Jump to content
AngelDeVille

Double bass fingerboard radius?

Recommended Posts

Is there a common range for a Double bass or cello fingerboard radii?

 

The reason I ask,

I offered to do a fretless conversion on a Harmony electric bass, and the owner is very experienced with a DB and cello, and I would like to make the conversion noteworthy.

 

Thank you for your input!

Angel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DaveFry said:

Is the owner expecting to be able to use a bow on the electric bass ?

No, any radius changes will be a surprise, and limited by the existing bridge adjustability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, AngelDeVille said:

No, any radius changes will be a surprise, and limited by the existing bridge adjustability.

If it's a normal BBOT bridge, or even something more fancy, you're unlikely to get anywhere near the radius of a double bass. I suppose you could add some longer grub screws to gain height, but obviously the higher the saddle, the greater angle between the saddle and the terminus, resulting in tension changes and the risk of snapping. If you were aiming for a slightly more exaggerated radius to the board than on a Fender, like maybe 7" or so, then you might get the bridge to match without modifying it too much, otherwise you're looking at a bespoke bridge solution too. 

Edited by DanOwens
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, AngelDeVille said:

No, any radius changes will be a surprise, and limited by the existing bridge adjustability.

I'm wondering if "surprises" are a good idea when working on instruments for others.  It seems like one to discuss with the owner. 

If you do go for a smaller radius, the fingerboard thickness may be an issue, since most electric bass fingerboards are quite thin already, and a smaller radius would thin it further at the edges. Of course, if you're replacing the board rather than just defretting and filling the slots, you could address that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Beer of the Bass said:

I'm wondering if "surprises" are a good idea when working on instruments for others.  It seems like one to discuss with the owner. 

If you do go for a smaller radius, the fingerboard thickness may be an issue, since most electric bass fingerboards are quite thin already, and a smaller radius would thin it further at the edges. Of course, if you're replacing the board rather than just defretting and filling the slots, you could address that.

I have mentioned I could try to make it more rounded, and she seemed to like the idea.

This is a bass she got at a garage sale and the imperfect intonation of the frets offends her perfect ear.  I am doing a conversion on one of my basses and offered to "practice" on hers.

I have not seen the offending guitar yet, but fretboard thickness will also be a factor. 

Also some of the import guitars had lighter wood dyed to look like rosewood so color will also factor in. From speaking with her it could be from the late 70's.

I'm also not sure what radius it currently wears. it could already be 7.5" and I wouldn't go further than that.

I'll be using black styrene to fill the slots, and dyeing the board as dark as I can get it to make it look as lineless as possible. And making an ebony nut.

 

I was going to get a set of sanding blocks already but I wasn't planning to get a 7.5".   Most of mine are 9.5" 10" or 12".

Edited by AngelDeVille

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Double Bass and Cello radii are tiny.  The radius on my double bass is about 3.5 inches (and being set up for Jazz is moderately flat!).  Cello tighter still.  And they both have "romberg bevels" too.  I've never seen an electric bass that was like that!  It is indeed to make bowing possible, though on the double bass it does allow you to dig in very nicely.

Having played the 'cello for 16 years or so before getting my first electric bass, I do still find the electric bass fingerboard a bit flat (especially on my 5-string) but it's no biggie.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
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.   Paste as plain text instead

  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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...