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Alignment Issues

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by OldKayBlonde, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. OldKayBlonde


    Jan 27, 2020
    Hello, I’m a new member looking for some help. I have a ‘53 Kay M1B. Recent new bridge and strings. Everything looked good at first, but walking up to it the other day, I noticed the E string is almost of the fingerboard. I moved the bridge toward the treble side, but can’t move far enough to correct the problem. The tailpiece and tailgut wire appears straight in the saddle and the saddle is still secure. The neck joint is solid and the fingerboard is fine. I’m lost!!

    Attached Files:

  2. Yeah, that’s not right.
  3. That bridge certainly has some troubled waters...
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  4. OldKayBlonde


    Jan 27, 2020
    If you look closely, the tailpiece appears to be off center. However on closer inspection I found that the tailgut wires were secure in the “notches” in the saddle. The saddle is very secure in its little carved out slot. So, I would think it would have always been this way. But it hasn’t.
  5. Well, this is old Kay stuff, and there are some really expert folks on this site for sure!
    But to my eye, the spacing on your strings at the bridge is, EA - DG, as opposed to EADG.

    All the best!
  6. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Shouldn’t you just take it back to whoever put that bridge on it?
    james condino and unbrokenchain like this.
  7. Oh, and...

    VERY nice lookin doghouse!
  8. unbrokenchain

    unbrokenchain Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2011
    Black Mountain, NC
    Is this bass new to you? Could be all in the bridge, or there could be some issues from when the neck was reset. The first is much more easily fixed..

    How about a straight-on shot of the bass, and a detail pic of the neck heel?
    Fretless55 likes this.
  9. Could be a trick or the lens but that bridge looks all kinds of wrong. Could also be a crooked neck set.
    james condino and Fretless55 like this.
  10. OldKayBlonde


    Jan 27, 2020
    That’s not an option. Even if it was I don’t think I’d trust him again.
    salcott likes this.
  11. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Then it should go to someone that actually does know what they are doing.
  12. The bridge notch for the D is not at the right place, otherwise the bridge looks OK for me.
    But the fingerboard is not centered. Maybe a bad neck reset, so that the neck is a bit angled.
    arnoldschnitzer and jezyorkshire like this.
  13. OldKayBlonde


    Jan 27, 2020

    Attached Files:

    unbrokenchain and Keith Rawlings like this.
  14. Hard to say but the fingerboard is not parallel to the middle line of the body.
    Might be an angled neck, a warped fingerboard or something else.
    I think if the fingerboard was not glued on correctly you might have seen that yourself.
  15. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    From the button patch it's a good bet that this bass has had a neck-block failure and reset. From here it looks like either the fingerboard is misaligned or, perhaps more likely, the neck has shifted in the block. This can come about when the block has been shocked but not replaced, and an incipient block crack starts opening up. I would definitely take tension off it till you know what happened.

    If you can let us know where you are, we can recommend a Kay-aware luthier near you to have a look at it. If you're new to Kay basses, their construction in this area is not the same as more traditional builds, and your repair person needs to know what's in there.
  16. ^
    Seek and ye shall find.
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  17. OldKayBlonde


    Jan 27, 2020
    I’m in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. About 50 miles south of Tampa proper near Sarasota. I do know the guy I got it from was the original owner. He told me that in 1995 he had to replace the neck with an Engelhardt neck after his car was hit causing a break in the original neck. But I would swear it was straight when I first got it. I only began to really notice this in the last year or so. I guess I only recently realized how off it is.
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  18. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    Excepting Cornell Strings, which is under legacy management after the death of Saul Cornell, I have no direct experience with these shops, but they are recommended by others who know their stuff. In order by distance:

    Tampa, Importuno Violins - John Importuno
    (813) 961-7282

    Largo/St Pete, Bruce Wallace

    Cornell Strings, Orlando
    903 Florida Boulevard Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
    (407) 831-3680

    Miami String
    377 NE 85th Street, El Portal
    (786) 322 6891
  19. OldKayBlonde


    Jan 27, 2020
    Thank you Steven Ayers
    Keith Rawlings likes this.
  20. Keith Rawlings

    Keith Rawlings

    Aug 3, 2019
    That’s a beautiful Kay! I have a ‘51 M-1B that was previously blonde like yours, but the finish was so beat up on mine that my guitarist painted it in ‘95 (without my permission); and I had it repainted with a proper professional paint job in 1998. Rockabilly in the 90’s...we were putting hot rod flames on everything back then!

    I love that inlaid G and L on the fingerboard too - very cool! I’d like to do something similar to mine, but my new ebony fingerboard is almost too pretty to have it done to.

    I definitely think that bridge needs re-working and I’m wondering if the nut is notched correctly? That could be causing your problems; but listen to Steven Ayres as he knows Kays and helps run the Kay Database/Registry. His advice as well as James Condino (should he see this post and comment) will tell you what you need to know to get your problem fixed.
    Inky13 and OldKayBlonde like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 4, 2021

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