is the double bass forum, jammin. It says so right at the top of the page.
  6. basslessonsnow


    Jul 31, 2009
    I don't have pictures; nothing seems to rattle or anything....it's just that it was flat and smooth 2 months ago and now it's a big bump....as if the knot is going to pop out....
    This company has a reputation and does good buisness...I am trying to figure out how to handle this......
    Imagine buying a car in new condition and 2 months later there's a bulge in the hood for no reason....
  7. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    If the knot is now a lump. It is not stable. Bring the bass back.
  8. basslessonsnow


    Jul 31, 2009
    Can anyone else back this up?

    Thanks for all your responses.
  9. Hi.

    IMO not vague at all.

    It was a hint to take the matter further.
    Why they sold something like that in the first place, or didn't take it back immediately speaks volumes about the lack of CS.
    IMO anyway.

    To elaborate KUNGfuSHERIFF's explanation a bit, birds that tend to sing constantly have been used as an early warning systems throughout the history in places where oxygen deprivation or poisonous gas release is possible or probable.
    That includes gas factories, early submarines and underground mines, as well as something as common as well digging.

    Due to the birds high metabolic rate and lesser tolerance to poisonous gasses and lack of oxygen, the bird usually goes unconcious or dies before us humans do the same, so when the singing stops, there may still be time to sound the alarm and to GTFO.

    ^This, as a hobbyist DB repair person.

    A somewhat similar story:

    I bought a 1/2 Sam Jin (mid price/quality CB) DB back in the mid 00's from an insurance company.
    It had a broken neck and no tailpiece nor bridge, but that's because I later found out that they mostly arrived like that, and the customer chose what they wanted out of several options.
    The top looked a bit funky with a swirl on the grain, which had resulted the G-side of the bridge foot area to be completely flat and somewhat sunken.
    They apparently did not want the hassle of returning the imperfect instrument, nor did they want to do the extra work to do the a bit unconventional bridge mating, but instead chose to snap the neck and claim insurance instead.

    Very classy act from probably the largest instrument retailer in Finland :rollno:.

    When I went to buy the bridge and the tailpiece from that very company, the poor girl on the other side of the counter did not know what to reply, but her blushing pretty much gave it away.
    She damn well knew what I was talking about.

    These things tend to happen from time to time, but unless the said bass plays well and was very cheap, or it's just a stepping stone to a better bass in a year or a two, I'd definitely instruct the mom/student to take it back.
    In any case, the resale value takes a huge hit whenever there's an inperfection on the top of an acoustic instrument.

    IMO as a hobbyist anyway.

  10. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    In the world of instruments, when someone says a crack (or in this case a knot) is stable, they mean it has not changed over time. OP said that it had. Ergo it is not stable.

    If it is a new bass, it should be returned for replacement of getting the money back. If it is a used bass, you may want to consider a repair if you really otherwise like the bass and trust the shop.
  11. Vigilantelove


    Aug 14, 2013
    Don't let the company hassle you. If you are the experienced bassist in the students life, help him/her out. Call and tell the company that it's unacceptable and that a refund or replacement is in order. Mistakes happen, but a maker that tries to cover or brush off their mistakes is not one I would trust. Even a decently made cheap instrument should not have problems so quickly.