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Monorail bridges- do they make a difference?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by The Mock Turtle Regulator, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. I'll be posting this topic again in the luthier forum when it opens, but for now,

    there's been a trend in manufacturers fitting bass bridges composed of individual units for each string-
    eg. Yamaha's new Nathan East signature bass, the new Yamaha John Myung prototype just posted in the basses forum, several Ibanez models- BTB, Soundgear.
    Status were the first I saw using the idea, on the Trace-Elliot T Bass.

    but what difference, if any, do they make to the tone?
    anyone tried variants of the same bass, one with a conventional bridge, one with the split bridge units?

    they claim "less crosstalk between strings", maybe more sustain, also they allow the break angle over each string to be the same by staggering the units to allow for the saddles to be correctly placed for intonation purposes, while staying the same distance from the string ball-end holders (assuming you use conventional and not tapered-winding strings).
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    That's more brochure talk IMO.
    You'll always have "crosstalk" because of the body.
    But you never heard it, did you?

    I guess the only "real" advantage is that you can easily build a bridge for any number of strings without having to design and build a whole new bridge.
  3. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    they look kinda cool, too :rolleyes:
  4. i would think that there would definatly be less "crosstalk" because the saddles arent touching eachother as in a standard bridge..

    as in mor sustain... you might get a little bit more because the actually bridgepiece is affixed to the bass body.... then the density of the wood would come into play i think...
  5. I personally believe its a marketing fad. An Ibanez BTB does not sound any better than a Fender Jazz, or a Stingray, or anything else with a one piece bridge. "Crosstalk"? Bollocks!
  6. I think there may be a little to the claims of "no crosstalk" with this type of bridge. This point may have been borrowed from the characteristics of the 2-Tek bridge that uses this same claim in their marketing. The 2-Tek isolates each string and saddle, though in a much more complicated way. If that's the case, then there is probably something to it. BUT...I doubt that any difference between a monorail bridge and a standard design would be enough to hear (except by Allodox) ;)
  7. I was sceptical about the monorail idea too- the 2Tek bridge design appears to have been designed to isolate each string not only from the other strings, but from the body as much as possible too.

    whereas the monorail bridge units simply sit atop the body.

    UK guitar hardware expert Bill Puplett told me about the advantage the monorail units could have by allowing the string break angles to be more even for all the strings by staggering the position of the bridge units.

    I think they could make more of a difference (not necessarily for the better) if made of lightweight material, allowing the body to resonate more freely than a lightweight one-piece bridge.

    actually, thinking about it, the Peavey Cyberbass had a Fender-style lightweight pressed bridge split into individual sections to allow the strings to be electrically isolated for MIDI sensing purposes- it would be interesting to compare the tone of this bass with that of a bass with a one-piece bridge.