Carvin Bridges - Wilkinson vs Hipshot

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MaddAnthony_59, Jan 14, 2013.


  1. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Location:
    Columbus, IN
    I have a '96/'97 Carvin LB76F (F for Fretless) bass, which came with the Black & Gold Wilkinson bridge. It looks nice, but being that my bass is fretless, I don't feel it's giving my strings the best "Traction" on the fingerboard unless I raise it up a bit, or run a Bar Over the Strings & Under the Intonation screws. (I'll get a picture)

    I noticed that in 1998 Carvin went with the Hipshot bridges. Has anyone A / B -ed these 2 bridges? Any comments or opinions as to which is better? Are they interchangable?
  2. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hipshot hardware is extremely well made - hense it's widespread popularity.
    That said, I've never run into any issues with Wilkinson's products. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "traction", but it seems to me like you might be talking about a set-up issue rather than a problem with the bridge itself... or maybe I'm just misunderstanding you.
  3. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Location:
    Columbus, IN
    Yes, I can set the action Very Low on this bass. So low that the strings have almost no tension on the saddles. The Bar that someone used to push the strings Under the Intonation adjusting screws "Imitates" being run through the body, pulling the strings Down onto the saddles. But it is a PAIN getting the Bar/Rod in over the B & E strings. I was wondering if the Hipshot bridge pulled the strings over the saddles with more DownForce. I was also hoping the bridges used the same "Bolt Pattern" so I could swap them without any new holes being drilled.
  4. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    Can you post a picture of your current bridge setup? I'm curious. Thanks!
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  6. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    I have this problem on my Bunny 4 string fretless which has the Hipshot bridge. The saddles are bottomed out and, with the strings top loaded, the break angle is very shallow. The E saddle will actually rattle back and forth with a strongly plucked open E...

    So the Hipshot won't cure this either, I don't think.

    However, if you string through the body, it looks like the break angle is greater and that may push the saddles down enough to hold them in place more solidly.

    I'm too lazy to restring mine through-body and there's no rattling normally so I haven't tried it. But I think that would cure it.

    LS
  7. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Location:
    Columbus, IN
    I'll get it tonight. You can see the pics on this Classified listing:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f126/...ne-fretless-6-string-modded-headstock-947119/

    It's the Gold Collored Bar behind the saddles. I can't see PhotoBucket pics at work, but I think there's a decent shot of the bridge in there.

    And BTW, I've Really warmed up to this bass. I'll probably be pulling the listing.

    But a HipShot and a Through Body Mod may be the trick. Or raise the action an 1/8"! :crying:

    Hmm, maybe a 1/4" route under the Bridge! (Does the End justify the Means?)
  8. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    I wouldn't really bother with it, to tell the truth, unless the saddles are actually buzzing back and forth when you're playing normally, that is. It won't affect the tone enough to really notice it (and that bar thing over the strings is likely to affect the tuning as it bends)...

    I play my Bunny as-is and the saddles don't rattle in normal playing. So it's probably not worth the aggravation of trying to modify it. IMHO...

    LS
  9. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Location:
    Columbus, IN
    I get a little "Vibration" from the strings on the saddle, which cuts sustain to Nil. I can see Why the Rod was used, but I'd like to find a better way of setting up the bridge. The action on this bass is INSANELY low!
  10. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hmmm... I see what you mean and, no, I don't think changing the bridge would help. It looks as though the neck angle is too shallow on that bass.

    One solution would be to route under the bridge, as someone here already suggested. Another would be to move the bridge closer to the neck. This would allow you to move the saddles back and improve the break angle. Since all your saddles are very far forward, there's room to try this.
  11. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Oh, then yes that's bad lol....

    Another option is to put spacers in between the saddles to jam them all together. Or you could do a Leo Fender mod and drill/tap holes on either side of the bridge so you can fit set screws in there. Then tighten the set screws against the outer saddles to mash the works into a single piece.

    Those would be a lot less invasive mods and probably a lot easier to do?

    LS
  12. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

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    Location:
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    Yeah, It's not going to be "Easy as Pie". I'm considering getting the Carvin Hipshot Bridge and see how it lines up over the existing bridge. Drilling holes for Through Body should not be that difficult, assuming the new bridge covers the old installation. Between this and the Modified HeadStock, I'll be well on my way to a Trully Custom Carvin. (PreAmp might be next!!!)
  13. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Well I'm looking at the Hipshot on my Bunny 6 string right now, and it looks totally different from the bridge on yours. Different bolt pattern, much thinner front-to-back....

    I'd say that would be an ugly mod to try to put the Hipshot on there.

    If it were me, I'd try the Leo Fender "saddle lock" mod first. That'd only require buying a tap set and a couple set screws, and you'd only have to pull the bridge off to make the mod....
    PS: if you don't have enough metal on the sides to support the set screw, I'd just jam a couple spacers on either side between the outer saddles and the sides of the bridge. That mod would cost $0.00 and would completely stop the moving saddles....

    LS
  14. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    I can't see for sure on the pictures, but it looks like the ball end on the strings are located on the upper slot on the bridge. There is actually a lower slot/cavity to put the ball end in. I'm sorry I'm not explaining this very well. I'm not sure how to explain clearly. There are two locations on this bridge to put the ball end in, and you want to use the lower one.

    Hope this helps. :)
  15. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Columbus, IN
    As requested:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]You can see the bar holding the strings down...
  16. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2006
    Location:
    Columbus, IN
    Well I'll be Dipped!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's kinda tricky getting the ball in the lower slot. I sort of Stood the ball with the Hole Up, and Rolled it into place with the tip of a needle nosed plier. Now to Test!!! :bassist:

    And it's MUCH Better!!!!:hyper:

    Alrighty Then! The Carvin Calvary Saves the Day!

    Thanks All!:D
  17. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Oh my bad, you don't even have sides on the bridge... never mind ;)

    LS
  18. LanEvo

    LanEvo Supporting Member

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    The simple solution would be to switch to a set of strings that's "taper wound" or "exposed core" (sometimes called "piano wound") at the ball end. A number of manufacturers offer them as an option.

    Because the ball end will be much skinnier, you'll need to raise the saddles to compensate. It really makes a big difference on the B and E strings.

    Some people feel taper wound/exposed core strings make for better intonation as well. I've never noticed a difference in that regard, but I can see the argument.
  19. Ben B

    Ben B Supporting Member

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    Jul 13, 2006
    Location:
    Lakeside, CA
    One of my Carvin basses came with the Wilkinson bridge. I could never get it to stop buzzing on the G string. Plus I never liked the string retaining cavity--the ball ends would slip and end up crooked like shown in your first picture. Soon after buying the bass, I replaced the Wilkinson with a Schaller roller bridge which Carvin used prior to Wilkinson. I never owned a Carvin bass with the Hipshot bridge, but I've played a few. They seem fine.

    Ben
  20. dabbler

    dabbler Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Bowie, MD
    IF this is a bolt neck, this is another reason to shim. A bit of shim on the body side of the neck will allow you to raise the saddles, while keeping a low action, but increasing the angle from ball end of the string to the saddles. I know some people frown on shims, but there is no reason to be afraid of them.
  21. jbrew73

    jbrew73

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    I had one of the Wilkinson bridges on a 76 precision bass. That thing rattled and buzzed like crazy. I shimmed the neck and helped a little. I finally ditched it for the fender bridge and had no regrets.
    My advise is to replace it. I wouldn't bother making modifications unless money is a factor.
    I friend once told me that you can't make chicken salad out of chicken $hit!

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