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routing tone chambers

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by top028, Jan 20, 2003.


  1. top028

    top028

    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    I built a 5 string bass this summer from warmoth parts. It has a maple neck with maple fretboard and a swamp ash body. I think it sounds a bit dead. It doesnt vibrate that much acoustically, and its breaking my back by the end of the night. The neck pocket is really tight, and I use string-through for E-G. I want to route a tone chamber from the back of the bass on the bass side. I drew out a templete to follow avoiding all obsticles by at least a quarter inch, and I have some quarter inch maple laying around that I will use as the backing plate. I love the thud of my arch top, and I am hoping that this will add a bit of that sound. Currently I have basslines stacked J and a ceramic MM pickups in there. I am switching over to thier 67/70 pickups using one 67 in the neck positon and two of them in the bridge (custom wound for humbucking). I am going to start working on the plywood templetes tonight. If there are any super bad consenquences from doing this please let me know. If all it does is make the bass lighter, then I will be happy about that. Also, I have the thickest strap I could find (peavey cirrus strap).
     
  2. DP Custom

    DP Custom DP Custom Basses

    Feb 7, 2001
    NC, USA
    one of the specific features of swamp ash is it's light weight, so I'm a little surprised at your problem with the weight....

    Tho it possibly wouldn't do any harm, I don't think routing the chambers is going to do much good either with ash involved.

    just my opinion

    DP
     
  3. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    It sounds a bit risky to me...
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Swamp ash is just black ash. The stuff normally weighs 3-4 lbs/bf unless you get a board from a tree that actually grew in the swamp. I bet the swamp ash Warmoth is using varies in weight quite a bit.

    I would not be surprised if you found that your bass was not more resonant after routing the tone chamber(s). It will probably weigh less, but you also might end up throwing the balance off.
     
  5. top028

    top028

    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    Thanks for the replys
    I routed it last night. I have to make the cover plate. The neck dives a little bit, but all my basses do that so in a strange way its more comfortable. its quite a bit lighter... the body wasnt incredibly heavy so it must be the maple/maple 5 string neck I still think it will work out ok. Should I cut a hole in the front like on a thin-line tele? Would that help resonance or just acoustic projection?
     
  6. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    The F hole is just gravy on a semi-hollow instrument. On an acoustic instrument, its main purpose is projection.