Sound post impaling my bass!

Discussion in 'Ask Lynn Seaton' started by Raicoski, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Raicoski


    Mar 31, 2020
    I tried to contact the Company during their business hours, but they didn't pick the phone, or answered my message.
    I play my CDB-200 almost every day, and I rarely take it out of the house, so the temperature and humidity is always well controlled, and strings tension being checked almost every day.
    Today, when I was going to practice, I noticed all the strings were out of tune, at a lower pitch (E string was playing C).
    I noticed a protruding spot in the back, right where the sound post is installed.
    I removed the strings before it caused a bigger damage to the body. The sound post is still in place.
    I bought this Upright Bass about a year ago and I can't believe I paid about $1000 for something that doesn't last.
    Please, is it repairable? 20200330_183556.jpg 20200330_172908.jpg 20200330_183556.jpg 20200330_172908.jpg 20200330_173249.jpg
  2. jsf729

    jsf729 Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 2014
    Central Maryland
    No disrespect intended- because not everyone can afford an expensive bass- but it is normal for a quality built bass with a properly fitted sound post not to require any reinforcement. However, mass produced basses- such as Kays- sometimes did have a patch on the inside of the back, and they would still bulge. Hard to tell from the pictures, I can't imagine that a bulging sound post would cause your E string to drop 2 whole steps. Possibly the string failed as the bulging post put too much tension on it. Again- can't tell by the pictures- but I suspect that if you get the sound post fitted properly and replace the string you'll probably be fine. Not sure what strings you are using, but you may want to consider a lower tension string. Good luck.
    longfinger and Raicoski like this.
  3. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Sorry for your situation but I think that setup & repair -forum would be right place for this issue. Mods might wan`t to remove?
    Raicoski, unbrokenchain and jsf729 like this.
  4. Lynn Seaton

    Lynn Seaton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2006
    Denton, TX
    Cracks, bulges, and sinking in the front and/or back around a sound post is an issue in some basses. Good luthiers are genius problem solvers and should be able to find a solution. Good luck!
  5. Raicoski


    Mar 31, 2020
    Thank you for your answer!
    Yes it could be the sound post in the wrong position. The tension of the strings were normal, if you consider they were in tune (I have a tuner)
    I was using Daddario Helicord Medium Tension. It's hard to accept (but yes, it seems probable now) a medium tension string could cause this damage, I carefully checked a lot of reviews before buying this instrument, and now the manufacturer doesn't even answer my emails or calls. I feel like I was fooled.
  6. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    I'm generally in the "any bass is better than no bass" camp, and I think if you've played yours every day for a year then it has been a good thing to get you started. I'm not sure what rentals cost these days but I don't think you could get a year for a grand, so consider it a good deal ;). However, at this point I would caution you against spending any money getting it repaired, but instead encourage you to start saving for your next bass. If you have good manual dexterity and familiarity with woodworking (or a friend with those things), it is possible to add a patch on either or both ends of the soundpost, and to shorten the post accordingly. If it were me, I'd probably just put some lighter strings on it and play the snot out of it 'til the next bass comes along.

    A thousand bucks is a good chunk of change for the majority of us, but the reality of the double bass world is that a $1000 (new) bass is usually the equivalent of a $100 bass guitar. The majority of people who own these types of instruments don't play them much... if you're actually playing a lot, then you deserve a better bass.

    Was the bass setup by a luthier when you got it? If not, it's possible that the bridge is much too high and causing unnecessary tension (and also making it more difficult to play).

