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Bass that fell apart

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Frankies, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Frankies


    Apr 20, 2015
    So I had this bass I borrowed from my school and for some reasons I was unable to touch it or use it for a couple of months, instead using another one. When I opened it up today I see that it's somehow fallen apart.

    The Bridge and tailpiece aren't pushed onto the body anymore. I'm not sure how this happened but am entirely unsure what to do about this.

    The bass wasn't in good condition when I borrowed it, the strings have always been torn apart and the bridge kind of moved, but it was still useable. Now I dunno what about it. 20150420_184443.
  2. Rebop


    Jul 9, 2008
    La Honda, CA
    Looks like the tailgut may have failed. A new braided steel cable will set it straight.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Yep. Tailpiece wire snapped. It's unusual, but it happens. I was tuning once and KABLAM!
  4. Best take it to a (bass) luthier (if possible) for two reasons:
    The soundpost might have been fallen and
    The length of the tailpiece wire might have influence on wolf tones and generally to the resonance of the instrument.

    It won't cost much to have both things done and it might even play better than before after it is done by a professional.
    Definitely not your fault if you didn't misuse the wire. Talk to the luthier about average cost (could be done even by phone to get an estimate) and to the school that this is not your fault but would have happened at school as well. Maybe they cover the cost or at least part of it if they know the price.
    Also check the back of the tailpiece. If wood is broken out there, you either need a new tailpiece or if you are lucky two holes through it will still hold the tailpiece cable in place. But also this decision is best done by an expert.

    BTW, I hope you still have the second bridge foot, otherwise it might get much more expensive!
    DC Bass, drurb and Ross Kratter like this.
  5. Frankies


    Apr 20, 2015
    Thanks for the information, I'll keep looking for that foot. Not sure what happened to it but it's bound to be around here somewhere.
  6. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    Was that one of the rigid steel "tailwires" simiar to what you find on an old Kay? If so, those have a history sudden chronic unpredictabe instant failures. Getting your bass to a reputable professional is aways nice, but if you are on tour in Antarctica or Fresno (I say that with the utmost love as very short lived former Fresno resident...) or other barren wasteland you can buy a nice ittle kit from Lemur Music with an adjustable ferrule, braided steel tailwire, and the proper allen wrench for about $12 that will get the job done just fine. It is the same one many shops use. You'll need a proper set of cable cutters for the braided wire; most bicycle shops will make the cut for you for free and definitely if you stop by with a couple of malt beverages or similar vice. The missing foot ...well...Good luck...

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
    DoubleMIDI and DC Bass like this.
  7. Frankies


    Apr 20, 2015
    I guess I was much more worried about it than necessary. Though yeah I need to get the bridge foot thing figured out. Those are pretty specific, right? So it would probably no be an easy task to find a comprable one?

    That's definitely my biggest issue at the moment. I haven't taken it out of the case until yesterday so the bridge foot is near unless it fell out.
  8. Maybe the foot is inside the bass?

    Without the foot you might need a new bridge which needs a lot of work for correct setup. That's the reason why it might get expensive, so look for the missing foot!
  9. Frankies


    Apr 20, 2015
    I found the foot! Woohoo!
  10. No problem to put it back together but you have to know what you're doing.
  11. Great!

    Now look under the foot if there is anything marked which foot is for wich side. If there is nothing written on, try to find out which foot fits which side best. Then mark the underside of the foot either with E/G, post/bar or bass/treble, so next time the bridge gets mounted the work is already done.
    If you are unsure, don't mark it and let a professional decide.

    Then put the bridge with feet in a bag and close it so nothing can fall out until you can mount the whole stuff. You won't like to search again for a missing foot, do you?
  12. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    It belongs to your school? Take it back and tell them what happened.

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