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  #21  
Old 08-21-2008, 08:30 AM
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Wink oh.. and.. Hatpegs..

Ok, separate subject here. Your Bass looks to have the German type hatpegs. Two of the Bassists in the Philly Orchestra (Robinson and Rosengard) have hatpegs on their Italian Basses with Chromatic Extensions by I think Robertson's which are very similar to the ones I have by Arnold. BUT, their Basses have the Italian style Hatpegs which do not stick out as much as the German ones. I have the Italian ones on one of my Italian Basses now in restoration. Look at the pics below to compare.



I have seen many German hatpeg 'be-headed' to size down to the Italian style ones. You can cut the 'hat' portion off at about 1/4" after the metal housing and slightly round the edges and then paint it black with a marker. No one will call you the executioner..
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  #22  
Old 09-09-2008, 07:38 PM
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Abe Gumroyan Abe Gumroyan is offline
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What are your guys' opinion on chromatic "b" extension ? Likes or Dis-likes ?
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  #23  
Old 09-09-2008, 09:43 PM
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Cool Why??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe Gumroyan View Post
What are your guys' opinion on chromatic "b" extension ? Likes or Dis-likes ?
Why would you bother with a B-extension? If one time every few years you might need it you can just tune down from the C. If not, expect to hit some doorways from time to time and carry the extra weight around 99.99% of the time when it's not needed.

Many 5-string players actually tune the low string to a C instead of B as well. This keeps you from having to shift during fast runs on the low string. When playing octaves like in a Brandenburg the perfect Octaves and fifths tuning for the B come in handy.

I personally see no need for a B-extension at all.
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  #24  
Old 09-11-2008, 07:25 PM
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Abe Gumroyan Abe Gumroyan is offline
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My sentiments exactly. A colleague of mine installed a B extension from a shop that shall remain nameless on his Roth double bass ad had to cut off the B portion because when he stopped his C capo is would rattle horribly. When he took it to his repair person a year after he installed it to solve the issue, the problem was the fingerboard was arching under the pressure and the "hump" happened to be at his C capo. So now he has a C extension. I told him if and when you play Pines of Rome just tune it down a half step lol. I think the problem arose from the flimsy fingerboard because of the ornate carving under the board. It left no mass for support. Ken what do you think ?
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  #25  
Old 09-11-2008, 08:36 PM
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Cool Ken what do you think ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abe Gumroyan View Post
My sentiments exactly. A colleague of mine installed a B extension from a shop that shall remain nameless on his Roth double bass ad had to cut off the B portion because when he stopped his C capo is would rattle horribly. When he took it to his repair person a year after he installed it to solve the issue, the problem was the fingerboard was arching under the pressure and the "hump" happened to be at his C capo. So now he has a C extension. I told him if and when you play Pines of Rome just tune it down a half step lol. I think the problem arose from the flimsy fingerboard because of the ornate carving under the board. It left no mass for support. Ken what do you think ?
What do I think? I thought I said it all above in my last post. If you are referring to the construction issue or the Pines' I will say this. I have played the Pines. It has a split Bass part for those of you that have not played it in an Orchestra. The Top parts quarter note Pizz B,B,B,B.. like forever.. a page or more from what I recall some 5
years ago. The bottom part is half notes bowed B-,F-..etc. with/under the Low Bs... I played this on my lowest B of a 4-string playing the low B on the A-string. I was using my 7/8 Shen then and that Bass had some punchy bottom. I think the B an octave lower would get lost in space. It was however written for a 5-string Bass like is usually played in Europe. The B-F- bowed part would then be up and octave on the B and a flatted 5th up on the Low F. Maybe Respighi was going for 'Mud' as the color of the sound..

On the Extension construction I think I heard Arnold comment about this same problem. The Extension itself bending/bowing forward from tension and becoming a problem. Necks themselves with Ebony fingerboards Bend under tension and have problems. Why wouldn't an Extension made the fraction of the strength bend as well under a single longer string? It will and it does. make it a B which is quite a bit longer than a C and it will bend much easier. make it with maple and a thin Ebony veneer-like fingerboard and you are asking for trouble even with a C-extension.

To be practical and reasonable the best Extension is made from Solid Ebony and goes down to a C note. That will be all anyone needs ever including that once or twice in a lifetime an orchestra bassist might get to play the Pines. Imagine having this B extension and you are the one playing the Bowed part.. lol.. What a waste, huh? Scream, yell, kick, cry.. hey, you are playing on the right, that's your seat.. Play the bottom B/F bowed part..

