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Bass related information:Meet CUB,E... Ultimate Electric Upright Travel Bass!
Conventional electric bass
My foray into upright bass started a few years back when I watched the local classified ads for an old bass and ran across a month-old Englehardt C1 with Pro-tec gig bag for $500. Needless to say I purchased it in all of its direct-from-factory splendor. I upgraded the bridge, made and installed bridge height adjusters, replaced the tailpiece holder with a synthetic cable type, replaced the factory strings with Helicore Pizzicatos, and modified the tuner installation by adding oilite bushings on the shaft end of all four tuners opposite the gear plates. Instant transformation into a very playable and decent sounding bass. It suits me, at least.
Meet CUB,E!"CUB,E"... thatís the acronym given to my design for a Compact Upright Bass, Electric. The name says it all, but the C could also represent compact, collapsible, or even comfortable. The CUB,E features true upright vibe and tone in an instrument that interfaces easily with amplification and can be assembled or disassembled in seconds for easy transport. CUB,E has it all!
The entire story behind its design, features, and construction can be found HERE.
ADDING TUNER BUSHINGS TO AN ENGLEHARDT BASS:Here is a close up of one of my Englehardt tuners showing the oilite bushings I added to improve their functionality. The tuners canted slightly when brought to pitch, and adding the bushings at the end of the tuner shafts made the tuning very easy, as well as holding pitch much better than when the tuner post would flex under tension. The bushings were found in the stock selection available from my local hardware store.
HOMEBREW PIEZO TRANSDUCER FOR BASS:Here's a shot of my home-brew piezo bridge transducer fastened to the bridge with a low-mass nylon screw and wing nut. It works about as well as any bridge transducer I've heard, and cost me about $15 to put together. There is information and a drawing of how it is assembled at the electric violin page which you can reach by clicking here.
In use, it is attached and the wing nut is tightened until the output to your amp increases to an acceptable level while maintaining good tone. Over-tightening will increase the output substantially, but the tone will suffer. Tighten or loosen the wing nut to find a good balance point. Different bridge attachment points obviously produce different tone also. A little trial and error will produce a pretty good sounding upright tone. As with any piezo, feeding to a preamp before continuing to an amp or PA system will improve the tonal quality.
Here is a shot of the actual transducer as built. It is fashioned from the ubiquitous Radio Shack piezo element, 10 feet of George L cable, a few bits of scrap ebony, epoxy, and a 1/4" output plug.
ELECTRIC FRETLESS BASS:If you prefer the good ol' electric you can find a bit of info on my current gig bass here.
Please visit my other website designed to provide information on musical instrument construction. There are free plans as well as construction tips and techniques available at the present time.
Rudy's Sketchbook of Musical Instrument Plans, Ideas, and Inspiration
If you desire to contact me about Bluestem Strings products:Due to scoundrelous spammers actively mining sites for e-mail addresses, I'm forced to include the following text version of my e-mail address meant to confuse the automated robo-search of websites for e-mail addresses. Please e-mail me at:
rcordle (substitute the at symbol here) fastmail (substitute the dot here) fm
Please include "Bluestem Info Request" in the subject line, Thanks!