Magic Bass invention by Chet

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Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby Fred » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:08 pm

IMG_0702.jpg
Saw this in the liner notes of a an LP I just bought, Mr. Atkins, Guitar Picker. Anyone know about his invention, the "Magic Bass"?
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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby bill raymond » Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:50 pm

Chet separated the bass and treble string signals: the bass string signal was run through a frequency divider. Apparently, a similar device had been invented before, and was not worth patenting and pursuing. Later on in his career he made an "Octabass", which was a guitar with the bass strings replaced with strings for an electric bass, which accomplished much the same thing without the electronic frequency divider.
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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby DagerRande » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:18 am

Back in the late 60's I set up my CG this way after having been fascinated with what Chet did on his "Solo Flights" album that I purchased new in 1967 or 1968. I loved it for the two songs that I worked on from that album, which were "Drive In" and "Cheek to Cheek". Unfortunately I was stuck with this setup for everything else, which didn't really work.

At that time I had a 1967 CG. A few months ago I puruchased a brand new 6122-1959 so now I have two!

You just gave me a great idea! I'm going to buy two bass strings to put on my old '67 CG and leave it that way!

Thank You!
Rande Dager

We are all capable of doing more than we think we can!
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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby bill raymond » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:16 pm

Rande, you will have to make accommodation for the greater compensation that the bass strings will require; I remember Chet mentioned somewhere that he had a guitar that had a bridge that could somehow accommodate the strings. Also, you will likely have to drill the bass tuning machine posts for the thicker bass strings. Good luck, it sounds like a nice project.
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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby Fred » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:48 pm

Here's Paul Yandell's post on the Octobass and set up. The liner notes though sounds like something completely different than just separating the signals.

https://misterguitar.us/cbimg/PaulFAQ.html#Octobass
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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby DagerRande » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:03 pm

Bill, it may sound like a "nice project" to you but I'm not that kind of person! :-) All I did back when I did it was basically nothing! I didn't use any special bridge and for some reason I managed to be able to insert the strings through the tuning pegs. I'm not sure how much extra tension I subjected the guitar to but I always loosened them when I was done.
Rande Dager

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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby DagerRande » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:06 pm

Fred, I really appreciate you posting the link to Paul's description of the setup!

thanks!
Rande Dager

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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby BillB » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:03 am

Rande,
This discussion reminded me of a player that I hadn't thought about in a long time, and there are a few YouTube videos out there of Tommy Crook including the one that I'm including a link for. He apparently uses his "Octabass" with the two bass strings a lot, and he can really play. I remember hearing about him years ago, maybe from Bob Armstrong before he passed away.

Bill B.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ose0L8RGLdo
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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby DagerRande » Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:39 pm

Bill, I remember hearing about Tommy Crook. Thanks for that link. When you mentioned Bob Armstrong, I actually got to know him a little during my short time teaching in Jefferson, TX. Len Collins was the president of the TFGA at the time and he lived within walking distance from me. Bob Armstrong is the one who took us both to the meetings. I went to two of them. One was in the Fall and the other in the Spring. That's where I met Bill Bailey, Glen Burgin, Ken Goddard, and a number of others that have been to the CAAS convention over the years. Did I ever meet you?

I almost forgot to mention Bruce Ramsey, the comedian/banjo player, who we've lost since then.
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Re: Magic Bass invention by Chet

Postby Steve Sanders » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:07 pm

Hey fellars, check out a guy named Doug Inkster on YouTube. He has a SuperChet set up for the Octabass thing and does a great job on a few tunes we all know. I especially like "Autumn Leaves"! Also check out with a search for "octabass" or bass strings on a guitar where a guy has set up a Telecaster with bass strings with little or no modification and it sounds real good too!! Just thought I'd chime in! Or is that a harmonic?!! Prolly "fret buzz"!!! Thanks, Steve
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