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Have you have seen this...

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


  1. mdlewis

    mdlewis

    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    Not sure if this should go here or in strings but here it goes...

    Replaced a Fender-like bridge on a bass with a Hipshot Type A. I chose this bridge because of the similarity to G&L bridges, which I think are fabulous, and because I've had a good experience with Hipshot products. New mounting holes were required, because the old bridge did not have a standard Fender mounting pattern. I measured about a dozen times to center the intonation region. Then I measured again. I was a bit concerned because the Hipshot A's stock usable intonation region was narrower than the existing bridge.

    The bass was wearing 4+ yo LaBella 760s...I set up the new bridge and everything aligned perfectly. This is when my trouble began. A nice feature of the Hipshot A is that it allows for quick changing of strings due to the ball end load design, so I thought, I wonder what this might sound like with new LaBella's. So I put them on, did a set up, and found that intonation point for the D string was very different. So different, that that the stock parts could not achieve correct intonation. I was able to find a longer lead screw and everything worked out, but I had never seen something like this before - a huge change of intonation region with a new set of strings that were otherwise exactly the same as the older set.

    Anyone of you ever seen this and can explain what might be happening? I'm kinda freaked out by this as I'm now concerned (OCD warning) that the bridge may be mounted suboptimally.
     
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Let's see some pics, please. Want to see how saddles stagger.

    Riis
     
  3. mdlewis

    mdlewis

    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    You guys are tough. Well here's some photos...
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Grumry

    Grumry

    Jul 6, 2016
    Nashville
    It looks weirdly out of place, even in the first two. None of my d's are in front of my g's.
     
  5. mdlewis

    mdlewis

    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    Do you use LaBella 760Fs? I always see this pattern with these strings on all basses. I don't see it using the other set I use quite a bit, which are d'Addario EXLs....
     
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    It's now a non-issue. Looks good. In all fairness, there have been more than a handful of problems with the intonation screws (too short, too long). Hipshot will mail you replacements at no charge...or just go to Lowe's.

    Riis
     
  7. mdlewis

    mdlewis

    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    To be clear, I wasn't writing about my challenge with the bridge, which I had already solved when I posted this, but the behavior of the strings - why would a new set change so radically from an old set of the same strings?
     
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Were the witness points defined with both sets?

    Riis
     
  9. mdlewis

    mdlewis

    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    Yes.
     
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Don't know. I do like how you got all the ball-ends aligned in pic #3. Was that on purpose and, if so, did it put a slight twist in the string?

    Riis
     
  11. mdlewis

    mdlewis

    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    That's an idea I hadn't considered; I'll have to check out if there's some twist I introduced when aligning them. I was wondering if it had something to do with the aging of the strings. After four+ years of heavy playing, this set was thud-city. Very cool for old school tunes, but I wanted to see how the new bridge sounded with something a little more defined.

    The reason I aligned the ball ends is due to some trouble I have had with another bass. Like many strings, LaBella 760's are attached to the balls by a single loop of wire. When the ball ends are flat (e.g., the holes are visible), these wires seem to contact the edges of the ball retainer under extreme excursion of the strings (something I don't do often unless I am very excited, agitated, etc). and the string will break. This has happened me several times. It's not the same alignment for all bridges, nor is it potentially a problem for all bridges, but I intend to keep flats a long time, so I don't want them to fail. This orientation seemed best for his bridge.
     
    Zooberwerx likes this.
  12. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I don't know how much of twist it would take to push a flatwound out-of-spec.

    Riis
     
  13. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    To me, it appears all your saddles were further back than average on your original bass. The E string spring is almost fully compressed. The screws on your old bridge would put the saddles out beyond the indentions for the height adjustment screws. Your new bridge looks good.

    Why would two sets of strings intonate so differently? That's usually due to inconsistent diameter over the length of the string, and not something you can see. It would be thousandths on ten thousandths of an inch differences. Dunlop proved strings can be made that won't intonate on a large number of bridges and then they figured out some way to correct that. Two sets of their strings purchased at the right interval would have yielded strings that intonate much more radically different than what you experienced.

    My guess is your old strings and your new strings came from times when LaBella possibly changed to a different batch of raw material for core or winding material, or maybe they re-calibrated a winding machine. It doesn't take much to make a difference of a few mm in where your saddles sit.
     

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