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Nordstrand Playing Ramp Design

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by christoph h., Aug 8, 2003.


  1. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    Hi!

    I'm currently in the design phase for a bass by Carey Nordstrand (who's a great guy, by the way!).

    Unfortunately one of my requests is quite tricky, so I'm in need of some input:

    I want two ramps on the bass, one for fingerstyle (like Gary Willis, Matt Garrison) and one for slapping (like Norm Stockton). These ramps should be removable, ideally without leaving a trace of them ever being there.

    I e-mailed both Gary and Matt about their solution, but the answers weren't very satisfactory: Gary uses double sided Scotch tape and Matt's ramp attached with screws. He says it's "a pain in the ass" to remove.

    Things like Velcro, etc. seem too much like a kludge and are much too "instrusive" and "visible".

    A system using magnets like the attachable fingerboard extension on Mike Pope's bass isn't suitable because of the pick-ups.

    So, do any of the "engineers" and designers out there have any ideas?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The Willis would be easy on a 2 pickup bass, make that ramp a pressure fit between the pickups.

    I'm not familiar with the Stockton mod, if it's a fretboard extension I can think of a couple of ways to accomplish that with low visibility attachment points. I could see either holes or a slot being routed on the end of the fretboard to allow an extension with a couple of pins or an edge that could be inserted into the end of the fretboard. When removed the only thing that would be visible would be the hole(s) in the end of the fretboard.

    Brad
     
  3. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    here's a little bump for you.

    i'm very interested in anything carey makes and anything in re ramps
     
  4. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Interesting progress pic at the Low End ;)

    may give you some ideas. this is a Benavent extensions whith what I guess is a slap extension for fretless:

    [​IMG]

    Peace, JP
     
  5. I'm not sure I'd call what Norm Stockton uses a "ramp"--it's more like a thick pickguard, really. A friend of mine used to do something similar with thick plexiglass on all his basses. It was just a press fit between the end of the fretboard and the neck pickup, as I recall.

    The question is, are you wanting to alternate between these two different items, or have them both on at the same time? Are you looking to take them off and on frequently, or are you just wanting the installation to be reversible at some later point?

    Mike
     
  6. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I use something called "Glass tac" for this. It's a very thin double sided tape that holds the ramp on very securely with no messin'. The tape was made for holding down lino flooring, and I get it at the local Home Despot.
    Here's my slap ramp:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    :cool: I'm getting one on the fretless 51 I just ordered(it'll be a Winter NAMM 2004 bass).

    That one is on a lined fretless and fits in place of the 24th and 25th frets (you can see the double dots and fret line). Mine being a 20 fret 34" scale neck, the plate/block will most likely replace the 20th and 21st frets. I can't see a reason for removal other then for fretboard leveling/replacing.

    Sharp bass LM!
     
  8. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    Thanks for the input so far!

    I agree, but I just adopted Norm's name for it, as I couldn't find a better one myself. ;)

    Hm, pressure fit, you say? What about stability?
    I'd hate one of the ramps coming off during that blazing solo, falling on my feet, just as I'm wearing these new sandals. :)
    How high do you think is the probability of something like that to happen? (assuming I actually owned sandals ;) )

    That's a beautiful instrument!
    Could you give me heigth of the slap ramp (also relative to fingerboard/pu "heigth")?
    I'm currently experimenting at home with different pieces of wood/floppy disks, etc..
    I'm thinking about 3-5mm lower than the fingerboard/pick-ups/fingerstyle-ramp.
    What are your experiences?

    Interesting indeed! Thanks!

    I have also been thinking about making a thread like this at the luthier's forum, but I wasn't really sure whether that would be "politically correct".

    Again, thanks for all of your ideas (and keep 'em coming)!
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Taking the sandals out of the equation, I've seen press fits that are damned hard to remove. The necks on my Brubakers fit in a four-sided pocket so tight it takes quite a bit of effort to remove them. Screws aren't really necessary, there's nowhere to go.

    Just for overkill you might be able to use a clear silicone caulk on each end of the ramp, as long as it was easily removable.
     
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    That's similar to what I was thinking. Could use snap to fit couplers so no tools would be required.
     
  11. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    Thanks, Brad. That may be the most elegant solution...

    What I forgot to answer was:

    Well, they don't need to be removable "in the blink of an eye", but it shouldn't be a "pain in the ass" (Matt Garrison's words!) either.

    I definately want to have them both on at the same time, but they should be indepent of each other. Also, I most likely won't take them off that frequently. Reversibility of the installation is also a factor.
     
  12. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Heres a nother in progress pic of a Benavente with the ramp between the Pickups.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    How is that attached, Brian?
     
  14. Zillium

    Zillium

    May 27, 2003
    Michigan
    What exactly does the ramp do?:confused:
     
  15. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Brad

    Its pressure fitted, but two-stick tape will go on it just for security and piece of mind.
     
  16. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    Ok, so pressure fit and tape seems to be the common solution.

    Nevertheless I still don't feel very comfortable with the idea of having two-stick tape on my bass.
    After all I wouldn't put a sticker on there.
    What about the tape leaving any residue or the chemicals attacking the finish (satin urethane on my bass)?
     
  17. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Bear in mind that this is a quickie ;)

    The drawing shows top and side views of the system. Pickups cvers are a bit wider than usual to provide space for shapes that will act as slots for sliding the plates in place. Same for the neck.fingerboard end. The slots are not going all the pickups length to provide a stop function.

    [​IMG]


    Hope the drawing is clear enough. Main remaining problem could be pickup height adjustement!

    Peace, JP
     
  18. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Brian, finally a Benevente singlecut shape that I like. That's quite beautiful. I would suggest a little more height on the upper bout where the arm rests, but other than that, beautiful!

    JP, Man, good thinking. I would add that the area that the ramps slide into should be a slot instead of the entire area of the ramp reaching the body. I wish I could make a picture but I'm not that computer savvy. That way when you adjust the pickups the ramp will raise or lower with them. This doesn't take into account however any adjustability of the ramp height for the player.

    The ramp on my Nordstrand is applied with heavy duty double stick tape. I believe it's probably what Lawrence is talking about. LM-beautiful bass! I really feel that this is the best method. It doesn't move but it will come off without any residue if you are patient.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. i replied to late, i was going to say the same thing have the ramp floating about the top so u can move the pickups up and down. i love the idea of the metal block for slaping on fretless.
     
  20. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    I know what you mean but this could work only for plate number 2 (between the pickups) the other one is stopped by the fingerboard which doesn't moove.

    What we could do is attach plate one only wit a slot in the pickup cover and not under tha fingerboard. could work with a deeper slot.

    i'll wait for more feedback and modify the drawing then if needed.

    Peace, JP