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Bridge questions

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Jay Mendoza, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. Jay Mendoza

    Jay Mendoza

    Mar 11, 2016
    I have a 1967 Johan Rauner model 169, made in Nuremburg Germany. It has a nice book matched top and back, spruce and flamed maple respectively, solid maple ribs and a lightly flamed maple neck. Nice inverted arrowhead purfling design detail below the button on the back, and ebony trim between the ribs and heel. Has an Underwood pick-up as well. The neck was broken off mid heel and epoxied on by the PO, who also drilled a hole in the button and ran a lag bolt into the heel. The repair is not pretty, but has held for over 20+ years, and because it's epoxy, one stands to do more damage than good trying to take it apart. It has an Aubert bridge with threaded aluminum adjustable feet, but the adjusters have about 5/8" of threads exposed to get the bridge height correct. Is this a big problem, or should I just keep playing it?
    It had a set of Helicores I put on it in 1995, never changed them until last week!
    I found a set of Spirocores that I used to set up a brand new laminated Wilhelm Eberle, and then removed them as the guy who bought it from me aske me to put Superflexibles on for arco. So, these Spiros are now 20+years old, but have very little use, and have been in their envelopes all this time. At any rate, I took off the dead Helicores and put on the TI Spiros....whoa, what a difference! I have seen what they do for laminate basses , but it's incredible how they sound on a carved instrument.
    Does anybody here know the optimum scale length from the nut to the bridge on a Rauner model 169? Mine was at about 41.4 inches, and now, with the bridge at 90 degrees to the top seam, and the inner F hole notches lined up to run through the center of the feet, it's at about 42 inches. This makes me wonder which has priority, the bridge feet position, or the actual scale length? I was under the inpression that the string angles should be equall on both sides of the bridge, and the bridge itself should be at 90 degrees relative to the top for the most power, correct? So if you get the bridge at 90 degress but the string angles over the bridge are not equal, does that mean the tail gut saddle needs to be adjusted, or the neck set angle is off?
    Another question is if the scale length is correct, and the bridge is at 90 degrees to the top, but then the bridge feet are off by 1/4 to 1/2 inch from being centered on the f hole reference nothes, is that really a problem? For example, if it sounds best in the above described position, is it really worth all the hassles of having to re-shape the feet, move the sound post, and possibly find it does not sound as good?
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Simply, the actual scale length is determined by the bridge feet being in the correct position centered on the notches and the bridge above the adjusters correctly set upon them.
    Tom Lane likes this.
  3. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Having the string angles equal on either side of the bridge is a nice idea, but isn't practical on most instruments unless you have a raised saddle installed. If the neck geometry is otherwise fine and the combined break over angle over the bridge isn't too steep, I don't know that I'd recommend installing one. Eric is spot on about scale length.
    keiranohara likes this.
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    If you love the way your bass sounds with the bridge/sound post relationship as it is, what's your problem? :cool::thumbsup:

    My wife didn't like her Rauner's longer string length, so I moved the bridge and the post further north. It looks weird to me but it sounds great and she loves the familiar feel. It might sound "better" with the string length at 42 1/4" but she can't play it there, so who cares?

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