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ksm bridge install

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bandbdad, Feb 2, 2014.


  1. bandbdad

    bandbdad

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
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    I am installing a ksm bridge on my 2008 Fender P. They advertise that the mounting holes match the original bridge holes, but that is not the case. 2 match up close, but the third is about 3/16" off. Would like to keep the thru body string setup, but doing so jeopardizes intonation adjustment. Has anyone installed a KSM on a fender P? Any suggestions on installing?
     
  2. Fenderlover1

    Fenderlover1

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    Aug 19, 2013
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    I have done numerous installations of the KSM Foundation bass bridge, 4 string and 5 string, and this is what I have discovered from all the bridges I've installed. The KSM Foundation's mounting pattern is set to match the center 3 mounting holes of any fender 4 string bass that is American Special, or Mexican made (or any bass with a similar barrel style bridge). Once you are into the American Standard or above (meaning any Fender bass with the through body stringing) the mounting holes will be different. On the American Standard P basses I have installed the Foundation on, I have aligned the through body holes off of the "A string" hole. This keeps the bridge centered, and allows for the slightly different through body spacing Fender uses on these basses. Intonation adjustments are still fully functional. Make sure you keep the saddles in the same order as they came in shipping. They bolt length, and threading is dedicated to these spots.
     
  3. bandbdad

    bandbdad

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
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    Thanks, I'll try that tonight. When aligning with the A string thru-hole, did you find any of the original mounting holes to line up or come close? The other issue I'm worried about is being just slightly off or right next to a current hole and trying to drill a new one.
    Saddles were marked when removed so they will go back in correctly.
    Do you find that the string spacing falls into place when aligned this way or should I use the twine trick in the E and G positions as a guide like they suggest on their video? I would assume that if the A string thru hole is used that the string spacing should stay correct. Key word "assume". :)
     
  4. bandbdad

    bandbdad

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
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    Well, your tip worked! I got it installed and set. Problem I'm having now is with intonation. When I tune the open string to pitch, then check the 12th fret pitch it is a bit sharp. Not a full half step, but it is sharp to the tuner (a Snark on the headstock) and to my ear. Adjusting the saddles to set the 12th fret pitch cause the open string to fall flat. Can't seem to find a balance. I am new to setting up a guitar, so I am certain in doing something wrong. But the only way to learn is to do it and then look back at what you did wrong. Do you have any tips for setting up this bridge as far as intonation? Should I take it to a pro to have it set up?
     
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  6. Fenderlover1

    Fenderlover1

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    Aug 19, 2013
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    Great! I'm glad you got it all set up. Now for the final part of the set up. Your intonation adjustments on the Foundation are the long bolts that are attached to the saddle assemblies. Check out this video: , or go to you tube and search "ksm foundation bass bridge" and its called Easy install of KSM Foundation bridge on Fender bass. About half way through the video is where they are showing the intonation adjustment. How to do the adjustments is pretty straight forward. Tune you bass to the open strings. Check intonation at the 12th fret. IF at the 12th fret you are sharp, you need to move the saddle back by turning the bolt clockwise. It shows you which wrench to use in the video I mentioned above. If at the 12th fret you are flat, then you want to move the saddle assembly forward by turning the bolt counter clockwise. Let me know if this doesn't make sense. It's hard to describe in words. Watch the video. It will help out a lot.
     
  7. Fenderlover1

    Fenderlover1

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    Also, Don't forget to loosen all 7 of the locking bolts around the bridge before doing any adjusting. Then tighten once you are done. This locking feature is what makes this bridge the most solid bridge I have found!
     
  8. LUpton

    LUpton Supporting Member

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    Oct 22, 2012
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    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    ^^^^^What he said.

    Also, whenever you move a saddle, this changes the pitch of the open string, so the open string must be re-tuned to pitch before checking the 12th fret harmonic vs 12th fret pitch.

    It's a circle - tune open string, check harmonic vs octave, adjust as necessary. Rinse, repeat until satisfied.
     
  9. bandbdad

    bandbdad

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
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    Thanks guys. I'm familiar with how adjusting intonation works, but I've never done it myself. I watched a plethora of youtube vids before I started this project. I have already installed a set of Wild Bill pups and new pots and jack. Rewired the whole thing and I've learned a lot. But I still have a lot to learn. I'll play with the intonation a little more and see if I can lock it in. I got a gig with Sidewalk Prophets on Feb 15 so I'd love to have it ready for that!
     
  10. MarkA

    MarkA Registered Schmoozer. Supporting Member

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    Considering one of these bridges myself, so I'm curious to hear how it turned out and whether you noticed any difference in tone, feel, or other factors.
     
  11. bandbdad

    bandbdad

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    Mar 24, 2011
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    I had to take it to be set up by a luthier, but once they got it dialed in it sounds great!! The Bill Lawrence pickups brought te bass to life, and the KSM bridge gives it the most solid feel out of all of my basses. The resonance goes on for days and it holds tune really well. Overall I am beyond happy with the installation and the end product. I strongly endorse te pickups and the bridge. Only caveat is that the new pots cut my volume control a little short. But the improvement in tone is worth that sacrifice.
    The bridge was not a simple install. Lining up the string thru-holes meant the origina mounting holes did not line up. Drilled new holes and the mount is solid, but took lots of measuring and re-measuring to make sure my string length was correct and then dialing in the string height and intonation was a chore. Again, very happy with the end result!
     
  12. MarkA

    MarkA Registered Schmoozer. Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the reply! Glad it turned out well in the end. Now that it's installed, do action and intonation adjustments look like they'd be easy? Not sure what you mean about the pots cutting the volume control short - could be a wiring issue if the volume is not turning all the way down.
     
  13. bandbdad

    bandbdad

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
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    Adjustments are a little more involved due to the locking bridge. But it's solid as a rock and hasn't needed any further intonation adjustments since it was correctly set up. Tuning is is he same as any other bridge.

    The reference to the volume pot was to say that the volume dies off faster than it did with the old pots. At about 1/4 turn there is no volume, and by about 3/4 it is full volume. I use a Boss volume pedal on my board so it's not a big deal. But I'd say your diagnosis is probably right. With the new pups there is no shortage of power out if this baby!! lol
     
  14. MarkA

    MarkA Registered Schmoozer. Supporting Member

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    Are you using linear or audio taper for volume? Don't want to derail or talk about that which I don't know all that much, but it's worth doing a search - lots of threads on the topic on TB.
     

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