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Need some advice on building hollow or not?

Discussion in 'Electric Upright Basses (EUB's) [DB]' started by DavidRN, Apr 29, 2006.


  1. DavidRN

    DavidRN

    May 2, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Hi. I have been planning the build of a EUB for about a year now.

    I had planned that the main body would be Bubinga with a hard maple spacer block on the back to accept the Eminence removable neck.

    The bridge was always going to be a Barbera transducer system custom bridge.

    Well, now I have a problem. I love the sound of the Mesenger bass and have come to find out that John uses Alder and Spruce for his bassess. It also turns out that he hollows out areas of the Alder and Spruce to get more of an accoustic sound.

    John, of messenger, told me that Bubinga may be too hard and too heavy and crack.

    My question is, should I hollow out thew Bubinga plank I have already and add a piece of spruce to the top, OR should I just leave it alone and keep it solid?

    I want my bass to sound more like an accoustic than a fretless. I am not familiar with the tone of the Barbera bridge on a stick type bass.

    any one use them? I have been told that you could put a barbera bridge on a tree or cardboard box and have it sound good.

    PLan to use an euphonic audio 500 when they become available in a few weeks.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  2. I have had the opportunity to play a few of Bill Paulin's experimental prototypes in varying timbers and with various amounts of hollow space. The one I own ( www.fittell.id.au/eub ) has a cedar cap over a blackwood solid body with about 1/3 hollow cavities; I've compared this with completely solid basses and one almost completely hollow, and to be honest I don't think it makes much difference. All sounded excellent with the under-bridge piezos we were trialling.
    Perhaps if the top was carved very thin to have some flexibility you might hear some change, but on these small-bodied instruments it seemed that wasn't really feasible.
    More significant was the type of wood, and I think lighter, more resonant woods work better.
    My Warwick BG has a Bubinga body with Wenge thru-neck - it's heavy, stiff, and sounds magnificent - very tight, even sound across the range, slightly compressed, and lots of sustain. Great for a BG, but nowhere near URB sound which needs more explosive dynamics and minimal sustain.
    I'd suggest you try a nice light piece of alder, maybe with a spruce or cedar cap. Won't look as preatty as Bubinga but you'll appreciate the light weight and I suspect it will sound better.

    My $0.02 worth...
     

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