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G string height has "fallen"

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Ben H, May 21, 2011.

  1. Ben H

    Ben H

    Jan 30, 2009
    London, UK
    So, due to some frustrating circumstances, my bass was left unplayed for a few months. When I returned to play it, the G string was so low that it was almost touching the fingerboard. It looks like it has fallen at the bridge end, as the height at the nut seems fine. It'll make a (buzzy) sound if played below 3rd position, but anywhere above that and the vibration is killed by the fact that it is pretty much flat against the fingerboard. I can't be entirely sure, but it looks like the D string has also fallen slightly too, although this does not affect how it sounds.

    Has anyone experienced anything similar to this? What caused it for you?

    A few months before this happened, I installed a K&K Bass Max pickup, which required me to file down a part of the bridge (like this: http://www.uptonbass.com/catalog/images/bassmax.jpg) on the E string side - could this have somehow caused it to "lean" to one side?

    If anyone has any comments/ideas, please let me know. Thanks!
  2. JtheJazzMan


    Apr 10, 2006
    Is it the bridge or the actual top of the bass? Do the F holes look even or has the wood warped? When was the soundpost checked last?
  3. Is your bridge centered? Is the neck securely glued?
  4. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    Humidity, or lack thereof, can do wacky things to a bass. Is your bass kept in its case in a stable environment with consistent relative humidity around 50%?
  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    +1 Sounds like your bridge has been bumped toward the 'E' string. Post pix...
  6. A number of things could cause this. Seasonal changes in humidity can effect the height of the action. How high were the strings to begin with? If you play with a lower action, even a slight change in height could cause the problems you describe. The simplest remedy (if you already haven't done so) is to have bridge adjusters installed.

    This is more typical on the 'E'-string side as the bass bar often sinks a bit under tension. I have seen cases where a glue seam lets go at the back edge and the back is pushed away by the soundpost under tension causing the belly to flex a bit and cause this. Do the ole' tap test; using your knuckle, just tap along the seams to see if they're tight.
  7. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    <---- Agree with Jake. It's hard to make a diagnosis without pics..
  8. If the soundpost had become dislodged, wouldn't that possibly allow the top to sink in with tension still on the strings?
  9. Ben H

    Ben H

    Jan 30, 2009
    London, UK
    I think you're right. Tapped the bridge over to the G side and a little further up the body and the string height has returned to normal. Thank you for your help, everyone.

    Any ideas what could have caused it to shift?
  10. Bridges move. They aren't glued in place, so just about anything can nudge it. It usually happens in transit, or in taking off/putting on a soft case. You just need to know where it belongs and how to adjust it.

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