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! :)

RobPin

Discussion in 'Accessories [DB]' started by mjt0229, Jun 28, 2017.


  1. mjt0229

    mjt0229

    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    In another thread on angled endpin devices, I said I'd give a quick review of Rob Anzelloti's new RobPin system, so here goes:

    I started experimenting with an angled endpin while taking lessons with Patrick Neher. We bent a pin in his garage early this year and I've been using it since, but it was a little high for me and without ordering a new pin and bending it, there's no good way to fix that. I've been enjoying working with it and have been looking for ways to get an angled pin all the way out here in Bellingham, WA.

    There aren't many luthiers around, and fewer who have experience with basses, and even fewer have drilled a block for an angled pin. My Arvi is nice enough that I'm picky about getting work done on it - I can't afford to replace it at the moment.

    I considered the Lammax system but I don't want to replace the existing endpin assembly - I need a luthier and would probably need a tailpiece hangar to keep the afterlengths correct. Also, the Lammax is somewhat pricey.

    I also looked at Emilio's system. Initially, I had concerns about durability and bounce, but I may well be mistaken and I'm eager for people to report on that one. I hope that it is a wonderful system and that it helps people.

    Enter the RobPin. This little device looked a little industrial in the photos, but it's inexpensive ($207 shipped from Germany), user-installable and adjustable, and looks solid. I was a little concerned about pressure on the endblock but decided to give it a shot - I think the pressure is probably less likely to be problematic than the twisting action from the bent pin I had been using.

    I sent some measurements to Rob and he had one to me in about a week. In hand, it looked smaller and more unobtrusive I expected based on in the pictures on his website. The whole appearance in real life is also less industrial than I'd expected. The construction is very solid and clean and it's a cinch to assemble and adjust. I really like the lightweight hollow rods. I put it together in just a few minutes and was off. I've been playing with it for a little over a week.

    The pin has helped me get the height and angle of my bass right. There's noticeably less weight on my left thumb, too. With the angled pin, stance is important - you can end up with a lot of weight on your left hand if you stand incorrectly. With the right height and angle, it's easier for me to get into the right stance and play more fluidly.

    I would highly recommend the RobPin for players interested in using an angled endpin but feeling squeamish about drilling holes in their basses. In the future, I may still install a drilled endpin, but the urgency to find a qualified luthier within driving distance is much lower now.

    3569630-4fada57faff8c334a27efecc3147a7c2. 3569627-e58c22f34fdf8953f603a85b27d61a79. 3569625-567050930b93fdc7c5e06e233fab95b6. 3569624-d6c6abf62be0a38ddfb76717e7336dff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  2. Don C

    Don C

    Jan 13, 2007
    Victoria BC
    That looks like an interesting system for sure.
    If you find that you wish to have the hole drilled, Jim Hamm in Victoria has the expertise.
    He built a jig to ensure the requested angles and it worked out very well on my sons Bass.
    We're just across the water from you, couple hours drive, so not very far.
     
  3. mjt0229

    mjt0229

    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    Thanks, that's plenty close. I could sneak away for a day or two without too much trouble. I'll try and contact him and see what would be involved.
     
  4. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Thanks MJT!
    First off, Wolfinstruments.com, in Northern VA has them in stock.
    Yes, the device is a bit unorthodox, but it really solves a lot of problems. I don't think I mention it on the website, but it weighs about 10 oz. The plug which rests against the bottom block does look small in the photo, but when you install it you see that it is fine. You only need to be careful that it stays under the bottom block, i.e., don't let it angle more than about 30° to the side. A lot of people bought them at the ISB convention, and so far all feedback has been quite positive. The one issue so far has been that the leather pad is too slippery on some new basses with a high gloss finish. I am working on a soft rubber pad as an option, which anyone who already has a RobPin can easily swap with the existing leather pad. The leather works fine on almost all basses though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  5. mjt0229

    mjt0229

    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    On my bass, the pin will rotate if I lean way over (like to grab some music from the floor without putting my bass down), but under normal playing situations (rehearsals, concerts) it does not budge in the slightest. The weight of the bass holds it firmly in place.
     
  6. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Good to hear!
     
    statsc likes this.
  7. CSBBass

    CSBBass

    Sep 21, 2013
    I've been playing on one of these since the day I got home from ISB and my experience largely mirrors yours. Great device, very little issue with twisting in the socket--at least, not while playing. Throughout a rehearsal it might happen but only when, as you mentioned, when leaned in such a way that would never occur while playing, and even then it's super easy to get it right back to how I like it.

    As a pretty tall person who uses the longer of the pins available to go from the black bar to the floor, I do experience some slight bounce/shake with the device on occasion with large jumps, or with fast vibrato in lower positions. However, I've actually noticed that that's an indication of moments where my technique using an angled endpin is a little rough around the edges, due to having too much or too little weight of the instrument on the left hand, thus causing me either to have grip tighter to pull the strings down (too little of the weight of the bass resting in the left hand) or causing every movement of the hand to translate into bass movement and bounce (too much weight). Obviously, it's a journey to get used to the angled pin setup, and I certainly don't think it's fair to equate my current inadequacies with flaws in design when I've found great success as often as I have small challenges--I've never been able to make a straight pin work well for me while standing, and prior to ISB I was a seated player 100% of the time. I hope that the fact that I now stand probably 90+% of the time with this pin speaks for itself regarding issues like bounce--if it wasn't an easily conquerable issue, that wouldn't be the case.

