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mystery tripod bridge

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Matthew Tucker, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Went today to have a look at a mystery bass someone told me about, possibly available very cheaply.

    The bass is a 3/4 chinese "Blessing" carved instrument, no idea of its age (c30 years probably?) and apparently nothing special, a few dings. Cruddy Ebonised maple neck and tailpiece, yuk strings and a crack splintering on the belly under the treble foot near the soundpost ... this latter is a worry, but not the end of the world ... but otherwise quite sound. I have a feeling the instrument could be made to work quite well with a bit of care. A potential project bass.

    But the strangest thing was the bridge. This thing was made of steel, with three - yes three - feet in a sort of tripod arrangement, each threaded alloy foot adjustable with a screwdriver from the top. I think the brand on the bridge was selmer? should have taken more notice.

    Has anyone come across either the Blessing brand, or more importantly, this freaky bridge?

    Sorry, i don't have any photos.
  2. Brian K

    Brian K

    May 21, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    That sounds just like something I saw on a bass at a festival last year.

    Steve Belcher, the bassist for The Hickory Project uses something that sounds like the same design as what you're explaining.

    There aren't any pictures of it on www.hickoryproject.com, but if you're really interested, Steve is a great guy, and I'm sure he would be into telling you about the bridge.
  3. This is more than likely a Framus bridge, made by a company in the 50's. They made laminate and carved basses, most of which were the German "cutaway" pattern much like a cutaway guitar.
    You can search under all these words and maybe come up with stuff because we've covered this stuff more than once.
    The basses were not bad, but the bridges were very bad.
    Mingus did some ads for them in Downbeat Magazine back then
    To see Framus Cutaways (without metal bridges)
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    God, I hate those bridges. They look like something designed to extract information from a prisoner.
  5. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    I can't think of the name of these, but a guy in Oklahoma City at Inter-City strings invented them in the 1950's. They are God-awful. Bob Monroney from the Denver area told me about them. There used to be a lot of them around here.

  6. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Hmmm Framus? ...

    I have done quite a lot of searching but haven't found anything yet so I'll try to attach a quick mouse-drawing of the thing so you get a better idea of what I'm talking about.

    And what about the crack under the treble foot? I'm thinking a 2-3mm patch under the crack covering the area where the (refitted) soundpost will go, and fill the crack with hide glue.

    If I buy this bass even cheaply, I suppose I'll have to take the thing to le luthier eventually, but he's going to 1. laugh at me for being so stupid or 2. berate me for being so silly or 3. remind me that I should have bought a bass from him ... and probably all three. Then if I can overcome the embarrassment maybe I can get him to sell me a bridge blank ...

    Attached Files:

  7. rftbass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Waterford, CT
    Mine is aluminum and it says London England. Can't remember what bass it was on but got it in the early 70s
  8. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Yeah that's the one. Aluminium feet and some sort of alloy/steel loop at the top where the strings run over, in a beautiful(?) black crackle paint finish? Are you still using the bridge? Has it damaged the belly?
  9. rftbass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Waterford, CT
    That is it. It left marks on the finish. Raplaced it with a wood bridge
  10. Andrew Embury

    Andrew Embury

    Mar 27, 2015
    I have a bridge which sounds the same as the one Matthew Tucker is describing, it also has a label on it depicting "Tonemaster" and has a large "T" imprinted at the top. It would also appear to have two sets of string groves possibly for a left of right handed player.
  11. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
  12. The Slowey bridge mounts at a 90-degree angle to the top like a wood bridge. The Framus bridge has that crazy recurve.
    MR PC likes this.