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Bridge Placement

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ZenBass, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Is there any defining..equation that you have to use to get the placement of the Bridge and Pickups Correct :)...

    I know the bridge placement and the Pickup placement need to be spot on.. i was just wondering how you calculate this on a 34" scale 24fret 4 String Bass?...

    I did a search on here but didnt come up with anything solid :)...
  2. Well, the bridge goes 34 inches from the nut. Put the saddles in the middle of their range, and use that to position it. More difficult is getting it in the right spot horizontally. I'm not sure what the proper procedure for that is. Different makers put the pickups in different spots. It's a matter of personal preference, I think. That's not to say it won't affect sound, but there's no single best place.
  3. What Lemur said, although a more universal equation for the bridge is twice the distance between the 12 fret and the nut, in case you're using a non-34" length.

    Pups are a personal preference. If you can scope around somebody did up this big as spreadsheet with a whole mess of info, part of which was a selection of basses and their pup locations.

    If it was me, I'd have a stab at setting up a little jig that will let the pup float over the strings without having to mark the body. That way you can have a small play around to get a gauge for where you want your pups.

    Somebody might chime in saying that you could place it on some of the harmonic nodes or some other magical location related to where the harmonics are. But a simple grasp of how a string vibrates will tell you that these locations will only work when you're fretting certain notes, so aren't that important a factor. Hence the trial and error and personal preference.

    Josh D
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    The spreadsheet w/ all the measurements is found on bgavin's homepage. It's very extensive.
    Yes, the bridge is placed at double the distance from nut or zero fret to the 12th fret. Note that this is the distance to the nominal (non-intonated) position, so in practice, this is where the saddle witness point goes when the saddle is adjusted all the way towards the neck.

    Here are the positions, base on that page, for 34" scale.

  5. Thank for all your Advice :)....

    Just a quick question...

    I am right in think that the bridge measurement it take from front of the bridge??...

    or the saddles ??...

    Apart from that its all a go this end..just need to find a good brdige.. I am thinkin abotu getting a Status Brass Milled Bridge...i think these cheaper bridges for like $30 arent really worth it.. :)...
  6. Measured to the saddles in their un-intonated state, that is according to Pete, in their furtherest forward (extended) position. Pete actually said it.

    Thats exactly the spreadsheet I was talking about, if I was wearing a hat I'd take it off out of respect for his fantastic work.

    Josh D