Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by kkaarrll, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    changing a 4 string into BEAD, I know how to do the nut, but what if the B string at .128 or .130 doesn't fit? How to get the bridge to fit?

    suggestions? thoughts? links? I have looked for it, but get a bunch of junk.
  2. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    If the string doesn't fit through the bridge, then a drill is about the only solution I know of without changing the bridge.

    I have strung BEAD a few times, and the bridge has never been a problem, in fact, a couple of time the nut wasn't either.
    mech likes this.
  3. mech

    mech In Memoriam

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    The saddles will also need to move toward the butt about 1/8" for intonation. Try it with what you have to see if the spring stacks up or if the big wrap at the ball end is too close to or on the saddle. If the spring stacks up and so you no more adjustment, remove it. If the large wrap is on the saddle the bridge will need to be moved (very unlikely).
  4. Mathilda

    Mathilda Inactive

    Mar 31, 2017
    Some speed loaded type bridges are more conducive to bead. Does your bridge have a hole to thread through? .125 or .120 string are options if you can't replace the bridge.
    Intonation job is a must.
  5. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    how to do the drill? just stick it in there and ream it around a bit? I am heavy handed, worried about making so big the ball end goes through.
    Ways to alleviate that issue?
  6. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    But do you actually have this issue?

    Have you tried moving the saddles as posted above?

    If you really need to drill it then pick a drill bit that is one size bigger than the actual hole, drill and try. If still not big enough, repeat. Don't "ream it around a bit"! (and obviously do this with the bridge removed, and if possible, with a bench drill)

    Is this bridge something that you are worried about damaging? If it is, then I would suggest getting a cheap replacement bridge.
    sissy kathy likes this.
  7. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    Oh, and don't forget to clean the burr (is that the right word?) off before inserting string, or you may break a couple of strings.
    sissy kathy likes this.
  8. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    I am unsure on the saddles until I can get the string through the bridge...
  9. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    does anyone have a primer for this?
  10. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    BEAD guys get in here
  11. tlc1976


    Aug 2, 2016
    Not sure what kind of bridge you have, but with some bridges all you need for it to fit is a taperwound B string.

    And definitely check intonation, etc.
  12. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    If the string is physically too fat to fit through the bridge, then your only options are a new bridge or dill the existing one.

    Isn't primer a underlayer of paint? Painting the bridge won't make the strings fit ;)

    You need to add the "@" symbol, maybe try @Bead :D
    kkaarrll likes this.
  13. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    @JACink funny!

    my big question is how to drill it?
  14. I have a .135 on an Ibanez SRX300 and about to put a .130 on a Squier VM Jazz. I had to file the nut a little bit for the .135 and it's a squeeze through the bridge, but I didn't have to make any adjustments. Could you try a small file and put it through the hole in the bridge and work it around the edges of the hole in a circular or half-moon pattern? That might not be enough to open it up, but if it works, it might be the safest way to take off a very little bit at a time. Again, this may not be a problem at all!
  15. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    Thanks, I'll be here all week :D

    Now, as for the drilling...

    If I had to drill it, the way I would do it personally (meaning I cannot say it is the best way) would be as follows:

    1. Remove bridge from body.
    2. Find a drill bit that fits the current hole perfectly.
    3. Mount the drill bit from step 2 in a bench drill.
    4. Put the bridge in the vice of the bench drill, and without turning the drill on, lower the drill until the "perfect fit" drill bit from steps 2 and 3 pops inside the current hole.
    5. While holding the drill this postion, tighten the vice to make sure the bridge doesn't move.
    6. Step 6, replace the "perfect fit" drill bit with one that is just slightly bigger.
    7. Turn on the drill and carefully drill out the hole to the size of the new drill bit.
    8. Check if string fits through hole, if it does then move to step 9, if not go back to step 4 if you removed the bridge from the vice to test, or to step 6 if you didn't.
    9. Remove bridge from vice and with a small round file, make sure any sharp edges are removed from the hole.
    10. Mount on bass.

    Two last questions before you do this, have you tried and liked BEAD tuning?

    Are you willing to accept that the bridge may end up damaged?

    If the answer is YES to both, then go for it and let us know how it turns out.
  16. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    awesome primer for those like me that aren't as techy

    yes--I started on a 5 string--I like playing the top 4 strings of that--but want a thinner neck sometimes for comfort/ease
    the bridge I would be doing it on are cheap--so----yes
  17. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    ok, apparently the squier old school basic bridge is BEAD capable with no drilling-----very happy to see that
  18. seedokebass


    Mar 21, 2009
    Another you could do if the bridge requires is find some small washers that stop the ball end from going through. A friend of mine had to do that on a MIM Jazz he had, though he never opened up the holes! Either had a wonky bridge, or wonky strings with tiny ball ends.
  19. kkaarrll


    Jun 1, 2014
    @seedokebass that was my plan if I had to bore it out and messed it up
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