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Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Keala, Apr 17, 2010.
Is this the correct bridge placement in relation to the F-hole?
yeah that's close enough. Centred on the inner nicks.
When it came back from the shop, it was set an inch and a half lower. I had read somewhere that it should be as in the photo, but couldn't find the link.
It does sound louder now it's in this position.
I think it looks just about perfect. How do you like it with all the new goodies!?
It sounds great. The reapirs were well worth the money to bring this vintage instrument back to a playable condition.
What exactly does the bridge placement determine? My bass has a fixed bridge, and I found that the only way to get close to the string height I prefer I have to move the bridge a bit lower than the notches. I hadn't notice any changes other than the string height.
String height should not be adjusted that way. When you move the bridge, you move it's position relative to the sound post, you alter the string length, you put tension on the top in a location other than where intended, and probably several other undesirable things I can't think of now.
Hm. Well the original reason why I tried moving the bridge is because I noticed the sound post was actually a lot lower than the bridge, and it seems to sound and play a lot better since I moved it. I guess I'll move it back though. This bass is pretty old and beat up, but solid and sounds great, but it hasn't been setup for a long time and I'm learning as I go, I don't have the funds for a professional setup right now.
I just checked closer to the notches. I noticed that they're not actually straight, they're one is about 1/4 a cm lower than the other. What should I do in this case? Is there a certain length of string I should have between the nut and the bridge?
I don't think it'll hurt if you line up the bridge with one of the nicks. By the way, nominal placement of the soundpost is one post diameter below the treble-side bridge foot. That's just a starting place and usually is tweaked to get the desired sound. My point is that the post usually is lower than the bridge.
Alright, thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
DB bassbars have a pretty big sweet spot so you can usually safely move the bridge up or down about an inch eg the front of the bridge can be lined up with the inner f-hole nicks without hurting anything.
If your bass sounds better with the bridge positioned like that, play it there!
It might sound even better with the bridge in the right place and a new soundpost, so like the good doc said, you might want to take it to a bass luthier and discuss that with them.
I'm also of the belief that the bridge on a commercially made doublebass should be centered on the inner nicks of the f-holes. I know a good doublebass luthier who insists on using a mathematical formula gotten out of the Chuck Traeger book that always puts the bridge position a little north of the inner nicks. It drives me nuts to see this on every one of the commercially made basses that he sets up. A couple of reasons that I can think of to intentionally deviate from the standard position are innacurately cut nicks on an older small shop instrument or cheating the long string length on an older, usually prewar, instrument originally intended for gut strings. Are there any other good reasons for intentionally deviating from the standard bridge position?
Thanks for the additional info, Jake. Indeed, if it sounds better... My response was to shifting the bridge in order to adjust string height.
When I was building my bass, and figuring out where to place the f-holes, it took me a lot of calculating before I made any cuts, for this very reason.
Yeah, I'm with you on that Doc.
People tend to get really hung up on the nicks being some kind of 'magic spot'. If it was one of Ahnold's well-made basses I'd leave the bridge EXACTLY where he put it but on a Czech factory plywood bass? If you want to shorten the string length a little bit, why not? The bass bars in most factory basses have a six inch long deepened and strengthened portion and you won't be hurting a thing.
The position of the bridge has a lot to do with transfering the Sound (vibrations) thru the top down to the ribs. The sound post is also important and can change the pitch in sound but not as much as the ribs do. If the bridge is in the incorrect position it can cause damage to the top, transfering all the pressure and tension incorrectly and can also force the sound post thru the top or bottom and ruin a perfectly nice instrument. you can also force the bass bar to bend and come loose but that would be the least of your worries at that point.
Also if your using an adjustable bridge and it is set at the lowest setting, you must turn wheels at least one full turn out to help transfer vibrations. if the adjusters are bottomed out, they will impede sound and vibration and you can loose your nice thump. It also seems brass adjusters sound better that aluminum, but your opinion may vary..
Do I want a self adjusting soundpost to improve my intonation? I find my intonation suffers after a slab of ribs. What would you suggest?
I changed from brass to aluminum and got more volume and a brighter sound, so I prefer aluminum.
Is it just me or are the ole TB buzzards circling.. Simma down peoples.