1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

What is the effect of the ribs on the sound?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by bssist, Oct 5, 2013.


  1. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I'm curious about the effect that the ribs have on the overall sound of the bass. It is clear that even small differences on the top can make huge differences in the sound. I have read of "trap doors" being cut into bouts for sound post access, etc. If I mounted a wireless transmitter or an fdeck pre to the plywood rib near the end block or in the bout would it effect the sound?

    Thanks
     
  2. I can't speak specifically to what qualities in the ribs/garland affect the sound or feel of a bass, but I cannot imagine mounting an fdeck or wireless transmitter near the lower block would have any real effect on the sound, especially assuming you'll be amplified when you have these accessories mounted, and especially on a plywood rib. I think any change would be almost impossible to notice, and your amplified sound certainly won't suffer for it. On principal, they should be removable so you can take them off when not amplified.
     
  3. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    I'm no luthier, but I am inclined to agree with the above post.

    I would add the caution that you remove the device when transporting or storing the bass- I believe leaving it on could raise the risk of serious damage to the rib.

    Joe
     
  4. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Thanks for the input. That's what I figured but I wanted validation before I put a screw into it, even though it's only a cheap plywood bass.
     
  5. Hey now, you didn't mention a screw! How about some stick on velcro? I don't imagine a small screw or two in a plywood rib would be detrimental to the sound, but even on a cheap bass that flies in the face of the first rule of repairing/modifying/maintaining/messing with your instrument: "first, do no harm". You can fill small screw holes with tooth picks and glue, touch them up with a varnish pen or something, but if you can avoid poking holes in your bass, that's certainly preferable! They'll always be there, and will only hurt resale value (which you might not care about now, but who knows what the future holds!).
     
  6. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    PLEASE say you're messing with us!!!

    Please don't use screws to attach anything to your bass!!!

    Even if we weren't talking about a bass, the rib material is very thin and screwing anything to plywood that thin is asking for trouble!

    I agree with Tyb that Velcro would be cool- we'll prolly catch a lot of heat for that recommendation though!

    Joe
     
  7. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Good information, thanks. If it was just a matter of a removable adhesive I'd have just tried it without worrying about what it does to the sound. I have no qualms about making reversible alterations. Do you have recommendations for attachment means (velcro or otherwise) that will be semi-permanent without doing damage? I need something that will hold up under steady use. Right now I have a x-mitter clipped to the tailwire but it is not solid enough to keep the wiring taught and I expect (wiring) damage as I re-adjust it at every gig to prevent noise. I make several instrument changes and move about quite a bit in each show and need reliability as well as freedom from the "tether" tied to the amp.

    Thanks
     
  8. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    You could use the nice rectangular pieces of peel and stick Velcro that come with preamps/battery bags for acoustic guitar pickups.

    Place it on the bottom of the bass - on the lower ribs right beside the end block. It won't affect the sound or the instrument down there but will be securely fastened and out of the way.

    Good luck!
     
  9. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Awesome, thanks! I'll look for some of that. The bass is an Englehardt, should I do something to de-gloss the area first or will it stick ok as is?
     
  10. swingingoodtime

    swingingoodtime Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    How about using a Velcro strap to hold it against your tailpiece wires (in between your endpin and where they end over the bottom edge of the belly). I used to have an f-deck pre mounted in that way (with a bit of foam in between to avoid rattling).

    Or, thinking about it, you could reverse wrap some Velcro (ie, with the fuzz facing out) around and across the twin tailpiece wires (as if you were bandaging your legs together), to effectively create a 'plane' of Velcro between them. Pin this in place. Then stick the opposite Velcro to the body of your pre and pull it on and off your bass at will.
     
  11. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    It should stick just fine. If you need to remove it, a little lighter fluid will defeat the stickiness and release the bond.
     
  12. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Great thoughts, thanks for the input. However, I have just enough baffling on the Marvin to get a good full, open sound. So much as strapping the Realist jack to it changes the sound drastically. Tone is a bit of an up hill battle on this cheap bass to begin with.

    That's exactly what I needed to know. I think I have a good handle on it now. Thank you.

    And thanks to everyone willing to share your thoughts & experience.
     
  13. 360guy

    360guy Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    Lansing, MI USA
    One other option is a set of strong rare earth magnets. They can pull each other, one on the inside and one on the outside of the rib. Then hook up the mounting straps to the outer magnet.

    One place I buy online that has a wide selection is:
    http://www.kjmagnetics.com/
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.