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Posts posted by itu

  1. The basics behind this tension thing is to replace thickness (gauges) with tension. Instead of 40/60/80/100 with equal tension is a nobrainer. I think you just have to understand these together, as we have been discussing decades about gauges and gauges only. Another thing is that do you need this one number of tension, or can you live with several thickness numbers and those varying lbs.

  2. Few simple searches:


    Aria Pro II Avante series 6 string fretless Steve Bailey signature model

    - Seymour Duncan Basslines pickups

    - active electronics

    - ebony fingerboard

    - sunburst ash body

    - a push-pull volume/mute knob


    Steve Bailey: "Almost all were tobacco burst with basslines fundamental fretless pickups. There were 4 and 5rs as well as fretted 4, 5, 6... mine were all "stock" except the prototypes. Some were heavier than others."

  3. 3 hours ago, fretmeister said:

    Should probably also mention that the double bass was originally a 3 string IIRC.

    Now dear @fretmeister you should go to the end of the previous page and take another look.

    The whole question about the amount of strings is pretty meaningless. Should you say to a pianist, that there are too many keys in a piano? And a Bösendorfer grand piano is for posers only, because there are two extra keys. Oh dear...

    top40 music.jpeg

    • Haha 2

  4. Let's start with a picture that is over 300 years old:


    You can see frets and seven strings in the hands of Marin Marais. How do you see the bass has really evolved over time?

    Double basses and basses have this ancestor called viola da gamba. (Gamba family is not the same as violin family. Double bass is definitely not a big violin. NO!) We know that gambas and double basses have had several strings as well as frets. Players have used bow and certainly different kinds of plectra. Again, what is new here? Is four strings actually a step backwards, or rather a simplification of the instrument?

    Maybe a bigger question is that even the one string washtub basses have been used with success. It is not the instrument, but the player. Technology does not make music, we do.

    • Like 2

  5. I started with piano at the age of 5. I think I tried to learn it for 13 years with no success. I found guitar when I was 15 or 16, but my school mate listened to me and said: "You are so big and ugly, you should play bass."

    True as it was, I bought a black 1974 4001 from Rose Morris, £400. I was 17. Then went to another music school, and even learned something. I still play in few bands after all these years. I cannot quit playing.

    • Like 2

  6. All components between the pickup and the amp cut higher frequency content. This is an issue with a high impedance circuitry. It can be tweaked with no load components and switches (rotary, too), if needed.

    Audio = log taper for vol. Linear or log for tone. Bigger resistance (250 kohm - 1 Mohm), more highs, and a bit different behaviour when turning the pot.

    For blend the MN type is good. The tapers are cut in the middle position.

  7. If the instrument you are after exists, go for that. If the instrument must look like a Sadowsky, buy a Sadowsky. But if you have a vision of your dream tool, consider a luthier. Talk to the pro and check, whether you get along. If you don't, the instrument will not be your baby.

    You already have an instrument or few. Put them in front of you and ask yourself what is wrong with them. Are those issues adjustable by a luthier? Then you could get a semi-custom, that can be your dream bass.

    There are many details to be considered like weight, neck profile, string spacing, colours, shapes, hardware, half-fretted, your possible anatomic issues (hands, back, neck...), and so on. Your (limited) abilities to transfer the ideas to an actual custom instrument (or a semi-custom one) is the reason you have to be able to discuss every detail with the maker. If you do not get the connection, go elsewhere.

    Once more: if you want something that exists, go for that. That is far cheaper than building a copy of it.

    • Like 1

  8. Dear @Hellzero,

    I understand that he has done lots of theoretic work (Biot-Savart is one of the most known, even I am aware of it). The difference between theory and practice can be clarified today with modern tools and methodology. The thing is that we should be able to understand the practical differences.

    @Dan Dare put it right: most of the things happen in the electronics. Still, there are finesses that can be refined to get the best out of any instrument. Is spruce good in an electric, too (Sadowsky is using it)? Which woods should be mated together in a bolt-on? Do them matter? And so on.

    I hate the word magic, because there is no magic in luthierie. There certainly are skilled persons that have found some mixtures through trial and error. Could their work be enhanced further? And this is the point where modern tech could reveal at least some recipes. Now, who wants to have a bad instrument? Hands up, please!

  9. Dear @Hellzero,

    The issue is that M. Savart died 1841. His studies do not cover the electric bass, although it is nearly as old construction as he is... Yes, I have studied acoustic instruments' acoustics a bit, but those constructions are really old. These modern logs are of interest, here. Structural analysis would be the tool, but who has done such research today?

    • Like 1

  10. I have had the opportunity to play many different basses. As an example, Steinberger looks tempting, but its neck profile is terrible to my hands. I do not have to buy one. Glad I have tried one. This internet thing has changed the availability of the basses. I still see some new stuff that I haven't ever played before. ...could try something - why wouldn't I give it a try, if the price is right?

