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sound post too tight?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by ryanhagler, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. So I recently flew with my bass from Texas to Ecuador, where I teach. My school provided me with a flight case, but it's not the usual trunk style that I'm used to. It was more of what you'd see for a bass guitar, like a fitted case with a plush inside. It's nice cause it's light, but you can't put the bass in a bag. So what that means is that the bridge is directly in contact with one of the walls of the case. It's not super rigid, so I was worried about impacts on the bridge.

    What I decided to do was to take the strings and bridge off and just buy a sound post kit since the sound post was sure to fall. well...it didn't. It made the whole trip and stayed right in place.

    So that makes me wonder....is the sound post to tight? Should I have a little bit shaved off? How would this affect the sound and playability? We're not dealing with a high-quality bass here, it's a hybrid, but a decent instrument.

    Thoughts anyone?
  2. playbass0410


    Feb 8, 2008
    If the bass sounds ok I wouldn't change anything. I've already made bad experiences with "optimize setup for better sound" or improving things just for the task of improving. Finally I had to fight hard to get again to the status it was before...
  3. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    It could be too tight, but the fact it didn't fall is not indicative of that. In my opinion, if the post falls under no tension, then it's too loose.
  4. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010

    I've always thought the same thing. It has been my experience that if the post is cut correctly, you feel some resistance when you push or pull it, and then it usually rotates a little on its own to conform to the slanting of the round back and the curved top. If it's too loose, it can set up with only the "lips" of the post contacting the wood which from the top--in my minds eye--would look similar to the phases of the waning or waxing moon rather than a full moon. If I am making myself clear? :meh:
    If I am wrong I'm sure some one will correct me :D
  5. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    It's cheap, if not free, to have your soundpost checked by a luthier. I would advise that you have everything checked every couple of months while your instrument transitions into the new climate. Fitting a new soundpost is cheap in comparison to fitting a soundpost patch for a crack in the top.
  6. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    I totally agree that a luthier is the best way to go. But every working/travelling (as opposed to a part time or amateur) musician should know how to replace and/or adjust a fallen sound post ( recutting and installing a new one with a new dowel is another thing! I have never had to do that). Believe me, a fallen sound post always happens at the most inconvenient time. As for having your bass checked every couple of months, I personally, don't know any pros who do that or have the time to do that. And finding a luthier, and particularly, finding one who will drop everything he is already doing for a "quick adjustment" is difficult. I don't know if you are aware of it, but you luthiers are scarce as hen's teeth;)

    Did you understand my "moon phases simile in my above post? If I'm wrong I'll delete it, but it's worked for me for fifty years.
  7. mirwa


    Aug 4, 2012
    Australia - Perth
    If you have purchased a kit for reseating the post, I recommend if you have not already done so, practice knocking it down and reseating.

    If you have not had some practice, it can be daunting to do it the first time, especially if you add the pressures of a performance waiting for you.

    You will also have the opportunity to tell if it is too tight as well, pay attention before you knock it down, as to exactly, where it currently sits in relation to your bridge feet



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