Category Archives: Endpin

Finetuning the bass

During the last 3 weeks the Stagg accompanied me on my holiday. Such a holiday is perfect for small imperfections to surface… And they did. This post documents a few minor tweaks I did after I got back from holiday.

Thrussrod rattle
The Stagg is fitted with a totally useless thrussrod. During my holiday I found out that the only thing it did very well was rattling in its slot. I tried to fix this using bathroom sealant. Read about it here.

Endpin got stuck
At the campsite we had bbq that ended in a jam session. I could not join as I did not bring my amp but I did show the bass on request. Only to find out the endpin got stuck in the new plug. I knew the fit was quite tight and after taking it out there appeared to be some transfer from the (softer) aluminum to the steel of the rod. After carefully removing this the rod was OK again. Something to keep my eye on.

Endpin rattle
EndpinRattleInside_1At the campsite I mainly used the bass with the pin as far in as possible. This leaves a long part inside the bass which is a possible cause for vibration. So while I had the pin out anyhow I decided to make an endblock that fixates the endpin when it is as far in as possible.

EndpinRattleInside_2This might well be the most unnecessary modification I have done but it took only a few minutes. I made a maple wooden insert with a 10,5 mm hole in it. The endpin was chamfered a bit more  so it would “guide itself” into the hole. The block was made to exact size and fitted with a couple of screws. When the pin is in the block it is under a bit of tension so it will not rattle.

Battery compartment
BatteryCushionAnother modification that might not be all that necessary is fitting some padding material to the battery compartment to prevent possible rattling. It implied nothing more than sticking two pieces of foam tape inside the compartment and on the lid. Better safe than sorry 🙂

Body support and tuner
BodySupportTuner_2The body support that I made for playing seated turned out to be on the wrong side of the bass. At home, sitting on a high bass stool, everything was ok, but on the campsite, sitting on a picnic bench the balance point proved to be a bit off. So I moved the body support over the left hand side (G string) of the bass. My first impression is that this position feels a lot better, the bass appears to be better balanced. But time will tell I guess…

I used (and have hidden) the hole on the right hand side to fit a small Planet Waves NS micro tuner. This way this can stay on the bass permanently and not look obtrusive. And I won’t get caught again without a tuner!

Apogee JAM
apogee-jamThe last thing I did was treating myself to an Apogee JAM guitar interface. With this nifty little device you can connect an electric guitar, or EUB, to an iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC and record the sound in an application like Garageband. I wanted to be able to hear myself back for a while and this makes it possible. I have yet to find out the optimal settings but is is very “educational” to hear yourself play…

Endpin… again

Being fed up with the rattling and moving endpin on my honey Stagg I decided to fix it once and for all. The movement is due to three things: the long extending length of the pin, the cheap plastic the endpin plug is made of and the fit of the plug in the bass body. After some thinking on it I decided I had two options:

  1. change the whole assembly for a normal DB endpin en plug
  2. make a new, good fitting plug from a better material

As I had already put some effort in making a new rubber tip for the stock pin and did not want to spend a lot more money on the bass at this moment (the money paid for the new amp was still fresh in my memory…) I decided to have a go at option 2. I knew I had a piece of 35 mm diameter aluminum rod in the workshop somewhere and that would make a good starting point for a new plug.

The pictures below describe the process of making a new plug step by step. The new plug has been chemically blackened afterwards using Birchwood Casey Aluminium Black and the fixing screw has been threaded directly into the aluminum.

The plug has a tight fit in the bass body and is fixed by two countersunk screws that screw into the aluminium of the plug. I made the part of the plug that goes onside the bass body about 20 mm longer to give more support. The pin itself did not fit in the 10 mm hole I drilled… The “10 mm” pin actually turned out to be somewhat larger in diameter… So I had to ream this out a bit. But now it is a nice and tight sliding fit.

Below you find the pictures from raw material to the mounted plug. So far I can feel no play anymore and the rattle is gone too. Time will tell if this will stay that way.

Endpin rattle

Endpin-2The endpin on a Stagg EUB is one of its greatest design flaws. It moves around a lot, always rattles inside the bass and it is too short for people taller than about 6 feet. Besides that I find the rubber tip to be pretty slippery on a wooden floor (at least the tip on my new Stagg was).

Due to the design of the Stagg the endpin has to be very long. With it being only 10 mm in diameter it becomes pretty wobbly. Being so long it has a lot of leverage and the pin moves around in all directions while playing. The end of the pin rattles inside the bass due to this movement.

Endpin-1The major issue here is the endpin plug being made of plastic! The fit of this piece in the bass is not very good. It is cylindrical instead of conical as on a normal DB and it is held in place by two small screws hidden under the string holder. The fit of the pin in the plastic plug is not very good either… Rather sloppy…

The rattle inside the bass can be cured (to a certain extend) by wrapping some duct tape around the end of the pin that is inside the bass. I also tried a piece of heat shrink tube but that came loose eventually.

Endpin-4I replaced the rubber tip by turning an aluminum adapter to be able to fit a 12 mm rubber tip I had lying around from another bass. These rubbers come in different sizes and are used on walking sticks. I have used them on three of my basses and I find them to be non slipping, durable and cheap.

As the smallest available size is 12 mm I had to make the adapter. So I turned the adapter , heated it and then shrunk fitted it to the end pin. This solved the problem of a slipping pin once and for all, even when playing sitting with the bass at a larger angle.

Endpin-3I still have to find a more definitive solution to the rattle and excessive movement of the endpin. I will probably turn a new plug from hardwood or aluminium to replace the plastic one. But as this involves removing strings, bridge and stringholder and quite a bit of work, I keep on postponing this…