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Drop in Replacement for Violin Bass Bridge?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Gilmourisgod, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    My son has a Jay Turser Beatle bass with the wood bridge that can't really be intonated accurately for all strings. The bridge is floating, with no mechanical attachment to the body. Is there an adjustable saddle piece "floating" bridge out there that will work for this bass?
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Subbed, I'be been looking too, but have resorted to DIY with a tuneomatic...
  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    None that I know of, but those bridges actually do work just fine. The secret is not to assume that the bridge needs to be oriented horizontally on the body. Angle it slightly with the E side farther from the nut and the G closer, and you'll find that you can achieve good intonation. The fact that it's not physically attached to the body is meaningless; orchestral stringed instruments have been demonstrating this for hundreds of years.
    RSBBass likes this.
  4. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    What's the methodology for intonating these? I figure I could double the distance from nut to 12th fret to locate the G string saddle, then kind of "pivot" the bridge around that point to get the E saddle right. The A & D strings would then be approximately correct, I suppose. There are little metal saddles slotted into the bridge. Are they removable? It's a bit of a pain because the bridge can move every time you change strings. Next time he changes them, we will mark the bridge location with tape so we are least in the ballpark.
  5. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Yes, that's exactly how it's done. And, yes, it's best to mark the bridge location and/or change the strings one at a time. Most of these basses seem to like one or two brands of string to give the best intonation; some of them can be spot on, in fact - I have one. And, sadly, some of them...close is as good as it gets - and I have one of those, too. But, it's important to remember that these basses are left-overs from a time when very little music required a bassist to go up past the 12th fret, and if the intonation was "close", it was good enough. And finally - yes, the little pieces of fret wire in the bridge should come right out. :)
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  6. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    There really isn't a "drop in" replacement for a floating bridge. They need to be fitted to the top on the instrument and adjusted for intonation. The latter is the easy bit.
    RSBBass likes this.
  7. freshbass


    Jul 17, 2004
    No. I just put LaBella ss Beatle flatwound bass strings on, because I know that's what I'm going to use on this bass and won't ever need to change them, and set the intonation by aligning the bridge at an angle bass to treble side and checking until it was as close to perfect as possible. Then I used a black marker to out-line it and put a couple super glue drops in the corners where it sat flat to hold it. If I ever did need to change it super glue makes a solvent, or just use max strength nail polish remover.
  8. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    '94  Gretsch    G6119B.JPG A common trick with Gretsch floating Tune-O-Matic bridges - especially with Gretsch floating guitar bridges - is to find the "perfect" spot; install two little metal pins in the underside of the bridge mount; and actually "Pin" the bridge in place. Some of their guitars have come from the factory this way for several years, now. Definitely cleaner and less damaging than glue, IMO. Personally? I just make sure the bridge mount's feet match the curvature of the bass' top (and they quite often don't) and leave them to float. But, I also use chalk - or instrument bow resin - on those feet, to keep the floating to a minimum. And, on those basses? I don't play them real hard, either...:cool:
  9. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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