pics of the B21

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by olivier, May 13, 2004.

  1. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Dear all, Patrick Charton was kind enough to send me a few pics of his B21 prototype. What do you think ?

    Attached Files:

  2. Interesting looking instrument but it brings several questions to my mind. Will those different F holes affect the sound and if so how? Is there some way of keeping the sound post from falling when it is disassembled? Would the straight topped bridge inhibit any arco playing?
  3. Wow! Tell us more Olie! Fill us in. How does it sound? Wood is beautiful. Why that particular ff design? The holes remind me of something Oriental........
    What happens with the sound post? Can your hand fit in the ff's to reset the post or????? I don't really understand the bow clearance with that bridge design? Does it have a travel case? How much $$$$? Special tools for set-up and knock down?
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Man your questions are pertinent. I guess instead of gessing I'll forward them to Patrick Charton, and then will go back to TB. Now is the time for more questions and comments, I'll harvest them tomorrow morning (French time) and hopefully will be able to post answers during the day.
  5. rake


    May 4, 2004
    i have the same questions as the others but i still think that thing is gorgeous, i especially like the headstock.
  6. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    As long as there's something resembling a heel to landmark with my thumb, I think it's a great idea. Adjusters work great on bridges and really don't impact the tone quality of a bass in a negative way. Why wouldn't such a thing be useful for the neck as well?
  7. I would be interested to know the reason for the f-hole in the back as well.
  8. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I don't think there is a hole in the back. I think the first photo is simply a shot of the top with the bass disassembled.

    I am assuming the peg box is open on the back instead, which makes for an interesting look for sure. I guess it wouldn't make any difference as far as functionality.

    I don't know how those ff holes impact tone, but I do think they look very cool.

    I can think of a few ways to deal with the sound post, all of which are probably bad.

    If forced, I'd say a couple of wooden slip rings could be placed over the post before setting it and once in place, you could then glue the rings to the top and back of the bass.

    Of course, this would be a PITA to do with the limited access to the inside of the bass and you'd have to break the glue loose to reposition the post, but it would keep the post from falling when you drop the string compression and it would allow the post to be held in place in a traditional way.

    If you were really confident about where the post should go, you could glue a very short piece of 1/8" or 3/16" dowel on-end to the inside top and back before gluing up the carcass, then use a drill press to center bore a very shallow hole in each end of the post. The issue here is you'd have to spring the bass open a bit to get the post in place, but it would stay there without compression once placed.

    Lastly, an idea which I have actually considered but fortunately haven't executed, would be to clip off the ends of a couple of finishing nails about 3/8" or so and center-bore a hole of the same diameter in the post so that only about 3/32" of the nail would protrude past the ends of the post. When compressed, it would form a little hole that keep it in place when you drop compression. My biggest fear here would be that the nail would fall directly onto a grain line and end up being a nice little wedge to force a huge crack in the back and/or top.

    Obviously if any of these ideas where good at all, someone would have already have implemented them, but hey, at least I'll give us something to talk about!!

  9. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN
    Patrick Charton, if I am not mistaken, has always been on the forefront of bass modernization. Ollie, doesn't he work very closely with Daniel Marillier, the fantastic french bassist? He is extremely particular about the playability of the instrument. I look forward to the responses that you receive.
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Wow, I think it's a total work of art. I love the angular look and especially the funky headstock/non-existant-scroll. Definitely looks like the F-Holes are too small for your hands if you compare it against the size of the bridge. Bridge is cool too btw.

    Here's my question: If it's a detachable neck, and assuming that you take it off/on for transportation reason, wouldn't you ruin your strings quickly because you keep detensioning them?
    Won't they go dead after taking the neck off a couple times? And if you put strings on more often, that'll get real expensive and as well as time consuming due to having to break them in every time. Isn't that true too?
  11. I'm constantly amazed by the number of people here who seem to think that having the soundpost fall is one of the worst things that can happen to a bass. Setting a bass soundpost with the conventional soundpost setter is Not rocket science. I venture to say that any decent luthier could show that average guy how to do it in less than 10 minutes. Putting it back in the same spot is no more difficult than measuring where it is before it has a chance to fall and then returning it to that position. Tools required: a "S" type SP setter, a small ruler, a mirror on a handle, and a penlight. Many makers have even marked the proper postion on the inside so you can see where it goes with a mirror.

