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Considerations while installing a bass bridge.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Muaguana, Oct 6, 2010.


  1. Muaguana

    Muaguana

    Jul 28, 2009
    I tried doing a search, but haven't found any threads that specify important concerns one must keep in mind while installing a new bridge. I just bought a Hipshot A style for my 5 string, and am apprehensive about installing it given my history of screwing things up.

    Primarily, I'm concerned about the neck and truss rod. Does the truss rod need to be loosened when all the strings are taken off? Is there a way to check if the tension is set correctly? Once I install the new bridge and start to put the strings on, do I have to add tension immediately to counteract the strings or should I wait until all are installed?

    As always, thank you for your time.
     
  2. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Just leave the truss rod be. Unless you intend to leave it unstrung for weeks or months the truss rod shouldn't be an issue. The neck itself handles the majority of tension from the strings. Good pick for a bridge. I use the A-type bridge on all my builds unless otherwise specified.
     
  3. +1

    I whip the old strings off, & as I fit each new one wind it up enough to take the slack out of it, then move onto the next (I usually do G E D A as I've got 2+2 headstocks, but it doesn't really matter).

    Once they're all on, then it's a cycle of tune, stretch, tune stretch etc., until they're settled. A final tune to pitch, check the action and intonation & then play the pants off 'em. In my experience they need a few hours on 'em to be stable enough to gig, but naturally YMMV.

    Of greater concern is the positioning of the bridge if it isn't a straight drop-in replacement.

    Pete.
     
  4. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    No. No. No.

    A thousand times no!
     
  5. Muaguana

    Muaguana

    Jul 28, 2009
    Nah, still not getting it. Do you have a few more "no's" on you, by any chance?





    I kid, I kid.:D

    Thanks a lot for the advice, everyone; you guys rock.
     
  6. Muaguana

    Muaguana

    Jul 28, 2009
    ... and, of course, I only now realize that the Hipshot A is a 3-hole and the one currently on my bass is a 5-hole. I waited a month for this thing...:bawl:

    Time to visit the Classifieds...
     
  7. Not necessarily... "All" you need to do is figure out the two centrelines (Neck CL & intonation CL) & carefully confect some new holes. Asuming your existing bridge is properly located, positioning ought to be fairly simple. About the only hiccup I can forsee is if the new holes partially overlap the old.

    P.
     
  8. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    And if you really don't feel comfortable installing it, a good repair guy could do that pretty easily. Thats is to good of a bridge to give up over a minor issue.
     
  9. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    The hipshot A's Ive seen are five hole. All holes at the back end. If the original holes arent all where they need to be for new bridge. Plug the ones that arent where they need to be and do starter holes where they need to be for the remaining screw holes for new bridge. Also if useing holes from prev bridge and the new bridges screws are narrower. You will need to either use screws from the old bridge, or plug prev holes as needed and drill new starter holes. If this sounds too daunting, have a local repair shop install the new bridge for you. Hipshot A bridges are nice imo.
     
  10. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    Assuming the new bridge covers the old holes, there's no real reason to plug the original ones unless you just want to say that you did. There's no benefit.

    I would be inclined to leave them as they are just in case you or the next owner ever decides to put the old bridge back on.
     
  11. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    This is reasonable...

    There's all this, "The holes don't line up!", hysteria, around bridge replacement, largely unwarranted.
     
  12. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    I agree with its fine to leave the old holes not used unplugged if bridge covers them. So long as they are at least 1/4 inch away from any needed new bridge screw hole. If theyre closer then that Id plug and fill them so no chance of old holes causeing wood weakness near new holes or even worse, wood breakthru between the holes. Ive had couple new bridges which while not useing the same outer sides holes, had the new screws too close to the old ones holes making to me a real need to plug and fill the old holes so no weak wall between the two holes.
     

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