Jump to content

Lightening a bass


fryer
 Share

Recommended Posts

I currently play a Hofner Club - semi-acoustic, light weight, 30" scale.

But I want a solid, 30" scale bass - but with a light weight.

I was thinking of getting a Hagstrom HB 4, which meets the above but is heavy, as it's mahogany.

So I was thinking of routing some holes in the back to remove some wood, and making some scratchplates to cover the holes.

Apart from the looks and resale value, would this damage the bass ? I would put the holes away from the neck, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many basses have air chambers for this reason but are done at the build stage and then plated with the facing, typically, so you'd never know they were there.

But the whole point of mahogany is its density in this case, so I would think you could affect the sound...and you may not know how much until you have done this..

Is this a neck through bass..?

Edited by JTUK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taking material out of the body will change the sound of the bass. How, will be unknown until you do it.

TBH by the time you've removed enough material to make it as light as your other bass it will be to intents and purposes a hollow body and will probably also suffer form neck-dive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can pretty much guarantee that hacking lumps of wood out of any acoustic or semi acoustic instrument is going to screw up the sound.
There's also a really good chance that you'll damage the mechanical integrity of the instrument as well.

Removing lumps of wood from the back of the bass is not going to have a significant impact on the weight of the instrument.
Just buy a light weight instrument if you think it's that important!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Provided you don't remove material from the line of the neck to the bridge it won't noticeably affect the sound or the strength of the instrument. Losing body weight will increase neckdive but this can be countered to am extent by thoughtful placement if the rear strap button and lightweight tuners.
I've just built a theme bass which weighs in at a stunning 6.6 lbs - the neckdive is stupid but somehow due to the overall lightweightness it doesn't matter when you are playing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Erm - looking at the spec of the HB4 it only weighs about 8.5lbs.

There's a thread on here discussing different weight basses and the lightest one's are coming in at about the 8lb mark...

To be honest, I don't really see the point in butchering an instrument that only weighs 8.5lbs to begin with...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='icastle' post='1133126' date='Feb 19 2011, 10:10 AM']You can pretty much guarantee that hacking lumps of wood out of any acoustic or semi acoustic instrument is going to screw up the sound.
There's also a really good chance that you'll damage the mechanical integrity of the instrument as well.

Removing lumps of wood from the back of the bass is not going to have a significant impact on the weight of the instrument.
Just buy a light weight instrument if you think it's that important![/quote]

I wasn't gonna take an axe to it !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='Ou7shined' post='1133267' date='Feb 19 2011, 12:20 PM']Provided you don't remove material from the line of the neck to the bridge it won't noticeably affect the sound or the strength of the instrument. Losing body weight will increase neckdive but this can be countered to am extent by thoughtful placement if the rear strap button and lightweight tuners.
I've just built a theme bass which weighs in at a stunning 6.6 lbs - the neckdive is stupid but somehow due to the overall lightweightness it doesn't matter when you are playing it.[/quote]

Any pictures ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='icastle' post='1133337' date='Feb 19 2011, 01:15 PM']Erm - looking at the spec of the HB4 it only weighs about 8.5lbs.

There's a thread on here discussing different weight basses and the lightest one's are coming in at about the 8lb mark...

To be honest, I don't really see the point in butchering an instrument that only weighs 8.5lbs to begin with...[/quote]

Hmmm, I didn't realise it was only 8.5 lbs. I've got an HB8 which feels really heavy, so I assumed the 4 would be similar. I'll check.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='fryer' post='1133524' date='Feb 19 2011, 04:06 PM']Now that I like. Who was Russ ballard ?[/quote]
My brother had an album by him when I was a teenager which is why I remember the guitar. While he was a musician in his own right he was best known as a songwriter - God Gave Rock n Roll To You/ Since You Been Gone/ I Surrender - that's just the one's I know of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't know whether you prefer shortscale because of less reach, or less weight,
but I was having back problems etc. and also found the longer reach painful.

So I hunted around for lightweight bass, and found myself a Ibanez SR500.

Not only does it weigh only 7lbs, I was staggered as to how it feels to play.
It feels like you are playing a guitar rather than a bass, and the reach is similar to a shortscale bass.

I urge you to try one, not only is it the easiest bass I have ever played,
it sounds absolutely amazing too, and is very versatile.

You really don't notice the weight at all, trust me, I've had back problems for years,
and was considering giving up until I found this little beauty.

You should be able to find one second hand for around £250/300.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='fryer' post='1133525' date='Feb 19 2011, 04:07 PM']Any pictures ?[/quote]
So far only the one (I've only just finished it) and I was very drunk when I took it.

This is what a group of Basschatters look like at 4 in the morning. :)
[attachment=72725:IMAG0019.jpg]

It's the one hanging on the wall looking for all the world like it doesn't neckdive.... and yes it is what you think it is. I called this project The Pee Bass. :)

I'll bung up a build diary soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously they are at the other end of the bass but it might worth seeing if Hipshot have any ultralite tuners that would fit.

You could weigh one of your existing tuners and compare weights.

They can make a huge difference to some basses (and would help compensate if you do decide to remove weight from the body of the bass).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...