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Reasons for a singlecut vs. a standard double cutaway?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bass Kahuna, Jun 13, 2003.


  1. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hey Gang,

    What are the reaons, other than cosmetics, for making a single cutaway solidbody electric bass vs. the standard double cutaway body style?

    I have seen and read some discussions around the body style and horn size and dimensions that can affect the way the body resonates, but I'm particularly interested in any of the real or perceived acoustic differences for an electric bass with a single cutaway.

    Unless there are some tone chambers in the body, I would expect that a single cut could/would weigh more which would offer more mass, but.....

    Any and all input is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    :^)~
     
  2. I don't think there's actually that much more mass in the body. However, there is concievably some more stiffness to the neck above the 12th fret or so, and some more coupling between the neck and the body.

    As with most elements of bass design, it's sometimes hard to say how much difference any one particular factor makes. I don't have a whole lot of experience with single-cutaway designs (yet!), but maybe one of the builders who's done both can offer a more informed opinion.

    Mike
     
  3. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Okay, I can see where it would add extra support and stiffness to the neck. My question then, would be do you still need a standard length bass truss rod (24") for a single cut?

    :^)~
     
  4. I've never heard of anyone using a shorter one....

    Mike
     
  5. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Jun 14, 2003
    I've just finished a single cutaway 7string bass with shorter rods for this very reason. The neck joins the body at about the 11th fret, so I used guitar trussrods and 18" CF rods. (Plus its headless, and the scale length is 820mm...)
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Let us know how the bass comes out with the shorter truss rods!
     
  7. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Wacky. That thing's got 18" truss rods in it? Pretty cool.
     
  8. Nice work, Robbie! Those are some impressive instruments you've built.

    Mike
     
  9. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    I'm not generally a fan of headless basses (My point of reference is not there !) but that, my friend, is truly cool.

    excellent work !
     
  10. Suburban

    Suburban

    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    On topic:
    singlecut adds stability to the upper part of the body, both longitudinal and latitudinal. However, you need to cope with tension further away from body as well, and also the higher strings. Thus, you have the same use for a truss rod.

    Tonally, you will have some more fundamental to the low notes.


    partly OT:
    Robbie, that's great! That body is fabulous!
    Where do you get your bridge/tuner sets?
     
  11. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Jun 14, 2003
    Thanks for the kind words, guys!

    The neck is not going to shift much body side of the 11th fret so I didn't think there was much point in having reinforcement in this area. But you can still set them up. Both my 7strings (single cutaways) have low action (other players are usually surprised at their playability when they pick them up), and the new one has lower string tensions (820mm scale) so its even easier to fret.

    I'm glad you guys think it looks cool (so do I!), but the design is function over form all the way (truly). For example, its headless because of balance issues.

    Suburban, I made the headless system myself (no choice!).

    (Sort of back OT...)
    Here's a page I found about a guy who has scientifically studied the modes of vibration in some different body shapes...

    http://www.gmi.edu/~drussell/guitars/index.html