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Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by trajectory fish, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Hello, it's been a while since I've been around. 2007 was a very eventful year. . . kinda spooky that the last time I logged on was 041607 (I finished an MArch at VT in May of that year)

    Aanyway, I've been playing with a band that practices in a basement with a low ceiling, and I'm thinking of cutting off the top piece of the scroll with a carpenter's saw. Does it do anything more than just get caught on stuff when I try to move the thing around? I have an Engelhardt ES9.

    (if the carpenter's saw idea is a bit extreme, I can take it to a legit repair shop)
  2. basswraith


    Mar 10, 2003
    Please do not cut the scroll of your bass. In hind sight you will hate your self for it. I would suggest lowering the endpin and sitting on a stool to lower the bass.

    Besides you would NEVER be able to re sell that bass after having cut the scroll off.

    Good luck,

  3. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    Is this a joke? :rollno:
  4. The only thing I can think of that the scroll might do for the bass and for the sound is give more mass at that end of the neck. Am I correct? I am not joking. If I cut this off, what would happen?

    Sitting on a stool is a good idea and it is something I've thought of, but space is very tight in there and it's difficult to manage as it is. I will try the stool idea first. I guess another option might be to rent some practice space at the old welding place at the corner of Brookline and Lopez. We have 8 people in the group.

    Thank you,
  5. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    Why not just invest in a cheap electric upright for practice?

    No practice space is worth mutilating a bass for.
  6. There HAS to be another practice space within a reasonable distance.

    Decide your group doesn't fit in there before attacking the bass.
  7. Just to play devil's advocate; if it is done cleanly what's the harm? Much worse things have been done to much greater basses... You could even have a thin veneer glued on the cut ends to keep them from being damaged, so when the time came to put it back on, you'd have a nice clean joint. Even if you were to loose the original scroll, it's not like you can't just buy another one... :meh:

    Frankly, I'd do it if there wasn't a better, easier option. And I'd have a luthier do it unless you're handy with tools, hide glue, etc.
  8. Thank you toman.

    I just want to know what the scroll does for the sound and structure of the bass. If it does not contribute, it is more of a problem than anything else. Why does a 6'-10" instrument need a vestigial 3 inches on top?

    I don't want to come across as a nag, but I want to keep this question in this discussion because it has not been answered.

    What does the scroll do for the sound of the bass?

    Thank you,
  9. bassist14


    Oct 17, 2005
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
  11. Louis and Clark carbon basses don't have a scroll. But then, they're made of the stiffest material available, and seem to have be quite heavy in the neck. The weight of the scroll is going to have a considerable effect on the lowest bending mode of the bass, which probably doesn't contribute much to the sound but probably does contribute a lot to the playability. A carbon bass will move less under the stop than a wood bass, and I'd expect a scroll-less wood bass to have lots of wolf notes and intractable buzzes under the finger as the neck pulls away from the string. That will effect things like pizz sustain and 'mwah' and arco 'focus', not to mention scratchiness under the bow, just like changing an endpin.
  12. samriley


    Jul 14, 2008
    try and avoid cutting the scroll off but if you do end up removing it i dont think you will notice any difference to the sound of the bass.
    the scroll on one of my basses got 'knocked' clean off, when i flew it home once in a gage trunk. it was re attached by a luthier and you cannot see the join and it made no difference to the sound of the bass. (i never played it without the scroll, i just know that once it was glued back on the sound remained the same)

    i think it is a bit extreme for you to consider cutting your bass for rehearsals! ask the other 8 guys in the band whether they would mutilate their horn to make rehearsals in a basement possible...
  13. uprightben


    Nov 3, 2006
    Boone, NC
    I don't think cutting your scroll will effect your sound in a way that you will be able to notice, but it will make your bass look ugly as hell, and your on stage look will be deminished. In real life I'm usually a big, hairy funy looking dude, but when I'm on stage I always make sure that my self and my gear is clean and has a well thought out look. Like it or not, if you look like you or your gear crawled out of a dumpster, you will be percieved as a bum, no matter how you sound.
  14. neal davis

    neal davis

    Dec 29, 2006
    toronto canada
    check out the david gage czech ease bass, the scrolls are removeable and I notice with mine that in some situations I liked the sound of the bass with the scroll removed more than the other way around. If you do remove it put a few dowels in it and make it so you can put it on and take it off
  15. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    +1 on all of these. You gotta be kidding. Academic arguments regarding potential differences in sound aside, it's absurd to ruin the aesthetic of the instrument and cause it to be dramatically devalued because ONE practice space has a ceiling that's too low. Why not cut a hole in the ceiling?
  16. futurebass77


    Aug 2, 2007
  17. The aesthetic of the instrument? It's an Engelhardt... :meh: Properly re-attached down the road, the join won't even be noticeable.
  18. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Oh NOW who's poking fun at Engels?! Yes, it ruins the aesthetic when the scroll is sawed off. Absolutely! In addition, it certainly devalues the instrument. C'mon-- it's totally silly to consider sawing off the scroll because the ceiling in your practice space is too low. It's one of the top ten goofy suggestions I've ever read here (and that's saying something!). This is independent of whether and to what degree the sound would be altered.
  19. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    Decapitating your bass is the equivalent of catching a handful of hundred dollar bills on fire and watching them go up in smoke.

    It's like cutting the trunk off your car to fit in a parking space.

    It's the dumbest thing I've read here in years.
  20. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    +1 It isn't even an option.

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