My A extension is done!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sigurd, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004
    Perhaps some of you remember my plans to make an extension down to A. Well, my string came in the mail today so I put it all back together. Known issues thus far:

    1. The fact the I should not have gotten a 36" string for a 38" scale. Arg. There's two full inches of non-wrapping on the neck now. Curiously, it doesn't affect the tone much.

    2. A-string action is a little low and clatters at the 2nd fret (or old nut/zero fret).

    3. Nut on low A moves around.

    4. Haven't checked the intonation yet.

    Good things:
    1. Low A string now has good tension.
    2. String still follows the "tuned in fourths" pattern when looking at it. I finger low B at the existing nut/new 2nd fret, Bb at the -1 fret/new 1st fret and A is open.
    3. Looks cool! I spent a lot of time on it.

    On the bright side, wow, are these chromes awesome!! So bright! I almost forgot it was a fretless!! I love the tension on the G and D strings. And there's thunder down low too. And since the new string still looks like a B string on the fretboard, all my fingering patterns are the same.

    Enjoy the pictures. I am open to comments and suggestions.



  2. I cant see the pictures

    but I'm really curious to.

    try putting them up again?
  3. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Put em up on photobucket; we need to login to a server to see pics.
  4. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004
    Just got photobucket. Try now. Sometimes that netfiles server gives me problems.
  5. Mark Wilson

    Mark Wilson Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Elixir® Strings
    I personally don't like it. The wood chunk turns me right off. Great idea though. I think you should advance on it. Make it smaller, find a new way.

    Good job, none the less though!

  6. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004
    Duly noted. Which dimension is too big? Height? Width? Length? I guess it still is a prototype.
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Holy.. thats odd. Not really a fan?
  8. irjason

    irjason Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I guess you have to take the extension off to change strings? Interesting idea.
  9. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004
    It's insprired by the ones that the double bass guys use. Kinda.
  10. brianh


    Aug 19, 2005
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    Make the extension out of Ebony, like on an upright bass. I think it might at least look better with your black headstock. Or, another Idea would be to make it out of the same wood as you fingerboard.
  11. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004
    Yes, to change E and A.
  12. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004
    That was part of the original plan. I was going to have a rosewood piece on top to have a nice transition into the main fretboard.

    I've also thought about painting all or part of it black to match the headstock.
  13. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Yeesh.. looks like you got jealous of URB player with the extensions, haha.. Looks really funnny, but if it works, then I guess it's your thing.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...ummmm, I'm a little lost here. From what I gather, you basically went down a step from a "B" string in tuning? Why the hell bother with all that garb?
    If you in fact went an octave below the "A", than were talking here & accept my apology, otherwise, IMHO, you could've achieved the same thing without all that bolted on science project hardware...

  15. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    A longer A string on a stable foundation will get a lot more overtone sustain than any A that's just tuned down on the regular scale. That's largely what fanning is about.

    Not so different than what Philip Kubicki was doing, except for the bulk.

  16. I like the idea for all intents and purposes, but there has to be a way to do it without the bulk.
  17. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004

    You got it. That's exactly what it is, just like the Kubicki bass above. The piece is as big as it is because I needed a bit over 4 inches to get two extra frets. And the height is there to clear the E and A machines.

    How else could I have done it? Kubicki doesn't have machines in the headstock.
  18. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004
    As for the bulk, yeah I could probably shave the sides down a bit. But for now, It follows the shape of the headstock a bit.
  19. Sigurd


    Oct 27, 2004
    And I took notes from the fanned basses too. That's why the A is now on a longer scale. I used to tune the B to A all the time, but you lose tone and tension. I wanted to keep both of those, so a longer scale (and thicker string, it's .132 now) helped me accomplish that. Of course, I need an even longer string now just to get the wrapping behind the nut.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...well, I guess that's cool if it works for you & you like it.
    I have a Dingwall Prima(37" B) for about 8yrs now that I've used for down tuning(A-F# on the B). It works great with the longer scale. I also have a Zon 6 that I drop down to F# with a 35" scale & a .180 string. It sounds great & probably clearer than my Dingwall! My point here is, it's NOT always the scale length or strings "speaking length" that determines the tension or ability to produce killer lows that are decipherable & down tuned to lower tunings. There are people using low F# & lower tunings with great success on 33" & 34" scaled bass'. Knucklehead uses a 39"!
    Bottom line: If the shoe fits, wear it...