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Naimish bridge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by tappel, Apr 26, 2005.


  1. tappel

    tappel

    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    I did a search and was surprised that this bridge hasn't been mentioned. After reading the review in Bass Player, I ordered a Naimish bridge for my MIA P bass. Now, I have no business owning a $159 bridge, but I do like toys as much as the next guy. I've attached a picture below.

    The saddle design is quite unique and seems to maximize contact as much as any design I've ever known. Read the BP review, I think that nails it.

    Tom
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    For a 4 it's $159, for a 5 it's $209 and for a 6-string it's $250, and it's not even adjustable spacing. :spit:
    Also, I think it would not have a much bigger effect than a simple high-mass bridge. More contact area of the string saddle and the bridge baseplate? Yes, but the string is not resting in the saddle, but on the elevator mechanism this bass has to raise string height.
    That $100-150 extra would be much better served in the electronics department.

    Just my opinion, of course
     
  3. tappel

    tappel

    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Yep, I've always felt the same... A case in point: my former teacher (Chuck Alder - a real tone afficionado) ordered a custom made Fodera a few years back. He specified a traditional Fender-style bridge on that baby. The B string on that bass was incredible.

    However, I did notice an increase in sustain and the bass seemed to "speak" better acoustically. I suppose the skeptic's question would be, "was it $159 worth?" ;) The bass sounded fine before the new bridge. It sounds better now. And I do think that saddle design is quite clever.

    As far as Frank's comment about lack of string spacing adjustment. Yes, the bridge lacks it, but string spacing can be specified when ordering.

    Tom
     
  4. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Very cool. I feel that every part of a bass is as important as the next, bridge included. I like that someone took the time to improve on the design. The idea is very similar to what Keith Roscoe believes is an important part of his basses tone. He has Hipshot make a bridge where the saddles are pretty much resting on the bridge plate. I had never heard of that being an issue but apparently Naimish thinks that it is as well. I'd love to check one out.

    As for the string spacing not being able to be moved, when was the last time you changed the spacing at your bridge once it was set?
     
    Khronic likes this.
  5. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    Im very interested in hearing more thoughts on this bridge. Its possible I will go with one on my new custom in the works.
     
  6. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Well, I did adjust mine :p

    Anyway, my point was that even though the saddle is resting on the baseplate, the string is not resting on the cradle, but on the elevating mechanism, therefore the contact area is probably not much bigger this way. The difference would be minimal, IMO, and that extra money would be better served and yield bigger improvement if you spent it on better p-ups and electronics components (like higher quality pots, better shielding work, better jacks, or, if you want, 22 AWG teflon-coated pure silver wires :smug: ).

    Of course, IMO applies to all this.
     
  7. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Frank, I agree. Absolutely right. I also think that anyone who can afford a Naimish bridge probably isn't thinking about what they have to give up to do it.
     
  8. Juneau

    Juneau

    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I say, if your gonna shell out the money for a totally custom, top of the line bass, why not go all out? Get the electronics and all that jazz, AND a spiffy bridge as well hehe.

    I suppose like EMJazz said though, that is the money is no object approach not everyone has the ability to take, even me usually hehe.
     
  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    This raises a strange question in me, though: some people can go crazy on some parts, while the components of the electronics are usually left out of upgradeitis. Maybe they get some better electronics, but the parts in the electronics are still what the manufacturer put in there. I rarely see anything like an Alps or Nobels pot, Wima cap, or teflon-coated silver wire, whereas they may have a bigger impact on amplified tone than bridge or tuners
     
  10. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    I too got a Naimish bridge on my bass(5-string through body.The one that was ,or still is displayed on the website,if I am not mistaken) and must say that I like it a lot.it is light,and very easy to adjust.For a long time I have not particularly been a fan of brass bridges as they seem to add something to the tone of the instrument that I don't like.With the Aluminium naimish bridge as well as with a wooden bridge I have on another instrument, the tonal character of the instrument as a wooden construction seems more faithfully preserved. I do not feel that any sustain is lost by opting for a lighter bridge,and both instruments(wooden and alu-bridged) speak very well. The naimish bridge is also very compfortable when resting the right hand on it, employing palm muting techniques.
    PLUS: Dealing with Rick Naimish was an absolute pleasure,which also goes for every e-mail we have exchanged since the purchase of the bridge.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!:hyper:
     