  11. After studying acoustics and music years back, I think I might have a compromise in mind when people try to argue, sorry, talk about tonewoods. Every part vibrates, when they receive energy. Some parts vibrate more, some less, some have several vibrating modes.

    One thing is the material. It absorbs (dampens) certain amount of energy from the strings.

    Another is the construction. Chladni patterns, anyone? The shapes absorb something, and the placements of the parts have an effect on the absorption. Bridges can be in very different places of the body. That big paddle with tuners is one tuned construction part of the whole instrument. Thicknesses vary, too.

    Wood is so uneven, that if the shape is exact, two parts are still not the same. I discussed this with a luthier (ac. guit.) who has built around 1 000 guitars. He said that when he finds a very good example of wood and makes two guitars out of the same log, they sound different, no matter what.

    It would be lovely to do some research on (or read about one) where the bridge should be (take a look at the acoustic instruments), and how the headstock (Steinberger...), or body shapes tune the sound. Come on, structural analysis might reveal some interesting details from our dear instruments. What might the "tuned" instrument look like?

    • Like 3

  12. Mr. @GisserD has done 3D-printed plastic boxes for FI.

    If you need a plain box, put that original C M box to the brake fluid for few days and you should have one paintless box at hand. There are accurate holes and everything in place.

    Changing a pot is not a mission impossible. Ask any colleague nearby, or your friend with an iron.

    • Like 1

  13. I would start with the cab. My personal favourites are 2 x 10", 4 x 10", and 2 x 12". Smaller simply sounds smaller, two 1 x 12" do not feel the same as a 2 x 12".

    When the cab has been found, I would go for the amp.

    Budgetwise I would put £550 - 700 to the cab, and the rest to the amp. Used gear is a good option. Barefaced, tks, Bergantino etc. Ashdown may be pretty heavy, but so is the sound, too. Glockenklang is somewhat rare, but the sound...

  14. Buy a new set of strings. Clean the instrument completely. Change the battery. Tune it. Take a good look at your instrument few feet away. Think about what could you do with your tool. Make a schedule on paper of your future wishes.

    In short:

    Clean your tools. 

    Stop for a while to think.

    Start your mission.

    Revise from time to time by starting all over.


    • Like 3

  15. 6 hours ago, Tone Deaf said:

    What's the difference between a preamp and an opamp and should I consider one over the other?

    Do you know why you wouldn't produce an array with say 20mm and 50mm for say an acoustic bass? would that be something to do with the phase discrepancy as mentioned by TwoTimesBass?

    Did you have a look at the diagram I uploaded?

    An operational amplifier is a component inside a preamp. A preamp may be a floor box or a unit inside your instrument. Some common opamps are TL07x (x=1/2/4, depending on the "channels" within one part), NE5534, OPA-series, and so on. You have to check their specifications from their respective datasheets. It is common to do trials with different opamps, if they are pin compatible. Quite many are.

    I would say that one or two disks is enough, a bigger array has phase issues and may require sophisticated mixing system. Most of the data is captured with one. Another story is if you buy a bridge with individual piezo saddles and drive each channel to a MIDI system or have other special needs. For effects like handling noises you can use several, but the mixing needs preamps for each channel. It is true there are many piezo systems with a piece of ceramic under each string and they are just in parallel. Trial and error...

    I took a quick look and the circuitry is based on a FET (2N5457; these have very high input impedance by nature), and I have a hunch that this might work.

    About immersion: nearly two decades ago I was a bit involved in a research project, where big piezos where studied. They were something like over 10 mm thick. Impossible to get, because they were meant for very low speed communication between submarinesor like. The result: no project output because of the costs and availability. Those were the days.

  16. First of all, I cannot see the need for more than one or two piezos. One/two piezos under the bridge, and that's it. If you want to use several, consider both placement and active mixing.

    They can be pressed a lot (make a tiny cavity under the bridge or put one to the neckpocket), but bending kills these fragile parts easily. They are usually glued to brass disks and pre-soldered with short wires (buy these!). If your deal includes disks without wires, I would strongly suggest metal pogos or springs instead of soldering. The lead-titanate material tends to melt accidentally and soldering them is really difficult to master. Believe me, I have tried it several times in professional surroundings.

    Usually FET-based preamps and opamps have so high input impedance that a piezo output is not an issue. I have found out, that the old t c electronic SCF can eat any piezo with ease. Keep the wires short, high impedance is prone to interference.

    The size (diameter) affects frequency response. Very roughly a larger sensor produces more low frequencies and a smaller will be better with higher frequency content. Don't you worry 'bout a thing: your disks are pretty close in size with each other.

    A reasonable impedance measuring system would be expensive.

    • Like 2
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