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  #1  
Old 06-14-2007, 11:19 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Cool Show your Extensions!

I had two extensions back in my early days in the early 70s and recently started putting one on every suitable Orchestra Bass that goes through my hands. If you have an Extension on your Bass, come and share it with the rest of us. To get the ball rolling, I will show the few that Arnold made for me and the most recent and first Chromatic Bollbach Extension as well. I will list them in the order that they were made (Morelli, Martini, Prescott, Gilkes and Bisiach.)

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Old 06-25-2007, 08:37 PM
Flint Buchanan Flint Buchanan is offline
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Mine's not as fancy as yours, but it does stay in tune well. Using an original Flexocore right now.




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Last edited by Flint Buchanan; 06-28-2007 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:23 PM
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Matthew Tucker Matthew Tucker is offline
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Apart from yours and Ken's Morelli extension, I must say that its a pity the others turn a beautiful graceful scroll into a telegraph pole. I'm sure they work really well, but Ken please don't do that to the Storioni, even though it's already been cut!
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:52 PM
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Cool Cut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Tucker View Post
Apart from yours and Ken's Morelli extension, I must say that its a pity the others turn a beautiful graceful scroll into a telegraph pole. I'm sure they work really well, but Ken please don't do that to the Storioni, even though it's already been cut!
NONE of my Scrolls were Cut for the C-Extension. The Ebony is Cut to fit around the Scroll.

The Storioni, IF I still have the Bass when the Hart is done, WILL get the same Chromatic Ext. from Arnold AFTER he restores the Scroll back to as original as possible. If it gets sold before then, the new owner will do as HE please I'm sure..
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Old 06-28-2007, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
NONE of my Scrolls were Cut for the C-Extension. The Ebony is Cut to fit around the Scroll
I know you wouldn't cut a scroll Ken, I didn't say that. And I'm not rubbishing anyone's craftmanship, least of all Arnold's and Jeff's.

But you have started a thread "Show your Extensions" and I've presumed that is so that feedback is received?

So to MY taste, those chromatic extensions DO turn an elegant scroll into a telegraph pole, so from ME at least, the feedback isn't gushing
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:19 AM
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Cool telegraph pole?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Tucker View Post
I know you wouldn't cut a scroll Ken, I didn't say that. And I'm not rubbishing anyone's craftmanship, least of all Arnold's and Jeff's.

But you have started a thread "Show your Extensions" and I've presumed that is so that feedback is received?

So to MY taste, those chromatic extensions DO turn an elegant scroll into a telegraph pole, so from ME at least, the feedback isn't gushing
Ok, I get it now. I thought you were assuming that the Scrolls were cut for my Chromatic Extensions as well.

I don't know what your Bass playing experience but let me try and explain in short when I use the Chromatic style. When playing in an Orchestra and a single note or two comes up below E, it is much easier to pre-set the the Stop to the lowest note needed and finger anything in between.

In the Philly Orchestra most all the players have the Chromatic while some of the older Extensions on the Basses are Mechanical/Chromatic. Only one Bass that I have seen has only the E-Latch and that is the Asst. Princ (3rd Chair). The Princ. has a Chromatic and the Assoc Princ. a Mechanical. All of the new Extensions the guys get there are the Chromatic.

I have used all 3 types and the Chromatic is the best of the 3 I feel. Only on fast passages would the keys/mech. be slightly better but equally noisier. The first time I saw the Philly Orch was a christmas Show with my family. There were only 4 Basses that night all with mechanical Exts. and almost every time they used, set or locked the keys, I could hear it from almost 100 feet away if not more.

The best way to play the low notes fast is with a 5-string Bass. The Chromatic can still be fingered just as easy as the E-latch fingered Ext.

So, no matter how it may look, it IS the most popular Ext. that I have seen and my personal favorite. Imagine octave jumps like in the Brandenburg or the Trout and you can quickly set your lowest string to E, Eb, D, Db or C to play any quick octave jump or run you need. Kinda cool I think! Next best thing to having a 5-string and one less string to jump across from not having the 5th B-string as well.
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:31 PM
Bob Branstetter Bob Branstetter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
NONE of my Scrolls were Cut for the C-Extension. The Ebony is Cut to fit around the Scroll.

