trouble in in the back HELP

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by BrandonTurner, Jan 25, 2003.

  1. HELP!! So this evening after work I went to practice and I took my bass out ( 1880's tryrolean flatback). I bowed and there was no volume!!! I was like "what the @#$% !" I looked down at my bass and through the F holes I could see the carpet. The back of my bass had popped badly! About the whole bottom left side had come off. It will be a little bit before I can see my luthier and I am obviously not going to play it, but should I take the strings and bridge off? Take the sound post out?
    I am also an aspiring luthier so I would like to bounce my theory on why this happened off some pro's. I bought the bass last april in arizona. I live in maine. It had been restored out there with new back braces and several other things. By the looks of the way it popped off, it is because the back braces bowed. Not a simple seam pop, because I can't even push the back to touch the ribs. Probably because of the brutal cold and dryness that we have had here. But did these braces bow because they were green wood? Am I right? Or does this happen to all back braces? Also is there a good way to tell if it is green wood? Is there anything I can do?
    Any help is appreciated!!!
    Thanks !!!
    Brandon Turner
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    This happened to a Lakeberg and Baer that we have at work. We called a luthier and he told us to take the tension off the strings and let the sound post drop - post haste!

    Then take it to him for repair...
  3. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    I'd bet the luthier out west who did the work had his shop humidified. (He'd be crazy NOT to.) I'd also bet you've experienced extremely low humidity this winter, and that has caused the back to buckle. It's probably made the post REALLY tight, and that contributed to pushing the back seam apart. I doubt the repairperson would have been dumb enough to use green wood. But I'd like to know what the sizes of the crossbars are. I've seen a number of flatbacks braced insufficiently for the harsh U.S. winters.

    For now, take off the strings and bridge, knock the post down, and get the bass in a very humidified room for a week or so (50-55%). The back should calm down, and you may avoid expensive repairs and merely need to have the seam re-glued. Don't be shocked if it takes a fair amount of pressure to re-close. The tension will equalize in a short while if the bass is kept humidified and the post fits properly. In your area, I recommend 35-40% humidity in the winter. You will almost definately need seperate summer and winter soundposts.
  4. A question for Arnold.
    I've heard of this use of two soundposts ,one for summer and one for winter. One prominent bassist said in an interview that he didn't use risers on the bridge ,but changed his soundpost according to the weather. The thing is, how do you know when to change. Is changing at a fixed date feasable, as the weather here is changable (sometimes by the hour).
    Seriously though, is there a humidity /temperature guideline?
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    And this is another reason why solid EUBs are popular!! ;)
  6. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
  7. Me thinks this man has his head where the light is unable to penetrate. Why have a toy when you can have the real thing?

    Gee that was fun.
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I just had a thought...I have an "acoustic bass" voice on my little cheapo Yamaha keyboard... I think I'll just start using that on all my gigs. It'll be so much easier than carrying that big old DB all over the place, and I'm sure that no one will be able to tell the difference. I dunno why I didn't think of that sooner!:rolleyes:
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Ha - it is just too easy to wind you guys up!! :rolleyes: