Here are all the details about the wooden endpins I make for double basses and cellos. You will also find my online shop below.
I discovered the concept of wooden end pins from a book called “The Setup and Repair of the Double Bass for Optimum Sound” by Chuck Traeger, who is one of the foremost bass luthiers in New York who counts people like Ron Carter amongst his clientele.
So I decided to put Chucks ideas to the test and make myself one. The first one I made was from walnut and I was stunned by the difference it made.
Firstly, my bass was much louder. I could feel everything vibrating more.
Secondly the low end felt bigger, wider and more defined. “More Bassy”
Thirdly the physical stability of the bass was improved. Everything felt totally solid.
This seems to be because the end pin itself can vibrate with the rest of the bass. So just like if you put a speaker cabinet onto the floor in stead of a stand you get better bass, the same is true here.
So I decided to try making end pins from lots of different woods to explore how the material could change the sound. I have settled upon 6 different woods to choose from and I will detail their characteristics below.
I also offer an angled end pin in the style of the “Rabbath” pin. See below for more information.
Below I describe the various attributes of each wood choice available. But I should offer this caveat.
Each bass is as individual as the musician playing it. Your bass with sound different in your hands than it will in mine. As such these woods will all have an individual impact on the sound of your bass. I believe which ever wood you choose you will notice some increased volume, some added low response and better stability of the instrument. Outside of that I offer the following as a rough guide, and i’d be happy to offer more suggestions if you want to contact me here or come visit me with your bass and we can try different woods out.
I have recently added a removable spike as an option extra for the end pins. This gives the player the option when the situation requires it of removing the rubber end and screwing in a small spike. I’ve gone through various prototypes of this to get it working just right and whilst it does add a few millimetres to the height it is solid as a rock and the spike will no doubt dig into the surface an negate any height change. You can add this option in the shop here. The spike is also available as an upgrade to those of you who have already bought end pins from me. Please Contact me for this service.
I also offer an angled endpin in the style celbrated by Francois Rabbath and others.
This endpin gives you a more ‘cello-like’ playing position, many players feel this gives them an better bow response and takes the pressure off their left hand. Many jazz players like Rufus Reid are also using this style pin.
Most angled pins require a hole to be drilled in the bottom block, there by irreversibly changing the bass. My end pin allows you to use your normal end pin unit and swap between straight and angled pins at will.