The Storioni, IF I still have the Bass when the Hart is done, WILL get the same Chromatic Ext. from Arnold AFTER he restores the Scroll back to as original as possible. If it gets sold before then, the nee\w owner will do as HE please I'm sure..
Many years ago (long before I started making extensions in my own shop), I took my personal bass to a well known bass shop 700 miles from my home so that I could have one fitted by what was reputed to be one of the best bass shops in the country. I nearly cried when I was handed the part of the scroll that was cut away to install the extension. Because of the shop's reputation, I didn't even think to ask if they were going to cut the scroll. Thank God, that barbaric practice is no longer done by most reputable shops today.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:27 PM
JoeyNaeger JoeyNaeger is offline
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I just got my bass back from Robertsons last night. They put on a beautiful extension with snakewood capos. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten a chance to play the bass much yet, but I'm very excited about it.
Here's a picture
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2007, 08:32 AM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
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I think the Robertson extensions are elegant and beautiful. But I have two questions: 1)Why do they screw the extension on (in two places)? This makes it difficult to change strings and near-impossible to dress the fingerboard. 2)Why do they cut fancy filigree into the back of the extension? Sometimes a player needs to quickly get his thumb behind the extension to hold a long note manually, and the dips and points back there make it dangerous.
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:40 AM
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Cool Whys...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
I think the Robertson extensions are elegant and beautiful. But I have two questions: 1)Why do they screw the extension on (in two places)? This makes it difficult to change strings and near-impossible to dress the fingerboard. 2)Why do they cut fancy filigree into the back of the extension? Sometimes a player needs to quickly get his thumb behind the extension to hold a long note manually, and the dips and points back there make it dangerous.
Arnold, I have almost hurt myself on the Lott I have here with the Robertson's Ext. when fingering fast notes in the Beethoven. Also, I know that E-latch will hit my Eye one of these Days as I play the Bass kind of Low. Why or how they screw it in place beats me because I don't see any visible screws on the one I have here. If I end up getting the Lott, I will have to have at least have the E-latch re-cut for eye safety and then the tension loosened on each latch so I can knock them all open in a hurry with my left hand forefinger/thumb joint when needed. When I try that now, it's like jamming my hand into a piece of Ebony as the first Latch stops and jams my knuckle.

Your Ext's work so easily as does Jeff's first chromatic he made which is on the Bisiach labeled Bass. I think re-cutting the back is not a bad idea either. It looks pretty but it's almost like having sharp ridges in the Neck between positions. I might need to carry some First-aid stuff to play with it as it is now.

I think the Robertson's is a good Extension overall but for me, I need it modified to what I have become used to and that's smoothness, ease of use and very comfortable all around.
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2007, 09:52 AM
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Thumbs up Two of my Favorites..

Arnold, of the three Chromatics you made for me so far, I think the Martini looks the best 'finger' wise. They all work just as well but this first one you did for me, the Fingers almost look real! Jeff's on the other hand gets the Petite award..

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Old 08-01-2007, 12:27 PM
Charles Federle Charles Federle is offline
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I actually do like the latch on the E-stop. Though I have bumped my head against it more then once, but for me I think it just stopped me from hitting my head against the scroll As for all the added decorations on the Robertson's extension they do have a purpose, and that is when you are fingering a note you have a physical reference, something I wish mine had. I do wish they moved easier as well. On mine I am so used to just being able to run my hand down the string and open up a gate that I have hurt myself on a few extensions trying the same thing. The one on my bass is David Graham's first extension.
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Old 08-01-2007, 07:34 PM
Bob Branstetter Bob Branstetter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Federle View Post
I actually do like the latch on the E-stop.
I also like the E latch type that can be opened with the thumb without taking the left hand away from the neck. I've been using one of this type that was installed on my personal bass about about 30 years ago. Recently, I decided to upgrade this old single latch extension to full chromatic by installing three of Rob Anzellotti's brass "capos". While they may not look as elegant as the carved ebony or exotic hardwood latches, they are relatively low cost, light weight, easy to adjust and (from my experience) function perfectly. IMO, anyone who has an extension with just the E closer and who would like to convert it to a full chromatic should take a good look the "capos" made and sold by Rob Anzellotti. Many luthiers are now installing the Anzellotti's "capos" as part of their new hand made extensions.
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Old 08-11-2007, 10:41 AM
JoeyNaeger JoeyNaeger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
I think the Robertson extensions are elegant and beautiful. But I have two questions: 1)Why do they screw the extension on (in two places)? This makes it difficult to change strings and near-impossible to dress the fingerboard. 2)Why do they cut fancy filigree into the back of the extension? Sometimes a player needs to quickly get his thumb behind the extension to hold a long note manually, and the dips and points back there make it dangerous.
You'd be better off asking robertsons those questions. I will say that the small hump they put in the back is nice. There are no sharp edges and it really makes it easier to know where you are. Different people, different strokes I guess.
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Old 08-11-2007, 11:08 AM
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Lightbulb Know where you are?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyNaeger View Post
You'd be better off asking robertsons those questions. I will say that the small hump they put in the back is nice. There are no sharp edges and it really makes it easier to know where you are. Different people, different strokes I guess.
Playing any of the fast moving low parts of Beethoven's 3,5, 6, or 9 etc, there is no time to hold anything. A sharp point like that in the back can easily get in the way or do nothing at all. All keys are usually open when you play those parts with the exception of one part in the 9th where you set the 'D' key for the octave. Using single latches as time allows or fingering a single slow note or two is a different story. My point is that for universal use, the less things sticking out the better. I even sanded the edges of my gears on the G and D strings so I don't cut my self jumping back and forth quickly. Sitting on a stool with the Bass slanted helps and brings the notes/ext closer. Still, if you have the Keys there, why would you need something in the back to tell you where to finger?
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Old 08-11-2007, 01:33 PM
Charles Federle Charles Federle is offline
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I have to admit that I really cannot play on the extension past Eb unless I am seated.

