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Odd sounds..Wolf??? Help!

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Harry Horne, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. Thanks Arnold for your sound SP advice. After making the necessary tools, I managed, little -by-little to move my SP to the position you recommended making sure that there were no gaps top or bottom.The effect was to get rid of the thuddy sound and improve tone and sustain. However I now have a new problem, which may be the "Wolf" tones which I've seen mentioned here but not had described to me. The following is happening to me. The G string and to a lesser extent the D string, when played open pizz fairly strongly seem to produce two separate sounds one after another "Baa-oom" is as near as I can describe it with the "oom" sounding slightly higher than the original note. The D when stopped at the note G produces this effect most noticably. I can see and hear the open G being excited by this but even if the open G is deadened the two tone effect is still produced by the D string. Can anyone suggest what may be causing this odd sound and how to cure it.( I have an Underwood fitted. Should this be removed first?)
    Another question I have, which I haven't come across here, is one of string height (action) at the halfway, octave point. As I understand it, string height is usually measured at the lower extremity of the fingerboard. However, if the concavity over the length of the fingerboard varies from bass to bass, how can the height at the end of the board be a datum for all basses? I have set my Spiro Weichs to about 6 to 9 mm at the end of the board but have a greater, and difficult to play, string height at the octave. Do I have the fingerboard planed flat or, at least flatter, or can I afford a lower height at the bridge?
    Your advice, as ever, will be much appreciated. Thanks to you all...............Harry
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    If the post is well-fit and different places have been experimented with than you may have to look elsewhere to remedy wolfs. However, as has been stated here before, fitting a post accurately is extremely difficult even for a competent luthier. I hope you take no offense, but the problem might be in the fit. If it's not that then you may want to experiment with the length of the tailpiece wire or place wolf eliminators on the string below the bridge. Often wolfs are the result of interactions above and below the bridge.

    You are right about the height of the strings at the end of the board not telling the whole story. You could have 6mm there and 6cm at the octave. If there is a lot of camber to the board then 6-9mm is excessive. Try bringing it down to 4mm-7mm. Also look at the space under the nut. This can be brought down to about the thickness of your thumbnail-this can affect the comfort of playing in the middle range quite a bit.
  3. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    Jeff's advice is sound (pun intended). Now dump the Underwood! Those spaces in the bridge wings are there for a purpose and should not be bridged. See if the weird sound goes away. But, I suspect your bass is now vibrating more and causing a symathetic vibe from the endpin or tailpiece wire or quiver or pickup or...
  4. I have always wondered about the little wings and their spaces on the bridge. Besides being modeled after the violin bridge, what exactly IS their purpose? I can understand not muting the vibrations by adding the little Underwood but why not just cut those wings off after you eliminate the Underwood?

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