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HVS height adjustable saddle: from franz moser

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by flatback, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    A few years ago I went to one of those David Gage workshops, this one with Dave Holland. His bass was set up with a raised neck and a saddle height adjuster (so that he can adjust the string tension). I kind of noted it but didn't really think about it much. I was recently drawn to try the bridge adjusters by Franz Moser ( because a pick up I am installing can only conveniently be fitted with adjusters if they are these) and I saw on his page that he makes an adjustable saddle. This one with a titanium bar across which the tail piece wire is suspended.
    I recently had it installed on my bass and tested it with a bunch of different strings (of different tensions: From gut to high tension steel) and I think it is an excellent adjustment to be in control of. For example on my bass Weichs can sound flabby and buzzy unless the action is fairly stiff. Adding tension to these strings brought out all their good qualities and minimized their bad. Similarly Velvets, were adjustable by adding tension. I had some heilocore heavy strings and orchestra's that I brought the tension down on and got a better sound out of them all then I was used to.
    Franz's web site speaks to the sonic enhancement properties of titanium and although I can't really attribute anything directly to that, The bass is way more open.( I can just hear all you cats saying...changing all that stuff on your bass...it'll be a while before you know what it actually sounds like...)and that is true, but I really like the ability to fine tune string tension.
    I am interested to know if other players out there are using these type saddles to fine tune their string tension?
    Here is what his web site says:
    The height-adjustable saddle enables alteration of the string angle in both directions - upwards and downwards. Thus, string pressure on the belly of the instrument can be adapted to the particular instrument, the strings used and the desired tone. No movable parts such as screws are used for the height adjustment, thus preventing loss of volume or resonance. Through altering the string angle, optimal tone results can be achieved with steel, gut or any other strings. It's no longer necessary to change the saddle when changing strings, or when a new tone is desired.
  2. jonas


    Dec 9, 2003
    Frankfurt am Main/Germany
    Kontrabass-Atelier, Lando Music (Germany)
    I've also got on of these adjustable undersaddle from Franz Moser, but it haven't installed it to a bass yet.
    But I want to mention that the saddle is designed this way, that the tailpiece rope's length may stay the same with all angles. There's no need to adjust the tailpiece rope for different saddle heights. So this saddle is great if you want to check out by trial-and-error which string tension sounds best. You can also choose between a wooden and a titanium saddle part (not the whole assembly, just the movable saddle is interchangeable).
  3. "String tension" and "string pressure on the belly of the instrument" are two different things. While the first one partly determines the second, the first one cannot be changed without changing the tuning of the instrument. Please be careful not to refer to one when you mean the other as the terms are not interchangeable and careless interchange will lead to much confusion.

    A few years ago when I was looking at the US patent web site I saw an application for a patent for an adjustable violin saddle. I would think this a very useful device and if properly engineered, would be an asset in the setup arsenal of any DB.
  4. jonas


    Dec 9, 2003
    Frankfurt am Main/Germany
    Kontrabass-Atelier, Lando Music (Germany)
    Right. The sentence should read: "So this saddle is great if you want to check out by trial-and-error which string pressure sounds best."
    But I'm German, so English is a foreign language for me
  5. Forgiveness begged. There has been some confusion before, usually more mathematical than linguistic.

    Nice web page by the way. I should learn to read German. The clips sound really good. Please submit a swing piece (full length) to Damon Rondeau for the Talk Bass Sampler page. It could use a little more swing and your band sounds great!
  6. Julie


    Mar 6, 2005
    Ft. Worth, TX
    Flatback, great to hear your comments on the adjustable saddle. I emailed Moser Tuesday to get a price and have heard nothing back. Could you please tell me the cost of the saddle adjuster?
  7. spaghettiwestern

    spaghettiwestern Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Greater Boston Area
  8. dannbass


    Aug 5, 2003

    Attached Files:

  9. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    That's the photo of it.It comes with both the wood bar (pictured) and the titanium bar Write an email at the titanovation web site, to Michael. He translates for Franz who does not speak english well. They make the bridge adjusters too.

    They run about $75 bucks depending on the exchange.
  10. spaghettiwestern

    spaghettiwestern Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Greater Boston Area
    thanks for the pic. i think i get it (how it works). very cool.

    although, you're definitely adjusting more than one thing at once, since it looks like changing the saddle height but keeping the same tailwire length also changes the length of the whole string afterlength-tailpiece-tailwire combination. (is this true? just sketching it out, it seems so)

    just changing the afterlengh of the strings can have a big effect on resonance.
  11. vier-personen


    Apr 10, 2006
    time has passed since the last reply on this topic.....

    It seems like I am going to see Franz Moser with my bass in the next few days and I am thinking about installing this height adjustable saddle on my bass.....

    a question to the players that have got one installed, is it worth it?

    I am thinking about experimenting with different strings and setup (after I finish university (hopefully) this summer) in the future, so probably yes?

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