Vantage VS695B strap button relocation for both neck and bridge

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by MisterUbu, Oct 5, 2020.


  1. MisterUbu

    MisterUbu

    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    (I am not sure if this topic belongs on this forum, if not feel free to move it moderator(s))

    Context: I have an old Matsumoku Vantage I've been playing for a while and anyone who's played these basses know that they are neither ergonomic nor balance well in any way. The bass has the same isses as the long scale Gibson EB basses in that the core ergonomic problems are that they are very neck heavy and that the reach towards the first position is uncomfortably long.

    20201005_154824.jpg
    (how it hangs normally)
    20201005_154858.jpg
    (how it hangs in my regular playing position with the combined effort of my forearm and my left hand holding the neck up)

    After trying many different positions for relocation with tons of painter's/two sided tape I was thinking of moving the top strap button from the upper horn BESIDE the neck heel where the bottom horn is below, similar to an acoustic guitar's neck button location. For the record, I did try to unscrew the top left neck screw to see if I could just hook my strap there and it did work fine enough but I'm considering the added security of a proper strap button since the neck plate screws tend to not be the most reliable.

    20201005_152608.jpg

    In order for it to have an effect to hang the way wanted I noticed that if I also relocate the bridge strap button 3 inches to the left (or 3 inches up if the bass is hanging), it seems to help bring the nut closer to me and hang the bass at a a better angle that doesn't involve me having to hold up the neck all the time. What I found out is that relocating only one strap button doesn't work but when I move both I get better results.

    20201005_152806.jpg
    20201005_154006.jpg
    (both strap buttons in new position)

    This is how the bass would hang after relocation (the strap isn't supposed to be wanting to escape my shoulder I just put it on sloppily for a quick photo):
    20201005_155300 (2).jpg
    (I had a hard time securing the two strap buttons with tape due to the top strap wanting to pull itself out of the spot I was trying to secure it to but I was successfull one or two times)
    20201005_155202 (2).jpg

    My question is, would there anything I might be missing or should watch out for I went ahead and did this? Or are there reasons that I shouldn't do this and consider alternatives?

    The only problems I considered so far are trying to measure the exact spot to drill the top strap button at an angle where the screw does not drill through the neck itself nor hit the top left neck screw and that I'd have to hang my bass lower than what I'm used to in terms of my right hand (left would just be playing at a steeper angle)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    I personally am not one for putting extra holes in my basses. There was a couple of threads where people showed brackets they bolted either in place of or on top of the neck plate to give an attaching point further up the neck that also would not impede you hand moving up the neck. They seemed like less invasive ways to deal with your issue rather then drilling holes in what looks like a pretty good bass. Have a look through this thread 12th fret neck attached strap button?.
     
  3. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    I would be reluctant to put that neck strap button in that spot. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  4. MisterUbu

    MisterUbu

    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    do you mean something like this?
    upload_2020-9-22_8-21-39-jpeg.jpg
    I looked through all sorts of threads talking about the issue and this is another option I'm considering but I can't seem to find these types of neckplates anywhere without having someone machine me that exact shape. Plus I find the neck strap position doesn't get in the way too much of the fretting hand than if I straight up relocated it to the lower horn
     
    JIO likes this.
  5. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Yeah general idea. There have been several different ways shown by others.
     
  6. MisterUbu

    MisterUbu

    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    What would your reasoning be? I fear that putting it there would cause a certain kind of stress within the wood between the heel and in a rather thin spot of the wood, and it would get caught in the top screw if I'm not careful with the drilling. Another fear I got is holding up is the entire weight of the bass in that spot due to the weight being concentrated there.
     
    wraub likes this.
  7. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    These crossed my mind, along with that, for me, it'd get in the way. I play a lot of chords and random stuff, I play up there a lot.

    But, structurally, to me it raises possible issues.





     
  8. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    I don't think there's a lot to gain by the location of the neck button, over just mounting it to the neck plate screw. They are an inch apart, and the neck plate screw mount is invisible and reversible.

    Just take that neck plate screw out and take it with you to Canadian Tire, and pick up one that is the same thickness, but 1/4" longer. If it won't fit through the strap button, drill out the button hole a bit - it will still be plenty strong there to support the bass.

