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London bridge is falling down....

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Kael, Feb 22, 2016.


  1. Kael

    Kael

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I had the bridge worked on so that the strings would be lower on my chadwick. The bass plays like butter now but... the bridge is falling pretty frequently. I don't know if it is the shallower angle now or what, but the bridge gets pulled forward (forward as in towards the fingerboard/up) very easily. I've had this bass on tour before and have literally tore it down and set it back up hundreds of times (it's a chadwick folding bass). I never had this issue before the work was done on the bridge. I am very thorough about making sure the bridge is perpendicular when setting it up. When I check it after a few minutes of play I frequently catch it migrating. I am not ecstatic about cranking the string height back up to try and fix the issue. Not even positive it would. Any thoughts on what could be causing the problem and how to alleviate it? This issue has gotten bad enough that I am not taking it on gigs and taking the slab instead. No bueno. This bass is playing exactly the way I want it to right now. I'm of course not playing the way I want me to, but that's another issue.

    couple notes:

    I've graphited the bejeezus out of the slots. Several times. I don't think that is the issue.

    It is strung with helicore hybrids, mediums I believe. Not spiro starks, but not uber low tension guts either. I wouldn't think that the pressure holding the bridge down would be inadequate. It seems to be more a function of the top of the bridge moving. I realize they are probably related.

    I don't pull extremely hard when I play but I am not a weanie about it either. I never play without amplification and I try to let the amp do its job/only pull as loud as needed to get the tone I'm after. That being said, I am just as guilty of getting into it sometimes and pulling a little harder than needed as the next guy.
     
  2. Are the slots rounded towards the fingerboard and the tailpiece? If not that might be the problem. The string catches on the edges and pulls the bridge top towards the fingerboard while tuning up.
    But even if that's not the problem you can start with the bridge angled towards the tailpiece a bit so that after tuning up the bridge top is where it should be.
     
  3. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    UK
    With less height on the bridge there will be less downforce to hold it in place due to the shallower break angles. Could this be enough to cause your problem? Personally I would have tried to lower the action by angling the neck a bit further back. How easy might it be to shim the heel hinge?
     
  4. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    APRESMIDI has the answer. Your string slots need to follow the arc that the strings describe up, over and down the other side.
     
  5. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    On a double bass!?! Impossible. :cool:
     
  6. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    UK
    The bass in question folds at the heel... Surely the neck angle could be controlled at the hinge?
     
  7. Kael

    Kael

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Hmm... I'll take the bass back in to the luthier to have him check the angle on the slots. Not sure how to accomplish shimming the hinge without major work due to way it locks in.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  8. Kael

    Kael

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    update...

    Took bass to luthier and had him futz with bridge angles and the like. The bridge is much more stable now. Thanks for the help.
     
    Jake deVilliers likes this.
  9. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    You could but its not simple like a P Bass.
     
  10. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    UK
    I have two 'celli at home so I know it's not simple, I was just exploring the possibility with the OP, given the location of the hinge. If it can't be done then so be it, but the analogy with microtilt is clear even if the execution requires more thought than a set screw or a business card.
     
  11. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Steve,
    It's not in the Chadwick design to be adjustable at the heel, which is why these basses still have adjustable bridges. Travel basses where the neck is actually removed from the body definitely can (and often do) have this feature. Upton, for instance, has made it a major point on their RN basses that you don't adjust string height with the bridge, you do it with the neck joint. Very cool.
    -J
     
  12. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    UK
    Thanks Jeff.