Best Bridge for Sustain?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Busk, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. Busk


    Jan 31, 2002
    What do you think? I know all the big names, but I was wondering if the best would be the lightest and hardest, like some kind of titanium alloy or something. Is a big, heavy bridge a tone thief?
  2. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    bridge is not, for me, the first thing to look when you need sustain. but a new bridge can improve a lot the sound and sustain of a bass. first come the neck construction, the woods and the electronic part. which bass are you speaking about? do you want to improve the sustain of an existing bass or do you want to know something about a bass that yu wat to build? is the bass you are speaking about neck thru or bolt on? fretted or fretless?
  3. a copper/brass one would give you killer sound.. but they're buttheavy and real expensive.
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Most important to sustain are probably the neck construction and the neck joint. The bridge also contributes. The most noticable difference, regardless of brass or aluminum, is that a heavy, milled bridge (such as Badass, ABM, Schaller, Hipshot, etc.) will usually give better sustain than a lightweight stamped bridge (standard Fender). Note that some heavier stamped bridges have great sustain (such as Music Man, MTD Kingston, and others).
    Ask yourself, though- why more sustain? while you may have one song where you actually want a note to last 20 seconds, this is rare. Often a bass with long sustain will not be "punchy", since the tone that is often desired, and described as "punchy" involves a strong "attack", which generally means not only quick onset of sound, but also includes an immediate decay or dropoff- the opposite of "long sustain". This relates to people who don't like neck-thrus calling them "compressed sounding".
  5. Balor


    Sep 24, 2000
    Montréal, Québec
    For longer sustain, add mass to the it. More mass equal less interaction with the woods, to some extend at lesst... A lighter bridge will provide a higher level of interaction with the woods, limiting sustain if te bass is made out of lighter/softer woods.
    For a good low end, you need to have some mass to get sustain and a sence of tightness. The highs will probably suffer in someways imho. Going for a lighter to a heavier construction will bring the highs from relative smoothness to a guitare like to.
  6. Busk


    Jan 31, 2002
    Thanks guys. This would be for a bass I am thinking of building. I like a long sustain and weeping, fat tones.
  7. I'm hugely impressed with the bridge that came on my Czech Spector - ruddy great brass job, it's superb!

    I know that you can get them on ebay in any colour you want, I think they're about $20
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah - it's typical around here! ;) One week you will get people saying : "How do I get more sustain?"- then the next week they'll be going on about how they can mute the strings!! "My B string is ringing sympathetically when I play the G!" Can I get some mechanical device to mute the strings? :rolleyes:
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Yeah. Everyone wants a tone that is simultaneously edgy, full, growly, and solid; or punchy, strong attack, long sustain, and piano-like! :rolleyes:

    How many records do you know where they used a piano to record the bass line!? :eek:
  10. Thumb.

    My RB5 B string rings strongly without thumb muting. I've learned to keep the thumb always on the B unless it is being played, or when the thumb is needed elsewhere.

    I don't slap.
  11. Busk


    Jan 31, 2002
    Nah, I was serious. I really want long sustain....really, really long. Anyway, I guess the answer is just get any of the decent top of the line stuff and I'll be happy with it.