Hipshot A Bridge Replace Squier Stock Bridge???

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by PNS128, Dec 28, 2007.


  1. PNS128

    PNS128

    Dec 28, 2007
    Rhode Island
    I have a Squier Affinity P-Bass, and the bridge is less than desired. I have purchased a Hipshot A series bridge, and am wondering what is needed to make the replacement.
     
  2. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    If you have to ask then my first suggestion is to take it to a qualified luthier and pay him handsomely to make a proper change.

    If you can't afford it and are adventurous then remove the old bridge, fill the holes with dowels and glue. Sand flush. Dry fit the new bridge so that the saddles at the most extended setting are 1/16" farther from the 12th fret than the 12th fret is from the nut. Verify that the saddle height is within adjustment of your action preference and then pre drill with a pilot size bit for the new screws and install screws. Adjust action. Adjust intonation. Play for a week and then adjust action and intonation again.

    Good luck.

    Greg N
     
  3. PNS128

    PNS128

    Dec 28, 2007
    Rhode Island
    thanks man thatll be helpful. seeing how cheap of a bass it is and my lack of money, i'll have to do it myself. not quite understanding the 1/16" part, if you could explain that more...
     
  4. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    I will touch the surface for you. There are many factors, opinions and physics involved with compensation of stringed instruments.

    If a string of a fixed mass is stretched between two fixed objects and is set to vibrating it will oscillate at a constant rate producing an audible tone. Shorten the string by 50% and leave all other aspects constant then the oscillation will double producing a tone one octave higher than the previous one. Have I lost anyone yet?

    Fretting the string at the 12th is the same as cutting the length in half. Why then does it sound sharp? When you fret at the 12th you not only shorten the string length but you also bend it ever so slightly down to do so. This increases the tension on the string. You also bend it over the fret stretching it further. Don't think this tiny motion will have a significant effect? Just how do you get vibrato when playing then?

    To compensate for this we lengthen the distance slightly from the 12th to the saddle to allow for stretching the fretted string. There are more things that can be done, but let's keep it simple for now. Ever notice that the compensation for different strings is different? That is because string mass, action and many other things can contribute to the amount of compensation required. The action on the wider swinging bass strings is typically higher than the tighter treble strings. Therefore more compensation is required because you are stretching the string more just to reach the fret.

    The 1/16" is the minimum you will probably need for the treble compensation. The reason I recommended it was so that you don't run out of adjustment on any of the strings. This is a possibility if you install the bridge with the saddle at the theoretical scale length without any compensation. If the compensation on the instrument is currently correct you could measure the distances and you will see what I am talking about. No matter what, compensate by note not measurements!

    For anyone really interested in compensation there is a very good article by Mike Doolin in this quarters volume of American Lutherie that is put out by The Guild of American Luthiers. Check out luth.org to become a member and receive this outstanding publication.

    No, I am not affiliated with the GAL beyond being a grateful member.

    Greg N
     
  5. PNS128

    PNS128

    Dec 28, 2007
    Rhode Island
    is it possible, seeing as the two bridges are the same size, to set the new Hipshot to the seemingly the same setting as the Squier? As in, the G is set at a certain distance, the D is set at a certain distance, etc.????
    By the way, thisis huge help
     
  6. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    In a rough sense yes. You can use the dimensions to set the bridge location, but the saddles will need to be compensated to the correct intonation for the best playing.

    If you are a beginning player you may not even be able to hear the compensation but it is there. Always set up the compensation with the strings you are using. If you change string size or even brand, compensation may need to be adjusted.

    Greg N
     
  7. PNS128

    PNS128

    Dec 28, 2007
    Rhode Island
    also, are there any precautions to take about the neck seeing as all strings must come off for awhile??
     
  8. Nelson Guitars

    Nelson Guitars

    Aug 14, 2006
    Novato California
    Custom builder
    Nope. Old wives tale. The neck will spring back from lack of tension, but will settle back to approximately where it was after you string her up again.

    You will want to do a rough set up once you string her up again, but wait a week or so before dialing in to perfection. No use going to all that trouble when things might move a bit after you re-apply tension.

    Greg N
     
  9. PNS128

    PNS128

    Dec 28, 2007
    Rhode Island
    depending on price, i might consider having a luthier or someone who truly knows what they're doing pull off this bridge business. I live in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Do you know anyone in my area and what price range it would be in???
     
  10. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Commercial User

    Jul 2, 2007
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Shawn Ball - Owner, SDB Guitars
    In all honesty, installing a bridge is not that difficult. Especially since you already have a bridge on there.

    Measure and mark to one side of the (still installed) original bridge the furthest points forward and back that any of your saddles are set currently when the bass is properly intonated. Use painter's masking tape (blue) because it will release without damaging your finish. In front of AND behind the bringe, place more tape, with a pencil line that marks the center of your current bridge (measure carefully).

    When installing the new bridge, be sure that it aligns so that it is centered (once again, measure, and mark on the bridge with a pencil, use take if you are worried about marring the finish), and be sure that you can adjust the saddles so that they have at least enough travel to account for properly intonating (remember that you marked the maximum forward and backward points before trying to place the new bridge).

    If the holes line up, great. If they don't, then place a piece of tape on the body under where the holes on your new bridge would go, mark with pencil, and carefully drill new holes, being sure to use the correct drill bit so you don't make the holes oversized (bridge won't stay down) or undersized (screws might crack the finish, raise up the wood or may even bind, causing you to twist the screw head off, or round out the screw head).

    That's basically it. All in all, it should take you about 15 minutes or so to do it.
     
  11. PNS128

    PNS128

    Dec 28, 2007
    Rhode Island
    thats honestly what i was planning on doing. i don't see the problem with it, and if there are any problems i can always fix it
     
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 23, 2021

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