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Bridge Questions

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by AlexFeldman, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. AlexFeldman


    Jun 18, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Okay, two things regarding the bridge.

    I have two brass adjustors that I ordered from Lemur, but I haven't had my luthier install them yet. Will they affect the sound of the bass in a signifigant way? And will the bridge be adjustable up to its original height?

    Also, I've noticed upon very close examination that my bridge curves upward toward the fingerboard very slightly. Is this bad, and if so, how can I correct it?
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    They often do affect the sound; how much depends on the instrument and many factors, most of which I am completely unaware of, but I am not alone on that side of the room. IMHO evidence is more anecdotal than There is a scientific study of bridge adjusters as a link on my LINKS page - www.gollihur.com/kkbass/basslink.html which is interesting, though I am not sure it comes to a complete conclusion. Seriously, it seemed to favor aluminum adjusters over brass. One proponent of aluminum on the 2xbass list has a technique of drilling the centers out of adjuster screws and drilling holes around the wheels to lower their mass, claiming that enhances the result. I may just try that with my next one.

    If you need adjusters, try them. If they change your sound to an unacceptable level, go back to a solid bridge. Personally, you may want to consider having your luthier fit them to another bridge so you can return to the solid one if necessary.

    OTOH, installing adjusters is a challenge (and a pain in the butt) unless you are experienced and have the right equipment. Some luthiers would rather just install a bridge with pre-installed adjusters -- IME it can actually be cheaper, the pre-done bridge vs. labor. As an example, I've started putting decent maple bridges with aluminum adjusters up on eBay starting at $69.
  3. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Somewhere in Bob Gollihur's Links is an article on the tonal effects of adjustors made from different materials. I have no personal experience with brass, but I recall they got the lowest rating as a material to be used. I'm sorry, but why didn't you ask before ordering? I'm very happy with ebony, but the highest rating I think went to maple. Check the article. And some very good players use aluminum.
  4. AlexFeldman


    Jun 18, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for the wisdom, guys.

    As is the case with many things I do, pure stupiditiy. :( My reasoning went something like this:

    ... Since aluminum is cheapest and ebony is most expensive, aluminum is probably the worst and ebony is probably the best. So brass seems like a good compromise...

    I will probably just order a bridge with preinstalled aluminum adjusters. Or, better yet, I'll wait until July and bug Rufus Reid about it. ;)

    When I really think about it, I'm not eager to switch. I'd rather make big, fat, bouncing quarter notes than play clicky little sixteenth note triplets all the time (just cause I could). :)
  5. Glad for Bob's experiment on bridge adjuster tonal changes.

    I have an appiontment with my Luthier for a Bridge adjuster and soundpost setting in a month and now am reconcidering an adjustable bridge all together?
    According to the experiments the maple DiLeone adjusters seems to be the lesser evil of the bunch after reading his pages on that subject. %$#$$ I gotta slow down here. :eek:

    "PROBLEM= Drummer plays too loud" SOLUTION= "Wack him over the head with your ply backup bass, go out to your VAN bring in your Carved Bass Finish the Gig without him" Problem SOLVED!!" :spit:
  6. McBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Is the bridge bending up towards the fingerboard, or is it tilted on its feet? Are the feet making full contact with the top of the bass? If they're not then you should probably take some tension off the strings and push the bridge down a little. The bridge is supposed to be slightly curved sown on the top, and the bottom should be perpendicular to the top and straight. If it's actually bent, though, your bridge is warped and you would probably want a new one fitted to your bass.
    If you can take a picture and post it on setup/repair, you can get some professional feedback.
  7. McBass,
    I´m really sorry, I don´t want to be a wise-a** here,
    but where did you dig this thread into daylight?
    I mean, Alex Feldman wrote the original question a little more than three years ago, so we don´t know if he still has the same bridge nor the same bass...but let´s give it up to Alex to answer if this is still relevant.

  8. McBass, sorry again. I didn´t notice it wasn´t you who did the diggin´job, but Mr. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO..( etc ) instead.
    So, I take everything back.

  9. If your bridge is truly warped and you're thinking of tossing it......Soak it in water for a few minutes, put it 0n a hard, flat surface and put something VERY heavy on it. Your sound post may fall during all this, so try to mark where it was.
    I've never been involved in a thread this old.
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yeah, whaddup with Alex? He hasn't been around in awhile.

    We got to hook up a couple of years back when he came to NYC to visit his girlfriends family, met over at Gage's and played a little together. Really nice guy and very together soundwise and feelwise for his youthful age.

    Hopefully he's gigging too much to check in.

    R2D2 - cut MacBee some slack, he's new here and is checking out everything of interest. Info is info, no matter if it's not timely to the original question. Still might do somebody good along down the line. No worries.
  11. Foghorn: yea, that´s why I did say sorry, several times. Alex truly hasn´t been around for awhile..
    Pawl: I been told this soaking thing, too. As a matter of fact, we tried this with my friend, who had a warped bridge, and with very hot ( boiling ) water. It worked all right.

  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    My bad, I saw the first post, but not the second one.
  13. Unfortunately, the straightening done by soaking in hot (boiling) water is temporary. It will usually warp back again in a matter of weeks or months at best.
  14. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I guess that'll just be water under the bridge...
  15. McBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sorry for the contribution to the oldest thread in the world. But, I didn't know about the warped bridge water thing. Maybe it was worth it?
  16. Yes, it kind was worth it. I called my friend. it´s warped again.

  17. I forgot to tell you.....you gotta let it dry for two years.
  18. Ditto on the boiling thing. I have a friend who boiled then clamped his bridge straight. After about three weeks the bridge returned to the shape from whence it came.
  19. jonas


    Dec 9, 2003
    Frankfurt am Main/Germany
    Kontrabass-Atelier, Lando Music (Germany)
    I've never tried myself, but I was told by an very experienced db restorer that putting the bridge in the kitchen oven and baking it for some moments, and clamping the warm/hot bridge onto a flat surface for a while could do the job.
  20. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ...jeez, it's not like bridges are that expensive. Even if this soaking voodoo really did work, seems to me you'd still have a bunch of fitting to do. You're not likely to bend it back to a perfect fit so you gotta spend a bunch of time fitting the thing anyway.

    Just buy a new bridge. A thread just opened up on fitting bridge feet... ;)

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