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Adjustable bridge won't go low enough...

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Chef, Jul 21, 2004.


  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    So, I have an adjustable bridge on my King-cool! It came with gut strings on it, and the wheels adjusted so the bridge is in it's lowest possible position. I'm playing with some different strings just for fun, and wish I could lower the bridge some. What's just right for guts is too dang high for spirocores, etc. Can I remove 2-3mm of material from the top half of the bridge where it sits on the adjuster wheels so I can get some adjustability out of my adjustable bridge, and if so, what's the best way to do this? Or is this a luthier only thing to do? Thanks, Alan
     
  2. Kevinlee

    Kevinlee

    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    You can use some small round files and lower the notches on the bridge. Making sure you maintain the arch and eveness. Then sand off the excess on top of the bridge, or leave it. It's better if you get rid of it because from what I understand the strings are only suppose to sit about halfway in the notch. This is the cheap way to do it and your results may very.

    However, I have done this on several bridges and those bridges are now sitting on a shelf and not on a bass.

    So your best bet is a luthier. He will do it right.

    Kevinlee
     
  3. LUTHIER
     
  4. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    +1
     
  5. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    and how about pics ???????????
     
  6. "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later."
     
  7. moped10

    moped10

    Apr 9, 2003
    Wilmington, NC
    It's one of the easier modifications to make on your bass- I've done it myself and am currently using one of my shortened bridges with no complaints- I used a drimmel tool to file down the strings grooves, and then sanded down the top- Of course you need to watch out on depth, every mm makes a difference, and don't screw up the arch- Save your luthier bucks for bigger or more specialized jobs- but that's just MY opinion and you don't know me any more than the rest of these guys... ;)
     
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Pic of what? Be glad to take some for you...

    I really don't want to mess with the string notches and arch on the top of the bridge. I was hoping to remove some material from the "bridge feet that sit on the adjuster wheels..." Bad plan?
     
  9. moped10

    moped10

    Apr 9, 2003
    Wilmington, NC
    As long as you're not going to mess with the bottoms of your bridge feet (that sit on the top)... I don't see why not, but someone else should second that opinion-
     
  10. Kevinlee

    Kevinlee

    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    Probably a bad plan. There's only so much of that adjuster post that go's into the bridge. Shortening the bridge from the bottom is going to make it that much less that go's in. And would more than likely leave you with a less stable bridge. There are some other factors I imagine for not doing it that way.

    A luthier may jump in here and give you a better picture. I'm just speculating really.

    Kevinlee
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Correct. I don't want to have to refit the feet to the top of the instrument. But the part that sits on the adjusters is flat, and should be easy to plane off a little...Bad plan?
     
  12. Kevinlee

    Kevinlee

    May 15, 2001
    Phx, AZ..USA
    I was just looking at one of my discarded adjustable bridges. My last reply didn't make alot of sense now that I look at the bridge. Maybe it can be done as you say. I'm assuming you have adjuster's with the thread going into the foot and not into the upper half.

    Kevinlee
     
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I have not had it off to look yet, I'm not sure which side is threaded. I'd be just as comfortable with the idea of "shaving the tops of the bottom feet" though...
     
  14. Hey Chef, I might need to do this with mine. Let me know how you get on?
     
  15. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    OK:)
     
  16. The problem with lowering the notches is that you end up with your strings sitting on a thicker part of the bridge. That could alter the sound. You may have to take some wood of the face of the bridge to return to the original thickness of the top of your bridge.

    See a luthier and get it done right. Its probably cheaper than buying a new bridge to replace the one you mess up.

    MartinC
     
  17. Alot of people don't even know how to sand a highly figured piece of wood properly....That's why i'm always suggesting luthiers!
     
  18. Thanks Chef.