My (bloody) bridge!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Microbass, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. OK guys, I've tried looking out for sharp, and I didnt see any at first, so I filed teh saddle, and filed.. and filed, it's pretty smooth as far as I can see.

    And STILL.. I just snapped another bloody A!
    I play with what I would call low action - the saddles are quite low, and the strings sit about 1/2 of a cm off the 7th harmonics.

    If I raise the bridge, then striaghten out my neck, will that maybe solve my problem?

    Any other ides welcomed! When I get my new strings im going to file the saddles again.

    Feed back welcomed


  2. Try using a very very fine file, maybe you're creating other burrs in the filing process.

    Do you use cheap strings? I put a set of very cheap strings on $50 AUS for a 5 string set. I had no money and needed them ASAP. I was winding on the B and tuned it. A... A# SNAP! crappy string unwound itself and snapped, couldnt handle the tension. So i put my old string back on.

    Do you play hard? Try playing as soft as possible. Turn your amp loud and try to play very very quietly. As if the amp only had one setting and a baby was in the room and you NEEDED to play.



  3. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Where are the strings breaking? Are they breaking while tuning or while playing? Is the same string breaking each time? Are you using a tuner to tune, or just winging it?

    Do the strings go over cylinder shaped "rollers" with intonation screws threaded into the rollers on your particular bridge?

    It's very unlikely that adjusting the action or relief will correct your problem.

  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree - and it would be useful to know what is happening. I think it must be something to do with the bass, as you shouldn't be having strings break this frequently and I've never heard of a "Jim Deacon" (?) bass.

    I would recommend taking the bass into a music shop and having their bass/guitar tech take a look at it and replace any parts that do have sharp edges or look suspicious - this is going to be cheaper in the long run than buying strings every week!!

    I thnk with basses you get what you pay for and buying a bass for £100 is a false economy - strings alone cost £20 - £30 a set. So break 5 or 6 sets and you have paid out more than the value of your bass!!

    In the long run - the best option is possibly going to be, getting a better bass! ;)
  5. too bad my parents arent that smart, Bruce :rolleyes:

    OK, my bridge. The string goes through a hole at the base, then up onto the sadlle, up the fret board, then into the nut, then tuner- like a standard fender p-bass.

    I use an electric tuner.

    Most of the time it has been the strings unwinding at the bridge, while playing, down to the core, but I've had an A and an E snap on me into 2 pieces.

    Nothing is special about this bass. It's just a p-bass copy, that's.. prety cheap.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - there could be something wrong with the bridge but without seeing it, it's not really possible to say what or how to remedy this - as I said, I would take it into a shop and ask a guitar/bass tech to have a quick look and give you a price on dealing with any problems they spot.
  7. ok, thanks all. and no, it's a bass tuner. :)
  8. Is your bass tuner calibrated? Aka turn it on, finda piano thats in tune, strike the A closest to Middle C and hold down the calibrate button. Thats what i have to do with mine every now and again.


  9. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Microbass: If the strings are breaking in a different place each time I would suspect that the bass is either being played WAY too hard(very unlikely) or that it is being tuned above standard pitch.

    Since neither of these scenarios fit, there must be another reason.

    Check the distance between the bridge saddle roller and the anchor point on the bridge. If the distance is less than 1" to 1 1/2" the bridge is mounted too close to the nut and will cause the breakover angle over the saddle to be too sharp. this causes the string windings to spread apart on top of the string and be squeezed together on the bottom where it contacts the bridge.

    If the bass has just suddenly started breaking strings this is unlikely to be the cause.

    If you've bought several sets of strings of the same brand, you may have just got a bad run of strings from the factory. Also unlikely.

    There are a couple of things that you can do when putting on strings that may help. Lubricate the bridge and nut string contact points with pencil lead. Before tightening the string completely, press down on each side of the saddle and behind the nut to pre bend the string at the crossing points.
    Finally, before tuning the strings up to pitch give each one a good pull away from the neck to prestretch the string. Pulling it a couple of inches away from the neck should do it. Don't let the strings snap back down on the fingerboard.

    One final point: Once you get everything tuned up to pitch check the intonation at the 12th fret, If it's out more than 1 or 2 cents do an intonation adjustment.

    I hope this is some help to you. Let us know how you resolve the problem.