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Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

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Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby Tristan Jove » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:56 am

Hi y'all,
I'm looking for a bass mute, to imitate the action of the mute built into Rickenbacker basses.
It needs to fit my Ibanez SG, my Aria Pro, and my Dean Fretless, all pretty standard design four string basses.
Any recommendations?
Thanks,
Tristan.
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby DaveFry » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:55 am

Experiment with different types and shapes of soft foam rubber behind the strings and up against the bridge .
Possibilities include ;
Mouse mat foam , glued into a sandwich or simply rolled into a sausage .
The sponge from a washing-up scourer
Flip-flops
etc

See 8min 10secs into http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsuiVj3B9E0
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby zenguitar » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:16 pm

Hi Tristan,

A couple of thoughts that might help you out.

One option might be to fit Rickenbacker bridge assemblies to some or all of your basses. However they would be expensive, the geometry (string spacing/adjustment ranges) might not be correct for your existing basses, and I believe the body might need to be routed to fit it.

Another option might be to buy the mute assembly (pad, plate, screws) and machine a plate to mount it that you can fit to your bass. That could be screwed to the front or maybe held in position by the existing bridge. Definitely do-able, but involves a lot of work and planning.

Finally, a search found this after market Bass guitar string mute from Holland. I've no experience with it, but it appears to do exactly what you require. The only possible issue that I can see is that it mutes the strings from the side, rather than below, so might get in the way for some playing techniques.

Hope that helps.

Andy
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby jaminem » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:56 pm

wrong end I suspect but what about this?
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby zenguitar » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:47 pm

Looks like we've discovered the missing link

Andy
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby jaminem » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:55 pm

zenguitar wrote:Looks like we've discovered the missing link

Andy

uh?
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby zenguitar » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:40 pm

jaminem wrote:wrong end I suspect but what about this?

What about this what? A missing link

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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby jaminem » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:52 pm

zenguitar wrote:
jaminem wrote:wrong end I suspect but what about this?

What about this what? A missing link

Andy

What a numbskull.

http://www.batten.com/Articles/Guitarhoo.html
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby zenguitar » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:01 pm

Sorry Jaminem, if it's any consolation, it happens to us all from time to time.

And yes, you are right, wrong end of the neck for what the OP had in mind. When double tapping was all the rage there were several similar devices around. Stanley Jordan endorsed one and in interviews made a point of saying that he didn't play a Chapman Stick because they wouldn't make him an endorsee and give him a free Stick.

A string damper at the bridge was quite common on early electric basses. I recall them on Gibson EB series basses as well as Rickies and there were players who fitted a foam rubber pad to the underside of the Precision Bass pick-up cover to do the same job. The damper removes the harmonics as well as the sustain so you can get a very staccato bass sound that can be mixed quite loud without trampling all over the guitars, keyboards, and vocals.

Andy
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby 4TrackMadman » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:25 am

http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Asics_Seco_Bandana_Black/descpageMAASICS-ASBBK.html

You can also make shift a towel around it, stick it up under the strings, saw a guy use headbands that were cut on one side and he fashioned 2 snap buttons on them to be able to take them out for washing. This type of snaps, available at every sewing store:
http://www.shatzusa.com/category.jhtm?cid=8
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby jaminem » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:36 am

zenguitar wrote:Sorry Jaminem, if it's any consolation, it happens to us all from time to time.

And yes, you are right, wrong end of the neck for what the OP had in mind. When double tapping was all the rage there were several similar devices around. Stanley Jordan endorsed one and in interviews made a point of saying that he didn't play a Chapman Stick because they wouldn't make him an endorsee and give him a free Stick.

A string damper at the bridge was quite common on early electric basses. I recall them on Gibson EB series basses as well as Rickies and there were players who fitted a foam rubber pad to the underside of the Precision Bass pick-up cover to do the same job. The damper removes the harmonics as well as the sustain so you can get a very staccato bass sound that can be mixed quite loud without trampling all over the guitars, keyboards, and vocals.

Andy

Thanks, and yes my stingray classic has a string damper at the bridge. I just wondered if this could be repurposed...
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby IvanSC » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:34 pm

Fender used to employ some surprisingly stiff, coarse-textured foam glued to the rear ashtray of their basses.
I would recommend (and sometimes do use) just a plain old bit of cushion foam woven through the strings a close as you can get to the bridge.
Not perfect, but with a little experimentation you can get just the amount of damping you need.
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:02 pm

BIt of soft squashy foam, sort of stuff they use in packaging all the time. Under the strings but not too tight, just literally touching not pressing, if that makes sense. See Carol Kaye's website for the all time great bass with flatwounds and foam sound!
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby IvanSC » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:02 am

Actually, that foam pad under the rear ashtray on a Precision came as standard from the factory, Andy.

At least it did in 1962.
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby zenguitar » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:24 pm

IvanSC wrote:Actually, that foam pad under the rear ashtray on a Precision came as standard from the factory, Andy.

At least it did in 1962.

Ah yes, but there's something special about things that were new in 1962

Andy
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Re: Bass Guitar Mute Recommendations

Postby IvanSC » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:29 pm

I met the guy I sold my 62 Precision to in 1963. I had already hd it stolen from me once and recovered it.
Sold it to Dr. Sim Jones when I needed money to buy a guitar for the gig I had at the time.

So 48 years later I got the rest of the story. He too had it stolen from him in 1964 and sadly never got it back.
I suppose there is a remote chance that someone out there still has it and appreciates what they have. Somehow I have an awful feeling this probably ended up in a pawn shop or similar and has long ago been hacked to bits by some moron. Sad. It was originally Sunburst - the only photo I have of me playing it shows this - but I had it resprayed white to match the other two guitarists in my band at the time's tele and strat. Oh and it still had the ashtray when it left me.
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