Help required - Selecting a new bridge
Hi all. Hoping for some help with my bridge :)
I have a 3/4 violin body Westbury bass currently with a non-adjustable bridge, fitted with my Wilson pickup and Evah Pirazzi Weich's.
I feel my action is slightly too low as I find the E and A strings are slapping against the fingerboard a fair bit when I'm playing naturally, which is causing problems particularly when recording.
At the bottom of my fingerboard, from the fingerboard surface to first contact with each string, my current string heights are as follows:
E: 8mm; A: 7mm; D: 7mm; G: 6mm.
Are there any experts here who would agree it sounds like my action is a bit too low?
If so, I am looking into getting a new, adjustable bridge, however am a little confused about a couple of specifications.
I am looking at a Dispau bridge, and on their website there are a number of customisable options:
1. They list four different French models - CT1, CT2, CT6, CT12, all slightly different in shape.
-How do I know which particular shape to go for? How does each shape affect playability/tone etc?
2. Heart position - Normal heart or high heart.
-Does this make any difference to the tone etc?
3. Fairly fine and regular grain, wood with less pronounced medullary rays
Wide and fairly regular grain, wood with less pronounced medullary rays
-Is this purely aesthetic preference?
4. In terms of bridge size, their website specifies their 3/4 size bridge to have a distance of 150mm exterior leg width, and their small 4/4 size bridge to have an exterior leg width of 158mm.
-My current bridge has an exterior leg width of 154mm. Which should I go for? Would it make a significant difference?
Any help on any of my above questions would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!
Why not just have a luthier add adjusters to your bridge?
I did not even think of that! Think I will look into that option first. Many thanks Greg, greatly appreciated.
Your string heights are not necessarily too low, but your fingerboard may need shaping to accommodate those heights without buzzing.
Your strings height sounds fairly normal. I consider 6 on G and 9 on E to be 'standard'. I prefer the CT12, and I see a lot of other bass luthiers using that model as well. The parallel legs are well suited for taking adjusters. The different heart positions allow you to accommodate for basses with non standard neck sets. How tall is your bridge measured from the center of the top to the crown of the bridge? If around 6.5", a normal heart location will work just fine. Most people use a single tree despiau which is what most suppliers will have in stock. For bridge size, measure the distance between the upper lobes of your F-holes. That will basically dictate what size bridge to use. Unfortunately, Despiau does not make the much needed 154 or 155 size. You might have to use an Aubert bridge if thats the size you need. A lot of 3/4 basses need a larger bridge than 150 mm. Hope that helps.
Despiau 155 width bridges are available.
Teller also makes excellent bridges and you can purchase them from DICTUM. There is also the 155 mm dimension in the inventory.
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