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Breaking Strings -- Roller Bridge Available?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by karensch, Nov 27, 2000.

  1. karensch


    Nov 27, 2000
    Our bass player keeps breaking his E string due to his Hipshot, and thinks a bridge w/rollers might help. Any advice would be appreciated!
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    that's really strange - a hipshot souldn't be causing that - the string should not hardly move at all with respect to the bridge saddle regardless of the hipshot setting. maybe the bridge saddle under that particular string has a burr or too sharp a break-angle to it.

    what kind of bass and what brand and size E string does he use? where does the string usually break, at the bridge?
  3. karensch


    Nov 27, 2000
    hello - i am the bass player, my E string breaks way too often, aout every 25-30 hours of playit breaks at the bridgeusually while i am playing not when i am switching between D and E. i have a 2000 p-bass special deluxe mex. i use ML blue steel strings.
  4. Karen, or the bass player,

    A roller bridge has the least amount of contact with the string that any bridge saddle could have and still work effectively. For value and performance, I would suggest the Schaller bridge. It's a nice cast piece with all of the adjustment you would need. They are easy to install and come in chrome, black, and gold. You can find several on ebay right now or go to these links:


    A word of caution though - inquire if the additional height plate is included in the purchase. It's a simple metal plate, finished like the bridge that is put under the unit and held in place by pins cast into the underside of the bridge. It is used to raise the bridge in certain applications and cannot be duplicated easily. I've seen some of these bridges sold without this plate and it should be included.
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    good points hammy :D

    do you have your bass setup properly? by this i mean is the low E string intonated properly? sometimes i have seen instruments in the shop where the bridge saddle on the lowest string is pushed back very far, causing an extreme break angle over the bridge saddle, which fatigues the string and shortens string life.

    to check the intonation on your string, do this...

    1. tune the string with a tuner - notice that the harmonic at the 12th fret is in tune - this will always be the case.

    2. now fret the note at the 12th fret - if the string is intonated properly, the fretted note will also be in tune. if the fretted note is flat, move the bridge saddle forward (towards the neck and pickups). if the note is sharp, then move the bridge saddle back (away from the neck and the pickups). to move the bridge saddles, you might need to detune the string, and it will definitely be out of tune after the saddle is moved, so you'll need to retune.

    repeat steps 1 and 2 until the fretted note and the harmonic are in tune.

    i think you may find that the bridge saddle is back too far. this could be the reason why the string is breaking.

    you might also want to switch to strings with a taper core - aren't the blue steels non-taper? tapers have less of a severe break angle at the bridge then non-tapers. some people think that taper core strings would be more likely to break, since they're , but i think that's not really the case - the core is the only part of a string that really takes the tension - the windings are mainly just providing mass, and since the tapers actually have less of an angle, they will probably be less likely to break. they're also much easier to get intonated properly.

    hope this helps some.

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