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Bridge repositioning advice?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by newbold, Apr 13, 2010.


  1. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    So here I am loving my JazzV with rotoTruBass88's through my pedalboard (or not), but really feeling uncomfortable with the travel in the bentplate bridge.

    The saddles on my B string are completely out of their grooves and the entire group of saddles could be positioned further toward the neck on my bentplate bridge if the whole bridge were moved away from the neck by about a half an inch (or a centimeter and a bit - I'm metric friendly)

    I've had to completely remove the spring from my B string saddle.

    Now perhaps it's not intonated properly and I need a new tuner, but the bass finally plays and sounds right so i'm not about to mess with it until I'm sure of what to do.

    Resale value aside (I don't plan on selling my MIM JazzV, as it's not worth it to sell a bass I love for a paltry sum),
    what should I keep in mind when moving my entire bridge back to accommodate proper bridge operation?

    I have also noticed that the strings don't line up with the poles on the pickups, so
    would it be a bad idea to reposition the bridge to have the strings line up with the poles better?

    (or should I just move it straight back and deal with a pickup upgrade)

    Since pickup covers and their innards are manufactured with less human involvement,
    would it be safe to presume that the bridge is positioned improperly ?

    I'd like to make sure that I do this properly, as taking a drill to my bass where it really matters (bridge/neck) is very important to take care with.

    I wish the Mexican Factory got it right the first time (bridge vs. pickups) but my strings/action are giving me a really good excuse to fix this up right.

    I've heard and read that I should drill the old holes and fill them with doweling, and I've thought about finding metal anchors for added strength, but I've never heard about this for bass or guitar bridges and don't want to get too far into this.

    so if you have any advice for me i would love to read it

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bEbpf2TaHfL2erjiCzH_ng?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_H-UYaFkzpl0/S8Tqih-RfmI/AAAAAAAAC1g/KUvGuwq-cQ0/s144/DSC00002.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.newbold/BassBridgeBeforeRepositioning?feat=embedwebsite">Bass Bridge before repositioning</a></td></tr></table><table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/20spQnclKtqXDMgTCbf9Hw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_H-UYaFkzpl0/S8TqgKthQjI/AAAAAAAAC1g/0OsQbYTEa28/s144/DSC00001.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.newbold/BassBridgeBeforeRepositioning?feat=embedwebsite">Bass Bridge before repositioning</a></td></tr></table><table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bEbpf2TaHfL2erjiCzH_ng?feat=embedwebsite">
    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TCmoYm27OlW4CBocZqBE5g?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_H-UYaFkzpl0/S8TqkdHIAvI/AAAAAAAAC1g/1N_n2y_F5Yk/s144/DSC00003.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.newbold/BassBridgeBeforeRepositioning?feat=embedwebsite">Bass Bridge before repositioning</a></td></tr></table>
     
  2. jakelly

    jakelly

    Nov 8, 2009
    Just my opinion, but I doubt that your bridge could be that far off, and moving it could be a disaster. Make sure your neck hasn't shifted before you do anything.
     
  3. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    I think jakelly didn't see the photos...
    I was taking and posting them when jakelly made that reply
     
  4. jgiroux

    jgiroux

    Jan 5, 2009
    Quebec
    Could it be that the strings are for a different scale? There seems to be a great difference in the low to high strings.


    Jean
     
  5. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Answer: it can't. This bridge ran out of adjustment room, for these strings.

    OP: you can fix the issue of the silking going over the saddle, by running the string through a piece of brass hobby tubing. Use just enough to back it off.
     
  6. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
  7. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    First things first: the TruBass 88's are enormous strings (.065 - .115) so make sure the nut slots are filed properly and check your intonation with a strobe tuner. Nylon strings are tricky enough to intonate so if your tuner is questionable there's no telling how accurate your readings are. I would want to be sure before attempting to replace/relocate the bridge.

    EDIT: I would also check to make sure the neck is completely seated in the pocket. To do this, loosen the neck screws by half or 3/4 turn with the strings at tension. This will pull the neck all the way into the pocket. Make sure the neck doesn't shift sideways by verifying the outside strings are equidistant from the ends of the fingerboard. Then re-tighten the neck screws.
     
  8. Lizooki

    Lizooki

    Feb 24, 2008
    I would do 2 things.
    First .. I would find out why this has happened.
    Then I would fix it and then intonate the thing correctly.
    I don't care if "it sounds right". Intonate it and make it right.

    On 2nd thought ... I would intonate and retune first to see if there really is a problem.

    As far as moving the bridge .... I don't think even Fender could screw up that bad.

    Are the strings old? I guess they could just be waaaay stretched out.

    Are you sure all the strings are from the same gauge set?

    What I'm getting at is - fix the problem, not the symptom.

    Matt

    btw- going back and looking at the pics again, the top 2 ( maybe 3) strings don't seem to fit the saddle groove well .... How about the nut?
     
  9. Essthreetee

    Essthreetee Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    Visalia, CA
    I have had to do exactly this with another bass that I had (and am currently having the same issues...both with the same brand of bass...).

    The way I did it, was to use some blue painters masking tape.
    First mark the sides of the bridge with the tape and then the neck side of the bridge. This gives you a starting point.
    Then simply move it back, whatever you needed to and drill new holes. The old holes are covered up by the bridge, and the intonation works well.
    Just don't go too far, otherwise you won't have the room to move forward for the other strings.

