Low volume in E and A strings

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by MIKMAN, Jul 8, 2008.


  1. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    Dear friends, in our orchestra has just arrived a fully carved Romanian Double bass. It is very well constructed (excellent flame, Rubner tuners, Corelli strings, adjustable bridge etc). I measured the graduations in both plates with the magnetic gauge and i found all of them consistent. The bass has a very good sound in D and G strings, less volume in the A string (though acceptable) and an almost dead E string. The soundpost is located in the proper position.
    My modest knowledge in violin's lutherie implies a slight movement of the soundpost towards the bass bar. However the situation remains unaltered. Any suggestion from our respected luthiers will be appreciated. Living in Greece, you see, has its merits but a respectable luthier is a rear commodity.
    Thanks.
    Michael
     
  2. nicfargo

    nicfargo

    May 28, 2008
    Lincoln, NE
    From my limited knowledge, you seem to be on the right track with the soundpost moving towards the bass bar. I say give it a shot as this is probably the easiest fix, and is easily reversible should it not solve the problem. The only other thing I can think of is a lot more work, improper shape/sized bass bar.
     
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    What kind of strings are on it? What is the string length? Are you mostly talking about its arco voice?

    Have you tried playing FF tritones to wake it up?
     
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Actually the opposite is true. If you want to accentuate the low end you want to move the soundpost away from the bass bar. That allows the bass bar to swing more freely, creating larger vibrations and therefore more bottom.
     
  5. MIKMAN

    MIKMAN

    Mar 4, 2008
    Larisa, Greece
    The strings are Corelli 370,with a 105 cm string length and i'm talking about pizzicato playing. The arco voice is acceptable, even in the 'dead' E string.
    Tonight i'll try Arnold's suggestion, moving the soundpost away from the bass bar. As i deduct the soundpost is going to have a long journey moving back and forth in order to bring the whole bass in life.
    I can't think of any other approach. Any input is welcomed.
    Michael
     
  6. I think you will find that what Arnold told you will make a very noticeable difference in your bass. I had a bass in my shop yesterday with a weak E that I was able to correct by moving the post away from the bass bar. You may lose a little on the upper strings, but that is usually a good trade off.
     
  7. I have been and still am dealing with this situation also (somewhat weak A & E compared to D & G). Thanks for the info Arnold :) . However I am a bit dim here :p .... Are you talking about moving the end of the SP at the front of the bass nearest the bridge or the end at the back of the bass.

    When I got the bass the SP was about straight up-and-down / perpendicular to the front and back. My luthier kept the front-side SP position as it was and moved (after shaping) the back-side of the SP about 3/4" toward the bass bar so now it is angled. It helped but I'm still wondering what could make it even better. As is the case most of the time I'm confused :confused: when it comes to luthier majik.
     
  8. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Arrgh. If your "luthier" set your soundpost at a 15 degree angle, you need a newer, better one! Better luthier and new post.

    Your post should be vertical so as to couple the top and back in similar places on the plates, and you'll probably want it a soundpost diameter south of the treble foot and flush with the outer edge of that same foot.

    Bozeman, huh? I'll call Greg Boyd and see if he knows anyone in the region. Judging by the setups of the basses he occasionally has for sale, I think not, but you never know. :)
     
  9. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    What Jake said. FWIW, once I read that a famous violin set-up guy prefers the back side of the soundpost to be slightly toward the center compared to the top of the post. I have tried it and I think it makes the instrument a bit more lively, but I could be hallucinating.

    MIKMAN, be careful! Moving the post outward means it will be getting tighter. Chances are, it will also fit poorly. Soundposts that fit poorly to the top table and are tight can cause NASTY cracks!
     
  10. nicfargo

    nicfargo

    May 28, 2008
    Lincoln, NE
    Ah, Thanks for the correction...still wrapping my head around all this but am slowly gaining knowledge to build my own instruments (I hope!).

    Arnold, If the soundpost is too tight, couldn't he just cut/sand down one side? I don't see why this wouldn't work.
     
  11. "Arrgh" is right Jake :meh: . Thanks for the help. I know there's supposed to be a pretty good mostly-smaller-stringed-instrument guy (Mark Hollinger) over in Missoula where Greg Boyd's store is. I've heard he takes a long time to get to new projects. Only two hundred one-way miles away :help: .

    I am so confused right now .... I know for a fact that I read in a post here at TB by someone quite knowledgeable (as I recall) saying to move the backside of the SP towards the bassbar to open up the A & E strings more ...... I searched for the post but couldn't find it. The reason I remember the post was because my current "luthier" (only 140 one-way miles away ;) ) had done that very thing. It actually helped quite a bit and I recall thinking that she "knew her stuff" after reading the post.

    I will live with the bass for awhile, it actually sounds quite good and loud, much better than when I took it into her anyhow, while I sniff out other luthier leads.

    Well Arnold, my luthier isn't famous and she works on a lot more violins and cellos than basses. She is quite well-respected by the orchestra folks around the state for what she does. I think the "leaning" soundpost technique is something that she uses quite often. Like I said earlier ..... I'm confused.
     
  12. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Are you coming west for any festivals this summer Bob? We'll be at Darrington and Mt St Helen's.

    I could bring some tools and we could do some open-air surgery on your Kay - it wouldn't be the first time! :)
     
  13. Wow Thanks for the offer Jake :D ! "Open-air surgery" huh? Hardly a sterile environment ..... Scary .... Possible staph infection of the soundpost :rollno: . Kinda like MASH .... which one are you .... Trapper or Hawkeye ? Actually it isn't one my Kays, it's a Gibson-Epiphone B-5.

    I can't make those festivals .... but I did make it to Wenatchee River Festival a few weeks back. That was enuff driving to WA for now (1200 miles round-trip). The weekend of St. Helens I'll be at Grand Targhee in Wyoming ...... The Dan Band, Blue Highway, Sam Bush, Tim O'Brien, Infamous StringDusters.

    The bass really is playing quite well right now but I might check in with you in December to see if you will be at River City in Portland next January. I could drag the beast along. I usually get a hotel room near the Festival. Then we could do some more-sterile surgery with better lighting.

    P.S. I haven't had much luck with my request in This Thread . Are you up to doing this? Not open-air surgery .... I'd send you the bridge. PM me if you are interested and have time.
     
  14. Has anyone devised tools or measuring devices that carry out the following functions -

    (1) set the post up to be vertical in both directions, except by eye.

    (2) predetermine the angle to cut the top and bottom of the post, and the length to cut, so that they fit almost first go.

    Must the post be of wood and why must it be spruce with the grain running at right angles to the front grain?

    I envisage a telescoping metal tube with sound post diameter feet at each end mounted on lockable ball joints, with three flexible cables to lock the length and angles once the measuring post is in position. This could give precise length and angles.

    Sliding up and down the post could be an adjustable arm at right angles to measure the distance from post to rib at the top then the same at the bottom so the post is inland the same top and bottom. Judging vertical in the other direction is OK by eye.

    DP
     
  15. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    No.

    Sounds like a project eh? :hyper:

    ... keep us post-ed
     
  16. Ouch! couldn't have said it better myself!:eyebrow:
    not even going to touch the SP challenge.
     
  17. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Aug 5, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.