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What does the lower body horn do for...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Colonel_Claypoo, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Colonel_Claypoo

    Colonel_Claypoo Steve Harris nut

    Oct 24, 2007

    i was wondering. some are as small as the thumb has it and some are bigger.
    can they be as long as desired or what's optimal for balance if it has something to do with it?

  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Lower horn helps when sitting.
  3. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    The lower horn on my older Cort Curbow was almost non-existant. Basically UN-helpful, when sitting. LOL
  4. Colonel_Claypoo

    Colonel_Claypoo Steve Harris nut

    Oct 24, 2007
    ok thanks, that seems the only importance of the lower body horn.
  5. So for those of you who've done a lot of sitting with a lot of instruments, I'd be interested in knowing how much of a lower horn there needs to be. I'm working on my first bass and in the design there is no horn at all, only a dent for the knee. I tried making it out of particle board and it sat fine, but after reading this, I'm worried it may not.

  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    The problem with the Curbows is not necessarily the size of the horn but rather (at least mostly) its position. It is farther from the nut and closer to the bridge than on any other bass I've seen, so that puts the "leg resting curve" too far over.
  7. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    You know, I read the title and thought this was a question about birds and bees :eek:
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    On a bass, you can have great upper fret access or large lower horn to play sitting, both can't be done. You have to make a choice at some point. Curbows offer fantastic access to highs but you can't play them sitting unless you wear a strap of sit them between you legs, classical guitar style.
    Actually, some basses such as the Zon Hyperbass or Danelectro Longhorn offer both great access and large horn to play sitting but you can't do both at the same time.
  9. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008
    Yes, I've had the same problem on a bass that I built. the position where it naturally sits on your leg is the key, not necessarily the size of the horn. Too far towards the bridge and the neck will dive when it's on your lap.

    I think you can do both at the same time, but it usually looks pretty ugly. a large long horn with lots cut away for access to the neck can work.

    The bass I've currently got in the works deals with the problem differently. pickguard.

    I figure that design will hang on the strap the same way standing or sitting and will have great upper fret access. Really, I think the upper horn is required to play comfortably, and is the reason many people don't like small bodied basses like steinbergers, but really who needs the bottom half?
  10. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    This is the way I handled the issue. Some may not like the shape/design but it works for me and the customer.
  11. Colonel_Claypoo

    Colonel_Claypoo Steve Harris nut

    Oct 24, 2007
    haha that made me laugh really hard and i' glad you got the hidden message, hahaha:p

    i think another bass with great lower horn design and accesibility is the Nordstrand NX model such as this beauty here: NX7big.

    it might be a little to close to the bridge though...
  12. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca

    Huh, for a second there I thought that was a Cliff Bordwell bass by the type/quality of the photo. I really dig that design, as I lean towards the traditional lower-horn-for-sitting/playing. Still, I'm also willing to supplement with a slightly higher strap setting...ie: if there is less access to the upper register due to the lower horn being attached further along the neck (toward the nut), I'll raise the strap a bit to allow my hand to curl around more which gives me reach all the way down to the lowest string.

    Aesthetically, I don't dig the hornless basses (I've got one of those Hohner Steinberger copy basses from the late 80's and love the sound, hate the look).
  13. Arx


    Jan 22, 2008
    Yeah, that looks pretty similar to my first bass as far as position goes.

    It is a bit close to the bridge. ;)
  14. dblbass

    dblbass Commercial User

    Mar 24, 2007
    Beacon, NY
    Owner of MBJ guitars, Maker of fine sawdust for Carl Thompson Guitars
  15. Joey.Ogden


    Aug 11, 2008
    Hey, my bass does that. If you just rest it on your leg it balances perfectly at about a 5 degree angle.

    My solution was instead of a big horn, to do a big cut.
  16. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    Funny... Ive been working with some models I have in my head and I came with this one with no horn... not sure about how good will be its balance but I really like how it looks :D

  17. ^ :eek:

    That thing is both awesome and eye-straining at the same time.
  18. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    hahaha it's a fanned fretless
  19. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    Actually it won't (if I build it). I'm just too lazy to model every single fret :p
  20. cmewhinney


    Jul 11, 2008
    Concord, NH
    Somebody ordered a 10 string fanned fret unlined fretless from Chris Stambaugh a while back. I can't find a picture, but it was an absolute monster! Not sure how you would play it though!

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