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Cutting the wings off the bridge

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by bejoyous, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Has anyone else cut the "wings" off their bridge ala Joel Quarrington? I did this recently and was amazed at the improvement of tone pwoer and acuraccy of pitch that resulted.

    I highly recommend it.
  2. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.

    I made a few bridges after reading about David Rivinus and the work he has done.

    They made for very powerful, loud bridges...but a bit harsh for me. scroll down about half way to get to his bridge ideas...you can adapt for bass very easily. He did this design to get small violas to sound bigger...so perhaps this type of bridge on a 1/2 bass could be better than what I heard on a 7/8.
  3. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    This sounds kind of interesting. Maybe it's a worthwhile experiment if you're planning on replacing a bridge soon. Just in case it doesn't work out, you've not really lost anything, but gained a new experience.
  4. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I need to replace my bridge, and while I'd LIKE to try this, I'm afraid my Revolution SOLO wouldn't exactly work too well on a wingless bridge.
  5. Anonymous75966


    Jun 29, 2004
    I remember a few players around Toronto with this setup - never got to hear the basses up close though.

    bejoyous - very curious for more details. When you say 'accuracy of pitch,' you mean more bite, midrange definition sort of thing? Can you post a pic? It's past time for me to get a new bridge so I think I might try it.

    btw you got a Chandler Tarr? I played one a few times at Peter's, maybe the same one, before I picked my bass (Amati model). I remember it being a really huge-sounding bass to begin with, low-mass bridge or no. Must be playing in nicely.
  6. B. Graham

    B. Graham Guest

    Aug 11, 2002
    Yeah, I guess that would pose a problem. I use a mic so I forget to think about stuff like that.
  7. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Below is a couple of pictures of my bridge so you can see what I mean by the wings. I guess it wouldn't be good for jazzers that use a revolution type pickup. But, if you use the type that goes under the foot of the bridge or has the 4 individual pickups drilled in under each string, I would still recommend cutting off the wings as the volume is so much greater and pitch is so much more accurate.

    By accuracy of pitch I mean exactly that. You can actually hear each indiviual note in a fast passage of notes instead of the rumble of moving furniture. When I first cut them off I played a few passages then came sownstairs to get a coffee. My wife said, "Hey, what did you do? I can hear every note."

    I do many, many bass/classical music demos in the school system here in London, Ontario (I substitute teach to supplement my music addiction) and the big show piece before I let the kids play is Czardis by V. Monti (This is a very idiomatic piece on the bass BTW if anyone is looking for a showstopper. It can also be done as a duet with violin and each takes a turn playing the various passages. The last D major part can be done on the high harmonics if youchange a few notes.) Anyway, in the opening passage where the notes are D E F E D E F... I play them on the D-string just above the octave harmonic (VII position?). So, the first time I played this after cutting them off, every note popped right out instead of being a mushy slur of notes.

    (I tried to attach a couple of photos but the files were too large to upload and I've got to go, so I'll try to srink them down later) If you sraw a line from the thinnest cross-section of bridge to the highest outer tip you'll get an idea of what I cut off.
  8. bfitz


    May 18, 2005
    lorain, ohio
    i'm sorry for whatever was put up here. i'm at work and left the computer for a second and one of the other guys here typed what was up. i'm sorry again