    You may also look into a bridge that might allow further backwards travel...
     
  10. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    I just moved my bridge back on my ESP for the same problem, I went back just to clear the old holes. Work out prefect for me.
     
  11. Hi.

    Moving the bridge back is a simple procedure, just do it.
    If You realign the strings (and the neck of course) to be in line with the pole pieces, the looks will be improved, even if it doesn't improve the sound.

    IME, incorrect bridge position isn't all that uncommon on mass produced instruments regardless of the brand.
    Very common with Gibson Tune-O-Matic equipped guitars, original or copy.

    I wouldn't use anchor inserts on a bridge that has enough mounting holes ;).


    Regards
    Sam
     
  12. jakelly

    jakelly

    Nov 8, 2009
    I see the problem now. When you mentioned strings not aligned well with the pole-pieces I assumed you'd be moving from side to side. Good luck.
     
  13. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    I'm going to get threaded saddles or upgrade instead of shifting the bridge left/right. Seems like the A string is in the right spot, so it's just a scale/distance issue.

    'Fender couldn't have got it wrong' is truly a leap of faith folks. the bridge position is for a 4 string but the bass has a low b. The bridge, though nice and chunky has saddle grooves, which aren't designed for full travel of the saddles on the bridge.

    The rotos are not 'old', nor are they not for this bass...it's the only kind they make.

    the 'oh no why has this happened' reaction is unnecessary, but appreciated. It's just a shortcoming in the bridge design/placement not taking into account strange string options (most people play medium rounds...these are thick nylon flats)

    The nut is fine. I had it regrooved last set I bought knowing they wouldn't fit.

    Anchors are probably a bad idea, I agree.

    I'm sticking with this bridge for now unless I find one with a wider spacing when I finally do this thing. I'm in no rush to do this but figured I should start this thread now.

    I think that I'm going to have to work on intonating it again and again before I finally try to move the bridge...just to make sure how far I need to shift it.
     
  14. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    ...Incredibly lucky that I didn't move it back any further.

    As you can see, if I were to move it any more I'd be in trouble.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4I0dTJsBE-nwpeFAt5ZhfQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_H-UYaFkzpl0/S8t17IpnYUI/AAAAAAAAC3w/16gn0GpLz4Q/s144/DSC00012.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.newbold/BassBridgePositioning?feat=embedwebsite">Bass Bridge Positioning</a></td></tr></table>

    And for a reference here's the bridge as before

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/20spQnclKtqXDMgTCbf9Hw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_H-UYaFkzpl0/S8TqgKthQjI/AAAAAAAAC1g/0OsQbYTEa28/s144/DSC00001.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.newbold/BassBridgePositioning?feat=embedwebsite">Bass Bridge Positioning</a></td></tr></table>

    Luckily, the saddles are in their grooves.
    Unluckily, the G string's spring needs to be lengthened.

    I also need to clean my bass.

    I just noticed that A saddle was upside down. Just fixed it but I'll reintonate later.

    old B

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TCmoYm27OlW4CBocZqBE5g?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_H-UYaFkzpl0/S8TqkdHIAvI/AAAAAAAAC1g/1N_n2y_F5Yk/s144/DSC00003.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.newbold/BassBridgePositioning?feat=embedwebsite">Bass Bridge Positioning</a></td></tr></table>

    new B


    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/YWhQDCoeN-koi3iUwG8VKQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_H-UYaFkzpl0/S8t09k0U_dI/AAAAAAAAC3M/D6shOb6_apI/s144/DSC00010.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.newbold/BassBridgePositioning?feat=embedwebsite">Bass Bridge Positioning</a></td></tr></table>


    I don't know how it intonated and moved forward...but it works and I think the bridge looks better moved back anyway.

    I could only intonate my bass with the saddles too far back before and now the job seems unnecessary.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1rSaFtySdms7B4-cvg13oQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_H-UYaFkzpl0/S8t1IxFRa5I/AAAAAAAAC3Q/jP_hYyg6paA/s144/DSC00006.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.newbold/BassBridgePositioning?feat=embedwebsite">Bass Bridge Positioning</a></td></tr></table>

    Glad it looks great.

    Too bad the paint under the bridge is uneven and the holes I left need plugs...but in time my bass will look almost as amazing than it sounds.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    hmm, before you moved that bridge, you should have seated the strings properly.

    see how the high string in that first picture ramps up off the saddle before straightening out? that's what's causing the saddles to need to be so far back. if you had just pushed them down so they had a sharp bend right at the saddle (and nut), so that the string was perfectly straight along its vibrating length, you probably wouldn't have needed to move the bridge at all.
     
  16. mongo2

    mongo2

    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Those strings need better witness points.
     
  17. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    my camera was close to the bridge...

    ...walleyed.

    I always push my strings down - but that's certainly something for folks to remember.
     
  18. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    Glad it work out for you, to bad all the screws wasn't on the back side of the bridge.
     
  19. Hi.

    Glad to see it worked out for You.

    I would've left a bit more adjustment room for the G though ;).

    As for the holes, buy/make a mute in there, if You ever need that "thump" sound.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  20. newbold

    newbold

    Sep 21, 2008
    Toronto
    My apologies if I seemed to brush off mongo and walterw. Not my intention.

    I will look into how to make a mute for the bridge...very clever indeed!
     

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