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Monorail bridge(s?) too short.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by RBS_Johnson, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. I am trying to retrofit an old bass of mine with a bridge that can actually intonate the thing. I have a set of monorail bridges(individual string bridges) that match the other hardware I`m using. They also allow for the rather close string spacing.

    My problem is that they are too short height wise. I need about 3/16ths more out of each of them. The actual adjustment range up and down is pretty close to what the stock bridge is, so I am thinking of just making or having someone make me spacers to put under the bridge(s?). Any idea what material would be good? Wood is probably easiest for me to work. The bridge(s?) are made from aluminum, so maybe metal would be better?

    Any ideas? Thanks,

    P.S. - Any idea if the individual pieces are considered one bridge when talking about the whole? Or does it make bridge plural?
  2. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Maybe try a neck shim to get into the correct range- 'specially if the old bridge was too 'short', also?
  3. Old bridge was fine(actually set up near the bottom of it`s range). This is an old Japanese bass(early 70`s), with a super thin body and a regular thickness neck. It is supposed to have a tall bridge, but I need to be able to play above the fifth fret and be in tune….
  4. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Funny you mention this...

    Sheldon Dingwall uses a similar configuration for his Combustion series. The individual mono bridges use spacers of varying thicknesses placed beneath each structure to establish a near-normal profile. They're shaped almost like a feeler gauge leaf. This is the best picture I could find in my library. It's tough to make out the detail but you can see the shadows fairly clearly on the E, A, & D strings:


    You may want to contact Sheldon or the bridge manufacturer and see what they have to say.

  5. Ok, so a thin spacer at least has pretty much no negative effect then. Can`t see them using this method if it harmed tone or anything. I may just make some from wood and try them, or see if somebody local can make me four from aluminum using one bridge piece for a template.
  6. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Wood pieces that small may not be strong/stable enough,
    unless shortened popsicle sticks are stacked/epoxied together;)
    Depending on color preferred, brass or hard aluminum should work.
  7. I`m thinking aluminum. My bridge is a satin nickel finish on aluminum(looks suspiciously like unfinished aluminum….:rolleyes:), as is the rest of the hardware. It will be a frankenbass but it should still look nice. The finish is a trans green/black with tru-oil. Original sunburst on the back :bag:
  8. Why not just make one large rectangular piece.
  9. Looks mostly. I like the look of the monorails on a decidedly not modern bass. Plus I will probably not make them straight across, just offset them slightly to accent the design.
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The key is to approximate the fingerboard radius so as to avoid having to make seemingly excessive adjustments to the individual saddle inserts. More than a handful of bridge designs have this type of compensation in one form or another. Traditional bent-plate does not.

    IMO, quality hardwood veneers of varying thickness would work well and be relatively easy to craft. Crushing / compression? I doubt it. The stuff is designed to be glued and clamped for facings. I don't think a PH screwdriver and elbow grease would come close to compromising the material.

  11. That made me curious, so I took a closer look at the neck for this bass. If the fingerboard is radiused, it isn`t by much. It may be just because the neck is narrower than my other basses, but I probably can get away with all the same size spacers.

    If you think I could get away with a veneer underneath(painted black on the sides probably), I may try it that way first. It will be easier for me to get into shape.