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Bridge thickness

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner [DB]' started by Mike Saint, Nov 19, 2018.


  1. Mike Saint

    Mike Saint

    May 20, 2017
    Dislaimer: I am not a luthier. (thought the prior post about adjustable bridges using this disclaimer was pretty neat, so I stole it!) :)

    My question is about upright basses and has to do with the thickness of the bridge at the top. On a used Bulgarian flat back that I purchased the top of the bridge is so thick that I can't get my bridge mute to sit on it effectively.

    Thoughts, questions and opinions, please.
     
  2. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    So start by thinning the bridge so your bridge mute will sit on it effectively!

    I would probably use a block plane to do this neatly. Some luthiers might use a belt sander. Not sure what a non-luthier might use :)

    You might even consider visiting your luthier ... it’s a quick job. if you don’t have one, maybe now’s the time to introduce yourself and make a new friend!
     
    Mike Saint likes this.
  3. Mike Saint

    Mike Saint

    May 20, 2017

    I do have a belt sander and a good block plane. I was just wandering how it might affect the sound of the bass.
    I play pizzicato (bluegrass, although I have played jazz, orchestral, country and western and a lot of rock) but this bass has a great sound, great bottom end, great tone and it is loud.
     
  4. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Hard to generalize as every bass is different. One way to find out!

    Most luthiers i think would aim for a bridge crown not more than 6-7mm
     
  5. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    I don’t go below 5mm.
    A year or so ago, a bass teacher brought me some mutes that we’re too narrow to fit on his bridge and that wouldn’t fit on mine either. IIRC, the opening was closer to 4mm. I put some 80 grit on a stick and opened them up.
     
  6. Mike Saint

    Mike Saint

    May 20, 2017
    Thank your for your comments. Very helpful. I just now notice that the crown on the bridge (measured at about 5mm and the mute is about 7mm but narrows to a v. But the crown, I just noticed, was only narrowed at the top of the crown and only the top half inch has been narrowed. Someone took a blank bridge and only narrowed the top 1/2! No wonder the mute doesn't fit. Duh! I had already noticed that the feet were not fully fitted to the lid, as well. I have some work to do!
     
    Matthew Tucker likes this.

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