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How often do you need Bridge Work (adjustable bridge content)

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by jordan2, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. jordan2


    Apr 2, 2011
    Hello everyone,
    I have a 1940s German ply bass and have had various issues since I got it from a local luthier last winter. There have been different buzz and noise issues but aside from that I have had to get the bridge recut or otherwise adjusted twice and it looks like I will have to get some more work done (fortunately the guy is doing these adjustments for free but it is still a pain). So my main question is for those who have adjustable bridges which seams to be most people, how often if ever do you have to get it worked on by a luthier.

    For those of you who are interested here is a bit more information about my bass and my experience.

    Last winter I purchased the bass around February and it sounded great and had a good set up. Then in spring, the action got really high and a buzz developed on the G string (it seemed to be internal and we never found out what caused it). I brought the bass in and got the bridge cut and endpin replaced but it did not solve the buzz problem. In early fall I had the bridge adjusted again as it had gotten too low, he added little blocks of wood to the bottom. Now all of the strings are at good heights except for the g string which has gotten too low and I have tried a little to offset it with the adjustors but am beginning to max out and it looks like I may need to take it in again.

    KUNGfuSHERIFF Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2002
    Upstate NY
    Sounds like something more serious is going on. My carved basses don't move as much as your ply does. Second opinion?
  3. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I never have had my adjustable bridge worked on since the day I took delivery of my bass. Same was true for the bass before that. I agree with kungfu that something seems amiss with your bass.
  4. bssist


    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I never had to do anything but minor changes on my adjusters on my ccb. Since fitting a solid bridge on my Englehardt I have had to make no further adjustments in a year and a half. You should get that thing in to have it checked out.
  5. jordan2


    Apr 2, 2011
    Yeah, it seems rather strange, especially considering it is a laminated instrument. I really do love the sound when it plays well and doesn't have issues but am thinking that I may have to replace it for practical reasons. Maybe considering one of the lower end uptons or something newer.
  6. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    If the fit of the bridge is changing, it strikes me that the top is changing. This should not be happening much with a ply. Do you know how it is changing (i.e, raising or sinking in the middle, etc.)?

    It sounds like something supporting the top is not right, either the sound post or the bass bar.
  7. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    The bridge shouldn't need a lot of adjustment and I don't think your bridge is the problem.

    Maybe make an appointment with someone else and try to find out what's happening with your bass. A loose bass bar or fingerboard might be the root cause of your action problems.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    The current bridge, with a Full Circle, was put on my bass in 2005. Nothing has been done to it since.
  9. Has the neck/neck joint been inspected? If the neck is warping or the neck joint is failing, that could account for the changing string height and maybe the buzzing as well.