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"MODERN 4/4" is that a 7/8??

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by lowphatbass, Mar 1, 2005.


  1. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Hey guys,
    I have a 20ish year old carved 4/4 bass, its big, but not huge..even though it has a 44" string length should this bass really be considered a 7/8?
    Also, how do you feel about 5 string conversion, I've heard big,
    not really valuable basses are good candidates....
     
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    With a 44" mensure, it's a 4/4.

    As for the conversion, I think it is more about the top and bass bar's ability to withstand the additional pressure from the added string tension moreso than the size.

    It's hard enough to make a nice 5 string DB from scratch. I can imagine any sort of consistent positive results with conversion.
     
  3. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have two now and had one 44" Bass before. All have been classified as 7/8. I think if you ask around you will get different opinions. How tall is it? What is the top length? How wide are the lower bouts?.. Some Basses are also called 5/4 and are slightly bigger that my 7/8 models but have string lengths of 42" or less.. It's a bit confusing to me. Maybe we should survey all the Bass shops around the world and find out what size is actually what.

    This is not the first time we had this discussion...
     
  4. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Yea, it is confusing! People get pretty worked-up with the "mine is bigger than yours" thing, they should concentrate on the "mine sounds bigger than yours" thing..
    .This bass is 27 1/2" at the lower bout and the body length is just over 47"..Ill attach a poor photo(yes I have a thing for redheads)...
    .Do you have any opinion on converting to 5 string?
     
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Mine:

    Bottom to button - 45 1/2"
    Bottom Bout: 26 1/2"
    Top Bout: 19" and change
    Ribs: 8 3/4" to 8"
    Str. Len.: 41 7/8"

    Answer: 3/4 bass if you're selling, 7/8 if you're buying. There is almost no relief in the back and shoulders, and the shoulders have little slope, so it 'plays' bigger than many 7/8 basses.
     
  6. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS

    Hmm, my modern 4/4 Solano bass (Klotz copy) is about 51" body length and around 30" at the lower bout, and it is signifigantly larger than the principal of my section bass, which is a large 7/8.

    Monte
     
  7. Re 7/8, v. 4/4, historians, luthiers, and physicists have reached consensus on the following precise parameters: if it's f**king big, it's a 7/8; if it's really f**king big, it's a 4/4.
    You can take that to the bank.
    Glad to help.
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Don Can i quote that ?
     
  9. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    That Klotz copy would be called a 5/4 in Europe,.. See here; http://www.contrabass.co.uk/2574.htm

    Here are three Basses I have that are big and all considered 7/8:

    This one was going to be a 5er but I went for a C Ext. instead; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/MorelliBass/MorelliBass.htm it was slightly reduced from this; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/MorelliBass/MorelliBass2.htm

    This will stay a 4 because of the smaller head but is a huge Bass (7/8?); http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/MysteryBass/name_that_bass.htm

    This one WILL be converted to a 5er as it is huge and sounds huge as well especially on the lower notes; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/DoubleBasses/Mystery2/Mystery2.htm

    If you need a 5er and the Bass has a big bottom, go for it.. But, make sure there is enough room in the peg box for 5 gears.
     
  10. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I was going off this fairly old post from Bob B.:

    The smaller instruments of the violin family have be standardized for quite a long time. However, basses have not and there are a lot of grey areas as far as what size a particular instrument is. Although basses are not standardized as far as sizes go, here are some typical string lengths and body lengths for a given size (from the George Boran book Making a Bass Viol).

    Size ----- String Length ------ Body Length
    4/4........1100mm (43.3")......1200mm
    7/8........1075mm (42.3")......1133mm
    3/4........1050mm (41.3")......1100mm
    1/2.........965mm (38.0")......1020mm
    1/4.........900mm (35.4").......935mm
     
  11. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I like a big bass...
     
  12. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I also like big basses, theres nothin' like the "coffee house" trio gig with no amp!!It's like skinny-dipping!!
     
  13. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    only problem with those coffee house gigs is i usually do not have enough room for me and my bass on the "Stage"
     
  14. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Yea, you got a point there..I chuckled thinking of some of the "stages" that are out there..I used to do this gig where I had to lower my pin and play on a stool because my scroll kept scraping the roof!!But is sure is nice with no amp.
     
  15. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    i had a gig once where we were so tightly packed that i stuck the guitarist in the ribs with every up bow ! I tried to be gentle...
     
  16. I would agree that those numbers are the standard that most people agree with now. I think before the Metric system the sizes were more like

    4/4 - 44"/48"
    3/4 - 42"/45"
    1/2 - 40"/42"

    Note that this was before anybody used 5/8 and 7/8ths. I would consider the bass in question well within the pocket of 4/4 considering it's a gamba and not a bussetto shape (which have a longer body for a given string length.

    Jon
     
  17. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Thanks for all the info everybody! I always knew what the label inside said, but found some got "insulted" when I told them so I started referencing it as a "Modern 4/4" since it is a relatively new bass. I'm a pretty big gut(not pretty, just big) and can get around o.k. on this bass, the 9" rib depth probably helps..175 years ago bass players must have been huge guys for their time period..
     
  18. At least you're willing to admit it :)
     
  19. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Notice the location of the T and the Y on your keyboard, I meant to say "pretty big GUY", not GUT but maybe you already know that..now I feel uncomfortable again calling myself "pretty". I'm not, I swear!!
     
  20. Well I DO have a pretty big gut, so I prefer smaller basses...
    :D
    R2