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  #41  
Old 07-11-2007, 02:40 PM
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Those are some good ideas and guidelines for the bridge arch. The strings are at 1" on centers now currently, so there is a little room to open them a bit. I was looking at Jeff's 3/4 bass and comparing it to the outline of mine and while the two are similar, there are noticeable differences in both the upper and lower bout shape. I was thinking mine was just a slightly larger version of the 3/4, but these are different shapes in the subtleties.

If I'm correct, comparing mine to your five string, yours has a larger lower bout but narrower upper bout and waist. Otherwise I think they are fairly similar in size. It even looks like you might have the same bridge. I'll try to get a measure on the bridge radius so we can compare.
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  #42  
Old 07-11-2007, 04:40 PM
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Cool Same Bridge?

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Originally Posted by David Powell View Post
Those are some good ideas and guidelines for the bridge arch. The strings are at 1" on centers now currently, so there is a little room to open them a bit. I was looking at Jeff's 3/4 bass and comparing it to the outline of mine and while the two are similar, there are noticeable differences in both the upper and lower bout shape. I was thinking mine was just a slightly larger version of the 3/4, but these are different shapes in the subtleties.

If I'm correct, comparing mine to your five string, yours has a larger lower bout but narrower upper bout and waist. Otherwise I think they are fairly similar in size. It even looks like you might have the same bridge. I'll try to get a measure on the bridge radius so we can compare.
My Bridge measures 167mm across the feet while my upper F-hole Eyes are 162mm. I think I mentioned all my Bridge arch and spacing specs earlier. The Top is highly arched and extremely strong. If you look at all the measurements of my Bass, maybe you will be able to estimate its cubic inch air space in comparison to your Bass IF you have any interest in doing that. All I know is that the sucker is HUGE..lol
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  #43  
Old 07-12-2007, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
My Bridge measures 167mm across the feet while my upper F-hole Eyes are 162mm. I think I mentioned all my Bridge arch and spacing specs earlier. The Top is highly arched and extremely strong. If you look at all the measurements of my Bass, maybe you will be able to estimate its cubic inch air space in comparison to your Bass IF you have any interest in doing that. All I know is that the sucker is HUGE..lol
My bridge feet are right at 168 mm on the outsides. My f's are closer than that. I would guess the two basses are extremely close in cavity size. Just comparing the specs on yours to these.

Upper bout 21", C bout 15.75", lower 27.5", belly from saddle to overstand 45", rib depth 8 3/8" tapers to 7 1/8" after bend in upper bout. As best I can determine, the cavity resonance seems to be "C". The only dimension with much difference is the string length. I think that the 7/8 Christopher I tried out was very close to this size as well.
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  #44  
Old 07-12-2007, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Powell View Post
My bridge feet are right at 168 mm on the outsides. My f's are closer than that. I would guess the two basses are extremely close in cavity size. Just comparing the specs on yours to these.

Upper bout 21", C bout 15.75", lower 27.5", belly from saddle to overstand 45", rib depth 8 3/8" tapers to 7 1/8" after bend in upper bout. As best I can determine, the cavity resonance seems to be "C". The only dimension with much difference is the string length. I think that the 7/8 Christopher I tried out was very close to this size as well.
Yes David, very similar indeed. With my Back 28-29" wide at the bottom it only fits the TKL 4/4 Bag. I doesn't even fit the Bobelock 7/8ths unless I stretch it over the Ribs but the Case will fall apart if continue doing that.

One thing we did not measure is how 'long' each Bout actually is and not just how wide and deep. Our Basses being similar sized do not have a similar string length. Why do you think that is?
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  #45  
Old 07-12-2007, 10:08 PM
Jeff Tranauskas Jeff Tranauskas is offline
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Default A fitting name for a fine bass_long tall "Ivanna"

David,
That is a good looking instrument!
I am happy with mine especially since it has been touched by Ken himself!
I will post the dimensions of my bass for comparison.
Also, my bridge is adjustable.
All work performed on this bass has been by Harold Golden, Philadelphia.
I have recently added wooden tuning pegs for a more elegant look at the scroll.


