Bridge and fingerboard profiles

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by jdombrow, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    My bass (an old Kay) has a beveled fingerboard, but when I had a new bridge installed he cut it with a rounded profile. The result is that the D string is higher off the fingerboard than the A and G strings. Should the bridge profile match the fingerboard?

  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Depends on who you ask. I like a D string that's more in line with the G because I'm a pizz player. My teacher (an arco player) found my setup to be difficult to bow but not unplayable. One of the luthier types posted recently that he preferred to have each string increase height from the fingerboard by 1mm per string from the G to the E. This should be an interesting thread.
  3. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Thanks for your reply. I should mention that I am strictly a pizz player, and a beginner at that. I've been playing electric bass for 30 years and have recently purchased an upright to start working on.

  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    If you are not going to bow the bass, it makes sense to have your bridge arch match the fingerboard more closely. Kay fingerboards were very flat between the A and G strings (as are most shelved-type fingerboards). So luthiers are forced to raise the D string high enough to create a bow-able arch. We do this because we assume the instrument will be bowed (it is, after all, a bass VIOLIN). Your luthier should have no problem re-arching for you. In my shop, there would be no charge for it...but this highlights how important it is for the player to clearly communicate his/her needs to the luthier.