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Hi, question about bridges

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Whammytap, Oct 17, 2004.

  1. Whammytap


    Oct 17, 2004
    Kansas City
    Hi everybody, this is my first post and it's also about my first luthiere project--5-string neck-thru 35" scale bass. My question is, I have recently started seeing bass bridges that are a separate little bridge for each string, I believe Ibanez has one called "Monorail." What is the generic name for this type of bridge, and do they offer significant differences from (advantages over) traditional one-piece bridges? Since I don't know what to call it, I can't Google it! Thanks in advance for any enlightenment.


    :hyper: Does Stuart Spector really post here?!?!? :hyper:
    I love my Spector bass "Madalaine" more than anything! Even since I bought her, I've dreamed of maybe someday meeting Mr. Spector, and in my wildest dreams, being apprenticed to someone at Spector. Pipe dream?
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I was just looking for the same thing. The advantages are lessened sympathetic vibrations from the other strings to the one(s) you happen to be currently playing. And they look cool. I want to know what they are as I want to try them on a p-bass.
  3. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Yeah, I've looked around a little bit on the Monorail aka indepentant type bridges out there. They are supposed to minimize the sympathetic vibrations as Trevorus put it. they can also be used for completely custom string spacing too, since each string has its own bridge, you can put it wherever you want pretty much.

    I've seen several "monorail" bridges specifically for headless basses. also, Lightwaves optical pickups are built into a indepentant bridge system of their own. however the only place that I've found that has an indepentant "monorail" type bridge for a regular bass is at:
    I've never tryed them, so I dont know if these specific bridges are any good or not. They are made of a Zinc alloy, its supposed to be lighter with similar tonal characteristics as brass. They are however not setup to work as a string through body mounting. rather they just anchor to the bridge itself.

    If you are interested in them, you might also check e-bay because I know Custom Shop Parts sells the exact same bridges on there, and you can usually get them for a real good price (like $15 for a set of 4 "indy" bridges as they call them)

    If you do end up trying them, let me know how they are. and if they are worth looking into further.

    Does anyone know anywhere else that sells this type of bridge? prefferably one that would work as a string trough body type setup.
  4. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    A bit of filing on the rear of the CSP indy bridges will see the strings easily able to bend through the body. At $15/4 and a little bit of paint it's cheap to try.
  5. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    Allparts also carries them but they are more expensive. I have used the CSP ones and they seem fine. Indi bridges in general are somewhat of a pain to install since you have to ground each one individually unless you are using a metal nut.
  6. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Yeah thats true, I would recommend going with a metal nut of some sort with the indi bridges. Unless you are planning to use a pickup/EQ set that does not require bridge grounding like the EMG extended series or something similar.

    It would also probably be worth it to experiment with filing them if you are looking for a string through body setup as Dharmabass suggested.
  7. Whammytap


    Oct 17, 2004
    Kansas City
    Hey, thanks, everybody! CSP has much lower prices than I've seen from places like Stewart-McDonald and Warmoth. Very reasonable, I'm going to order their indy bridges and try 'em out. If I use a metal nut, won't that affect the tone in the direction of making it more high-pitched and less sustain? If I did that, then if I grounded one bridge, then all the strings would be grounded because they all contact with the grounded string at the nut, right?

    :bassist: Whams
  8. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    You can also use a small strip of foil tape (copper or aluminum) to ground all of the bridge pieces if need be.
  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    1. You can just not ground the strings, and do a complete cavity shielding. You can take a look at the "is grounding strings necessary" thread, and make a decision with those various opinions as a starting point.

    2. Nut material makes a difference on open strings only. And I believe the intent of using brass nuts when they were poular was more high end and more sustain. Just like your metal (often brass) bridge and metal (yes, they are brass even though they look silver-colored) frets.
  10. TheBassmeister


    Nov 23, 2003
    Austin, TX
    Jens Ritter uses them in his basses which are absolutely amazing. Im not sure if you can get a very clear view of them here so I'll post a few pictures of the "3d Bridge":
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I am not sure if that is exactly what you are talking about, but I hope this helps. If that is in fact what you need you might try shooting him an e-mail. It might be a little far off but its worth a try. I hope you find what you are looking for!