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Bridge Height Question-Measuring

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Bergerman, Aug 18, 2007.


  1. Bergerman

    Bergerman Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    Springfield, OR
    When you guys (and others) talk about assigning a measurement for bridge height, where are you measuring from? I have seen on this forum that 6-1/2 to 7 inches is a good starting point for a 3/4 bass, but how do you arrive at that measurment? i.e. is it from the top plate to the highest point of the bridge? From the bridge feet to some other point? Please advice me, I have not been able to figure this out...

    Many thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. CPike

    CPike

    May 28, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Correct me if I'm wrong folks, but I'm pretty sure "bridge height" is measured from the center of the soundboard to the center of the tip of the bridge, but it's not really a critical spec to focus on at the onset of fitting a new bridge.

    Instead, I think you should be more concerned with the height of the strings above the very end of the fingerboard. That, plus the angle of the neck, the length of the neck block, and the position of the bridge feet will determine how high the bridge needs to be.

    Chris
     
  3. Bergerman

    Bergerman Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    Springfield, OR
    Chris,

    Thanks for your reply!

    I am trying to bring a CCB back to life, and am now getting ready to fit the bridge. My neck overstand is 1-1/8", and end of my fingerboard is 4-1/8" off the board. My quandry about the bridge height is that the bridge that came with the bass (the bass came in a multitude if disassembled parts) is 5-1/2 inches high, measured like you suggested; from the top to the highest bridge point. It is at least an inch too short when I lay out a string from the nut to the bridge, so it appears that the correct bridge for this bass may be a total of 6-1/2 to 7 inches high measured by your "standard". I am really wondering if this is in the correct ball park for bridge height, as I can't really seem to confirm how to measure the dang things...I know that Gollihur's site suggests 6-1/2 to 7 inches, but I don't know if I am measuring in the right places...

    Thanks again, and I am still welcoming any and all suggestions or tidbits of information!
     
  4. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Work it out.

    Place a long straightedge along the FB. Slide a 1cm paperback book under the straightedge at the end of the fingerboard. That'll do for your string height. Close enough. Now measure the distance between the straightedge and the top where the bridge sits. That's your bridge height. Easy.

    If that's not what you want, then you have to reset your neck, a job probably not worth doing on your CCB.

    Fitting the bridge is a whole other kettle of fish.

    Attached: My bridge-height/neck-alignment laboratory. The board has centrelines and bridge heights marked on it. The laser is just a hi tech straightedge.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Bergerman

    Bergerman Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    Springfield, OR
    Thanks, Matthew.

    I guess my bottom line question is this...if I end up with a bridge height of 7 inches, measured from the top to the highest point of the bridge, is that too high? Is it higher than a bridge should be, or is it in the OK range?

    Thanks!
     
  6. CPike

    CPike

    May 28, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    If the strings are too high off the end of the fingerboard, then the bridge it too tall - if the strings are too close to the end of the fingerboard, then the bridge is too short. There isn't a universal "OK range" that you need to be concerned about. As long as the bridge is the correct height for your bass, and your strings are at an appropriate height for your bass, then everything should be dandy.

    Here is an oft-referenced page for string height specs: http://www.smithbassforums.com/showthread.php?t=150

    Steve, are you attempting to fit a new bridge yourself from scratch? Or do you just want to rest easy knowing your existing bridge is correct?

    Chris
     
  7. Bergerman

    Bergerman Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    Springfield, OR
    Chris...kind of both.

    My existing kind-of-crappy bridge is too short, so I am going to glue on some maple shims ro raise it...I am also going to order a new bridge if this bass seems to be workable when fully assembled. The "playing around" with the old bridge is mostly for practice and education. I successfully fit a new bridge to my cello a while back, so I feel I can fit one to the ol' CCB without too much trouble. Would still appreciate any pointers, though, if you have any :)

    It is in the layout process that I found out my approximate bridge height, and just wanted to make sure that it was not "out there" as far as height goes. I feel much better now, and really appreciate all of your help!

    Steve
     
  8. CPike

    CPike

    May 28, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Steve,

    If you decide to get a new bridge, most blanks are oversized, so unless your neck angle is unusually steep you should have plenty of wood to cut down to where it needs to be. Since you've fitted a cello bridge, you probably have the basics down. Sounds like you are on the right track.

    Chris
     
  9. Bergerman

    Bergerman Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2004
    Springfield, OR
    Hey Chris,

    Everything is complete. Got my instructor's approval of the instrument yesterday. It was a major re-build project: Neck re-set and angle change, top removal and re-attachment for neck block and endpin block work, fingerboard re-attachment, bridge stuff, etc.

    Thought I'd show a pic; it actually plays pretty well for a CCB. Actually, with all the work and improvements I have put into it, I'd prefer to think of it as a VICCB...Vastly improved cheap chinese bass. For an experimental project, it turned out pretty well. It was cheap entertainment: I only have a little over $200 into the whole project.
     
  10. CPike

    CPike

    May 28, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Groovy, glad it's werkin' fer ya...

    Chris
     

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