Annoying trend in Bass Bridge design.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Dirty_BASStard, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Dirty_BASStard

    Dirty_BASStard Guest

    Jun 16, 2005
    Montreal, CANADA
    Ahoy all!!

    I'm new to this board — it's great to be here. :)

    Now then ...
    I've noticed an annoying trend in bass bridge design lately: the old-style saddle with intonation screw has been replaced by independent, free-floating saddles which anchor to the baseplate via a small hex screw — this design was possibly first introduced on Steinberger basses in the early 80s, and is still the standard on Spector basses, among others.

    My gripe is the following: with old-style bridges, one only has to turn the intonation screw (string at pitch optional) to set the intonation — a few turns and you're done. With these fancy new designs all tension must be removed from the string, the small hex screw loosened, the saddle repositioned manually, hex screw locked down and string retuned. One must then hope that the saddle is in the right place or the entire process must be repeated until it's just right — the wear on the string must be phenomenal.

    That said, I have this type of bridge (which Custom Shop Parts calls the Contour Tail) on my ESP Ltd C series basses, and it's a total pain in the ass. I've noticed that more and more bridge manufacturers (Hipshot included) are now, sadly, going this route.

    What gives? Surely, I can't be the only player who thinks this design is totally inefficient — why does it continue to proliferate?

    What's your take on this?

  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    DB -

    I couldn't agree more. Have noticed the same trend; have no idea why it exists...

    I've got a Hipshot on my new Carvin LB70. It's going away as soon as I can get a Quan BadAss II installed. The Wilkinson bridge that Carvin used before they went to Hipshot was even worse. With a single screw that anchored the saddle to the base plate, there was very little attack or sustain that ever made it out to the signal. When I finally pried off the Wilkie that came on my 1992 LB70 and replaced it with a Quan, it made all the difference in the world. It was like a whole new instrument...

  3. I can think of a few reasons to go with the simpler design:
    - it's got fewer parts,
    - fewer parts means lower cost
    - easier assembly in the factory
    - better wear in the field (no rusty springs)
    - no possibility of rattles and buzzes
    - rock solid intonation settings
    - saddle contacts the chassis more than a saddle on set screws
    - lower profile

    The other thing you've got to remember is that bridges aren't usually designed by musicians - they're designed by engineers for musicians. There can be a bit of a disconnect sometimes. Then take into account the amount of cloning that goes on and you'll see a lot of these types of bridges.
  4. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I've got a Gotoh 206 - I hate h avin to unscrew every time to adjust it, but the biggest gripe I have is that theres an annoying buzz...something might be loose, but its annoying.

    That and heck, teh 206 is a massive bridge.I don't relaly get annoyed by them, but the old ones are really easy (loosen string, turn screw:D)
  5. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Whoa, that's odd. My Carvin has the Hipshot Style B bridge, and it's like a Fender except bigger and beefier. I'd say it's very easy to adjust, as opposed to those inane style A bridges. I have something similar in my Galveston, and it truly is HORRIBLE to relieve all string tension, jab it into place with pliers, then tune up again. STOOPID.