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Douglas Fretless Violin Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Combs4MyDomes, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Combs4MyDomes


    Apr 23, 2008
    Hey guys, my Douglas WVEB fretless violin bass just came in today from rondo music. My question is, is the bridge only supposed to be held to the body by the string tension? It just fell off when i was changing strings and theres no mark or anything for where it is supposed to be. This might be a dumb question but i have never encountered a bridge like this before. Maybe im an idiot?

    Any input would be greatly appreciated
  2. Go to the Rondo website and compare where the bridge is on the violin bass in the picture. I would think anywhere close would be OK.;)
  3. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    It's called a floating bridge, and yes, it is anchored to the body by string tension alone. You will likely need to move it to get intonation somewhere closer to where it is supposed to be (don't expect to ever have it perfect on a violin bass).
  4. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    Measure from the Nut to the 12 fret. It should measure around 15-1/4 inches. Now, measure 15-1/4 down toward the tailpiece and set the bridge there. You'll have to adjust it a few times, but you'll get right.

  5. jibreel


    Apr 12, 2005
    Tip for the future.

    Change one string at a time.
    ed morgan likes this.
  6. Once you get it back into position mark at least a corner on each side of the bridge with a fine-line marker so it can be replaced easily if it falls off. If you can't get the intonation right PM me and I'll take some measurements and photos of the bridge on my Douglas VB. That should get you close to where your bridge should be.

    Rick B.
  7. andrew_brenner


    Apr 17, 2009
    Does anyone know if the Douglas WVEB Violin Bass VS Fretless bass is still available somewhere? I'm not having much success in finding one for sale.
  8. Michael Vee

    Michael Vee Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    Andrew, if you are still looking, Kurt has them online.

    I bought a used one earlier this month (thanks, Inge!), and it's a nice instrument. I have added a lot of relief to the neck by loosening the truss rod, and that allows the strings to sing much more like an upright. I like it, and it's a lot of fun.

    However, it has several minor problems. One is that the fingerboard needs to be radiused a bit. On most notes, the E string wants to buzz on a high spot on the board. This can be corrected by raising that side of the bridge quite a bit, but that's not the answer- a radius sanding is.

    Another problem is that the volume pots seem to be wired wrong. When both are full up, there is a noticeable amount of cancellation and loss of signal. Turning one or the other pot slightly back causes a big jump in signal.

    Finally, the bridge is crappy. The two posts that the thumbscrews turn stick out through the top of the bridge block. See below for the Douglas bridge and a Hofner bridge. The Hofner bridges are not made like that. Second, the bridge uses small lengths of fretwire for the saddles. The factory cut these too long, which means you can't change the positions of the saddle bits. Also, the posts sticking through the top of bridge prevents moving the E and G saddles to their middle positions.

    I've ordered a Hofner ebony bridge to completely replace the stock bridge. However, I imagine any good guitar tech could fix the bridge issues.

    I'm also going to take the bass in to my good friend Nathan (HofnerGuy) at Pick'n'Grin here in Kville and have him do the fingerboard and electronics work.

    Should be a really fine little bass when all that is done.

  9. Adam Felix

    Adam Felix

    Nov 22, 2009
    Use your ears or a tuner to adjust the pitch. Like you would do with a standard bridge! Try to match the overtone at the 12th fret with the fretted 12th fret tone on the E and the G string. The most precise way of adjusting intonation is by using a chromatic strobe tuner. The way the bridge is mounted on the hofner basses on there website, I find is only for cosmetic reasons. It needs to be pushed all the way up to the bridge pickup on the E strings side!

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