Bridge String Arch

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by LoGruvz, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. LoGruvz


    Apr 11, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Hi Gang,

    My Son started Middle School Orchestra this year and picked up the bass. He has a Cremona which I bought him because it was cheaper than renting. It is actually not a bad beginner bass. His problems with it are the strings don't feel right so I bought him a set of SuperSensitive Red Labels which seem to be standard around here for Orchestral Bass and he said they are much better. The main issue is that he said the strings are too flat across the bridge and that his classroom bass strings are more arched. What can I do to make the arch from the E to the G less flat and more arched? I am pretty handy in the workshop so sanding and filing are OK with me. I don't care if I mess up the bridge - worst case is that I buy a new one.

    FYI...I am 48 and have been playing electric bass guitar since I was 17 so I know a little about bass but very little about acoustic URB.


  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Inactive Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I use a ruler under the Strings at the Bridge to check the amount of clearance. Measuring from the G to the A string the D should be at least 1/4" above the line of the ruler. Measuring the E to the D, the A should also be at least 1/4" higher. I use 4-5mm height on the G under the the string at the end of the FB and 8-10mm at the E with a graduation of 1.5-2mm per string for the height. A good Bower can use the 1/4" height between strings but beginners should go slightly higher.

    example of arch;
  3. LoGruvz


    Apr 11, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    Excellent info!!!

    Thank you.
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    You could make a template from the bridge at school and adjust his bass to fit.
  5. I've always thought of Supersensitive Red Labels as pizzacato jazz strings. I had a set of them. Mine sounded awful with a bow. They sounded fine for pizzicato. I'm not surprised that they are better than the stock Cremona strings, but that's a low hurdle. If you have the oppotunity to replace those again, I'd recommend going with a string that is definitely an orchestra string designed for bow use primarily. Supersensitive has the Supreme, the Pinnacle, and the Stellar. The Stellar is the most "orchestral" of the line with the others being "hybrid" types that are good to pluck or bow.

    Beyond Supersensitive there are many good string manufacturers. D'addario Helicore Orchestra strings are good basic orchestra strings that last and are not too pricey.

    Good luck with the bridge arching. It must also match the fingerboard arching.
  6. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I put Super Sensitive Supremes on the Cremona bass at the school here and they really warmed the instrument up.
  7. chipsas


    Feb 28, 2005
    Europe, Lithuania