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Bridge blew up at gig!

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Studiodawg, Oct 4, 2010.


  1. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    I had a catastrphic failure on my Upton adjustable bridge live, on-stage Saturday night. Fortunately, I had a guitar bass so I could finish the gig. Has anyone else ever had their adjustable bridge "split", "break", "blow up" while playing? I'm gluing it back together and will reinstall it tonight...
     
  2. Mr.Phil

    Mr.Phil

    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    Not if its adjusted, aligned and maintained properly. Do you have a picture?
     
  3. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    Alignment,adjustment and maintenance aren't the issue. Don't be so condescending Mr. Phil...no picture...
     
  4. Mr.Phil

    Mr.Phil

    Apr 9, 2005
    Upstate NY
    I'm not condescending, just honest. Please don't take it personally. Don't ask the question if you don't want replies. Those are the options, that or poor craftsmanship/poor material. These things don't just break. Perhaps you could describe how it "blew up."
     
  5. Nathan Parker

    Nathan Parker

    Oct 10, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Where did it fail?
     
  6. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    They can break if you try to adjust them with too much tension on the strings. I have a Solano bass with an adjustable bridge. It is a thick bridge and is very well made but I tried to adjust it without loosening the strings and the E string foot split down the middle. Fortunately a clamp and some glue took care of it. It is definitely possible.
     
  7. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
  8. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    My situation sounds almost identical to Big B., though it has been a few weeks minimum since I may have pulled down on the bridge because it was leaning "up neck". My bridge split on the E string foot, but split at ~45 degree angle matching it falling up neck and slapping the bass body. Sudden and without warning...thanks for the replies.
     
  9. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I've had both a bridge blow up and break in half on a gig and a number of years ago I had a complete neck joint failure where it blew right off the bass and into the crowd about ten years ago. Needless to say, I may work a little harder to get maximum tone out of a bass than some of the more delicate folks around here....;)

    j.
     
  10. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    Given that a bridge is usually unfinished wood, you never know. I upgraded a customer's strings from helicores to obligatos once and the higher tension obligatos were just enough to snap the bridge in two. It upset me quite a bit, (especially since the customer was standing next to me) but the customer wasn't too worried about it. She said the bridge was at least a couple decades old anyway. The slight warping didn't help much either..
     
  11. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    I am using Innovation rockabilly strings, but am getting ready to get some of Upton's "Gary's Blended Double Bass String Set" which I'm guessing will have more tension than the black Innovations(?)
     
  12. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Are you using the Rockabilly strings or the Ultra Blacks? The Ultra Blacks are similar to Spirocore Mittels and the Rockabilliies are similar to Obligatos so...

    Sounds like you need to keep a closer eye on your bridge to make sure that its standing up straight and strong! ;)
     
  13. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    The rockabilly strings, specifically...yes good posture is (obviously now) a must! I look forward to reseating my bridge this evening...
     
  14. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Uh... if a bridge exploded, I probably wouldn't bother regluing it back together and just get a replacement.
     
  15. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    In this case he could probably just get away with having a new foot fit to the bridge. I am assuming that all the damage was below the adjuster and the rest of the bridge is still solid.
     
  16. Studiodawg

    Studiodawg

    Oct 25, 2007
    It split above the adjusters...I'm gonna put it together soon and test it tonight.
     
  17. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    thats a little uglier. It may be time to think about a new bridge. All that broke on mine is the foot below the adjuster and that is held down by the bridge itself. The break you are talking about is likely, IMO, to break again. Like a bomb waiting to go off. Again.
     
  18. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    When my bridge broke in half, it was gig #2 of a 3 gig new years Eve. Away from the shop and with no tools or clamps to rig it together, a quick search found a bottle of dimestore type el cheapo superglue. I smothered the broken zone in it and just held it in my hands, aka the human clamp, for about ten minutes. Ten more minutes to string it back together and we only lost 25 minutes for a set break. I kept it on for the next six weeks without any more breakage, and it is actually the spare in my gig bag right now.

    'Can't say I'd reccommend that to anyone, but it did work exceptionally well in a needed situation....no such luck when the neck flew off....

    j.
     
  19. JtheJazzMan

    JtheJazzMan

    Apr 10, 2006
    Australia
    Wheres your MacGuyver streak..."a bit of spit and tissue paper and I was back in business with spare time for a drink a smoke and a shag"
     
  20. Don't you mean elastic band & a paper clip? :p

    Hmmm, come to think of it, if the paper clip were long enough to wrap around the bridge leg & then twist off nice & tight...

    Hell, who needs an elastic band...?! :D
     

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