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Vicious_Squid

Double bass made from a wheelbarrow

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This is my wheelbarrow bass:

It's based on a 3-stringed hybrid of an electro-acoustic bass (ovation style) and an orchestral upright bass, so it will have a double-bass bridge. 
Here's my question: Does it need a bass bar? If it does need one, it should go under the left foot of the bridge? should it be hardwood or would pine be enough? 

More pics here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jQTKj1hzPv8G117XA

The face is made from 5mm ply and will be glued to the curved hardwood ribs and sound bar.

Thanks very much in advance for your advice on this unusual build.

WIN_20200223_16_58_23_Pro.jpg

WIN_20200220_13_15_29_Pro.jpg

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Oooooh, isn't that creative!  Now go put it back in the garage, and hang the photos on the refrigerator.  :ph34r::lol:;)

 

What are you planning to use it for?  Are you a teacher doing this as a visual aid, or have your own nightclub band, or something?  :)

I'm not asking my iconic question until it's set up.  ^_^

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What a clever piece of work ! Good for you !

I would say it does need a bass bar under the bass foot of the bridge as the resulting difference in response

between the two sides of the bridge

is a fundamental feature of bowed string instruments. However, between your two cross bars you are

left very little room for much of a bass bar. I would still put one in though and although softwood is

the traditional wood for bass bars you might as well make yours of a hardwood since weight is

an important part of the bass bar and yours is smaller than usual. Just make sure there is some clearance

between the ends of the bass bar and those cross braces so the bar can vibrate freely.

 

 

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I'll be using really light 6mm twin wall polycarbonate plastic clear greenhouse glazing for my tops instead of plywood.  Its effective density is only 0.20g/cc and has a radiation ratio RR of 16 which should give it more sound out put.

 

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4 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I'll be using really light 6mm twin wall polycarbonate plastic clear greenhouse glazing for my tops instead of plywood.  Its effective density is only 0.20g/cc and has a radiation ratio RR of 16 which should give it more sound out put.

 

Are you now making banjos? ;)

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Are you now making banjos? ;)

No, but I have thought about using stretched banjo top membranes instead of wood for my violins and violas.

A while ago I tried bowing a banjo and got extremely loud notes which suggested that decreasing plate weight has some merit.   But every note was wolfy because the impedance was so low.   

I've always thought a wolf note was bad but maybe if every note played was a wolf note then groupings of them in a quartet or orchestra might produce a unique harmony effect like a real pack of wolves howling. 

I was only able to bow the outside two strings because there was no bridge curvature.   Inadequate bow clearance is another problem because there are no C bout cut outs.  The wheel barrel bass ( a nice poetic name) will have this problem too.

 

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19 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

No, but I have thought about using stretched banjo top membranes instead of wood for my violins and violas.

A while ago I tried bowing a banjo and got extremely loud notes which suggested that decreasing plate weight has some merit.   But every note was wolfy because the impedance was so low.   

I've always thought a wolf note was bad but maybe if every note played was a wolf note then groupings of them in a quartet or orchestra might produce a unique harmony effect like a real pack of wolves howling.

Always thinkin', aren't you? Looking forward to bouncing some ideas around the next time we get together. :)

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2 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

No, but I have thought about using stretched banjo top membranes instead of wood for my violins and violas.

A while ago I tried bowing a banjo and got extremely loud notes which suggested that decreasing plate weight has some merit.   But every note was wolfy because the impedance was so low.   

I've always thought a wolf note was bad but maybe if every note played was a wolf note then groupings of them in a quartet or orchestra might produce a unique harmony effect like a real pack of wolves howling. 

I was only able to bow the outside two strings because there was no bridge curvature.   Inadequate bow clearance is another problem because there are no C bout cut outs.  The wheel barrel bass ( a nice poetic name) will have this problem too.

