Strange soundpost placement/do i move it?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by groooooove, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    i had a luthier look over my bass to check for cracks and all that jazz. no cracks or anything major, but my soundpost is in a bit of a strange place. it's seated on top of a cleat from a repair, and it's too close to the foot of the bridge- infact i think it's partially directly under the foot.

    the luthier that looked over the bass basically said if i like the sound of my bass, just leave it. "strange things sometimes work really well for a given bass." i totally agree with him.

    but, as im sure you'll all understand, i'm curious if my bass will sound better if it's moved into the standard placement. it's likely that the bass would need a new post made if i want to move it.

    curious to hear if anyone has had a similar situation, and if you would move it or not.

    i tried just now to get a photo of it, but with the mirror inside the F-hole it's pretty tough to get a photo that really shows what it looks like. i'll try again later. as a side note, i dont plan on doing anything myself and will take the bass to a qualified bass luthier if i decide to do anything.
  2. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    How large is the cleat on the back? Is it a fully carved bass? Is there sinkage under the treble bridge foot?
  3. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    the cleat is on the top, thats why its hard to photograph, i can only see it if i use a mirror under the top.

    i can't really tell how large it is... but the post is half on top of it, and half not. as far as i can tell there's no sinkage under the treble foot. the bass is an 1880's fully carved german bass, that was fully restored by Kolstein around 10 or so years ago.
  4. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
  5. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    That may be an inset soundpost patch, although it's hard to say from the pics. IMO the internet is a poor substitute for hands-on advice so trust your luthier or get a second opinion.
  6. Go with your luthier's advice. He does this for a living, correct?

    I can think of two reasons for that soundpost placement; one, because the bass sounds good where the post is set, and two, because whoever repaired the top and fitted the post was most confident in the integrity of the repair with the post placed on the cleats which are reinforcing the compromised top at that high-stress point of contact.

    Several years ago I rebuilt a bass whose major problems included a huge soundpost crack in the top. I fitted a 2-by-3" overlaid patch with tapered edges and trimmed the post accordingly because I wasn't skilled enough to fit an inlaid patch.

    It held nicely during the three years I owned the repaired bass and, when the new owner had the bass inspected by a bass luthier, he pronounced the instrument healthy.
  7. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    yes, he's a full-time, very respected pro.

    the thing is- the advice he had was basically that if we leave it the bass will sound how it does, and if we move it we'll get a new (possibly better?) result.

    is there anything specific one would expect to change in moving the soundpost from there to the "normal" spot? that's the real essense of my question, since the luthiers advice was that either way works.

    thanks for the info and oppinions thus far, guys.
  8. Specific like always knowing you can add sugar to spaghetti sauce to make it less acidic?

    Not really. Every bass is unique.

    There are general outcomes that usually happen when you move the post north, south, east or west in relation to the bridge foot but no specific rules.
    groooooove likes this.