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Lowering the bridge (low action)?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Jazzkuma, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    I just need some help... I got this bass which im about to sell, but the buyer doesnt want such a high bridge. I was thinking about sending it to the shop and paying for it to be lowered but then I thought that if I could do it I could save up some money. So I need some help... should I sand paper the bridge?
  2. Slax


    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    There should be allen key screws by the bridge saddles you can use to lower the string height of each string... or at least something to that effect. Are they lowered all the way and need to go down further?
  3. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    Hey Slax, you're lost man.


    I would tell the buyer to take it to a luthier and have it set up for him. Why should you have to pay for it?

    A double bass setup is usually taylored for a specific player, I would not expect a private seller to pay for my setup.

    If you really feel that it is your duty to do it for him, then take the buyer and the bass to a luthier and have it setup for him to his specs I guess.

    I would not recommend doing it yourself unless you really know what you're doing.
  4. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    +1. Please take Gearhead's advice.
  5. jgbass

    jgbass Guest

    Dec 17, 2003
    Yesterday I was able to observe my luthier make adjustments to my bridge. He had my bass up and down from the table several times, checking the action, checking the intonation all over the fingerboard, checking the soundpost, the sound and playability, and bridge placement. It gave me an appreciation for the skill that is involved in this process and how a fine adjustment can make a big difference. Also, he has probably done hundreds and hundreds of these jobs, so he absolutely knows what he is doing. He also knew exactly how to get the bridge back on in the same position.

    I would not do this yourself. It is not a big expensive ordeal to have a bridge adjusted. I would check the price with a luthier. And, I think it is the buyer's responsibility to get it set up the way he likes it. The buyer should be there in the shop with the bass and the luthier to try out the bass and see if it is the right height.
  6. Jazzkuma


    Sep 12, 2008
    Yeah the guy wanted me to do it because he is new at the double bass... so he has no contacts or anything so he told me that he wouldnt buy it unless it was softer thus easier to play. Ill probably take your advice and go to the luthier with him cuz im afraid the dude will not like it and just not buy it at all.
  7. EggyToast


    Jan 21, 2006
    The luthier will probably tell the potential buyer "the action is supposed to be higher on an upright bass -- it's not a bass guitar." He may still do it, but unless your action is notably high, it sounds like your buyer doesn't really know what he's getting into.

    If you want to be diplomatic, get a quote from a luthier about how much it would cost to adjust the bridge height, and tell the buyer that while it would be best for him to learn on a more "proper" action for double bass, he could take it to [your luthier] and pay him [money] to have it lowered to exactly where he wants. You shouldn't pay for it, and you definitely shouldn't modify it yourself if you don't know what you're doing. You may lower it to the point where it's useless to anyone but this particular buyer, and he STILL may think it's too high (because it's not a bass guitar).
  8. Well, how high is the action now? Mine's at 6mm on the G, and it's playable although I'd have to come up a bit for orchestra work. Is there potential to make it softer with different strings?

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