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BEAD Shortscale Bridge Question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by br1qbat, Dec 20, 2018.

  1. I have an Epi EB-0 sitting around. It is a great playing cheapie, but I mostly play downtuned (usually C standard or BEAD) on my main basses, ehich are 34". I also like to tinker. I was thinking of modding it - refin, pickup swap, maybe lighter tuners, etc.

    It currently sports the much-maligned 3-point gibbo bridge. I saw a Birdsong BEAD shortie that had the low B as thru the body (and then some) which got me thinking that I could do something similar. Either use a tailpiece (ala Warwick) set as far back on the body as possible, or go thru body after the bridge.

    What I'm after is 2-fold:
    1. Add enough distance to easily use 34" strings (I dig flats in addition to downtuning and good 5 string or BEAD shortscale flats seem to be rather rare)

    2. Add some stiffness/tension. But I'm not sure if this mod would do that. Is the string tension dependent on the scale length (distance from bridge contact to nut) or some function of the overall length of the string?

    I would think Birdsong was on to something with their thru the body low B - they seem to be the shortie gurus. And I know the goal of their design was a tight low B. The end goal for me is to be able to play c standard or BEAD with 34" strings that would feel stiffness-wise roughly comparable to what they'd feel like on a 34" bass.

    On the other hand, there are some shortscale 5ers (Ibanez makes one for sure) and surely the low B can't be that terrible?! So, should I just file the nut and get some 5 string shortscale strings (which would likely be rounds) and rock on?
  2. Maybe I should have made a thread about "RICs are awesome" or "RICs stink" if i wanted replies. Haha.

    I'm going to try this with the DR shorty 5er strings first. If I go the ambitious route, I'll try to note it here for posterity and for the curious BEAD lovin', short-scale slingin' bassists of tomorrow.
  3. I read your post but no experience with short scale 5'ers. If you look in the Luthiers Corner, @JIO built a short scale 5 and documents some of his design considerations. My understanding is that a thicker string will do more than additonal length after the bridge but haven't experimented with it myself.
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    #1 will work and is a good idea. You'll have more options for strings.
    #2 not so much. It doesn't work like that. String tension is the combination of nut to bridge length, string thickness and note you're tuned to. Afterlength doesn't matter. If anything it would make the string slightly more bendable, but the tension will not change.
  5. Thanks!
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    There is no practical or sonic advantage to going through the body. If it's your only goal it is a waste of energy. Being able to use 34" strings would be good though.
  7. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    lightweight short-scale 5'r

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