Is my bridge way too short, or what?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by JDM, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. JDM


    Oct 12, 2005
    I've had my second hand DB for about 2 months now and several of you have commented rightly that the bridge is positioned way too high (up above the middle of the 'f' hole. I've lowered it to the correct position but I can now see why the previous owner placed it where he did, it's way too low and making the strings sit on the fingerboard. I know I probably need to buy an adustable bridge, but can I at least do some quick free remedial 'repair' to simply see if it at least sounds ok in the correct position and with the right string height? I had in mind strips of flexible plastic or card placed under the strings. Has anyone else had to resort to this sort of experimentation?
    Ps. The bridge measures 17 centimeters from the body of the bass to the top (of the bridge) Is that standard?
  2. I'd take it to a luthier because:

    If the bridge is so way out where the hell is hte soundpost after all this moving and fiddling around (it could still be where it should be)?

    It can't sound worse than it is now.

    If it hasn't got a bridge in hte right place you ain't gonna sell it for diddly squat so I'd hop accross the sevrn to Bristol and take ti somewhere like Cremona House or Stephen Strong (who I apear to have lost his number for). A reasonable bridge fitted say - £60 to £100?

    The bridge has/needs a craftsman fit to the top. Someone who butchered the top of the bridge may have doen the same to the feet.

    By the way, you can buy and will find on the net bridges with self fitting feet. Oddly, no-one on TB has mentioned these. I've never seen a bass with one of these things BTW - only in catalogues.

    For some reason Bristol is full of string shops.

    Oh and in my experience UK luthiers have to be talked into fitting adjusters.

    Finnally, a pro set-up transforms the sound of the bass - it will be better no ifs no buts.

    i see you have some nice BGs and are a pro - surely you wouldn't butcher these - why do it to a db? - as you know, if your bass isn't set up properly it plays pants - well just treble that for a db.

    Getting it sorted (assuming nothing selse is wrong) is a same day affair and you might get avaluation into the bargain. Good luck!
  3. JDM


    Oct 12, 2005
    Thanks, what is the standard height for the bridge? Is 17cm about right?
  4. 17 cm is within reasonable for a bridge height. One approach to your problem is to add height to bottom of the bridge feet with new wood, preferable matching maple. If it is not way too short, this might work if you really want to salvage the bridge. Also, if you add adjusters without removing any length from the leg, this might get your bridge into the ball park. I think it might be wise to take your bass to a luthier in any case because if the bridge has been moved northward, the sound post might not be in the right spot either. It would be best to correct both at the same time.

    Guessing the previous owner's motivation is risky unless you can call them up and ask them, in which case you aren't guessing. The bridge could be faked northward for other reasons like shortening the stop. Get thine bass to the specialist for fixing. It will thank thee by sweetly singing.