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How do I replace bass strap

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keithclarke

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I have a 72-bass Hohner Concerto III S which is looking a lot lovelier since I fitted new straps today. However, the bass strap is a bit ropey, too, and I would love to replace it. I am amazed to find no guidance whatsoever on YouTube, etc, but expect there are very brainy people here who can help. Is it something that needs a professional repairer or could a banana-fingered newbie manage it without wrecking the instrument? Many thanks for any guidance.
 
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Ill let others explain how to replace and install an new bass strap. For most accordions its not too difficult. However, I discovered a much better solution for my purposes. I received an incorrect auto dashmat of suede last year, but the company made an error and said to keep it rather than sending it back. It was a fortuitous mistake.
I noticed the material was incredibly smooth and soft, and decided to cut a strip wide enough to fit around a bass strap from top to bottom, so its basically a sleeve that you fasten closed with velcro. I overlapped it an inch or so, then fastened it with three or four velcro tabs that I ironed on. The suede is black and is not at all noticeable. What I do notice is that the strap feels better than even the most expensive strap I have ever had. Absolutely comfortable and does not interfere in any way. I use this suede covering for my 7x and acoustic accordions whether the strap is cracked and rough or brand new.
The only trick is to find good quality suede material. I was able to cut at least three bass strap covers out of the dashmat, but if you can find just the suede somewhere I highly recommend it as a covering for any bass strap. It has shown no signs of wear in about a year of heavy use, but if I cant find the raw material Ill just order the largest dashmat I can find with the fewest contours or cutouts.
You can see what it looks like in one of my recent youtube videos--I dont think anyone is likely to notice unless you are specifically looking at the strap.
If anyone finds an inexpensive source for a quality suede material please let me know.
Richard
 
K

keithclarke

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Thanks, Richard, that sounds a brilliant idea. I'll hit the haberdashers. Lovely playing on that video!

Keith
 

Soulsaver

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Hi Keith and welcome to the forum. Yes, to say Richard is quite accomplished.. would be a bit of an understatement.

No help around probably cos people think its so easy.

So Bass straps: 2 DIY ways: buy the strap bare, strip of your screw mech (adjuster) and attach it to new strap at the right length attach the other end inside your box.. eh voila as they say.
Or buy the strap ready made (may need to cut the bare end for length adjustment).
In the UK Charlie Marshall stocks both .. http://www.cgmmusical.co.uk/CGM_Musical_Services/Bass_Straps.html and is really helpful
- maybe worth saying youve not done it before in case he offers additional help Ive not thought of.
So off with the bass plate, undo your adjuster from the knurled nut, measure the overall leather length; decide if you have the tools/capability/time/inclination to transfer your bits across to a bare strap, and fix the other end to the inside... Or not.
Im sure Charlie will have the correct thread for a Hohner, but maybe best to ask, should you decide to go for it pre assembled.
Or hand over to your local repairer..
 

JIM D.

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:tup: Ed; your response echos what I would have recommended. :tup:
 

Soulsaver

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JIM D. said:
:tup: Ed; your response echos what I would have recommended. :tup:
Thanks Jim - :tup: - I dont trust my memory these days... age..
 
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keithclarke

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Many thanks, Soulsaver (and Jim D). I'm afraid I would get stuck at 'off with the bass plate' - I can't see any screws! But on reflection, the strap is still strong, it's just tatty, with flapping bits, so I reckon that rather than tempt providence I shall fix some kind of cover as Richard suggests. Now I just need to get to grips with velcro...
 

Soulsaver

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Is it one piece feet at each end? I think the screws are in the middle of the two feet hidden maybe by the bass strap.
 

Soulsaver

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If you decide to take the bass cover off, just a reminder.. make sure you get the air button located in its hole when putting it back.. or you'll bend the wire .. and won't have an air button. Easily fixed but easier to avoid.
 
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keithclarke

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Update: I braved taking the bass cover off, having discovered those two screws. Result is that while one end of the bass strap comes off if I unscrew the adjuster enough, the other end is fixed to the side of the case with two screws, just a little below the level of all the metal fiddly bits (to use a technical term). It is possible to get a screwdriver on these screws, but while I can imagine myself unscrewing the strap fairly competently, getting the screws back in place with a shiny new strap looks like the sort of thing I would really cock up.

So to cut to the chase, I have adopted Richard's method, having found a nice fabric off-cut for 50p and invested in some velcro tabs. I can't say the result is a thing of beauty - it rather looks like I picked up the instrument in a charity shop - but it does the job and will serve its purpose until the day that is bound to come when I order a new strap and convince myself I can fit it, the kind ofmistake have made so many times.

I was especially grateful to Soulsaver's tip about the air button. That was certainly a mistake waiting to happen and I felt quite smug avoiding it.
 
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If you can find the right suede it will work extremely well. What I used has a thin foam backing which makes all the difference, providing enough stiffening for it to remain in place, and also providing a softness that eliminates any roughness or unevenness you might have in the underlying strap.
I tried other materials that didn't work well, including a thick vinyl material and just heavy cloth. Some were not very comfortable, others bunched up, and many were rather unattractive in appearance. The dashmat suede solved all of the issues for me. I notice that auto detail shops might have something that would work, but I haven't actually tried their suede materials yet as I still have material enough to make at least one more cover.
 

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