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Fitting 2-piece Thunderbird bridge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rocknrollmouse, Jan 3, 2012.


  1. rocknrollmouse

    rocknrollmouse

    Jan 2, 2012
    UK
    Hi,

    I've just received a two piece Thunderbird style bridge (bought off 'bay) – a stud mounted bridge with screw fixed tail-piece (looks very like ones on BaCH-birds from pictures I've seen of them).
    My question, is when mounting, what should the distance between the bridge and tail-piece be?

    I'm assuming it will have something to do with the angle of fall for the strings, between saddle top and tail-piece (“break angle”?), but again I don't know what this should be.
     
  2. rocknrollmouse

    rocknrollmouse

    Jan 2, 2012
    UK
    Looking around and scaling photo's found, the distance between tailpiece and bridge appears to be:
    Gibson 16mm ~ Bach 24mm ~ FenderBird 26mm​

    The greatest variation is on Bach-birds with separation appearing to be over 35mm on some basses.
    Fenderbird pics scaled were those identified as being from John Entwistle or Peter Cook (whilst this included some tb bodies, the majority of pictures found were for Explorer-birds).

    These estimates are not accurate, as they have only been "scaled" from pictures found on the web. However, it would be nice to know how far out these estimates are ~ so if anyone who is lucky enough to have one of these basses, can spare a couple of mins with a rule/tape measure :help:
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I suggest you find Tbird1958's address and PM him. He owns a number of T-birds and is a super nice guy. I think he would provide the info you seek.
     
  4. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    Just came across this, here's what I've measured:

    The distance between bridge and tailpiece on my 60's Gibsons is 14 mm. BaCH used 30mm on the two of their NRs I own. Entwistle's original FenderBirds (TBird body style) are the same as Gibson IMO. PC moved the bridges forward 1/4" so they could intonate properly but the bodies are more compact so he maintained the Gibson dimension. There was more room to work with on the ExplorerBirds.

    The notched saddle BaCh bridge sometimes needs to be notched in the back to keep the strings from hitting it depending on a number of variables.

    Tuneup on a Bach bridge here:
    BaCH Bird TUNE UP
     
  5. rocknrollmouse

    rocknrollmouse

    Jan 2, 2012
    UK
    Hi Dadagoboi,

    Thanks for the info!
    Comparing your actuals to my results (from my method of scaling pictures), the results weren't to bad.
    Typically I found Gibsons had a 16mm spacing, and BaCH average 30mm (although the most common spacing I found for BaCHs was 24). Very few scalable tb fenderbird shots found, but explorerbirds came in at 25mm. All of which seems broadly in line with your info.

    Tbird1958 also sent me some good pics and tips, including the bridge notching you mention. This in turn got me thinking about break angles.

    Working with break angles in mind, using dimensions from my bridge, saddle notch to anchor point (assuming ideal saddle contact position to be centre of bridge). I found a spacing of 24mm would give a break angle of 14 degrees. This is what I've used for this, my first project. If I find it lacks the body-tone/growl I like I'll reduce it next time round.

    Once again thanks for your reply, and a great link!
    :bassist:
     
  6. Dadagoboi

    Dadagoboi CATALDO BASSES Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2005
    Florida Swamp
    CataldoBasses: Designer/Builder ThunderBuckerPickups:Consultant
    You're welcome. Hope to hear your results.
     

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