Mute Clamp Concept

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by maguire, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. maguire

    maguire Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    New Hope PA
    Definitely going to consider this.
  2. The hairclip style wouldn't affect pitch would it?

    I still think it would work, but I'm really, REALLY wrong about most things.
  3. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think the clamp is a good idea, but thicker foam would be better. I wonder if there's a design that could attach to the bridge non-permanently.
  4. I messed around with this a little and also found that if the foam presses too hard on the strings the notes will go sharp. I need to have a mute that I can remove quickly because I don't want that dead tone all the time.
    I just glued a piece of foam onto a piece of wood that is shaped to the contour of the string radius.The I sanded the bottom of the wood until the pitch stayed the same.Softer foam works better than harder weather stripping type of foam. With that I have the option to slide the piece out so that I can have the D and G string open and only the lower ones muted.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    The clamp idea is interesting because it is instantly removable.
    If you plan for a device that remains attached to the instrument, the Bass-Mute is pretty much perfect.
  6. maguire

    maguire Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    New Hope PA
    That's a really nice balance of simplicity and functionality. Nice!
  7. maguire

    maguire Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    New Hope PA
    This is seriously cutting into my practice time.

    Here is the simplest one yet. Seems like it could work... in theory. But now Im wondering if its a bad idea to cover the top of the string (as well as the bottom)


    "I see no reason for the spring or the part that goes over the strings"
    I still have to resolve the aprt that goes over the strings...

    "has to be anchored (or pressed against) to the body somehow"
    "If you use a nice, soft foam in the jaws"
    "but thicker foam would be better."
    "Softer foam works better"
    "I just glued a piece of foam onto a piece of wood that is shaped to the contour of the string radius"

    Attached Files:

  8. maguire

    maguire Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    New Hope PA
    Thanks for the props Timon and Immigrant :)
    I've got to compensate for my crappy bass skills somehow.
  9. grisezd


    Oct 14, 2009
    V3 is nice. Keep the weight down and the foam just the right thickness and density and you've got a potential winner. Bonus points if you can keep the height over the string to a minumum to avoid being in the right hand's way.
  10. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Me, too. I'll volunteer to be a beta tester, yeah.

    The advantage of your designs is that (I expect) they'll be quicker to insert and remove than a block of foam. I've fooled around with that type, and what I've found is that when the foam is thick enough to do a good amount of damping it's stubborn about being pushed under or pulled out from under the strings, especially on my 5-string. That's why I've not used them on stage.
  11. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
  12. maguire

    maguire Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    New Hope PA
    Paper and foam prototype - not too functional but gives scale and some basic idea that this will actually work.

    When I apply pressure on the foam (simulating the pressure from the rigid clamp) - it indeed mutes the bass in a predictable and desirable way. No issues with foam encasing the strings on top and bottom.

    Basically, whats happening here is that we're affixing some foam to a rigid structure that makes it easy to insert and remove between the strings. Thanks to "gimmeagig" for this insight into simplicity.

    Notice that the top foam is shallower - the bottom foam is deeper. The foam height is also higher than the clamp height, so it will be preloaded with some tension.

    The challenges will be to find a sufficiently durable foam with the right density, and a good way to affix the foam to the rigid clamp.

  13. Landsharks


    Jul 24, 2009
    Oxford, MS
    I hope this works, looks like a great idea that I would like to try
  14. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    Great concept.
    The bottom of the clamp must have a soft surface, otherwise might damage the finish.
  15. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    Yeah but do they still make that thing?
  16. maguire

    maguire Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    New Hope PA
    Definitely - I think a felt surface will slide easily and be finish-friendly. Thanks for the encouragement!
  17. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    Perhaps the bottom of the clip could be radiussed so the only the ends of the clip actually touch the surface of the instrument, to minimise surface wear?
    Perhaps the clip could be made of some material like a plastic with some sort of memory so it could be curved to match the radius of the strings on a particular bass?
    Just opinionating over here, pay me no mind.

    Would definitely be down for a beta test also.

  18. rtav

    rtav Millionaire Stuntman, Half-Jackalope Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I'm really interested to see what you come up with. I've been making my own dampeners with a velcro cable tie, soft foam rubber and a second strip of thin neoprene in between the foam rubber and the strings as the strings tend to chew up foam rubber pretty quick.

    I keep it below the first fret and slide it towards the fret to increase the dampening and slide it back towards the nut when I need to. It's not very efficient as I have to move it up and down depending on my needs but I'm delighted to see someone taking a run at making a string dampener.

    Looks good - keep TBers posted!

  19. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I really like the idea of the clamp design. You, or I, or anybody could easily cobble together prototypes to see how it sounds. Very simple idea, with many possible implementations.
  20. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes, The hinge should be on the small string side. <

    With dense foam it wouldn't seem like any vibrations would cross to the other strings. It shouldn't be that hard to quickly make a working prototype to prove wether it does or not.