Suitable material for P. Bass string mute?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Fender32, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    :help: After years of "making do" with a chunk of low density foam (like furniture stuffing) shoved under the bridge of my '62 Precision Bass re-issue, I finally decided this week to try and do the job properly and fit the bridge cover that came with it. The problem is, there's no foam string mute attached to this.

    My question is: Do any of you have any suggestions as to where I could buy the genuine article (if anyone manufactures one), or could anyone suggest where I might find some suitable material of the right density to make one up?

    The foam I'm currently using is too soft, I think and causes a very uneven level of muting if it moves around. As I've never had an original bridge cover, I don't really know how dense the foam's supposed to be (as dense as mouse mat foam, for instance?).

    All suggestions welcomed.

  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I got a real old Jazz bridge cover, and the foam was pretty thick and rubbery...almost spongelike. I would guess that the 'pressure foam' they sell for matresses might be similar density.

  3. The foam used for the "bar" style string dampener was a piece of black neoprene foam rubber. I have some of this if you would like some. The important thing is to get the type with a skin on one side so that it lays against the strings without wrapping around them. You are right in your description of how dense this rubber is - it's got a different feel than most polyfoams. The foam in a mouse pad is actually the same type of rubber and foam but isnt' thick enough nor does it have the right surfaces.

    The material used in jazz basses on their individual string mutes was a thick felt pad. You could do this too by using a piece of whatever foam for the main height and then popping a dot of felt on over each string to even out the sound. I get my felt and felt dots from Home Depot where they sell the furniture slides and tips. The dots for putting under lamps come in different densities and sizes and are pretty cheap and always there.
  4. I swear y'all are psychic! I was going to post the same question about my fretless Jazz Bass. Thanks!
  5. Fender32


    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    :) Hi Hambone. Thanks very much for the info and the kind offer to donate some of this foam. Sadly, I'm over in Germany, so I can't send you a S.A.E. to post it in. Still, at least I know what it is that I'm looking for now! :smug:

    Thanks also to the other members who replied to my query (bass player forums are so much more friendly than other forums I've visited)! :D
  6. johndough247

    johndough247 Supporting Member

  7. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

    Go to any hardware or home building supply and get door insulation. It has adhesive on one side and foam on the other. Comes in a variety of widths and thicknesses.
  8. johndough247

    johndough247 Supporting Member

    yea i figured that was the stuff, i'm trying to figure out how thick...seems like 1/4 inch thick is what i'd need if measuring from string to cover...guess i was trying to figure out what exact thickness Fender used on them. Thanks though!
  9. +1

    I still have the piece I took off my '73 P and it starts 3/8" (10mm) wide and it tapers slightly towards the G string.
  10. johndough247

    johndough247 Supporting Member

    do u mean 'wide' as in from the back of the bridge cover to the front? or 'wide' as in from the string to the top of the cover (which i would describe as thick)?
  11. I mean wide as in paralell to the strings/from the back to the front of the ashtray.
  12. johndough247

    johndough247 Supporting Member

    ok thats fine but more importantly, how thick is it?
  13. I can't seem to find it at the moment (it's in a safe place with the ashtrays!) but I'm 99.9% sure it is 3/8" thick as well.

    About the same as normal door insulation - or draught excluder strip as we call it over here.

    Which of the Vrigin Islands are you from BTW? - I spent many a year sailing around the Islands with NCL (amongst others).
  14. johndough247

    johndough247 Supporting Member

    It's cool, I found some "high density foam tape weatherstrips"...I think that's the stuff, but to me it's not muting as much as I thought it would...used to throwing furniture foam under the strings and that gave more thump.

    Oh and I'm from Tortola...hoped u enjoyed yourself when u passed through :) NCL is the cruise line right?
  15. Correct