So, my choice are the Extensions like what I have on all my Basses. My favorite is the first chromatic one Arnold made for me and my Martini which is also pictured on Arnold's website as well. I guess he was proud of his work on that Bass as well.
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  #26  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:53 PM
Ken McKay Ken McKay is offline
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Default B extension

This is a B extension that I fabricated on a Christopher bass. The player was most insistent on the B, and I went against the advice of some esteemed luthiers to make it.

I know the arguments against the B, but according to this player, who is a university student, he won't even be allowed to audition for some orchestras without a B extension. I could not turn him down .

As it turned out, the functionality of this extension is very easy and the Bass Capos from Rob Anzellotti are very well made.

Thinking back I was wondering how many tools I used to fabricate this extension which is solid ebony. I came up with between 60 and 70! This includes files, planes, knives, computer for calculations, drills, drill press, measuring tools, etc...

The design is deliberately austere, without fuss, with a tip of the hat to Arnold and Jeff B.
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  #27  
Old 08-18-2009, 01:21 AM
Charles Stark Charles Stark is offline
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Question

I'd like to know what U.S orchestras specify for a "B" extension, if any.

Also, what orchestra is this character going to be auditioning for with a Christopher bass?? Seems more like a youth orchestra...and most of those are very informal about your instrument set-up...
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  #28  
Old 08-18-2009, 09:14 AM
Ken McKay Ken McKay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Marks View Post
I'd like to know what U.S orchestras specify for a "B" extension, if any.
Also, what orchestra is this character going to be auditioning for with a Christopher bass?? Seems more like a youth orchestra...and most of those are very informal about your instrument set-up...
I don't know Calvin Maybe you could ask your question if you are curious.
For now how about we just wish him (this character) luck.

He has quite a while to go and is a pretty good young player, he has established himself with a luthier who will get him through the lean times (me) and is following the advice of his teachers. Just to be clear, his goal is to audition and play in a professional orchestra.

As far as auditioning with a Christopher bass I agree. But he will have prepared himself as his teachers have advised him.
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  #29  
Old 08-18-2009, 05:19 PM
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Matthew Tucker Matthew Tucker is offline
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Well done Ken, that looks simple and neatly executed.

I'd hate to lug that bass around though ... he almost needs a bull-bar to protect the top!
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  #30  
Old 08-20-2009, 01:54 AM
Ken McKay Ken McKay is offline
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Thanks Matthew.

We put the bass in the bag and it did not fit. I advised him to cut a slot in the top and put a sock or something over it.
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  #31  
Old 08-20-2009, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken mckay View Post
i advised him to cut a slot in the top and put a sock or something over it.


matthew
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  #32  
Old 08-20-2009, 05:07 PM
Charles Stark Charles Stark is offline
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One critique Ken (McKay). Since the E-side of the Fingerboard is beveled, it would have been nice to see the extension flush with that bevel and not have a little height difference in between. When fingering between E and E-flat in a rapid passage, you can easily cut your hand.

Overall, nice work.
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  #33  
Old 08-20-2009, 10:02 PM
Ken McKay Ken McKay is offline
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Thanks Calvin, that is good advice.

The extension is beveled, just not quite as much as the Rhomberg. I did not notice any sharp edges but you point is well taken.
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  #34  
Old 08-21-2009, 01:04 AM
Charles Stark Charles Stark is offline
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I only know of a few pieces that require the Contra B.

Respighi's Pines (most bassists just tune their low string down a semi-tone for that work).
Berg's Wozzeck has a very exposed passage for solo double bass that contains a tone of Low B's, but this was written for a fiver.
Brahms 2 has a tone of low B's if you check out the original two player piano version, today a lot of conductors will ask for the low b in that work.

other than that....nada. Stick with the C...it also resonates with the open G string and you don't need to worry about banging your bass against the ceiling or door!
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  #35  
Old 08-21-2009, 08:42 AM
Arnold Schnitzer Arnold Schnitzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
On the Extension construction I think I heard Arnold comment about this same problem. The Extension itself bending/bowing forward from tension and becoming a problem.
Ken, you've hit the nail with your head! This is exactly the problem. I have seen several B extensions, and every one of them was warping down at the end, causing a hump in the middle. The player asks, "Can you make the extension buzz go away?". And my answer is, "No, if I take away wood in the center to flatten it out, it will then be weaker and warp even more. Also, the latches won't work right anymore, and will have to be re-mounted." And this is why I won't build B extensions. However, Ken M, yours looks quite sturdy. But can the player get his thumb around the back of it, to hold long non-latched notes?
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  #36  
Old 08-21-2009, 11:14 AM
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Wink Ouch..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
Ken, you've hit the nail with your head!
If only I had a hammer..

