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soundpost pic

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Jeff Bollbach, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I thought this a fun picture. Hopefully you can make it out. This is taken thru the eff and is a mirror image of a poorly fit post. The gap between the post and the top plate is about 1.5 mm. This is what happens when a post is fit in ten minutes. You don't want to see this if you look in your bass.
  2. Man, fitting a soundpost perfectly has got to be a helluva tough job.
  3. kip


    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca

    An area luthier that has done some very good set-up work for me mentioned that he would like to make a new soundpost for me. He hand shapes his soundposts and "chalk fits" them. I sort of know what this means, but would appreciate a description from one of you experts. Thanks, Kip

    (yeehaw, 99 and 1/2 just won't do. Just noticed this is post 100.)
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Kip, ever had a filling done at the dentist? After he's done filling the cavity, he puts a piece of carbon paper in your mouth and asks you to bite and grind just a little bit. What this does is show him where the high spots are in the filling -- the high spots will be marked by the carbon paper. (I just asked my dentist last week exactly what he uses. Answer: carbon paper.)

    Luthiers, woodoworkers, machinists -- anyone making something that has to fit just so -- use chalk, powdered graphite, carbon paper, any kind of clean marking substance. You snick off the high spots and repeat the process until the whole piece is marked evenly.

    I'm a cabinetmaking luthier wannabe. When planing surfaces flat, I use chalk to mark high spots. I keep on snicking until the thing is flat.

    I just thought I'd quickly answer this 'cause I know Jeff is busy carving a fish head for his next bass.
  5. Off the topic a little bit, but just quickly; what is an average price to have a luthier fit a new soundpost?
  6. kip


    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca
    "I just thought I'd quickly answer this 'cause I know Jeff is busy carving a fish head for his next bass." [/B][/QUOTE]

    Thanks, Damon, well explained. Seems to me though, carving a fish head for a bass would be redundant.

    Tick,Tick,Tick, several minutes later. Oh, I get it. Just read Jeff's off-topic thread.
  7. Originally posted by HIP:
    "most bass already have a fish head."

    Some fish have a bass head.

  8. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Jeffie--nice pic. Far from the worst I've ever seen, though. I thought it worth mentioning that a luthier can fit a soundpost perfectly, but if someone moves the post, or twists it just a wee bit, that thing is not going to fit, and can look as bad as the one in the pic. Most players don't realize that a soundpost touching the top on an edge can split that top right open if the bass is manhandled...
  9. dthibodeau


    Sep 11, 2003
    Nice picture. I understand the importance of the post's fit at the top and back and how this can be determined using the methods described.

    In other posts, we here that if the post is to tight, the top cracks, if it is to loose, the top sinks.

    What I would like to know from the luthiers is how do we determine the length of the sound post? How tight should the post be fitting? Can you describe how you determine this?
  10. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    The post should wedge in place with just enough pressure so that it will stand in place if you were to gently rotate the instrument.

  11. Too True. What is even scarier is meeting a player that isn't even aware they have a soundpost.... you point out that something is wrong with it and the reply they give is "what's a soundpost?" Granted, I havn't had this happen too often with bass players (when it has they are usually quite new to URB), but I've had it happen frequently with violinists (ha, i guess there is a reason they play violin:D )

    Jeff - How did you take that pic? Any special tricks? Or did you just zoom in and light it through the other F hole?

  12. ...um, without tension on the strings... (I hope... :eek: )

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