    If this isn't enough, then move the tail button as well. But I would not move the buttons and leave holes, I'd pick up another set of buttons and mount the new ones in these new locations, leaving the old ones where they lie. :thumbsup:
     
  9. I have done both of the things people have mentioned above. I’ve used the top, outside neck screw for a strap button mount and mounted a strap button into the end of the neck pocket on the body sort of parallel to the neck centerline. Both have worked fine. I haven’t been a jump off of the monitors and crowd surf player in quite a few years (if I ever was :rolleyes:) so I can’t guarantee anything if you’re pretty “physical” on stage but you’d probably be fine.

    Also, moving the bridge strap button up like you suggested can make a big difference as well.
     
  10. MisterUbu

    MisterUbu

    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    I might just do this, I got a spare set of strap buttons and I'm more comfortable drilling into the far thicker bridge side than the neck. I'll see if I can get a screw to fit a button on the top left and I'll get back to this thread. Otherwise I'm open to more suggestions
     
    wraub and Beej like this.
  11. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    I second going in through the neck plate, per Beej. ;)
     
    Beej likes this.
  12. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    1st., I am 100% envious. I loved my Vantage so much. My first decent bass. Very cool. They didn't do the old trick of drawing the upper to the 12th fret. You could try the easy cheat of a wider suede strap. It's not so heavy that it wouldn't help. Doesn't eliminate the dive but certainly slows it down.
     
  13. MisterUbu

    MisterUbu

    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    Funny you mention, I got a 4 inch Walker and Williams strap that I use primarily for this bass because it's actually quite heavy. Its overkill but it works for everything The first strap (or what's not about to fall off) is pretty grippy in of it's own right and is what I use in order to test out other basses, the issue with the vantage is that without a grippy strap the dive is even worse than the first picture 16020274758604424189420512026332.jpg
     
  14. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I know, I hear you. It's a long neck on a short body. You could go old school and do a tie type strap or but a button on the head stock. Nobody will know but you. Just make a measurement because some straps won't be long enough. I bet you could find something pretty easily of you looked. And I also bet Italia Leather Straps or someone else would make you one if you asked. Good luck to you. That Vantage is too cool to be frustrated with but you're fighting physics the way it is.
     
  15. MisterUbu

    MisterUbu

    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    Update: I went to my local hardware store for a first trip to find longer neck plate screws, I added it to the spot I was talking about and lengthened my strap to wrap on top of the rear end of the body and found a half solution!
    16020283565857917839722086594191.jpg
     
    wraub, Slidlow, Beej and 1 other person like this.
  16. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Vancouver Island
    Side note, I had the same shirt in grade 8. 1983. :thumbsup:
     
    MisterUbu likes this.
  17. MisterUbu

    MisterUbu

    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    UPDATE (not sure if this counts as a necro): I commissioned @JIO to machine me a neck plate extension for my bass and I gotta say I found a proper solution!
    _DSC0056.jpg
    The bass now hangs much more comfortably both sitting and standing due to the strap position being moved to the 12th fret.
    _DSC0061.jpg
     
    rwkeating, wraub, mcnach and 3 others like this.
  18. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    Glad to help/inspire a fellow bass player to play his bass! :) rock-on! :bassist:
     
    wraub likes this.
  19. JIO

    JIO Connery... Sean Connery Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    The Mission SF/CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    The strap over the lower bout is a good/easy solution for helping to stabilize a bass that has a tendency to neck-dive. I do this on my '64 T-bird. It is a neck-tru so it doesn't have the plate-holes for adding an extension.

    upload_2021-1-14_10-15-30.jpeg
    On my Deadlybird II Fenderbird w/bolt on neck, I made a similar extension for it.
    upload_2021-1-14_10-19-13.jpeg
    I've also developed a removable extension using Dunlop Strap-Loks but it requires physically adapting the neck pocket. I did this because the bass will not fit in a form-fit case (like an Epi case) with the extension on. It's easy off, easy on and very secure.
    upload_2021-1-14_10-23-44.jpeg

    upload_2021-1-14_10-25-22.jpeg
     
    Matt Liebenau and Beej like this.
  20. MisterUbu

    MisterUbu

    Feb 25, 2020
    Toronto, Canada
    In case anyone's curious, here's better pictures of what the plate extension looks like:
    _DSC0050.jpg
    _DSC0052.jpg
     
    rwkeating, mcnach, JIO and 1 other person like this.
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    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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