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Sound Post Setting for Classical

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by viking_456, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. viking_456


    Jan 14, 2002
    Irvine, CA
    I have a question about set-up in general, and sound post setting in particular. I have a 3/4 Morelli bass with a carved top. It sounds pretty good. I had Spirocores on it and had it set-up for pizzicatto playing. I have gotten more interested in classical bass and changed the strings to the burgundy orchestra ones that are popularly used. However, I am having a hard time getting a big open sound, loud sound. Certainly, I know that how I play is the biggest factor, but I am wondering if a different sound post setting will help. Getting rid of the Spirocores made a HUGE difference. When I listen to Gary Karr or Edgar Meyer, I can't imagine that they could get such a big sound with my bass. BTW, I do have a teacher and it has helped alot in many ways.

  2. I play arco & pizz, and have Pirastro Obligatos on my current bass. I love 'em - after they're settled in, they keep in tune very well, and the sound I get is bigger, and fuller, both arco & pizz. There is another thread somewhere hereabouts re. their longevity, but I've had mine on for about 6 or 7 months now, and I'm very happy with them (could be something to do with how they're installed - my teacher/luthier turned me on to them - he's used them for over a year on some of his basses without any problems). My next bass is being set-up as we speak, and it will have Obligatos on it. Of course, YMMV, but I can only speak as I find...

    - Wil

    PS: Here's one of the threads:

    PPS: just re-read this and noticed that your post title was about the position of the sound-post. Does it really require different settings for different techniques? I've never heard of that before, but then again, I'm quite ignorant - so, now I'm confused...
  3. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    I don't think you can expect much change from a sound post setting if it's already in its place. But an increase in bridge hight will have a direct impact on volume. Time to put adjusters on your bidge.
  4. viking_456


    Jan 14, 2002
    Irvine, CA
    The strings are already pretty high. I had a bridge with adjusters replaced by one without. This was the suggestion of John at World of Strings in Long Beach (I believe there was a thread about repair people in the L.A. area - might want to check out John although he's usually really busy).

    Volume really isn't a problem. My bass sounds bright. I thought moving the sound post back would give it a bassier, more late response. Right now it's tight, bright and quick - works great for pizz. Whenever John sets up a bass he ask what kind of playing it will be used for.
  5. viking_456


    Jan 14, 2002
    Irvine, CA
    Thanks to everyone.

    I saw one of those diamond basses. A fellow student was packing up while I was coming in. It was kind of honey colored. Sound came out from all sides. Pretty neat.
  6. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    You have the correct strings but depending on which Morelli/dimentions and from which shop it was made and period the possibilites will vary.

    The Post lower will be boomier and higher will be brighter BUT, the post in the correct place for THAT Bass is more important. Sounding like Gary or Edgar doesn't matter if you are referring to a recorded sound. Listening to them live in a room without an amp or mic is the only way to judge their sound.

    How you play and the quality of your Bow as well matters too. If your Bass has a flabby E string then get the Stark E. If you want the sound fatter all around then get the Starks 92s. If you can afford to experiment then get the Orig. Flexocors as well and compare but let them break in a month or two before judging. Then with 2 or 3 sets of the finest orchestra strings, you have the ability to mix and match as it sounds best for you and your Bass.

    As you play more and get better at the orchestra playing, your tastes may change as well. The Obligatos are a nice string if you need some buzzy growl for jazz but for each sizzle of growl you loose the fundamental of the note as well.

    Take your Bass to a Luthier that does the set-up for the Bass players of a porfessional Orchestra. Go with the ones that know their work and results.
  7. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    This is so important that I think it warrants amplification (pun intended). Of course, it holds for any player in any genre. While the recorded sound of your favorite artist certainly can and does impart certain fundamental characteristics of the sound of their "hands" and that of their bass, once that signal hits the board and is subject to the "tailoring" that goes on in the mix, you may not wind up at all with a faithful reproduction of the instrument. This is to say nothing of the transducer which, unless, it is a flat, professional quality microphone, will have its own sonic "signature."

    I'm curious-- Bromberg's Wood CD is often discussed here. The recorded sound certainly is beautiful. For those of you who have had the opportunity to hear that bass in-person and unamplified, how does the recorded sound compare?

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