    Also, does your bridge have adjusters?
    mikewalker, Raicoski and lurk like this.
  7. Raicoski


    Mar 31, 2020
  8. Raicoski


    Mar 31, 2020
    Thanks for your answer!
    I respectfully disagree about accepting the flaws of the instrument just because it was $1000. Spending lots of money to have it as a decoration object is not my world.
    They advertised (and a lot of people rated it well) as the best product I could buy with that money.
    The company (Cecilio) didn't even answer my emails or calls.
    I think if a supposedly reputable company shouldn't make a product available, if that product is poorly made.
    I'm feeling so frustrated.
  9. NigeJ


    Jul 23, 2019
    Have you thought the company may be closed due the COVID19 virus?
    longfinger and unbrokenchain like this.
  10. Matthijs

    Matthijs Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    I symphatise with your frustration. Imho a 100€ electric bass should also function as advertised and a 1000 € ub too.

    nevertheless double basses are a different kind of instrument. All of them need regular carefull care and setup by someone who knows what the bass needs and can handle. And without it things can go terribly wrong. Even with a 20.000 € bass. I bet most expensive basses cary the traces of thing that have gone wrong in the past.

    it is not just something you buy on the internet and expect it to work. In some ways it is more like buying a pet. Or maybe a racing car analogy is more appropiate. Just because it’s 10 times more expensive than a corolla does not mean it is more reliable.

    This might very well be a bad product by a substandard factory. It might just as well have been prevented by a professional placement of the post, adjustment of the bridge and the right strings.

    So, if you like the bass: a visit to a luthier might be the best thing to do. You will be amazed at what they can fix on a DB. You bought a cheap racecar and need to find a proper mechanic, or learn how to do stuff yourself. Otherwise wheels will keep falling off, breaks will fail and turbo’s will go bad fast.
  11. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    It's a theme here I'm afraid... go to the "basses" forum on the double bass side of this site and search for "CCB" or "BSO." The latter acronym stands for "bass-shaped object." I've had a couple of these pass through my possession. Not a Cecilio specifically, but I did repair one that still had bark on the corner blocks and a giant knot on the bass bar... There are certainly some exceptions out there, as some of them do and will hold up fine. In general though, they are not made to last, and most teachers seem to strongly advise against them. Double basses require a substantial amount of fine skills, attention to detail, and (perhaps most importantly) time, to make and setup properly. There's simply no way to combine quality materials and quality workmanship and come out with a product that's a thousand dollars. I've never owned one, but I've seen the Shen SB-80 referred to many times as essentially the cheapest (new) decent quality bass on the market. Also, you can often find decent used basses in this price range. This might be especially true after this crisis is over...
  12. Raicoski


    Mar 31, 2020
    I think they should have someone to answer the phone or the emails. So many people working remotely. If I was the owner of the company, I would be available for my customers.
  13. Raicoski


    Mar 31, 2020
    Thanks for your comments.
    Can it be transferred to the proper forum?
    Reiska likes this.
  14. Reiska


    Jan 27, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Yes, moderators can.
  15. Cecilio has done what they can. They won't be do anything more for you now. You've had it for a year already. That instrument is what it is, for the price that it sold for. It's performing as one would expect. Time to move forward.

    Things are shut down now for Covid-19 reasons. All upright basses need to be setup by a luthier to play. (Shops like Cecilio move them out too quick to spend time/money doing this. That's why the instruments are priced as they are.) When shops open up again, take it in. A luthier can put one or two sound post patches in (quite common for plywoods), adjust or cut a new sound post, adjust the bridge and make sure tension is appropriate for this instrument. Low tension strings are advised. (This is separate from them being in tune. Of course they are tuned, but at pitch, different kinds of string will have different tensions. Take a low tension set.) Don't spend too much money on this instrument. Just enough to get it useable and fun to play.

    If you have more serious aspirations, start saving up for a better instrument. Prices vary depending on where you live, and you'll always find better deals with used instruments.
  16. 210superair


    Sep 10, 2019
    Anyone have a guess at the price to install post patches for him?
    Raicoski likes this.
  17. It's about the labour.. maybe 1-2hours work? $150-$200?? Different folks have different rates.
    210superair and Raicoski like this.
  18. 210superair


    Sep 10, 2019
    That's perfect, I just figured a guesstimate may help him out. Thanks!
    Raicoski likes this.
  19. Raicoski


    Mar 31, 2020
    Thank you!
    It makes me feel better, knowing it's repairable... it's sad to realize it wasn't a good purchase, but at least I found an expereinced DBass guy who can repair it, hopefully for the price you guys mentioned.
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