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Last edited by Jeff Tranauskas; 07-12-2007 at 10:12 PM. Reason: adding additional info
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  #46  
Old 07-13-2007, 10:49 AM
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Lightbulb 5er played..

Last night after not using it since about December of 2005, I played my 5er in concert. I only had a couple of written notes (D) that were below E so I added a few here and there just to get some use out of it. We were playing in a huge Park with all the strings and woodwinds on the grass so I doubt anyone heard much of my low notes if any Bass directly at all. It was just two of us in the section for this last Pops concert series of 3 venues so some low note improv was not much of an issue.

I did on occasion have to 'fish around' to make sure I was on the right string and the A was in the center and a bit confusing. The G was fine and the E position not bad. It was mostly the A and also the D when moving from the lower strings that were slightly confusing. Still, it was nice to have a concert where I could test the waters for the Fall season with putting the 5er back in my personal inventory.

Anyone else have any confessions to make concerning fumbling with that extra string? Paul? Dave? ... Don't be shy now. I promise not to tell anyone if you so desire..lol
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  #47  
Old 07-13-2007, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
Yes David, very similar indeed. With my Back 28-29" wide at the bottom it only fits the TKL 4/4 Bag. I doesn't even fit the Bobelock 7/8ths unless I stretch it over the Ribs but the Case will fall apart if continue doing that.

One thing we did not measure is how 'long' each Bout actually is and not just how wide and deep. Our Basses being similar sized do not have a similar string length. Why do you think that is?
Bout height / proportion is definitely a part of it. I don't know if this is why. Why is such a complex question when so many things interact, but obviously string length is not one of those things that just exists independently. I suppose in design one could start with string length and then make some decisions around that or go the other way. It's hard to determine whether one isolated parameter is the cause or the effect. My guess is that looking backward at the two instruments that have very similar overall table length, the string length has to match up with the bridge position longitudinally and the heel point has to match the D neck. So once those are located and the projection angle is set, the string length is also. Isn't the bridge position usually at the crest of the arch of the table? So all of these things must be balanced. On the table of my bass there is 23 inches between the bridge and neck overstand and 21 inches below the bridge to the saddle. If the bridge position were up a bit, and the heel point still a D neck, then the string length would drop as well. So your bridge is probably closer to the center longitudinally than mine is. I think the relationship could be mathematically described. If one has the length from the bridge top to the D at the neck heel, then the mensur will be 1.5 x that distance.

There was a 4/4 5 string Romanian bass that I looked at the specifications of when I was shopping for a 5-string that had dimensions and mensur very close to my Kremona. It seems to be a common European shop design.

I'll make an admission about the 4-string / 5-string yin yang. The DB was my first 5 string. After playing a 4 string for two years I wanted to try the 5-er orchestra sized DB just to see what those were about dimension wise and in configuration. I figured switching sooner was better. I had played a few 5 string EBG's, but these never really fascinated me that much although I did like the idea. I used to tune my P down to C on the E string and so I had my own way to get low notes, but a 5 string EBG has more to offer than just notes below E. So here I was in my jazz and folk groups with 5 strings on the DB. And I was rewriting all of my parts now based on the new notes that were available as well as new positions. And inevitably this began affecting my playing on the 4-string EBG, because now I am "thinking" in a different mode. So in improv sequences I hit the wrong string more than once! Eventually switching back and forth from 4 string EBG to 5 string DB was just too frustrating. So I upgraded my EBG to two matched 5 stringers, one fretted and one fretless. Now my musical bass line thinking is the same whatever I'm playing. And I want one of those 7 string classical guitars, too. Just kidding, but everything needs a low B now.

