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Musicians Friend Bridge?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by mebusdriver, Aug 2, 2012.


  1. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I don't know anything about that bridge, and I am not a luthier. I have done a lot of research and do much of my own work on my bass. A bridge is not an "off the shelf" item. You need to check your bass and compare the specs of any bridge you may consider. Then it must be properly fit to the top of the basss (the front plate on which the bridge feet will sit) - if it is not it will damage the bass and give less than optimum sound. It will also need to be properly shaped to match the fingerboard. Many people recommend fitting the bridge first then adding adjusters - I would not buy a bridge blank with adjusters already installed. You can get a decent quality bridge for far less $$ from a specialty supply house like Metropolitan Music.

    I saw your post about your new Engle. Nice find! It should serve you well for years.

    Good luck.
     
  2. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    There are a couple of things to think about here:

    1) You need the correct sized bridge for your bass. The correct size in one such that, with the bridge centred between the f-holes, the bass foot is sitting over top the bass bar. This is pretty important for sound production;

    2) Any bridge you get needs to be fitted to your bass: the feet need to be shaped to your bass top, the arch needs to be shaped to your fingerboard and preference, and some unnecessary wood has to be removed. Most people feel that the job of fitting the bridge feet is made more difficult if adjusters have already been installed on the bridge, as is the case with the bridge you're looking at.

    I'll just say that bass luthiers are awful good at this job...
     
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    There are two problems with that bridge:

    - One is that having the adjusters pre-installed will make it VERY difficult to achieve a good fit to the top. I completely fit a bridge first and then install the adjusters. (This procedure also gives me a clear sonic image of how the tone of a bass changes with the addition of adjusters.)

    - Two is that the bridge in question is made from soft Chinese Maple which will warp prematurely unless you leave so much wood that it kills the tone completely. It might warp in a year even at full thickness.

    Its actually cheaper to have a real luthier cut you a real bridge - it will sound much better and last much longer! ;)
     
  4. Awesome. Thanks so much. Guess I better start calling up some luthiers. So do you buy a bridge and then take it to a luthier for him do shape? And I don't understand adding the adjusters later? I thought their were once piece bridges and then adjustable bridges, with the adjusters as part of the bridge. But I guess thats wrong?
     
  5. Ok disregard. I found the FAQ on Gollihurs site. Thanks!!
     
  6. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    As with any tradesman, if you want me to guarantee your bridge, don't bring me one you bought elsewhere. I have a relationship with my supplier and can use it to advantage now and then.

    Bridge first, adjusters second. They are two very different processes.

    I've added adjusters to fitted bridges that were mailed to me. As long as you're happy with the fit going in, installing the adjusters is a relatively simple procedure.
     
  7. A good luthier will have quality bridges in stock. They will also have a drill press and a tap to install the adjusters after the feet have been fit. Once the feet have been cut from the bridge, shaping the feet to the bass top becomes much more challenging.
     
  8. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Unless something is wrong with the bridge already on the bass, just have a luthier add adjusters.
     
  9. Ohhhhhh ok. I had no idea that's how it worked. Maybe it'll save me some dough. Thanks again.
     
  10. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    That will definitely save $$ if the existing bridge is of decent quality and in good shape. I have heard that engle bridges are not too good, but I don't know. The bridge that came on my engle looked like the previous owner bought a shelf board at Home Depot and cut his own.

    Definitely let your luthier pick out your bridge. He will likely explain the whole process to you and show you what he looks for in a blank, helping you understand what all this mumbo-jumbo really means.
     
  11. One more question. I can't seem to get a quote an I've only gotten one. I've called 3 luthiers and 2 shops and everybody says they wanna see the bass and it depends on what work needs to be done.

    I totally understand that every bass is different. Especially DB's! But there has to be an average.... I'll need the bridge cut and preferably made adjustable, strings installed, and a pick up installed. Can you guys give me an average cost of what you've paid for set ups in the past?
     
  12. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    An adjustable bridge in my shop is $375.00. Set-up is a different story; you might need anything from a nut tweak to a full fingerboard dress and more. I have a price list on my site at www.thebassspa.com so you can get a feel for what to expect. Prices do vary from region to region.
     
  13. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    I think I paid about $200 to have my first bridge attempt corrected and adjusters installed. I had the blank and adjusters already purchased from another shop and decided I was in over my head and asked for help.
     
  14. Alright that sounds more like it. I just want the bridge and pick up installed. Maybe I'm over stating what I want done by saying set up. I'm not looking to spend 1k on a bass that I payed $750 for. I dont' know enough about the instrument to be concerned with the fingerboard and nut and yadda yadda. I just need the action adjusted, bridge cut, and the pick up on so I can bother my girlfriend.
     
  15. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Brother, if the board looks like something from chef-boy-r-d you'll need it planed or you'll kill yourself trying to bother the girlfriend. :D
     
  16. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    For bothering your girlfriend, a bow is a much better investment than a pickup. :D
     
  17. I've got a bow. But with a pick up I can be louder and more annoying. With the bow. :smug:
     
  18. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Hey, this is a family-friendly site. Use PMing for that! :D

    It's precisely because of your lack of familiarity that you should let a qualified luthier guide you. Ignoring the nut and fingerboard is really not wise. Oh, and what you'd like adjusted is the string-height. :)
     

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