 

Yes, vellum is on the list. I want to make one kinda like yours, with a "coffin lid" style top /back {using an angled frame wrapped in vellum} instead of arches. Similar concept to a Balsa one I made, instead of thin balsa sheets I want to try the drumskin, maybe beef the area of the bridge with a wood "Skid plate" 

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On 2/25/2020 at 8:47 AM, Vicious_Squid said:

This is my wheelbarrow bass:

It's based on a 3-stringed hybrid of an electro-acoustic bass (ovation style) and an orchestral upright bass, so it will have a double-bass bridge. 
Here's my question: Does it need a bass bar? If it does need one, it should go under the left foot of the bridge? should it be hardwood or would pine be enough? 

More pics here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/jQTKj1hzPv8G117XA

The face is made from 5mm ply and will be glued to the curved hardwood ribs and sound bar.

Thanks very much in advance for your advice on this unusual build.

WIN_20200223_16_58_23_Pro.jpg

WIN_20200220_13_15_29_Pro.jpg

I like the idea of being able to move it around easily with the wheelbarrow in the down position but when the bass is vertical like shown in the photo-- where does the player stand?

I'm still not so keen on using plywood for the top.  Plywood basses have a poor reputation and this might negatively impact evaluations of your instrument regardless how well it might play or how easy it is to move around.

So I suggest doing double blind tests with blinders on the player and with a screen in front of the audience so nobody can see at first.

Will this be marketed through hardware stores or music shops?

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27 minutes ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I like the idea of being able to move it around easily with the wheelbarrow in the down position 

Isn’t the wheel at the wrong end for that?

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OP,  I'd love it if you would enter your wheelbarrow bass in a VSA Competition. Some people, possibly including the judges, might learn a lot. I'll even pay your entry fee.

No, I wouldn't expect that you would get a gold medal, but my perspective has always been that the better competitions were more about learning, than winning.

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6 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

From what I have derived from your photos, the bridge curvature appears to be much too flat, to enable playing a middle string alone.

The fingerboard looks flat as well, so perhaps this is to be only plucked and not bowed.

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16 minutes ago, glebert said:

The fingerboard looks flat as well, so perhaps this is to be only plucked and not bowed.

Correct, this is a plucking instrument. I am the best in the world at playing this particular instrument and I've taught myself to reach and pluck all three strings just fine with the flat fingerboard :-p

Edited by Vicious_Squid
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17 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I like the idea of being able to move it around easily with the wheelbarrow in the down position but when the bass is vertical like shown in the photo-- where does the player stand?

With the turn of a nut, the wheel simply detaches and the player stands behind the instrument. I've become quite good at playing it without even removing the wheel (stand slightly to one side) so that's an option as well.

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On 2/26/2020 at 6:04 AM, Marty Kasprzyk said:

I like the idea of being able to move it around easily with the wheelbarrow in the down position but when the bass is vertical like shown in the photo-- where does the player stand?

I'm still not so keen on using plywood for the top.  Plywood basses have a poor reputation and this might negatively impact evaluations of your instrument regardless how well it might play or how easy it is to move around.

So I suggest doing double blind tests with blinders on the player and with a screen in front of the audience so nobody can see at first.

Will this be marketed through hardware stores or music shops?

I was thinking with a few modifications and additions it'd probably be sex shops? I think they call it the wheel of fortune or something like that :lol:

Or maybe if you flipped it around the other way it could be sold at sporting goods stores, or maybe even an infomercial, like soloflex! you just put that wheel down, lean forward and start pluckin' ,heck next thing you know you made it all the way down to the corner market :P

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1 hour ago, jezzupe said:

I was thinking with a few modifications and additions it'd probably be sex shops? I think they call it the wheel of fortune or something like that :lol:

Or maybe if you flipped it around the other way it could be sold at sporting goods stores, or maybe even an infomercial, like soloflex! you just put that wheel down, lean forward and start pluckin' ,heck next thing you know you made it all the way down to the corner market :P

Excellent reply.  :lol:

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