1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Question about Chambering and neck dive!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by FunkyMan, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007
    Hello folks! I have this questions, thankyou in advance for your responses:

    1) If you chamber a body, it can get really light to the extent that the balance between neck and body is uneven? causing a possible neckdive problem?

    2) How deep should i go when routing the holes for the chambering procces? (the body it's about 35 mm thick, and the top it's about 5mm)

    3) How much will it affect the tone of the bass?

    Any other suggestions will be aprecciated. Thanks
  2. 1. If the strap button is level with the 12th fret (or closer to the nut), and if you tuners are not too heavy (particularly on 5 and 6 strings) the bass should balance nicely with your arm on the upper bout. The other thing is, your bridge acts as a counterweight to the headstock. A modern high-mass bridge and a couple of humbuckers helps things a lot.

    2. As deep as you can. I'd say 25mm. That way you have 5mm for the front and 5mm for the back. I like to route as much timber out as possible. My my latest 6 string...

    3. How long is a piece of string? What the timber would done to the tone unchambered is anyone's guess really.

    What chambering effects more than anything is the 'density' and therefore the 'stiffness' of the bass. By removing the timber, it makes the bass less dense, a little more flexy and hence more 'resonant'. This robs it of a smidge of sustain, but lets face it, bass guitars are not usually lacking in sustain.

    You may have seen Roger Sadowsky's style of chambers (lots of small bean shaped holes). This was done in order to keep the swamp ash body slabs more consistent, lighter and resonant as he found the wood was getting heavier. He and his customers are convinced it works.

    Whether you use his method or just hog out big chambers, it does effect the structure, therefore the sound. In the end, I chamber for weight and the hope of extra resonance. I think it works, others will think otherwise. I think I win either way, because less weight (with proper balance) makes for a more comfy instrument.

    Hope that helps.:)
  3. FunkyMan


    Nov 27, 2007
    Wow that's a nice bass you are making! And thankyou for the answers, it cleared my mind a lot!
  4. My pleasure. The thing about chambering, like many other things in guitar building, is it's surrounded by "urban myths". My take is, if it sounds like a myth, it's probably total BS. So don't worry about it and do what you like. After all, they're just lumps'o'wood wiff strings on em, right. :D
  5. Dave Higham

    Dave Higham

    Dec 19, 2005
    Ah, a kindred spirit!

    By the way, are you really a Rev?
  6. JoeWPgh


    Dec 21, 2012
    I think the advantage to a series of small holes, as opposed to hogging out whole sections is that once the top is properly laminated, you have a "honeycomb" structure of sorts, as opposed to what is essentially a semi hollowbody. The 'honeycomb', in theory, would be more rigid. But that's just my yankee sense of engineering. The more points of connection that are made, the more difficult it is for things to move separately from each other. But that is assuming it makes any significant difference, which I would not swear to.
  7. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Everyone who makes a objective statement should be required to end with this sentence. :)