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terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1235
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 8:16 am:   Edit Post

Mica may pick up on this..
My MK has the black cavity cover(is it wood or plastic??)
I am thinking of changing for a brass one, now looking at the thickness of this cover, a brass one would add even more weight.
So the questions are:-
Are the brass plates on Series basses thinner?
Can one be made for a MK Signature?
How much would it cost?

I could get a local engraver to cut me a piece, it's the thickness that worries me
groovelines
Senior Member
Username: groovelines

Post Number: 597
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 9:47 am:   Edit Post

Hi Terry,

I've had plastic (the black cover you mention) and currently have basses with brass and chrome back plates. The brass and chrome look nicer, for some have a better "wow" factor, and require just a little more care for something most people never see. Yes, the brass will add more weight, but to me it's negligible compared the total weight of the bass it's on. Even so, I still prefer the lighter plastic.

If you have a custom back plate made you should make sure that the person you hire knows the length of the screws and the depth of the recessed threaded posts the screws insert in to ensure the proper fit and thickness of the new plate before anything gets cut.

Hopefully one of the moderators, or others can better address your questions. I can make some guesses, but guesses they would be.

best of luck,
Mike
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 1972
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post

I have a brass cover plate on my Europa and it's gold plated I don't know if it original or an after purchase decision. It is a pretty heavy piece of metal but compared to the weight of the bass not noticeable really.

jazzyvee
keith_h
Moderator
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 1628
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 11:16 am:   Edit Post

I seem to recall seeing here that the brass plates are thicker than the plastic plates.

Keith
ajdover
Senior Member
Username: ajdover

Post Number: 831
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post

Terry - I'd go for a plastic or wood backplate. My Series II has wood backplates, it makes a huge difference to me.

Alan
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1237
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 11:29 am:   Edit Post

Well thanks guys, I will be taking a caliper gauge to measure the thickness and will make a template up with the holes marked.
I have the necessary metal coutersink bits to make the screws flush to the plate.
Anymore suggestions please.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1238
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 11:31 am:   Edit Post

I may even get a piece of exotic wood from a local timber merchant and make a contrasting wwood plate...a nice evening project
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1239
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post

I may get a piece of exotic wood from a local timber merchant and make up a wood plate..a nice evening project..if I do I will keep you all posted
rjmsteel
Member
Username: rjmsteel

Post Number: 71
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 11:39 am:   Edit Post

I think so too... They had a MK that I was looking into that was already routed for plastic plates. If I remember correctly they could do the brass plates but would do so by laminating the brass onto the plastic or would have needed to do a deeper routing, (for the brass), on the ledge that supports the cover inside the control cavity. (or something like that).

-Rich
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 784
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, June 07, 2010 - 11:53 am:   Edit Post

I was going to suggest a wood plate replacement - it doesn't have to match exactly, like you say it could make for a nice contrast.
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 2623
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 4:23 am:   Edit Post

Terry. Back in 2005 I was thinking the same thing and Mica quoted me $125 for a replacement backplate for my Epic. I'd also have had to send the plastic one back to Alembic as they need to be able to line up the screw holes perfectly. A replacement brass truss rod cover would have cost $85. 5 years on I'm still thinking about it.

graeme
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1247
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 6:06 am:   Edit Post

well boys I have already sourced a timber merchant locally and he has some nice woods, indian rosewood, figured maple, bocate and bubinga.
He also said he could cut the shape and plane it to the right thickness for a mere 20! USA guys convert please!.
I can drill the holes and spray it so looks like this week end I will be doing some choosing.
adriaan
Moderator
Username: adriaan

Post Number: 2503
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 6:41 am:   Edit Post

What are your plans for shielding? The plastic backplates have silver shielding paint.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1250
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 6:51 am:   Edit Post

adriaan..I have a a tin full of the stuff.
The advantages of working on a heavy chemical plant which has it's own maintenance section.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4459
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 7:17 am:   Edit Post

I don't know how well a solid wood backplate would hold up. Alembic's wooden backplates aren't solid. They make them using several thin sheets of wood to create their own "plywood" with a veneer of the chosen wood on top. The plywood approach is much stronger than a solid piece.

Bill, tgo
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1251
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 7:23 am:   Edit Post

Well if it fails I still have the black one but since it is on the back and has no weight or load bearing then I cannot see it failing?. I mean it is almost 3mm thick and apart from cracking what else would it do?
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 4460
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 7:47 am:   Edit Post

warp?
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1252
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 7:57 am:   Edit Post

Well of course but I have been told there stock has been well cured.
If and when I get it done I will post some pics and here is an example of my restoration skills.
This was polished using the traditional french method

tablebefore

tableafter
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 6785
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Tuesday, June 08, 2010 - 10:18 am:   Edit Post

Nice job on the French polishing - that represents lots of hours.

We use 1/16" thick brass and 1/8" thick plastic or wood plates. As Bill states, our habit is to construct the plate from 5 plies to make them stronger. A single thickness of wood is more prone to cupping or even splitting at the screw recesses. Of course, you can always make another one if that happens.

We have made replacement brass plates for instruments that originally had plastic plates, but let me tell you - 1/8" thick brass is really heavy!
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1253
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 - 2:06 am:   Edit Post

Thnaks for the comments, this table was covered with some awful red wood stain which required me to chemical strip and the top veneer was beginning to lift so I had to re glue and do some filling with wood dust and glue.
Prep is the secret(as you know) when the first few coats go on you can immediately see the effect.
As far as the plate, I may steal your idea and make it up as a laminate, going to see timber merchant at the week end..You are right about the weight of brass as my MK is already really heavy.
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1254
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 - 2:10 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for the comments Mica, it was covered with an awful red wood stain/varnish combination.
I had to chemically remove it which also caused the glue holding the top veneer to separate.
As you know good preparation is the secret as when the first few coats went on it began to look really good.
As far as the back wood plate I am will take the laminate idea on board and going to see timber merchant this week end.
You are right about brass, that would really be heavy as my MK is already a weighty bass!

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