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  #1  
Old 02-20-2014, 08:52 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
String angle across the bridge

Dear colleagues,

I'd like to ask you to do a simple measurement for me: What string angle across the bridge does your bass(es) have? If any of the luthiers here can comment on what is a normal/standard angle, this would be really appreciated.

Just for the case you are curious why am I asking this: Now I am dealing with a bass with a short bridge (14cm / 5.5inch). I believe this is a proper bridge for a given bass as the bass has a highly arched top and a thin saddle. The strings probably exert the same downward pressure to the top as when you have the standard 17cm/6.5inch bridge on a flatter bass with a standard saddle. I would like to justify this idea by comparing the string angle with other basses.

For a given string tension, the angle defines the downward pressure to the top. Unfortunately, it is not a common practice to measure the angle. The height of the bridge, the saddle, the (over)stand, they all are often discussed in relation to bass stiffness, tone character etc. These are all just partial data, while the definitive measurement is the angle. The saddle and the overstand heights influence the ease of access and esthetics, but the sound is in fact influenced by the angle.

Thanks for any measurements or comments.

Last edited by riimodar : 02-20-2014 at 08:55 AM.
  #2  
Old 02-20-2014, 08:58 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
With adjustable bridges the angle will change, no? Saddles can easily be changed to influence angle, overstand and neck angle, not so easy.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2014, 09:11 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Hochberg View Post
With adjustable bridges the angle will change, no? Saddles can easily be changed to influence angle, overstand and neck angle, not so easy.
I agree. Now: what is YOUR angle, Eric? Thanks!
  #4  
Old 02-20-2014, 10:52 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
33 deg on my 5-string 4/4. About 7/8/9/10/11 mm action at the end of the fingerboard.
Thick top, could hold the tension of Spiro stark (but not my left hand ...).

I think it depends on the bass top and strings which angle is best for your instrument. For those with a weaker top, it would be possible to raise the saddle to make the string angle at the bridge smaller and reduce the pressure on the top when using medium to higher tension strings.
  #5  
Old 02-20-2014, 12:12 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Forest Grove, OR
I assumed that the angle in question was the angle the string makes, crossing the bridge (Nut to Bridge to Tailpiece) In a violin it is supposed to be 158 degrees...probably less on a bass, but...
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2014, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleMIDI View Post
33 deg
Thanks a lot for the first measurement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st Bass View Post
I assumed that the angle in question was the angle the string makes, crossing the bridge (Nut to Bridge to Tailpiece) In a violin it is supposed to be 158 degrees
Yes, this is the angle I meant. I thing this is also waht DoubleMIDI measured: there is 33 degree break (slope) after the string crossed the bridge. I.e. his 33 degrees is 147 degrees in your interpretation (180 - 33 = 147).
  #7  
Old 02-20-2014, 01:20 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
To make clear what I mean by the string angle, I made photos of my gauge and how I use it to measure the angle.

On the concerned bass, the angles of individual strings differ a little, ranging from 30 degrees (G string) to 33 degrees (A string).
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2014, 05:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Reduce pressure on the top=change in sound/volume(softer, louder)?
  #9  
Old 02-20-2014, 07:15 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Forest Grove, OR
"Yes, this is the angle I meant. I thing this is also waht DoubleMIDI measured: there is 33 degree break (slope) after the string crossed the bridge. I.e. his 33 degrees is 147 degrees in your interpretation (180 - 33 = 147)."

OK, I understand. Thanks. I was wondering why the huge difference.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2014, 07:17 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
Yes, sorry, of course 147=180-33 degrees. I was thinking in deviation from the straight string, not the angle between the two string "legs".
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