adjustable bridge

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Classical_Thump, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    I am having buzzing on my high G string due to the extremely low string height. This problem seems to keep repeating on my bass no matter how many times it is corrected, so I've decided to get an adjustable bridge put on my bass. My question is should I buy an entirely new bridge or just the adjuster pieces to be put on my current bridge? Also, are there any certain brands of bridge or adjusters which would be better ?
  2. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005
    I'll try to better describe it. My bridge is either irregularly set or irregularly sanded so that my G-string is much closer to my fingerboard than any of my other strings. This is obviously a problem because it makes my tone very uneven and causes major buzzing while playing on the G string. I have temporarily remedied this problem by slightly adjusting my bridge to the left or right, but the buzzing and string height problems always come back. So to premanently solve this, I am just going to have an adjustable bridge installed. So I was wondering if it would be easier to buy the adjustable pin pieces and have them drilled into my current bridge or to just buy a pre-made adjustable bridge and have it put on? thanks again
  3. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    If your bridge is otherwise of high-quality and properly cut, there's no point in buying another. I'd just have it fitted with the adjusters. Although some luthiers may prefer to start with a blank.

    Typically, the G string is the closest to the fingerboard. It sounds like yours is just a little too close.

    As for brands and types, there is some debate on the material and its impact on the sound. I can't say as I know. My bass has wheels made of some sort of really hard composite material. I like them because the posts are larger and the threads are coarser. (Think wood screw vs. machine screw) It just makes sense to me that larger, coarser thread will perform better and last longer in wood. That being said, I don't read too much at TB that the threads in bridges stripping out. So maybe it isn't that big of a deal.
  4. Bridge adjusters are quite popular. The most frequent question people (those that know it isn't a cello and get past the 5-string thing) ask me about my bass is why I don't have bridge adjusters. Well, it could be laziness, but it could also be that these aren't always necessary.

    With some basses that have extreme reactions to seasonal changes adjusters are pretty obviously advantageous, but in your case I'm wondering because the only problem you identify is with the G string, and it doesn't seem to be seasonal.

    If you have had your bass more than a whole year, and only have the problem with the G, I would consider replacing the bridge and cutting the top of the replacement (using the current bridge for comparison) so that the G is significantly higher (1-3mm) and then gradually bringing it down to comfortable. When you get "comfortable" in the height department, if you still get the buzzing, then it may be the fingerboard that needs a little dressing down somewhere under the G string. With a good explanation of your problem, a good luthier could get your buzzing out, or if you are handy with tools, you could try dressing the board yourself. I think that would get you closer to the best possible string height and fingerboard contour than just throwing adjusters into the equation right away.

    If you think you need/would like the versatility that adjusters would allow, then go for it, but do so with the same goal in mind. When the adjusters are installed, the bridge top can be recut to lift the G relative to the other strings. If you still get the buzzing, look at the FB contour next. You should not want a situation where you must raise one bridge leg (the G leg) more than the other to stop a string buzz.

    I recently replaced my bridge starting with a Despiau blank. They have a good online catalogue with good size explanations. I ordered mine from Quinn Violins (Plymouth, MN) I got the second select grade, not the first, and that is nice hard figured maple with very straight well cut grain. It is hard, but carved very evenly. The highest grade must be the really pretty figured stuff. Adjusters of many materials can be obtained from many sources. There is one popular on-line sound comparison study that I think this forum eventually decided was less than meaningful, but in case you are curious here is the link:
    If you search for adjusters in the forum search tool, you can find this discussion, which I hope is not re-hashed here.
  5. Classical_Thump


    Jan 26, 2005

    thanks a lot for this info, it was just was i was looking for. i think i am going to go for the adjusters because my bass has this consistent problem, and it undergoes seasonal changes, so i believe the versatility of the adjusters will be perfect. thanks again