In the end it would be best for me to reach the point where a bass is just a bass. But I'm just not there yet. So for now a bass is a 5-string bass. There was a point in my photographic career when a camera became a box with apertures and shutter speeds, nothing more. At that point my eye superseded the equipment at a fundamental level. The equipment became a proxy for the eye. Any camera would work. When basses become "boxes with low pitched strings" and my ear writes the same line regardless of which box, then I will understand bass lines as fundamentally as I do photographs. After a few more years on the 5 stringers I might start switching back to 4 or something else. I don't think in any case that I am headed for more than 6. For me the 5 string is showing me a lot of relationships that exist only in a couple of instances on a 4 string instrument. So in a way, it will inevitably change my approach to 4 string playing as well.
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  #48  
Old 07-13-2007, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Tranauskas View Post
David,
That is a good looking instrument!
I am happy with mine especially since it has been touched by Ken himself!
I will post the dimensions of my bass for comparison.
Also, my bridge is adjustable.
All work performed on this bass has been by Harold Golden, Philadelphia.
I have recently added wooden tuning pegs for a more elegant look at the scroll.


I was a little frustrated with the poor color rendition of the photos. My bass actually appears much darker and not nearly so red as in the photo, more like in the photo of yours. I just got this digital camera and sometimes the color is very surprising, even after tweaking the white balance. The pine floor of the room is similarly overly red, so I am thinking for this camera with these lights, finished wood tends toward red.

Film with outdoor lighting I'm thinking would probably give truer color. Still the photo shows the outline and design nicely. I saw one of the 3/4 ones like yours before I ordered mine. It was a 2002 model. It's a very pleasing and plain modern gamba similar to German shop basses.
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  #49  
Old 08-16-2007, 08:02 AM
Don Carrigan Don Carrigan is offline
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5 & 6 string Basses:
Get a load of this 6 string 1650 "Violone" from Venice Click below: http://home.earthlink.net/~prescottv...ambaVenice.jpg
And here's my 1820 Prescott Busetto with 5 string conversion, (new 5 str. neck, special support of thin Prescott belly, string angle lessened over bridge, etc. Click below:
At an angle: http://home.earthlink.net/~prescottv...t%20Angled.jpg
Full front view: http://home.earthlink.net/~prescottv...tt%20FRONT.jpg
Formerly as 4 strings on a 3 string neck, 2002:
http://home.earthlink.net/~prescottv...rNeckBeach.jpg
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  #50  
Old 08-16-2007, 08:32 AM
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Cool Violone..

Don, thanks for posting that Violone. I remember seeing that on line a few years ago but couldn't find it. My Mystery Bass is huge and internally built like a Violone or Gamba and this large Bass proves that they did make them bigger than the regular Viola d'Gamba/cello size.



The signs of Viol making in this Bass include old scars from thin rail type cross braces instead of crossbars, a small tab of wood near the current neck block left from a blockless type neck set and the soft lower corners like those of the old English and French Viol d'Gambas. Internally it curves around almost like a cornerless design. Also, the Bass with its current Neck as I got it measures about 6'5" from the Lower lip of the wood by the endpin to the tip of the Scroll which is a later added shorter 3-string Scroll now modified for 4-strings. This picture you posted Don gives me some clue as to what my 'biggie' might have been born as.

Don, I see that the link is from your website. What was the original source of this pic? Can you post that link so we can see maybe a few others or some more info on who is pictured playing it? The Bass in the back right of the photo in the corner doesn't look too small either!

Comparing some measurements, my Bass is a similar size to my former Prescott which was a slightly cut down 4/4 Bass, similar vintage to your Prescott.
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  #51  
Old 08-16-2007, 08:49 AM
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Arrow Violone source...

