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 Post subject: Double bass setup
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:19 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1673
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I have been asked to help a friend restring his wife's double bass and basically do whatever is necessary to get it playing as good as possible. Can someone point me to a good tutorial on double bass action. It is an old Kay plywood bass, right now there is about 0.010 on the E and G strings at the nut, the relief as measured in the center of the fretboard with a straightedge resting at the ends is about 0.055, the action at the mid point of the strings ("12th fret") is 0.190 on the G and 0.250 on the E. There is a pretty significant groove down the fretboard under the E string.

She plays mainly a "slap style" I guess you call it, amplifies the bass with a mic at the bridge. As far as I can tell, the bass is structurally sound and the post is in place. The old strings are probably several years old, my friend new ones on order, and I just wanted to start getting ready.


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 Post subject: Re: Double bass setup
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:26 pm 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:44 pm
Posts: 1208
Location: Andersonville
State: Tennessee
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Touch base with James Condino. http://condino.com


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 Post subject: Re: Double bass setup
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5666
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Repair
Clinchriver wrote:
Touch base with James Condino. http://condino.com
Yep, James is the man on those old Kay basses.

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 Post subject: Re: Double bass setup
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1673
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thanks guys, I knew I had read some articles about repairing old double basses and now I remember that he was the author.


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 Post subject: Re: Double bass setup
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:47 pm 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:26 pm
Posts: 120
First name: Carl
Last Name: Dickinson
City: Forest Ranch
State: California
Zip/Postal Code: 95942
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I found this one day, http://www.dennishavlena.com/bassetup.htm. That link has a pretty complete setup description.

I've got an old Kay too, a remnant of my folk and bluegrass days. Neck heel has a couple of cracks. I've got an old copy of "Stringed Instrument Craftsman" were Ken Donnell describes a repair done with a lag bolt (I think you have articles in there too, Mr. Pile). I'm gonna try it with a timber screw. The finish is cracking up and falling off in little flakes. I'm gonna try to stabilize it with a lacquer/retarder mix, then nitro clear coats. It'll be in the tradition of a "rat rod." The fingerboard is a big hunk of BRW (...sigh......all those bridges).


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