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DIY Sponge Mutes

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I've stuck some sponge under the strings on my P-Bass to get a James Jamerson thud and it's working perfectly  but I was wondering, what sponge do you use?  What sponge do you recommend?

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Posted (edited)

There you go.  One of these.

Slice off the green scourer bit at the base with a Stanley knife (Careful!)  You'll have to experiment a bit to find out what thickness of sponge you need to suit both your bass and the amount of damping you want.

 

image.png.7f6106ddbc8ed8417f1b6e636d02313e.png

Edit: Forgot to mention that I've found you may need an additional thickness under your B string on a 5'er.

 

Edited by musicbassman
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There's a lot of choice, but in my experience you get what you pay for in this world.  You might think your bargain Aldi sponge is the bee's knees, but that's only because you've never had the sublime pleasure of muting your strings with a genuine Marks and Spencer dish sponge.  The difference is night and day.  The feel, the build quality, it's on a whole other level.  Once you've experienced the real deal you'll never go back.  On top of that, the resale value will be much better if you ever decide to move it on.

 

 

m&ssponge.png

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Bespoke sponges were known to have been sold on eBay, to some amusement of the BC collective. The reality is they were just cheap foam cut to shape and sold at a silly price. Who'd have thunk it?

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I cut slots in the sponge for the strings to sit in. It stops the intonation going t'pot.

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2 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

I cut slots in the sponge for the strings to sit in. It stops the intonation going t'pot.

Good point.

This is good idea if you're after a decent amount of damping. 

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A spare piece of sponge from an aluminium case lying around in the studio (you know the sort of thing) when the recording engineer wanted to cut out some of the overtones from my F hole hollow body bass. Either that or my muting technique is pants (it probably is.....) and he was too polite to say so.

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9 hours ago, Maude said:

20200331_122810.thumb.jpg.ab0b46f05909fcbdb167e26de527a778.jpg

Is it any good for metal?

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6 minutes ago, ead said:

Is it any good for metal?

Not metal but classic rock, Cream in particular. 😆

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I favour the natural Greek Honeycomb Sea Sponge.

It looks a little obvious under the strings, but hell, ..works like a charm

 

sponge.jpg

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I use the mute a lot and I spotted some of this at work , and it works great, it’s tubular so it fits perfect under the strings 

199F558B-F9AB-4A00-A93D-4EB34CCB6836.png

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Didn't Jamerson use a rolled up tea cloth?

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On 31/03/2020 at 09:51, musicbassman said:

There you go.  One of these.

Slice off the green scourer bit at the base with a Stanley knife (Careful!)  You'll have to experiment a bit to find out what thickness of sponge you need to suit both your bass and the amount of damping you want.

 

image.png.7f6106ddbc8ed8417f1b6e636d02313e.png

Edit: Forgot to mention that I've found you may need an additional thickness under your B string on a 5'er.

 

Does the job perfect I cut them across longest length into 3 roughly inch strips and used to shove one tight upto bridge as possible you still get some clarity yet dulls the tone off enough to get that nice muted tone...does me and I don't change or clean my strings either....I got the nickname 'Sponge Bob' lol when a fellow bassist see me playing my Bass....haven't played for awhile now so just noodling at home for past few years but no foam mute at moment as my style as changed somewhat I tend to play over bridge pick up lately I used to hate that treblier sound but my whole outlook as changed and tend to prefer it now......I think it's watching Bassists like Rufus Philpot and the more modern approach has rubbed off on me.

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I made my own Nordy Mute style thing.

Self Adhesive foam strip and an ice lolly stick. Cut slots to match your bass with a very sharp knife.

Can be put on / taken off really quickly without any faffing.

 

Cost - pennies. The Nordy version is about £40!

 

60959907_10156989411413726_9165639236785

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Posted (edited)

That's quite cool and deffo looks better than my random strip of sponge whose provenance remains uncertain.

Edited by ead

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Just now, linear said:

It's nice, but I prefer a rosewood lollipop stick.

Better for metal of course.

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1 hour ago, fretmeister said:

I made my own Nordy Mute style thing.

Self Adhesive foam strip and an ice lolly stick. Cut slots to match your bass with a very sharp knife.

Can be put on / taken off really quickly without any faffing.

 

Cost - pennies. The Nordy version is about £40!

 

60959907_10156989411413726_9165639236785

You say it cost pence but have you seen the price of Cornettos now.....?

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5 minutes ago, yorks5stringer said:

You say it cost pence but have you seen the price of Cornettos now.....?

Cornettos don't have sticks 🙂

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C'mon guys - your sponge damping is not supposed to look smart!.

My road worn sponge is actually cut from a piece of caravan upholstery from the 60's, so there !

So it's pre CBS and everything....

The Jamerson vibe is immediately obvious to the discerning listener.

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I'll admit I've not experimented much but I've been using a bit of a minky sponge. They come in packs of three I think and are big flat squares. The thickness of them fits neatly under the strings and I would say its adenser sponge compared to your typical yellow scourer. Another thing I liked about it is that I can shape it. I always felt the g string didn't need as much damping as the E and so I've tapered mine accordingly to give a more even response over the strings. Again I'm pretty new to this so don't take this as gospel or anything but it's worked for me!

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