Bridge height/tone

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by free4all, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. free4all


    Apr 27, 2004

    I was wondering how bridge height affects string tension and/or volume. I
    imagine that with a higher bridge there would be more pression on the top of
    the instrument and it would vibrate more. Also, two "identical" instruments
    could ideally have the same action on the fingerboard and different bridge
    height (neck angle); what would the difference be?

  2. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    :help: Mayday :help:

    Welcome to the board! I don't want to be rude or anything but at times like these it's usually best to duck and roll, because you are about to get attacked for asking a question that has been rehashed multiple times on the board.

    A better idea is to use the Newbie links at the top of each page and the search feature and look for past threads on this topic. That will probably result in less carnage.

    It's an easy mistake, so don't worry about it too much. Just thought I'd warn you.
  3. free4all


    Apr 27, 2004
    Sorry for the useless post, I'm going to do a little search right now. Thanks for the reply! :rolleyes:
  4. free4all


    Apr 27, 2004
    Ok, I know I could be stoned for this... :( but if you apply more tension to a string of a given length and mass the pitch gets higher, right? I don't understand the concept of "tension" in this case. I did some searching, by the way. :D
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    The higher the bridge and/or the steeper the neck angle, the more drastic the break angle of the string over the bridge. The more drastic the break angle, the more effeciently the tension of the string is transferred as down force into the feet of the bridge.

    There is no magic formula with tension and how it impacts a bass's tone and/or volume. Some tops love high tension, others actually respond much better to lower tension. It all depends on the way the luthier built the bass.

    You just have to experiment with it. If you look around enough you'll even see basses with a saddle (the little piece of ebony at the bottom of the bass the protects the edge from the tailgut) extended out to actually lessen the break angle of the strings to lower the tension on the top.
  6. Right on Chas, but if we are going to be correct here, the strings are in tension and the bridge is in 'compression', as is the top. This you described as down force which is OK. I don't want to nit pick but I think it helps comprehension - especially if someone researches the terms. Free4 is quite right in what he says so when people use the word tension for everything things get confused. Chas is not a real offender here - there are whole threads full of it. So to make things simple, things in tension are being pulled but things in compression are being pushed.
  7. Nick Ara

    Nick Ara

    Jul 22, 2002
    Long Island, NY
    Well said, Mike!