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MTD Grendel Neck diving help

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Sobass, Aug 15, 2005.


  1. Sobass

    Sobass

    Aug 28, 2004
    I play a wenge fingerboard, pre-MTD labled Grendel that I like the sound of very much, and would like to keep. The one problem I have with it is that the neck is too heavy, and wants to drop to a horizontal position (I would like to have to have the neck angled up more, 30, 40 degrees?).

    I haven't heard anyone else talk about this with the Grendels (or MTDs), so maybe I just got one with a lighter body, or heavier neck than what was standard.

    Not wanting to be redundant, I have searched the forum for advice, but wasn't able to find a definitive answer about what can be done (most end up saying sell the bass, or buy a wider strap) to solve this problem on a jazz style bass. As an experiment, I attached a vice grips to my strap near the back strap lock, and it felt wonderful. I really want that free feeling without hardware hanging from the strap.

    I already have a 3 inch strap with a suede backing, but that seems to mess with my shirt more than anything, although it helps a little.

    The back strap button is already higher up than center on this bass, so I can't try that.

    I think that the bass already has pretty light tuners (Schaller), but maybe there are lighter that would help?

    Change to a BadAssII bridge (or is there one that is heavier?) from the hipshot on there now (would that change the sound?)?

    Ideas I've had: fill in some of the empty space in the electronics cavity with lead that I've molded into shape and glued in (would this effect the electronics?). More drastically, hack off the top inch or so of the headstock to save precious ounces.

    Sorry for the long post, but I would really appreciate the help from anyone who may have some ideas. Thanks!
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    Why not email Mike Tobias for assistance
     
  3. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Schaller-style tuners are pretty heavy, actually, @ 3.5 oz/each. Hipshot Ultralites, for comparison, are 1.8 oz each. On a 4-string, you're looking at just shy of a pound for tuners alone, all the way on the headstock-end (the worst place for weight if you're talking about neck-dive). By switching to Ultralites, you're looking at nearly 7 oz of difference - and remember, because we're talking about leverage, this is equivalent to adding 14 oz of weight to the bridge end (like a heavier bridge, for example).

    Try these:

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tuners/Bass_tuners/Hipshot_Ultralite_Bass_Tuners.html
     
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Dave, that is the best-documented post I've ever seen on that topic. Thanks for giving us some good numbers. The difference you came up (specific to Schaller tuners) is indeed significant. I have gone the opposite route with good results - adding adhesive weights under a bridge cover - but the bass in question was extremely light so the resulting total weight was not excessive.
     
  5. DanielleMuscato

    DanielleMuscato Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Thanks, Pilgrim; glad to help. I'm working on an idea for basses that don't have bridge covers that wouldn't involve any real mods, like replacing the bridge or anything like that. My idea is to use tungsten sheet metal to make a form-fitting electronics cavity cover that would screw directly onto the existing cover. Tungsten is very heavy per square-inch, so even a thin sheet would help weigh down the back end of the bass and change the center-of-gravity considerably.

    I know absolutely nothing about fishing, but I originally had the idea of using lead fishing sinker weights and putting them inside the control cavity, and came across these lead adhesive weights:

    http://www.jannsnetcraft.com/fishing-sinkers-weights/039984999413.aspx

    I found out that a lot of fishermen are switching to tungsten weights, because lead is toxic and a lot of localities are making it illegal to use lead sinkers. Aside from being non-toxic, tungsten is also 1.8 times as heavy as lead for the same size (atomic weight 183.86, which is almost as heavy as pure gold, with a density of almost 0.7 pounds aka 11.15 oz per cubic inch), which means that you can fit much more weight inside the control cavity without getting in the way of the electronics. Aside from solid weights (like cubes or ball-bearings), tungsten is also available in powder and putty forms, but because tungsten is a metal, I thought, it might be better to have the weight outside the shielded cavity.

    Check this out:

    http://www.tungsten.com/sheet.html

    If you had a control cavity cover made out of this stuff screwed over the existing cover of, say an MTD Grendel (which is a pretty light bass to begin with), and the cover-over-the-cover was only 1/16 of an inch thick, you're looking at about 11 oz of weight to the bottom side of the bridge end of the bass, the perfect place for weights (closer to the ground than the strap button), with no permanent modifications to the bass, and without even changing your strings :) It's perhaps a 1-minute modification - All you need is longer screws and the plate... just take out the old screws, put the tungsten plate over the old cover, and screw it on with the longer screws. Problem solved :)

    I'm trying to find out how much it would cost to have tungsten sheet metal cut to the right size, but it shouldn't be too much - tungsten is pretty cheap; you can get several oz of tungsten fishing weights for a couple of bucks. I'll let you know when I find out more :)
     
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    GREAT idea, Dave!!

    Of course, some basses have no control cavity - but there are often options. If a bass doesn't have a control cover in back, then it will have a routed area under the pickguard. One could (depending on clearance) cut a sheet of tungsten to conform to the bottom of the routed control cavity...and use contact cement to secure it. I'd think that might actually help shielding.

    For those basses with bridge covers and no back control cover, I can visualize a sheet of Tungsten glued to the underside of the cover with contact cement.

    I suspect the material won't be cheap - however, I've never priced tungsten. And of course, you wouldn't want to go this route with a 12-lb bass, but my perception (I may be wrong) is that neck dive is mostly an issue with light basses.
     
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yes on the Hipshot Ultralites, no on the control cavity weights. If you want to add heft to the butt-end of the bass, just attach weights to the far-end of the strap. Your back and arms don't care where the weight is mounted.

    Riis