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Single cutaway basses - is there some sonic difference.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by edpal, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. edpal

    edpal Inactive

    Oct 3, 2007
    I keep seeing single cutaway basses, you know where the upper bought runs right into the neck at about the 12 fret. I consider that upper bought very unattractive, like a whale head or something. And I cring at not having that space open. It also seems like it would cause some balance issues. But maybe I could show them some love if there was some great sonic difference. Is there something inherently different to that build style that changes tone? Not trying to start a throw-down, honestly curious.
  2. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    no the balance of the singlecut is perfect, in fact the single cut design improves balance(if i am not wrong) and i dont think there is any sonic difference. A matter of preference i guess, some like blond, some like brunette, some like asian.
  3. Nope. It is a bit of a funky design, in that the top part of the neck is clamped to the body more than the bottom part of the neck, which you would thing might cause adjustment issues (some luthiers get around this, like Pete Skjold, by doing 'bolt on single cuts). However, I've yet to hear of this 'theorical issue' actually happening, so seems a non-issue.

    So, mostly an aesthetic issue. I guess the one thing that it can do is allow the luthier to make a body with more wood/weight that is still small in an absolute sense.

    Regarding playability up high, zero issue. I had a Fodera single cut for a while (and a Stambaugh), and the upper neck access and feel was identical to a more traditional design.

    Long winded way of saying, if you dig the look, consider one. If you find one that sounds good, no downsides to that design if it at all worries you. And, finally, no reason to buy a single cut for anything other than looks.
  4. I have a SC 6 string- to really answer the sonic diff Q one would need to A/B it w/an otherwise identical double-cut, so I don't know. It was the fashion at the time I had it built, I suppose... if you don't like it, that's a good enough reason to not get one, IMO, considering its likely strictly an aesthetics issue.
  5. edpal

    edpal Inactive

    Oct 3, 2007
    Ok, thanks guys. I have seen a few that were fairly nice looking like Sudoka's. But those are premium instruments, so I would expect a premium experience. Cool, I'll try one out someday.
  6. Finbase


    Oct 12, 2010
    Espoo, Finland
    I own a single-cut De Gier Elevation. It has even and tight timber, if that makes any sense... I do recall that the builder himself stated that due to the SC design the overall tone would be relatively compressed. That pleasant compression is distinctive, IME!

    It definitely sounds different than my Warmoth P-bass!:smug:

    Send me a PM if you like, I could share some sound clips!
  7. chris.gotfunk


    Mar 21, 2007
    Ashburn, Va
    I may be wrong here, but I recently read that Anthony Jackson and Fodera first came up with this design to increase the rigidity of a 6 string bass neck. Anthony playing a 36" scale meant having a bit more length that when under tension, could result in more movement. Having the extra "meat" connected, stabilized the neck a bit more. Sonically... I have no idea what if any effects it has. Maybe a faster note response... Who knows?


    Feb 2, 2005
    S. Carolina
    If the bass you are holding looks radically cool to you - you play better. (its in the brain and in the fingers.)
  9. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    I also thought rigidity was the main upside, and possibly through that fewer dead spots? But honestly, I think mine is pretty cool looking :) lol
  10. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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