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Aluminium vs Brass bridge... need to decide quick

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Frank Martin, Jul 7, 2005.


  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    So the bass I'll soon start building was to have an ABM roller bridge, 3566B, like this one, just in 6 and black.

    [​IMG]

    However, recently I read in a thread that it is quite heavy...
    So I started thinking about ABM's aluminium bridges

    [​IMG]

    Now the dilemma is the following:
    I wanted this bass to have the tone of my Corvette with a bit more brightness, clarity and growl, and all this in a lighter package, as my back is a bit weak. The body woods are already here, 1" swamp ash with 0.625" bubinga pommelé top (maybe a wenge veneer for aesthetics); also, the body will have a big electronics cavity and a chamber with similar dimensions to the el. cav. on the upper side, to reduce weight. However, I want the neck to be wenge. There's no substitute for it's tone, unfortunately. And as we all know, wenge is heavy.
    At least the upper horn is long - it goes to the 12th fret. Also, I'll try to get the new ultralight Gotoh tuning keys (GB350 Res-o-lite: 35,0 gramms each, almost half the weight)

    So what do you think I should do?

    A) Use the aluminium bridge, save some weight, and hope the balance will be ok with the long upper horn and light tuners (btw, how has the consensus changed on the tone of alu bridges since the last - about 2-years-old - thread?)

    - or - ​

    B) Use the heavier brass bridge, maybe it's over 200 gramms heavier, but it will be a better counterweight to the wenge-bubinga neck and ebony fingerboard.

    I'm open to other suggestions, as well (except for not using wenge :p )

    Thanks!
     
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    :meh:

    Bump back to page 1...
     
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thanks for the many posts, I barely had time to read through them :rolleyes:

    I'm going with the brass counterweight, after all.
     
  4. DubDubs

    DubDubs

    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    If you're concerned about weight I don't see why a nice, quality aluminum bridge woulnd't work. Also for the neck try a lighter wood with a Wenge fingerboard instead of the entire neck. The wood in the neck doesn't make too much of a difference, the fingerboard is a much bigger factor in the overall tone.
     
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Hah! Too late.

    The wenge neck does count. My bass has an ovangkol neck with a wenge board. It does not sound like a wenge-necked bass, though it does sounds similar to a degree.
     
  6. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I'm afraid I'm going to disagree with this. I think the way the neck resonates (or doesn't) is a major factor in the tone of a bass, and this will be affected by the main material used for the neck. The fingerboard probably makes less of a difference in my view, except on a fretless.

    Frank, high mass bridges reputedly give you a brighter tone, although I know this in itself would be open to dispute. I'd go with the heavier bridge, partly for this reason but mainly to avoid neck dive, which I find particularly offputting in a bass. 200g may well make a difference to balance whilst still being a fairly small addition to the weight of the bass overall, about 4% (based on a 10lb bass).
     
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Well I went with the heavier brass bridge because of the balance. Though with the long upper horn, it should balance well.

    In the threads where brass and alu bridges were disussed, they said the material matters as well: brass sounds deeper while alu is brighter with more highs... so you can never know...