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Fender Locking Bridge Mini Rant

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Rev J, Jan 22, 2017.


  1. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I have a Fender Steve Bailey Jazz Bass 6. The thing has a locking bridge in it that frustrates the crap out of me every time I change string guages and have have to set it up. The fact that for every adjustment you have to unlock one screw and adjust another is a pain in the butt. I just put a new set of strings on last night and started to adjust the the intonation. It was fairly late at night and I was having my after work beer while doing it I got the B string intonated (last time I changed string guages the B string was the last one I did and it took 4 hours to intonate so I started with it this time). I moved on to the E string and took a couple of hours and was getting nowhere. I went to my weekend morning job came home and started working on it again and realized that I loosened the wrong screw! I loosened the locking screw for the saddle not the one for intonation. I'll admit that alcohol and being tired probably exacerbated the issue but for the love of Pete dealing with that many screws and steps to get something relatively simple done is frustrating.

    C/S,
    Rev J
     
  2. You knew this was coming....

    My solution is simple. Install Labella flats, then you never have to change them again!
     
    Axstar and JLS like this.
  3. I definitely feel bad for the people who like that really bright tone. Buying all those strings, changing them all the time. Christ.

    To the OP, if it is taking you hours to intonate you are doing something wrong. A pro should be able to do a full set up within an hour. Intonating is the easy part. Adjusting action, dealing with fret buzz, getting proper relief takes a little more work. What is taking up all the time?
     
    96tbird and JLS like this.
  4. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I think part of it is crap tuner. The last time I changed guages I noticed that the saddle would bind then jump into the new position when I was almost there with the intonation. This time I noticed that I just loosened the wrong locking screw.

    C/S,
    Rev J
     
  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    While there are locking screws present, there is no law saying you have to use them.
     
    wcriley likes this.
  6. I'm not familiar with your bass model but would it be possible to get a different bridge?
     
  7. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    For best results you should be adjusting your intonation from flat to sharp. If you are adjusting from sharp to flat you are also fighting string tension, which can result in the saddle binding, the intonation screw stripping, and kinks in the speaking length of the string.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  8. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    Long story short. To the best of my knowledge the Steve Bailey model was the only B-E-A-D-G-C 6 string bass that Fender made and it was only made between 2009 and 2011 I believe. Just before I ordered mine from my local shop Steve jumped from Fender to Warwick so to the best of my knowledge I have one of the last ones that they made. The guy at the shop after the 9 month wait it took me to get it told me it was the only bass he ever sold that appreciated in value before it left the shop. So even if I could get another bridge for it it doesn't seem like a good idea.


    Well lat night I got the rest of my strings intonated. I figured out that the tuner app I got for my cell phone has a 6 string bass mode that on top of the note even tells you the frequency. I kept losing track of which way I was adjusting on the C string but eventually got it to about 2Hz off and said screw it close enough. You'd think after 20 years I wouldn't be making rookie mistakes like that but oh well.

    C/S,
    Rev J
     

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