    Anyone who has the skill to reassemble the neck, bridge, and tailpiece on one of Mr. Charton's B21 basses would be more than capable of learning how to set a soundpost the conventional way.
  12. Bob. I don't think people are as afraid of sound post setting, as much as it is a fear of just having anything having to do with the feel and sound of your bass getting changed.
    You know me, I can set sound posts all day long, but when it comes to MY BABY, I don't want ANY of the business part of it touched....except in the event of an accident!
    I think we all live with the fear of our bridge getting bumped by a door, or mis-judging a wall or whatever.
    Maybe I wouldn't do well with a bass like this, but I love the design, the wood and the workmanship.
    Like Johnny L., i'm interested in what, if anything covers the area of the neck heel. As he says, that area is so important as a Landmark for switching from lower positions to thumb positions as well as harmonics etc.
    Bob Ross reminded me of Patrick Charton's ad's for his fine instruments in Double Bassist magazine. Bob's always been a fan and now I see why!
  13. Paul, I think players are just plain scared of it because of a lot of mis-information they've been given by sometimes well meaning, but poorly informed teachers, dealers, and even luthiers. Players often think the soundpost is responsible for things that have nothing to do with the post or it's postioning. I once observed my late mentor working on the violin soundpost of one of the top violinists in the Kansas City orchestra. A couple of weeks later, I saw the same player bring the instrument back in for another soundpost "adjustment". When I asked my mentor what was going on, he explained to me that this player brought his instrument about once a month. Each time the player brought it in, my mentor would put his soundpost setter inside the instrument and lightly tap the back of the instrument without moving the post what so ever. He would hand the violin back to the player to play and ask him if that was better. The player said something like "it better, but not quite right". So my mentor would once again repeat the process without ever touching the post. After two or three times the player would declare that it was "perfect" and leave. After a month or so the player's instrument would no longer be "perfect" and he would return and the process would be repeated. My initial impression was that the player must be some of kind nut, but my mentor informed me that this was a very common thing with good players. All of which leads me to think that atleast 50% of soundpost positioning problems are 100% mental.
  14. wow maby you guys should do an experiment with a plecebo how ever thats spelled and a realy adjustment and see if someone could tell the difference
  15. Been there - done that! That's why I've come to the conclusion I mentioned at end of previous post.
  16. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I disagree with Bob 100%. A soundpost off one degree is not fitting. 3 out of four luthiers do not have the tools[light] or the eyesight to see the difference. Forget players[sorry Paul, maybe you got the mojo]. That's why almost every bass I see has dents or craters where the post goes.
  17. that C Bout is BEAUTIFUL... although. with the enclosed head, it looks like it would be hard to change strings
  18. On which part do you disagree 100%? That it is possible for a player to learn how to reset a post? I wasn't talking about fitting a post. I was talking about simply resetting a post. I've taught many players who travel to all parts of the world where there are not any luthier to help them. They manage to do quite well after a little experience. I use my ears to judge the proper positioning of a soundpost just as much as I use my (somewhat older than your) eyes. If that throws me in with that 3 out of 4 luthiers group that don't have superior eyesight, then that's fine with me. A perfectly fit soundpost is perfect in only one very small spot on an instrument. The second you tweak it, it may no longer fit perfectly even though it may sound far better to the luthier and the player. I'm far more concerned with sound than I am with achieving a visually perfect fit while adjusting a post. I think that is also what most players are looking for when they adjust the post themselves.

    The dents you mention are likely caused by a soundpost that was fitted correctly at one time or another and then experieced a weather change causing the top and back to expand or contract. I keep 2 or 3 soundpost for every one of my personal basses. When the season changes, I change to a shorter or longer post depending on the condition. I wish everyone would do this, but that isn't going to happen in the real world. Most players leave the same post in year round regardless of how tight it fits. There's no reason to believe that a player who has been properly instructed by a competent luthier would be likely to force the post in so tight that it physically damages the top. Untrained - yes.

    ...Or are you disagreeing with me that many players have a mental fixation about soundposts? Somehow I doubt if all those players live in the midwest.