Mute Clamp Concept

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

  1. maguire

    maguire Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    New Hope PA

    I understand the reasoning here - seems logical. Initially, I did not consider the difference in pressure across the strings.

    When I tested the foam sandwich it actually seemed like the smaller (tighter, more pressure) side might be better on the fatter strings, because they required more pressure on them to have the same dampening effect. This is kind of counterintuitive at first, but I think it's going to require some testing to find the best result.

    Amazing feedback here - 20+ minds are better than 1!
  2. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    If I may add... The correct phrasing would be to "damp" the strings, not to "dampen" them.
    Unless you are using wet foam.


  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Your concept is now very similar to the sound block used on upright basses.

    It also reminds me of devices used on mandolins and jazz guitars to kill overtones, such as the Weber Wood Nymph
    Of course.
  4. lavmonga


    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    Very cool idea. And I must say, your actual drawings are great. I can see people here, including myself, purchasing actual bass mock ups are art.
  5. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Yes you are correct. That's the other thing to consider when figuring the shape of your dampening foam. That's why when you look at the foam mute installed in the ashtray of a vintage Fender, it's wider over the fat strings and narrows down over the G.
  6. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Had a random thought about the C clamp design, version 3.

    It'd be cool if the closed end of the clamp had some provision for adjusting how hard the foam pads squeezed the strings, from above and below. That'd let the player choose how much damping effect it would have, and also adapt to different gauge strings. Like, I'm using a Circle K balanced tension set and the B string is a .142! Way different from one of the .120 sets, I figure.
  7. Subd. And I never subscribe to threads.

    I think you should continue pursuing this. Mutes that are currently available (the ones I found anyway) for electric basses mount to the body and a removable design is needed.

    And remember, the guy who invented quick-release sockets and wratchets sold it for peanuts and was broke upon croaking. If someone steals your idea, we're all witnesses.:p
  8. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I'm not convinced that the mute needs to contact the body of the instrument to prevent overtones. For one, the foam will be in contact to dampen sympathetic overtones from other strings (kinda the whole point of the device) and secondly, if I palm mute with my plucking hand I don't get any sympathetic overtones, and my hand isn't attached to the body!
  9. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    That is unbelievably cool looking. I think using lighter foam like your paper prototype might balance out the fact that you're using foam on top and bottom. I'm guessing the foam will need to be tapered somehow to offer the same amount of muting to the high strings and low strings, I'm not convinced the device would need to clamp at all. Adjusting the angle (how far from the bridge you attach it) will probably offer good control of tone. This is actually a really elegant solution that you could probably produce and sell at a really good price point.

    I would love to try one, since I usually just palm mute, cuz I hate messing with random chunks of foam.
  10. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike

    May 27, 2011
    U-shaped clip as shown above.
    Minimal thickness felt pad on the bottom in case it hits the instrument.
    Minimal thickness felt pad where it contacts the bottom of the strings.
    Thicker piece of foam where it contacts the top of the strings.
    Thumbscrews on the top of the device to adjust the tightness with which it grips the strings.

    I've never heard a foam mute that sounded as good as a human hand.
    Experiment with different materials to find a best sound.
  11. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Best TB thread in years.
  12. coreybox


    Jan 5, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    What program are you using to sketch those drawings?

    Good idea, looks cool!

    I think the prototype #2 would work best, anchoring against the body instead of #3's floating design. It might be hard to strike a balance between enough pressure to mute the strings, and ease to slip over the strings, with design #3. I haven't experiemented with that though!
  13. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Subbed. I'd rather have something that I can quicly attach/remove without mounting it to the bass. The foam would have to be tapered somehow so that there's even pressure on all of the strings. They do need to ring out somewhat or it's just a thud - not the thump we're looking for.
  14. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    You could also make it fairly narrow. I would think that people would generally slide it up against the bridge saddles so it's out of the way.

    The slip-on kind in your version 3 would slide on the E string first and have a precision taper. If the taper was correct then you could use denser foam.
  15. jcape


    Aug 17, 2010
    Grants Pass, OR
    Check out for printing. I've used them for a couple things and was impressed.
  16. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Count me in for one.
  17. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Me too!
  18. .
  19. the U clip design is great but how would it fit over the string radius without over muting the middle strings and under muting the others? could the foam be cut to copy the fretboard radius?
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Pressure is the rsame regardless of radius. Some get more from over and others from under.
    That is, as long as we speak about a 4 string bass.