Here is a link to what looks like that exact same Violone but the lady is not seen on the page. Link 1
Here's a few other Violone links from that page;
Link 2 Link 3 Link 4
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  #52  
Old 08-16-2007, 10:16 AM
Johnny Layton Johnny Layton is offline
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I remember very well trying out a bass with f-holes just like this one time when Robertsons was around. It was an awesome bass and it looked so cool. They were willing to let me hang onto it and work out a deal with them but I declined. I wasn't (and am still not) in a position financially to own and maintain pedigree doublebass instruments.


Maybe when I am older and/or retired
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  #53  
Old 08-16-2007, 12:29 PM
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Nick Lloyd made a beautiful bass with these same FF holes.
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  #54  
Old 08-16-2007, 04:48 PM
Johnny Layton Johnny Layton is offline
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I remember that name. I always liked reading his stuff. It was very practical and common-sense to me.
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  #55  
Old 08-17-2007, 06:43 PM
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Here's a nice page on a violone site.
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  #56  
Old 08-29-2007, 06:49 PM
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Lightbulb News Flash..

I have just sold my 5-string and therefore am officially retired from trying to play the 5er and working hard on using a Fingered/Chromatic C-Ext to go down.

I just couldn't get the low B to work nor could I find the right string all the time. That was partly due to lack of practice. When the buyer came to test the Bass, we switched it to high C to low E tuning. I came with a Spiro/Red C-string and I had a usable set of Reds on my French Bass so one by one while testing we changed all the strings. Finally that Bass sounded good with a full set of Reds! It was deep, dark, sweet, colorful, loud and bowable. I would have never tried that set on that Bass (or any other Bass of mine) as they usually sound too nasal for me. In front of the Bass they were just slightly edgy but from 10 feet or an office away thru the wall, the Bass sounded great and in the hands of a great European player now living in USA.

So, for now, me and the 5-string is just a shady memory..
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  #57  
Old 08-31-2007, 11:03 AM
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Ken, when you ventured into the five my thoughts were that "this guy is going to give anything a serious try, even if he has been on a four string for most of his life." Kudos to you for giving it shot, Ken, and for offering your insights on the comparative disadvantages or advantages as well as the difficulty in switching.

I'm not having the easiest time myself and I realized right away that if I was going to make steady progress, I needed to have 5 on the EBG as well because it helped me think in terms of note location and all of that. Switching back and forth for a few months, I was often hitting the wrong string. I still do now and then. I was only two years into the DB when I made the change. 2 years later, it still is not easy. Hopefully I'll get there, but I refrain from encouraging experienced players to switch at this point.
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  #58  
Old 08-31-2007, 04:46 PM
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Wink not having the easiest time...

Not having the easiest time for me as you stated also has to do with the fact that I have some other great 4-string Basses that I would rather play musically. If the 5er was my Gilkes or one of the other classics I might have used it all the time but converting one of those for trial sakes is out of the question.

My conclusion has to do with many factors but mainly that I don't go down for than many notes on the B-string and the 98% or more of the time the B is either in my way or confusing me. For most things I can manage on the Extension and manage is the key because that is about the best most people can do with it on certain parts. I have asked players in both the Philly orch and the NY Phil to get some insight as to how they 'manage' and it seems that neither of the two orchestras have a 5er between them or at least that I have seen.

I am from NY and live near Philly now. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me! My teacher Lew Norton never used an Ext. as far as I know and he spent most of his professional career in the NY Phil playing just a 4-string.

It was fun, plenty fun the times I had with the 5er. Most of all just having it to play and to be different in the section. So is a 3-legged Cat in the litter..
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  #59  
Old 08-31-2007, 04:50 PM
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I been 5ing it for so long, I have trouble playing a 4 stringer.
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  #60  
Old 08-31-2007, 08:01 PM
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Unhappy been 5ing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Warburton View Post
I been 5ing it for so long, I have trouble playing a 4 stringer.
Paul, Please come by and bring your bow. Play in one of the orchestras for one night and then tell me it's not a problem!

If it was jazz pizz, I don't think it would have been so hard but with the bow, yikes!
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