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Bridge Suggestions for my EURB?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Charlie Lee, Nov 13, 2002.


  1. Hello all,
    My name is Charlie.. from Australia. This is my first post here, but I've read and learned many times. Thanks to you all.

    I built myself an EURB about a year ago using some old building timber.. nail holes and all. I used a "wien" bridge and shadow pickup, and the thing sounds just great, and has done about 50 shows now.

    So I've built m second bass, using rock maple for the neck, Queensland maple body, Australian Lancewood fingerboard (good stuff) and a wenge tailpiece. I've just assembled it all for the first time, to give it a run before finishing, but it sounds "tinnier" than my other bass, so I'm looking to warm it up a bit if possible.

    I'm trying to make my own bridge, but it seems really hard to get hold of any end grain spruce here in Australia. I'll probably end up buying a bridge and cutting it down again. I have tried the top half of my double bass bridge (wheel adjusters removed) and it seems tinny, and I made a bridge from some 10 year old western red cedar I had in the garage.. not end grain, which sounds kinda muffled.

    Any suggestions? I attached a picture.. the purple one is the old, the unfinished is the new.

    thanks
    Charlie (8{)
     
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Hmm. I think bridges are usually made of maple.
    What about a cello bridge?

    It also depends on the pickup system.

    The Carruthers EUB bridge, for instance, doesn't have any wings or holes.

    The pickup is located under the floating tone bars, which the bridge rests on.
     
  3. Thanks Francois,

    I don't know what I was thinking.. brain on holidays.. of course bridges are maple. I plead insanity.

    I have some rock maple left over from making the neck.. I'll try that. I'm still unsure of the all maple construction of this bass... and a rock maple bridge?? I'm imagining even brighter.

    I do have a cello bridge here, but it's very narrow, and I don't think it would take the load of a set of spirocore weichs. I'm surprised that western red cedar, being really light and quite fragile has taken the load ok. It just sounds a little odd.

    I might trying something differnt.. like wenge or mahogany. I do have my eye on our kitchens new chopping board.. 3/4 inch thick clear plastic... looks like a potential experimental bridge to me. It's all fun, and can't really hurt (except if my wife misses her chopping board).

    Charlie (8{)
     
  4. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I've always thought it would be interesting to build an EUB that had a tunable resonating chamber under the bridge. Maybe multiple chambers, or vibrating elements instead of chambers. You could mass load them to lower f, and adjust the length or tension, and simulate the various resonances in the body of an UB.

    It might even be possible to do this all in the space of a bridge. Hmm... might do some experimenting with my Bugbass....
     
  5. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Depends on the pressure actually transmitted to the bridge.
    And a crucial factor in determining this is the angle the strings make over the bridge.
    If the strings were touching it with a 180 degrees angle, no pressure would be transmitted at all.
    It's a known thing that raising the tailpiece saddle will decrease the tension transmitted to a bass top.
     
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'm mostly diggin' on the Betty Page decal on the purple one...
     
  7. The sticker is not what it appears to be... it is a tone dampener, carefully placed after weeks of rigorous testing to rid the instrument of undesirable frequencies. I find that the blue bikini gives the bass a better tone.. much more warmth than the green bikini I had on there before.
     
  8. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Cahrlie, your new bass appears to have a floating tailpiece like an acoustic bass. Do you think this makes a difference given that an EUB is as far as I can see an upright fretless plank - and I've never seen a floating tailpiece on a plank. Compared with your first EUB, how is that an improvement?

    I'm building something which at this stage is going to be basically a one-piece extended hardwood (Tas oak) fingerboard based on the measurements I've taken from my real bass; some kind of bridge, and strings will anchor through the body like a BG. Haven't put machines or bridge on it yet, still designing on the fly. (My wife thinks its a paddle for a surfboard ... That's good, I'll go along with that one!)

    Have you cut up the chopping board yet?
     
  9. Hey Matthew, good to see I'm not the only Sydneysider making things like this. Your designing "on the fly" sounds a bit familiar!! I've made a new bridge with height adjusters in it from rock maple and so far I'm very happy. The chopping board lives!

    My first basses tailpiece was made of about 4mm brass, and just folded up under the tension from the strings and its replacement is made from 5mm steel.... it's heavy and I am making a replacement. I have done about 50 gigs with that bass now and it's holding together well, and the solid tailpiece sounds and works fine.

    On no.2, I picked up this nice 1 metre long piece of Queensland Maple, and just couldn't bear to cut any length off it, so I made up the body shape using most of it. Something I don't like about the first bass is the 50cm or so length of stick height when playing it.... feels a little wobbly (but I'm used to it).

    So by using the long body, with the short stick (which is in the body, rather than behind it) I'm kind left with a lot of space to fill up below the bridge, and thought it might be a nice change, and an experiment to try making some sort of floating tailpiece. I also want to keep using a high, double bass bridge and pickup system. If I anchor the strings in the body (which I've attempted before) and use a high bridge, it's just too much downforce, unless the bridge is only 4 or 5 cm high, and at that height the sound doesn't disperse thru the bridge enough to sound double bass"ish". My first bass sounds remarkably similar to my acoustic bass when plugged in, so this must have a lot to do with it.

    I don't know if this is "an improvement" yet. The whole bass does seem to resonate a little more than the first, and is louder- especially the vibrations via the floor, but that could be the different wood used. There is nothing touching the top of the bass between the tailpiece wire anchor and the neck joint (other than the bridge), so I'm hoping for something more resonant. I don't want an electric bass sound.

    The only drawback so far is that I am getting ringing notes from below the bridge. I can just mute them quite easily, but want to try differing string lengths below the bridge to see if I can kill them naturally. The Thomastik website states 21cm to be the recommended length, which I've used, but I still get a ring. I think the tailpiece and tailpiece wire are part of the problem too. I'll probably try a longer, more double bass like tailpiece. I don't get this on my first bass.

    I'd love to hear more about your bass as it progresses. I've also thought about a 4" x 2" style bass, actually I'm still thinking about it! Let me know. My bass is in parts now being sanded before painting. Dick Dale chartreuse sparkle here we come. Who said I have taste??

    Charlie
     
  10. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Here's what I started with
     
  11. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    and here's what I've got now.

    thinking:

    "Shall I put DB machines on it or BG machines?"

    "Do I need an angled headpiece or can I thread the strings under some kind of steel bar then to the machines?"

    "Do I need a body?!!"

    Cheers

    Matthew
     
  12. Matthew,

    Looking good mate. I love the nail holes...

    "Shall I put DB machines on it or BG machines?"
    I've busted lightweight Gotoh tuners, but the P-bass style work fine, and aren't too heavy.

    "Do I need an angled headpiece or can I thread the strings under some kind of steel bar then to the machines?"
    It looks like you'll need some downforce on the nut somehow. Is the headstock thick enough to do slots in it like a classical guitar. The steel bar would probably work too. What about the machine heads on the back, with the strings coming thru holes in the headstock to the nut?

    "Do I need a body?!!"
    Naaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!! Be a rebel.