Bridge Adjusters - an interesting, acoustic study

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by jvillarreal, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. jvillarreal


    Oct 7, 2002
    Tulsa, OK

    I didn't find this link anywhere on TB, so I thought I'd post... "Bridge height adjusters generally make a substantial audible difference in sound compared to a massive bridge. There is tonal variance among models of bridge height adjusters depending on the frequency of the note played. These differences are more audible with bowed tones than with pizzicato."
  2. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes!

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I posted this (which is a PDF file of the same study) just a few days ago in the "adjustable bridge" thread started by Classical Thump. Of the times I know of, this is at least time #4 for it on this forum. Some people think this is a definitive study, I think it may show something, but it lacks some needed controlls to be really meaningful.

    I've never commented on the "data" or the study before. I will this time. The very general statement quoted is very general. Whether one takes the study as meaningful or not, I couldn't help always noticing that the lower frequencies in the graph are not so much affected as the frequencies above 2000 Hz. These are only suppressed slightly. Above 4000Hz is where the real suppression is. So that leaves me wondering, with fundamental notes starting on my instrument at about 31Hz (BB) and going up say 4-5 octaves all the way to 248Hz-500Hz, just what a suppression of partials in the 2000Hz-4000Hz really means soundwise? Is it just a little warmer or what? I think if you have any instrument in the band that plays a simultaneous note a few octaves above you (like when a guitar strums the chord you are playing a note from), the frequencies in the 2000-4000Hz range from the higher voiced instrument are going to mask any tone you are getting in that frequency range. So if you are playing with a full orchestra or even a small combo, the noticeable difference alleged here is going to disappear.

    I could believe you would notice that more on arco solo work also, since arco usually emphasizes the higher partials more, so the "results" seem reasonable, but the proof is thin. Beware of "almost" science. There are two many variables in this study and not enough controls.

    FYI, I use a massive bridge. Mainly because I haven't seen the need for adjusters yet. If I thought I needed them I would use them. The maple DiLeone's look pretty fat but I bet they are pricey....
  4. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Play a Bass without adjusters. Then Put adjusters in the exact same bass/bridge and record the results. If you or a listener cannot hear a difference in tone or volume then ask your Dog!!

    Try this with other types of Adjusters as well and make sure you use the exact same string hieght from the G to the E string. As you do this, you may damage the strings slightly from on-off the Bass so many times. Factor in that loss as well. If you Dog can't help you, then ask your Parakeet what the differences are!!
  5. Tweet tweet, too sweet. I don't have a parakeet, so I put it to the dog. He chewed on it while, didn't like any of those adjusters and recommended I get some made from cattle bone. He thought it would make a nice compliment to the plain guts.

    It's funny though, he really likes music from stringed instruments. Definite preference for flutes over reeds. Leaves the room if there are cymbals and loud drums. Can't stand distorted loud rock & roll. I bet he could tell the difference in supressed partials in the high range better than I could, if I could somehow get him to talk.