    Rob also is a class act and has been very helpful in working to rectify the other very minor issues I've had, such as the slippage of the leather pad that he mentioned. The design seems to be overall very solid after about a month of playing on it, and I have no doubt Rob will continue to improve it and find solutions for any other glitches that pop up, as well as just being an excellent person to do business with.

    If you're interested in an angled endpin, there's really no reason not to use this as your introduction or even your go-to endpin set up in the long term. One of the guys at the Wolf booth (where I bought mine) at ISB told me he'd recently gone on a tour with a RobPin, the 16mm adapter for the endpin socket (for those of us whose basses come with wider endpins like mine) as well as the default 10mm, and rented a bass in every town--with the adapter he was able to use the RobPin on every bass he rented, ranging from Prescotts to Kays, without any problems. Even if you're a die-hard for the drilled pin, it'd be nearly impossible to find a bass that you like, that is drilled to the angle of your liking, with access to a pin the length you like, everywhere you go. And considering it's about the same price or less than what most people charge (at least that I've seen) to drill the hole, I think it's a pretty killer deal, too.
     
    geoffbassist likes this.
  8. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    UK
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    I saw one at the ISB and they are beautifully made! I didn't get to try one but it looks like a superb design.
     
  9. jleguy

    jleguy

    Jun 6, 2006
    DC Metro
    Do you know what Tom charges for it?
     
  10. CSBBass

    CSBBass

    Sep 21, 2013
    He charged me 200 at the convention, plus 10 for the 16mm adapter. I believe he mentioned that would be a temporary price, in an effort to get them into circulation at the convention and that the price would bump up to 250 post-ISB, but I don't have any idea if that has been the case since then or not.
     
  11. robobass

    robobass

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

    On the leather pad: I was piggishly insistent on leather all along, but have now decided to switch over to "SBR" rubber, which simply grips better, and since it is inset into the plug it can't slide off. A bit more work, but it looks better too.

    On bouncing: I'm only 5'8, so when I chose the rod material I didn't think about this too much. When Tom Wolf asked for rods up to 32cm, I realized that this could be an issue. My recommendation (already in the instructions) for very tall players is to arrange things so that the bracket is set away from the socket a few inches, so that the rod extending to the floor is shorter. This seems to solve the problem. If you are extremely tall, I can send solid SS rod instead of tube. It will be a lot heavier, though, and will increase the shipping charge.

    Also... I don't mention this in the literature, but I have gotten feedback from some players who like the angle, but don't want as much rear offset as the Rabbath disciples use. Since there are slots all along the bracket, there is nothing forcing you to use the first slot for the socket pin. I really need to include a drawing to help explain this, but the point is that the rear offset can be far from the socket, like with the Labourie, or closer to the socket, more like with a simple bent pin. It is highly adjustable!


    Price: Still not decided, but it should stay where it is for awhile longer. How is that for vague?:)

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    Tom Lane and Chris Fitzgerald like this.
  12. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Rob,

    I'm interested in your pin, but: I sit on a low stool (24") and used to keep the (straight) endpin out about 4" or so to get the bass at an angle for bowing. Since surgery I do everything I can to keep weight off the shoulder, so I now keep the bass more upright, with the out only about a 1/2" (almost like playing a gamba). Efficient and mostly pain-free, but I don't get the sound of the bass (bow arm weight) I used to. The endpin is a 5/8" Cameleopard. Any ideas? Thanks
    Louis
     
  13. wathaet

    wathaet

    May 27, 2007
    I have one that I will be selling if someone is looking. €130 shipped in the EU
     
  14. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Rob,

    Is Nick de Groot using one of your pins? We sit very similarly (which, unfortunately, is the only thing my play has in common with his!!)

     
    Eric Hochberg likes this.
  15. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Louis,
    Unfortunately there is a height minimum with this design. Normally 5", but can be reduced to four. Have you considered a simple wood block with a "V" channel cut into it? You could put leather or felt on the V surfaces and rubber on the bottom. You could set the bottom back edge into the V slot and do away with the pin altogether.

    floorBlok.
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  16. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Rob

    Thanks for this. Funny that you should suggest this the because I play with a cork yoga block under my left foot and for some inspired reason I said, "what if" and kicked it under the bass to see. Yes, I think this might work. Thanks for taking the time.
    Louis
     
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Funny that you should say this, as it mirrors my journey very closely, except I play pizz with the pin all the way in. Have you posted a pic of your seated position any time recently? I know... curiosity killed the cat, and all that. But inquiring nerd minds want to know!
     
  18. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'll see if I can get the GF to take some photos. She tends to avoid the studio at all costs!
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  19. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Actually, a big cork block would be way cool! Anyone with a good table saw could cut a 90° "V" notch into it.
     
  20. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'll give it a shot in the next week or two and post photos. Thanks
     
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.