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Shape of the bass related to sound?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by i like tictacs, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. I'm not sure if this has been brought up before, but would the shape of a bass have anything to do with how it sounds?
  2. dace


    Dec 25, 2000
    sydney, australia
    i don't believe that the shape matters, or if it does it's a really minute difference.

    however my understanding is that the size matters and basses with smaller bodies tend to have less sustain.

    don't quote me on it though! i'm no luthier.

    actually you should probably go to luthier's corner and ask one of the pros.
  3. nothing sounds like a kubicki or looks like one either
  4. yo spelt kubicki wrong :p and *nyuk*???
  5. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Ask your parents :D
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, for Double Bass - no, for Bass Guitar!
  7. this is probably gonna sound childish, but what if ya had ya standard jazz bass electronics and pickups would it soud exactly the same if you had it in a standard jazz body then had a body which was looked like a continual neck, ERGO style, would it sound the same?
  8. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    THere is a noticeable difference between neck throughs and bolt on basses in terms of sound. It is likely that they would sound different. Also, the massive drop in body mass would probably alter the sound as well (ie would the neck through retain the same body woods as the jazz? its unlikely).
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, but the question was about "shape" not "construction method"....:meh:
  10. i think i better rephrase it, would these two sound completely different
    (nothing smart ass by saying the 2nd one has no control's.....they're on the back :p )
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, I am assuming when we talk about "shape" that there is identical body mass and wood but, just different shapes - e.g. a typical curved "Fender" shape versus a rectangular block of wood, with the same type of wood, mass, density etc.
  12. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Read his question again.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's the question!!

    No mention of construction method....:meh:
  14. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    I was quoting "Heath the Great" not the original poster when I posted about construction method as is aparent from the use of the "quote" See post #9. Didnt you see the quote? :meh:

    Although it may be theoretically possible to achieve Heath's experiment without changing construction method and body mass, its pretty unlikely because it would mean the woods would need to be changed.
  15. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I remember seeing a study by someone on the shape of the body of a solidbody guitar and the resulting sound. The person(s) in question did some 3D studies of how different body shapes resonate and vibrate. Lemme see if I can find the link...

    Ratz, I can"t find it right now

    Lemme dig around and see if I can find it
  16. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    I think color has more influence on the tone.
  17. i remember wishnevski saying something about basses with more pointy parts have more treble.... oh, and you know that big orange bridge between san francisco and marin? yeah, i can sell you that. great deal, really!
  18. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    One way or another, the shape is going to affect the structure of the bass. If you took a standard jazz body shape and made it bigger across the front, then made it thinner in order to achieve the same weight, I would think that it would be somewhat weaker in the axis of the stress that string tension exerts upon it. This "weakness" is not necssarily a bad thing, it may allow the resonance of the wood to have more effect on the tone of the bass.

    Sheldon Dingwall mentions this on his website......

    "The total body thickness including top and back is only 38mm (1.5”). This keeps the weight of the bass down, while increasing the plate (face area) to thickness ratio for a more responsive, resonant tone."
  19. Baofu


    Mar 8, 2003
    Pretty much the ply of the pickguard is the determining factor in the tone of the bass. Yes, even MORE than the color of it!

    Sorry, being a smart***.
  20. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    I think the amount of wood on the body can effect the sound. Not sure..