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Robo's first extension build!

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by robobass, Aug 28, 2012.


  1. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    100_9816.

    Slideshow:
    http://s389.photobucket.com/albums/oo340/robobass/Purple%20Heart/

    I still haven't mounted it. Also need to smooth out the varnish a bit. This is the only one I've made from scratch. I roughed it out years ago but never got around to finishing it. Good thing I procrastinated. At the time I had no ambition to do a "no-hole" installation. It will mount with only a single screw under the nut. I ended up with just enough room to bring the string back over the scroll and over a second smaller pulley which sends the string down to the "A" tuner. The purple heart will look great with the red varnish on my Geiger bass.
     
  2. George700DL

    George700DL

    Jan 9, 2009
    Maryland
    I don't know much about extensions (being a 3-string player:) ), but that looks pretty.

    Did you make the metal parts from scratch? If so, and if I may ask, how do you finish them? (what is the base metal and what type of plating).

    I recently got into nickel plating (different musical instrument) with decent success.

    George
     
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Looks very nice Rob - congratulations! ;)
     
  4. RCWilliams

    RCWilliams Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2007
    Merriam Kansas (Kansas City)
    owner RC Williams Co. LLC
    very nice, do you have wheels in side to reflex the string or are you running it through a wooden (or other material) channel?
     
  5. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Click on the slideshow. I carved out channels under the fingerboard with a table saw and ran the string over sealed bearing pulleys. Most extensions of this type use three pulleys (or one pulley and two bushings), but in this case the scroll geometry allowed me to get away with only two and still have a clear string path.
     
  6. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    George,
    Those metal parts are a garage business of mine. They are machined from 360 brass and shaped and finished with standard sanders and polishing wheels. I don't plate or lacquer them, so eventually they dull and patina just like most tuners.
     
  7. uprightben

    uprightben

    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    Very nice work, I'd love to see it mounted.
     
  8. RCWilliams

    RCWilliams Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 23, 2007
    Merriam Kansas (Kansas City)
    owner RC Williams Co. LLC
    I presume it was made for a specific bass, how do you plan to it it to the winding, or is it pretty much a set it on and fit the nut around it thing now? Very nice work, by the way.
     
  9. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Edit: Sorry RC, when I first read it I coulndn't figure out what you were asking.

    This was fitted to and created around the Geiger bass I mentioned. If you look at the slideshow you'll see how the string comes over the smaller pulley then through a hole and straight on to the "A" tuner. Yes, the nut has to be routed to fit over the "E-Stop" bracket.
     
  10. George700DL

    George700DL

    Jan 9, 2009
    Maryland
    Oh yeah, that makes sense too:) I love working with brass.

    George
     
  11. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    I see Copenhagen inspired you! ;)
     
  12. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I actually had it with me there. I finished it for the event so I could have something there to show. A disembodied extension is way easier to transport than a bass!
     
  13. Provbass1

    Provbass1 Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    With Robs capos- all low Bs!

    left to right: 1840s 3/4 Tewksbury, 1840s big Prescott, 1844 big Tewksbury
     

    Attached Files:

  14. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Those look great. May I ask who made them? I think it's very wise to put the pulley directly under the nut on a B extension like that.
     
  15. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    I'm not a bassist, so perhaps this question is born of naiveté, but--what would be the disadvantage to going with a five-string bass to start with, and not needing the extension?

    I've only built the one bass (you all saw it at the time), and it is still being played by the original owner who is still very happy with it. But everyone seems to want that Low C or Low B...so, is there something wrong about five-string basses, built with the low B already in place?

    Not trying to criticize or be argumentative, at all; just thinking ahead, as I am STILL hoping to build another bass sometime soon, and I am sorta thinking that a 5-string might be a good idea. If not, please 'splain it to me.

    Working on yet another batch of violins and violas right now.

    Chet
     
  16. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    There are many, many threads on this. Some ongoing, I believe, and there are some strong (no fierce) opinions on either side. It comes down to there being advantages and disadvantages to either approach. I of course lobby for extensions:hyper:
     
  17. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Sorry guys, I just noticed that the link to additional photos didn't work. Fixed!
     
  18. 1st Bass

    1st Bass

    May 26, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    Well...never having gained expert status on the search function, I'm asking: Can you give me a short list of the theoretical pro and con arguments?

    Not trying to start or perpetuate an argument; I'd just like to hear (from you, an Afficionado of Extensions) why it makes better sense to make an already very tall instrument significantly taller, rather than an already wide instrument marginally wider...and maybe only on the fingerboard/neck/bridge?

    I can go either way, I have no dog in the fight, so to speak.
     
  19. I haven't used five stringers nor extensions, but from what I gather the pros of an extension seem to be:

    *addable/removable on a normal 4 stringer

    *often gives a nicer sounding E string, due to extra string length. often the low notes below E sounds better on an extension, because of longer vibrating length.


    The pros for a five string seem to be:

    *easier to play advanced stuff in the low range (you don't have to move your hand across the tuners)

    *The E string always ends on an E, no fiddeling with capos.

    Arguably, some say that a fiifth string makes for easier fingerings, but in many specific cases, the ability of an extension to set a variable low note is also handy. My assumtion would be that for the occational notes below E, an extension is the easier way to go. For frequent (different) notes below E, a five-string would be the choice.
     
  20. MostroDB

    MostroDB Guest

    Apr 18, 2012
    While I'm not particularly interested in having an extra low B string, I do also have a 5-string db, tuned E-A-D-G-c. This allows higher parts to be played with longer string lengths, yielding easier/better intonation, less dampening & more harmonics. Maybe my hands are a bit small, but I tend to find 5-str db necks a bit of a hand full, compared to a normal 4-str neck.

    To the above, I'd like to add as con's for a 5-stringer:

    * string length a bit short for the frequency, so thicker, stiffer strings (and/or lower tension), which tend to be less tone-rich;

    * 5-str necks tend to be bigger, which may be perceived as more awkward;

    * at 24% more tension, the body needs to be constructed stronger, which together with the bigger neck + fb + tp makes for an heavier instrument.

    The first obviously only is a con for a 5th low B (= 30.87Hz). Of course it all remains a subjective choice.
     

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