my bass feels too stiff

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by lin fung, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. lin fung

    lin fung Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2002
    Taipei, Taiwan
    I play a clevinger EUB which I've had for about one year. Although it is in most respects a very high quality instrument I find that I have to work much too hard to play it as compared to a high quality acoustic double bass (especially close to the nut). It seems somewhat stiff.
    I changed the original spirocore weichs for Corelli 370s because I was told they are much more pliable, but the improvement is insignificant.
    The string height at the nut seems fine, and I've lowered the action to the minimum non-buzzing height, but the strings still feel too stiff and rigid. I want to find a way to make the strings feel softer and more pliable.

    What adjustments can I make?

    Should I try gut strings?

    Why does the feeling of tension/pliability differ between two properly setup basses?

    How can I set up my bass for maximum feeling of pliability?

  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Get it to a luthier. The curve on the fingerboard could be wrong, etc.

    Just to change the feel? Prolly not. If a different sound is what you seek, then this is a better reason to drop the big bux.

    String length, the response of the instrument, the sound. For me, if a bass sounds bad, then it never plays comfortably. A great sounding bass will hide the fact that it might be set up stiff...
    Get thee to a luthier.
  3. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Mr. Parker speaks wisely...sounds to me like there is probably too much camber (scoop) in the fingerboard, and/or the nut is too high. You should barely be able to squeeze a business card under the strings at the nut. As far as getting a pliable feel, it could have to do with the relationship between the sounding length of the string and its afterlength (the part between bridge and tailpiece). Most EUB's have a steep bend after the bridge, because the body is short. Raising the saddle up might help a little. Also, keep in mind that setting the strings vibrating on a mass of essentially solid wood is way different than on an acoustic (hollow) instrument.