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Old 11-20-2016, 02:38 PM
William Stephens's Avatar
William Stephens William Stephens is offline
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Unhappy Unexplained loss of sound/response

Evening everybody!

It's been a long time since I last visited this forum! Great to see it's still around and stil busy.

I have a problem I'm hoping some of you may be able to shed light on.

I have a Jay Haide Quenoil pattern bass (Yes, I know it's Chinese and not hand made, but please read on) dated 2008, which I bought brand new in 2009. The instrument used to sound incredible. In fact it used to sound like a far more expensive bass than it actually was.

The problem is I've noticed a gradual loss of sound, particularly in the low frequencies over the last 5 years or so. The bass has become much brighter and stiffer until it is now become almost useless for orchestral work. The problem first seemed to manifest itself after having some open seams glued up in December 2011.

Apart from a new set of strings (of of the same type) ad umpteen soundpost adjustments to try to remedy the problem (with the same post) nothing has changed on the bass at all. Seams regularly open each winter, but nothing else has come unglued. The bass bar still looks glued up inside.

The problem is most severe on the open D string and the E one tone up the same string. Sometimes the bow just seems to skate across the string and produce nothing but high-pitched overtones.

Oddly the instrument actually seems more responsive with a practice mute on the bridge.

I have had the bass looked at by 2 well respected luthiers who understandably seem to want to stay well away!

There's tons more I could add if anyone is interested.

Does anyone have any similar experience/ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Will
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Old 11-20-2016, 11:50 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Join Date: 01-18-2007
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You might need a new longer sound post. Overtime, the back can swell outwards from the sound post pushing on it. Wood does move and maple is a good bending wood. Also, the top gets pushed out from either a tight fit or/and an ill-fit post. Some of the Luthiers over here my way (the ones I work with), are very particular about how a post has to fit. One of them actually said once that a neck graft is easier than fitting a post. Probably because you are working half blind with lights and mirrors while cutting and fitting a Post.

Now, as far as what your bass is, who knows how these Chinese basses break in over time. So, unless someone on the Forum pays you a personal visit, it is all guessing here.

Look down the Back and see if it bulges differently over the Post area more than the other side. Also, look at and feel the Top under the bridge foot and see if you feel a 'lump' from the post pushing on the top. If you can get a light and mirror, look inside at the top and see if there are any dents on the wood. If so, that's from the Post Not being fit flush with the top. As one moves the post, the fit is different. The top can be cracked as well from an overly tight post.
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