# Bridge angle

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by estesbass, Jan 1, 2005.

1. ### estesbass

Dec 6, 2004
Nashville, TN
Which side of the bridge should be at a 90 angle to the top of the bass, the tailpiece side or the fingerboard side? Does this vary for different types of bridges?

2. ### jazzbassnerd

Aug 26, 2002
As far as I know... Tailpiece side, for ever and always. If I'm wrong, I hope someone corrects me promptly, but I'm about 95% sure.

3. ### luthierbass

Jan 2, 2005
jazzbass is right. the tailpiece should be 90 to the top. to check this you get a square and put it on top of the bass bar next to the bridge. that way you can see where it is...

4. ### arnoldschnitzerAES Fine Instruments

Feb 16, 2002
Brewster, NY, USA
How do you measure 90 degrees when the top table curves longitudinally?

5. ### Ben JoellaSupporting Member

May 31, 2004
Boca Raton, FL
Maybe with a "Bob the Builder" square.

- Wil

7. ### Damon RondeauJourneyman Clam ArtistSupporting Member

Nov 19, 2002
Winnipeg, baby
I believe our friend refers to the tailpiece side of the bridge
needing to be at 90 to the... to the... the, er, uh....

I'm waiting for the answer to Arnold's question. I'm an amateur hack who's done a few; I've eye-balled 'em.

8. ### jazzbassnerd

Aug 26, 2002
The tailpiece side of the bridge should be perpendicular (90 degrees away) to the top of the bass. You should use a square. If I ever want to quick check I use a book that is long and thin.

9. ### ChasarmsCasual Observer

May 24, 2001
Bettendorf, IA USA
Look at the profile of the bridge as if it were a right triangle. The hypotenuse should be on top.

BTW, I didn't think this thread needed clarification, I just wanted to use the word "Hypotenuse" in a sentence.

10. ### Damon RondeauJourneyman Clam ArtistSupporting Member

Nov 19, 2002
Winnipeg, baby
...except the hypotenuse is the side of the the triangle that's opposite the right angle.

11. ### ChasarmsCasual Observer

May 24, 2001
Bettendorf, IA USA

Exactly. Using Pathagreus' model, it'd be "c". The longest side. If you look at a bass bridge from the side, it looks like a right triangle with C towards the top.

12. ### Damon RondeauJourneyman Clam ArtistSupporting Member

Nov 19, 2002
Winnipeg, baby
Gotcha.

"The hypotenuse should be on top" can be misinterpreted if you think "top" means the bass top.

13. ### arnoldschnitzerAES Fine Instruments

Feb 16, 2002
Brewster, NY, USA
How do you square up to a surface that is not straight, but rather arched? The method is flawed.

14. ### Damon RondeauJourneyman Clam ArtistSupporting Member

Nov 19, 2002
Winnipeg, baby
The square makes no sense. Any hints, Arnold?

15. ### Eric Jackson

Centre the feet on the inner ff hole nicks. Tune to pitch, lie the bass on its back. View the bridge from the side. The angle of the bridge to the top should be biased slightly towards the tailpiece. Measure from the nut to the top of the bridge to determine the string length. Write this measurement down or commit to memory. Check it occasionally to ensure the bridge is not bending or tipping toward the fingerboard.

I think proper bridge position, consistent string length and making sure the bridge isn't about to collapse is more important than any particular angle measurement.

16. ### Damon RondeauJourneyman Clam ArtistSupporting Member

Nov 19, 2002
Winnipeg, baby