The thing that concerns me the most with those capos and this is speaking from personal experience playing basses with them, is when you run the knife edge of your hand back quickly, the sharp edges of the capos hurt or cut your fingers. With solid ebony fingers, there is more surface to round over and if properly adjusted, it's painless. Also, the extensions I have had from both Arnold and Jeff have a much finer tension adjustability than those threaded adjustments.

Imagine you are playing a piece and then it comes up, a low C .. .. oops.. forgot to leave the Ext. open.. Hey, no problemo.. I left 'ridge hand' it with a backwards upwards motion and open the low C in a split second.. Also, when playing the chromatic patterns like in Beeth 3rd, how fast can you close the stops? No looking, one handed, one index finger hooking the 'larger' smoothed out fine tension adjusted ebony fingers.. Much easier that the right angle cut rubber over flush cut brass.. You think?
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  #37  
Old 08-22-2009, 12:19 AM
Ken McKay Ken McKay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Schnitzer View Post
Ken, you've hit the nail with your head! This is exactly the problem. I have seen several B extensions, and every one of them was warping down at the end, causing a hump in the middle. The player asks, "Can you make the extension buzz go away?". And my answer is, "No, if I take away wood in the center to flatten it out, it will then be weaker and warp even more. Also, the latches won't work right anymore, and will have to be re-mounted." And this is why I won't build B extensions. However, Ken M, yours looks quite sturdy. But can the player get his thumb around the back of it, to hold long non-latched notes?
The thumb goes in there just fine except when trying to stop the Eflat. That gets tight. I left it thick for sturdiness.

I will be seeing the bass again when Christmas break comes and will get an update. I am sure this forum will be here for years to come and I will update eithier good or bad comments.
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  #38  
Old 08-22-2009, 01:26 AM
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Cool and one more..

We finally took new pics of the Big Gamba and updated the webpage so here's some shots of the new Bollbach Chromatic Ext..

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  #39  
Old 09-08-2009, 09:43 AM
Robert Anzellotti Robert Anzellotti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
If only I had a hammer..

The thing that concerns me the most with those capos and this is speaking from personal experience playing basses with them, is when you run the knife edge of your hand back quickly, the sharp edges of the capos hurt or cut your fingers. With solid ebony fingers, there is more surface to round over and if properly adjusted, it's painless. Also, the extensions I have had from both Arnold and Jeff have a much finer tension adjustability than those threaded adjustments.

Imagine you are playing a piece and then it comes up, a low C .. .. oops.. forgot to leave the Ext. open.. Hey, no problemo.. I left 'ridge hand' it with a backwards upwards motion and open the low C in a split second.. Also, when playing the chromatic patterns like in Beeth 3rd, how fast can you close the stops? No looking, one handed, one index finger hooking the 'larger' smoothed out fine tension adjusted ebony fingers.. Much easier that the right angle cut rubber over flush cut brass.. You think?
Ken,

Are you sure you are talking about my Capos? For one thing I have never used rubber for the fingers. I tightly wrap leather over the brass (with generous amounts of CA glue to make it permanent), and sand and polish the end, which is not a sharp right angle, but has enough roundover to be comfortable.

The rotational friction is adjustable, but since I carefully set it before shipping, further adjustment is almost never desired.

As for speed, I can pop open the Eb with my index finger while in the act of going for a low D or C# without adding any time at all to the equation. While Arnold and Jeff both make excellent ebony closers, I really don't think they are faster than mine. My Capos are carefully machined with CNC technology, and the angles carefully chosen so that pressure against the string provides all the holding power necessary. Therefore, they need only minimal rotational friction to prevent rattling and to resist gravity.

My first version of Capos had a set screw to adjust tension (friction, actually). Perhaps that is the example you remember, and it was set way to tight. That would also explain the hurt fingers you describe.

I urge you to try Bass Capos again. I think you will change your mind. While many prefer ebony closers for aesthetic reasons, no one else has ever been less than entirely positive about operation.

Last edited by Robert Anzellotti; 09-08-2009 at 02:04 PM.
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  #40  
Old 09-22-2009, 11:19 AM
Vince Jesse Vince Jesse is offline
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Default C extension

Hi. I'd like to throw my hat in the ring here. I've worked on other people's extensions but never made my own from scratch. Some people have been inquiring so I figured it was time. It's solid ebony, fitted to a new Romanian bass. It's screwed down to the neck under the nut but not the scroll or cheeks.

It functions well. I would have done a couple things differently but next time I'll avoid those mistakes. Next time I'd like to make a two pulley extension that avoids the hole through the scroll (if the dimensions of the bass permits)

It's installed on a bass for sale so I think I'll wait to add capos or a fingering rail until the customer knows what he wants.

Hopefully the pictures work.

Any thoughts?
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