Dismiss Notice

Welcome to TalkBass.com!

Register your free account to unlock features including:

  • Post messages or start new discussions
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Upload images and video to our gallery
  • Enter free giveaways
  • Get rid of this notice, and much more :)

Cutting string length

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by espass, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. espass


    Feb 14, 2013
    Hi folks, i plan to cut the string length by +- 1/2 inch. Mine somewhat happen to be 42". Since there is no luthier around (have to have 2hour flight), i would like to know if by simply pushing up the bridge north will reduce the string length.

    Will it has impact to the bass bar/top/any structural damage?

    Will it change the neck feel (D neck becomes No longer D neck ??)

    Can someone share their experiences?
    Thanks in advance
  2. Not the best idea, since the soundpost should go north too, but it might work if the soundpost is close to the bridge leg. The sound will be different (softer).

    The neck feel goes closer to a Eb neck, but not much, for the D-neck feel grip your D about 4mm north of your current position. Needs some practicing. Or use a false nut of 4mm. But don't make any non-reversible changes to your instrument (and also not any changes that can get expensive like a new fingerboard...)!
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    I played a bass for a few years that we had moved the bridge north about 1/2". I'm sure my luthier adjusted the soundpost accordingly, and the bass sounded just fine and no different from the lower bridge position.
  4. I just explained that the sound changes without a soundpost adjustment (since it is almost the same as moving the soundpost south for the current bridge position).

    12.7 mm or 1/2 of an inch is not much (but then probably not needed), so the sound with the proper soundpost adjustment should not be much different, but I'm rather sure it will change a bit. But probably not neccesarily in a bad way and maybe hard to notice.
    The bass was not built for the new bridge position, but it may work.
  5. Sponsored by:

  6. Dakotah


    Dec 21, 2011
    Port Richey,FL
    I'd guess that would screw up the intonation something bad wouldn't it?
  7. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Double Bass, no frets...
  8. Hi.

    I'd try it first with bridge 1/4" north, false nut/capo 1/4" south.

    But then again I'm a hack player, I probably wouldn't notice a 1" change in scale lenght :D.

  9. Dakotah


    Dec 21, 2011
    Port Richey,FL
    OOPS, didn't see that!
  10. @T-Bird: Better 2/3 (of the total shortening) at the bridge, 1/3 with the false nut. That keeps the D-neck in place.
  11. Hi.

    True, thanks.

  12. I would also be concerned about moving the soundpost forward to follow the bridge. Wouldn't that cause the top to sink a little, throwing string geometry off?

    I would think if you moved the soundpost forward with the bridge, the new position (bass is deeper here) would require a longer soundpost in order to keep the treble foot of the bridge at the same height as it currently is.
  13. espass


    Feb 14, 2013
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts guys.

    Yes I'm prepared for soundpost reposition. I would assume there would be no problem related to bass bar yes?

    What makes me concerned is to install false nut to compensate neck feel changes. I probably will have a guitar maker install it for me.

    @doubeMidi: then I have to move the bridge around 8-9 mm and add a false nut around 4 mm?

    For the nut, is it we add wood like 4mm more to the current nut OR we make a new nut and place it 4mm away from the current nut (new nut should be in the same dimension w/ the current one)?

  14. @espass:
    You are right. But 1/3 2/3 is a theoretical approach that would work in practice, but is hard to do without cutting the top end of the fingerboard (which is only reversible by installing a new one). The false nut needs to overlap the fingerboard by 4mm and needs to be very thin at the string grooves. Not easy to make, if possible at all. If the false nut is higher, then you need to press the string hard in the lowest (half) position.

    The false nut needs to shorten the fingerboard length, so either cut the top end of the fingerboard (for a regular nut closer to the bridge, NOT RECOMMENDED!) or you need a new nut ON TOP of (overlapping) the existing fingerboard (that can be removed to restore the old state).

    There have been questions about false nuts and photos of them here in the forum, just use the search function...

    So, from a practical DIY point of view, move the bridge the whole distance and adjust your playing to the new D-position at the neck (which is only 4 mm closer to the nut than before).

Play guitar too? Become a founding member of TalkGuitar.com