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Independent mini-bridges - grounding?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tim Barber, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    I'm using independent mini-bridges for the first time and just realized I don't know how they are supposed to be grounded. Do I have to run a separate ground wire from each one to the control cavity? That is going to take some heroics with a long drill bit :meh: (or a troop of specially-trained Jedi termites).

    If you have used them, how did you accomplish it?
  2. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Certain active systems (like EMG) don't require a ground wire to the bridge.

    If your system does require one, your may only need to ground one saddle if you have a nut made of some sort of metal (i.e. Since all strings are contacting the nut, ground one and they're all grounded).

    If your nut is non-conductive, try this:

    Make sure there is a bare wire running under all saddles so that which ever saddle gets grounded it will ground them all.

    Another option might be to create contact between all your tuning machines. This should create the same effect as a metal nut where all strings would have an electrical/grounding contact with each other.

    Good Luck
  3. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE


    This is what you're using??? Ok, I'm gonna share my secret ;)

    Take a look at this picture:


    See the hole far left? Ok you have to drill one hole similar to this one on each body half before glueing them. Locate the hole such he doesn't conflict with the screws that will hold the bridges. Also be sure to make some kinda mark on the top to know where your channel is once the body halves are glued. On the lower half, the whole will extend to the control cavity.

    Then all you'll have to do is to drill one vertical hole under each bridge that will communicate with the first horizontal channel. Then run one wire per bridges and you're done :D

    There's some precision needed but the result is woth it! no bare wire running between the bridges. No need to worry about nut material!!

    Hope it helps.

    Peace, JP
  4. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Good plan, but I was assuming he was installing/retrofitting these on an already built bass. I could be wrong.

    Either way, you could just go with a metallic nut and save yourself a headache.
  5. Tim Barber

    Tim Barber Commercial User

    Apr 28, 2003
    Serenity Valley
    Owner: Barber Music
    OK, I guess we're thinking alike. I came up with ideas similar to both of these last night whilst lying awake thinking about it.

    You are both right. It's a new bass, but due to lack of foresight on my part it is now completed to a point where it might as well be a retrofit.

    Thanks for the help :)

    On a side note, why does a bridge need grounding? It seems to me that, before you make the ground connection, there is no electrical continuity between the bridge/strings and the control circuit anyway? I know it works, I just can't see why.
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Go with a standard nut and just run some wiring or some aluminum tape (wouldnt take much) along the edge but keep it low so that its mostly hidden by the fretboard.

  7. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    No good, if I'm understanding your concept. Given only a small area of contact (edge of the wire or aluminum), it wouldn't take long to wear away, ceasing to make good contact.
  8. Is it really going to matter if it is only grounded to one saddle? I thought the point was to distribute the electrical signal over a greater area, now sure it won't be as much, but i would be surprised if it did not surfice. I may be wrong, i have little experience of individual bridge units. If i were you i would email someone like status graphite, who use them on nearly all their models and see what they do.