Setting a bass on its ribs...

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by rake, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. rake


    May 4, 2004
    More a curiosity than a concern - I've read several times here that when setting a bass on its ribs, it should go treble side down. Now, I've always just blindly followed this rule but I'm curious as to why. Is there a risk of damage or setup tweaking due to some stress I'm not considering?
  2. dtosky


    Jan 4, 2010
    I've always just assumed this was the natural way to set the bass down as you are generally holding the neck with your left hand... I've never heard of any rationale for doing this, but I would be curious to find out if there was some greater reasoning behind it (although I'm doubtful...)
  3. It's because, with the bass laying down on this side, the soundpost has no way to fall.
  4. rake


    May 4, 2004
    Ah, so the curve of the top plate holds it more securely in that position. Is it that much of a risk with a well fitting soundpost?

    I'm planning on getting an H-Clamp to use for pit work and am seeing that it might be an issue to set the bass treble side down with it still attached. Might be best to come up with something to rest/raise the upper bout.

  5. dtosky


    Jan 4, 2010
    That's interesting about the sound post. Makes sense, although I don't think a properly fitted post under tension is at risk of falling in the hands of someone who is careful with the instrument no matter which way it is oriented. I usually rest the top bout of my instrument on a padded chair- orchestras will sometimes provide these (or other rests) to the bass section for this purpose. This would solve the problem with your clamp, but a pit might be a little tight for an extra chair.
  6. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    I think Kungfu was pulling your legs, guys. :)

    No, the soundpost is no more stable whether it's laid down on one side or the other, given that it's fitted even close to reasonably well. Gravity affects the soundpost whether the bass is on the G or E side. What you must consider, however, is lambda creep.
  7. More like, maybe somebody was pulling mine. I do drive my basses around strapped G-side down in the back of a pickup truck, so I prefer to err on the side of caution.

    And for the record, yes, a properly fitted post should be stable no matter which side the bass is laying on. That said, ask how many properly fitted anythings I see looking at basses...:rollno:
  8. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, the post would have to be awfully loose to fall with the bass on it's side and with the strings at pitch. On that we agree. Just for fun, consider a post that's positioned just south and east of the G-foot of the bridge (as many are). Now, it can easily be the case that westward movement toward the G-foot, where it is pressing down on the top, would require more force than eastward movement away from the bridge foot. In that case, laying the bass down on the E-side would be less risky. This is really much ado about nothing, IMO. Just as a matter of habit, I do lay my bass down on the G side most of the time. When it's in the case and stored somewhere, it depends on how it fits better into the space.

    The best part is that I got to resurrect lambda creep! :)
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    It doesn't matter which side you lay it on. If the bass side is more convenient, go right ahead! ;)
  10. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    You Rule Drurb. All Hail!
  11. Cyoder


    Feb 22, 2009
    Chattanooga, TN
    Probably has something to do with the fact that the endpin screw on any bass I played was on the right side of the housing.
  12. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Ah but they're installed like that because most everyone lays the bass down on the treble side ...
  13. George700DL


    Jan 9, 2009
    I lay it on the treble side because that's where I installed leather bumpers... because that's the side I lay it on...

    I usually take out the pin, because someone will walk into it and either send the bass spinning or knock it over.
  14. if it's on the treble side you can squat/kneel and noodle 'till your hearts content ;)
  15. geoffbassist

    geoffbassist UK Double Bassist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 17, 2006
    Founder - Discover Double Bass
    Isn't it because in playing position the bass is to your left so it's the quicker/easier way to lay it down. Your left hand is already on the neck. If it you laid it on the bass side you would have to change hands and move the bass to your right before laying it.

    ...I can't think why you shouldn't use the bass side, but for me the treble feels a lot more natural.
  16. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    That's also an argument for treble side. The post shouldn't fall in normal circumstances, but if a stage hand gives it a good kick...

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