As for the humps on the backs they are nice because sometimes you do need to play something like a low D that is followed by C# or something to that affect. Something like the opening in the 4th movement of Beethoven 5 or letter N in Beethoven 7 1st movement (I have been told to play the cello line sometimes). Sometimes you could a bit of fancy latch work, but sometimes I find it easier and safer to just use a finger.

As far as fast passages I know exactly what you mean by sharp edges being dangerous. Though for me it is only those on the tuners that I worry about as I play most fast extension work without putting my thumb behind, kind of like a really low and reversed thumb position hand.

What is most important I think though it get what works for you, and is comfortable (or safe perhaps ).
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:29 PM
JoeyNaeger JoeyNaeger is offline
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Perhaps mine is different, but I haven't encountered any sharp edges along the back of the extension.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:00 PM
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Cool my latest..

Here's the Hart with a new design by Arnold using Jeff's hardware..


This is a slightly shorter 3-string Scroll/Pegbox c.1830, original to the Bass. This was possibly passed off as a Maggini as I have heard of another similar Bass that was used in London for 30 years which was thought to be a Maggini until they learned it was English. Later it was attributed to William Vallentine who was actually employed by Hart to make Basses later on. They did not see the Hart stamps I assume so the attribution was very close. Another London dealer thinks this is the work of John Devereux who worked for Fendt before moving to Australia in 1854.

Either way, it's a beautiful Scroll and another custom Extension by Arnold with some supplied parts by Jeff, similar to the ones used on the Bisiach. Arnold made his own Ebony fingers though.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:50 AM
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Default Extensions and hat peg tuners!!/extension history

I've always liked the look of hat peg tuners....that is until I had an extension installed on my current bass!

The G tuner is positioned perfectly to stop my hand in it's tracks when reaching back for the D and Db on the extension!

I wonder what others have done in this situation? at first I thought I'd just learn to cope with it, but I can easily see myself making some sort of "modification" in a brief moment of frustration


I wonder about the history of fingered extensions....
As far as I understand it the early ones were exclusively mechanical, staring in germany around 1880 or 1890 and then sold commercially by Max Poike.

I had my extension made by Mike Hart in Suffolk, UK who has probably made more fingered extensions than anyone else over here.

He told me he made his first in 1971 after a player returned from the states where he had seen Ron Carter play. I think in those days the norm over here was the Fawcett-type mechanical, although these days they are rarely seen in the UK (with the exception of London), Fingereds being the general rule now.

Did the fingered type start as a result of removing the mechanism?

how common were fingered extensions in the US in the 60's and 70's?

Just wondering.....
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  #20  
Old 08-21-2008, 08:20 AM
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Wink Fingered's..

Ok, in 1972 or so I was in a car accident and my Mechanical Ext. was broken along with the Neck. The Bass was restored by Peter Eibert in NY. When I went to pick it up it had a fingered Ext. with just the E-latch. Peter opted for that rather than to try and fix my Mechanical one. The Bass was way way lighter and quieter as well.

Now, on your latches which I have played on other Basses you cannot quick-flip easily with the edge of your fore-finger/palm-strike like I can with my ebony-fingers. Also, the tension cannot be adjusted as minutely either.

I see others using 2 or 3 fingers to 'lift' the closed latches to open the Ext. partly or all the way. I can run my hand back up there sideways and knock them open in a flash and then set them easily with one finger.

Speed of usage is a major factor when you have little or no time to open a gate or close one. The Robo's are a nice idea but work too slow for my taste and hurt my fingers/hand when trying to open them in a flash like I can my Ebony's.

I don't know the exact history of the fingered extension but if you ask around in the UK shops you might hear a few stories. I have the 3-set Elgar books and in either 1 or 2 he talks about extension ideas. This was written in the 60's so it was in use easily by then. Being 'in use' and being commercially available are two different things.
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