Both basses and bass players come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. That's one of the exciting things about the bass—it's this really old instrument but there's still so much room for experimentation and discovery.
I always had problems with the traditional straight endpin style setup, at least on my instrument. I could never really find a way to play that didn't involve one of the following major compromises:
1. The bass's weight putting unnecessary weight on my left hand.
2. My back hurting from keeping the instrument very low and sort of wrapping my body around it to fix problem #1.
3. Lugging a stool everywhere.
4. Holding the bass up with my legs in some fashion.
I got into playing on angled endpin because they solve a lot of these problems by distributing the weight of the instrument differently.
My first version of this was simple. I took my endpin, went out to the garage, clamped it in a vice, then got a torch and bent it. This gave me a taste, but it had a problem where it would rotate inside the bass and the instrument wouldn't stay in place.
The tradition fix to this problem is to drill a new hole inside the bass at an angle.
This get's the job done, but presented more problems:
1. I didn't want to drill a hole in my bass or modify it.
2. I wanted an endpin I could take on the road and use with rental basses.
3. I wanted to adjust and experiment with different angles.
4. I didn't want a contraption that changes my sound.
5. I wanted something I could adjust myself without a trip to the luthier.
The Chromatic Endpin
Nothing on the market met my needs, so I invented my own solution, called The Chromatic Endpin.
The Final Problem
I love this endpin and use it everyday. I don't see myself using any other solution unless something better comes along.
Lots of people agree with me too. They want them! I want to bring these to people, but I have hit some economic barriers:
- Most fabricators don't even want to mess with this device because it's kind of tricky to make. I emailed a few dozen machine shops and almost everyone refused to give me a quote in any quantity.
- The shops overseas in Asia that I contacted will make anything, but they wanted BIG quantities in the neighborhood of 10,000 units, at least.
- 3D printing in small quantities is possible, but each device will be prohibitively expensive. Most bass players seem happy to pay around $200-$250 for something like this, but 3D printing would cost at least double that.
- The fabricators that will do this job in small(ish) quantities still have a minimum order size. The best price I could get in a small quantity will cost around $12,000 for the first batch.
I'm trying to break through this final barrier using Kickstarter. If I can raise enough to fund the initial order, I'll be off to the races with this thing. I'll be able to sell these initially at a price of $250 and potentially negotiate a lower price later on.
I'm hustling like hell to try to get this in front of as many bassists as possible.