    Khronic likes this.
  11. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh

    May 16, 2005
    Just can't see any merit in the "increased contact area of saddle to bridge means better tone theory"
     
  12. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    I don't know if it is the increased contact that makes the difference.I do know that the naimish bridge is very compfortable to the hand when resting on it.Feeling good when playing...never mind why that may be,does have great impact on ones playing I believe and thereby on ones tone.
     
  13. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.


    In 35 years of playing all, (i.e. "all", as in every single one), of the best sounding Basses I ever tried had one thing in common. They were all live instruments. That is to say you could feel the notes, as well as hear them, no matter where you played them on the guitar.

    With that in mind. In Feb. 2000 I took delivery of special order Peavey Cirrus fretless. That Bass came standard with an ABM bridge installed. Hadn't really thought about it before I ordered but upon delivery I started checking it out very closely. What a clever design this ABM. The Germans have a genius for things mechanical. Then it dawned on me, the whole idea behind the ABM was to overcome the disadvantages of using set screws as string height adjusters.(As a side note, the ABM also had to be adjusted for intonation manually, i.e. loosen the string, unlock the saddle, adjust, relock saddle, tighten and retune, repeat until correct. I found this unacceptable in what, at the time, was state of the art design that cost $150.00 through the after market.) O.K., What disadvantages? First and foremost was this absolute minimum of surface contact area between the string saddle and the body of the guitar. The question arose, "How can I increase this surface contact area between the actual string saddle and the body of the instrument?" I decided to experiment on my late "90s" Fender Jazz Deluxe fretless. I point this out for two reasons, 1: I wasn't about to fiddle with the Cirrus, what was arguably one of the best Basses I ever owned, 2: The Jazz Dlx. F/L was the first and only Fender I ever bought. It was a Killer Axe. I never cared for Fenders, but just couldn't say no to this one. So it wasn't like the Fender needed modding. It was just available. It also had the same type bridge design found on 95% of all Basses sold.

    Damn, the library is closing. I'll have to continue this tomorrow.
     
  14. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    If adding mass to the bridge increases sustain and tone on an electric bass, Why would a steel bridge on my upright not have more sustain and tone than the wooden one? Believe me, it wont.

    Why do I add mass to the bridge to mute the strings on the URB?

    Am I the only one that sees something contradictory to the accepted theory of the high mass, high dollar, electric bass bridge?

    Could it be that the high mass bridge actually decouples the strings vibration from the body.

    If the whole bass had a resonant frequency that was the same as the frequency of a played note the strings energy would be expended shaking the wood of the bass instead of exciting the coils in the pups. Remember that the more energetically the string cuts magnetic field, the hotter the signal will be to the amp. In reality, the higher the coupling factor between strings and body, the more the wooden body turns into a damper or "mute".

    IMO
     
    Khronic likes this.
  15. with an upright bass, the volume comes from the vibrations in the body, the freer the vibrations are to get from the strings into the body, the louder. On an electric, the sound comes from the vibrations being near a certain random point (the magnets in the pups) so the more vibrations you can keep in the string itself the beter for sustain/volume

    edit: just a thought, if my earlier theory is correct, then mabeye the people who said they like the tone beter just didn't like the tone of their body/neck woods, so by getting as much of it out of the equation as possible, they removed the undesirable parts of the tone. thoughts?
     
  16. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    Sorry, Joshua. I was simply trying to explain, to Frank Martin, about my theory of increased suface contact area between the string saddle and the body of the instrument leading to improved tone.

    PEACE: Rick
    p.s. I've sent a pm about the new user name. Thanks.
     
  17. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    Right, I didn't even think about that. I'll change that.

    As was expected, the responses have raised a couple of issues I would like to address. High mass bridges for example. I'm going to wait until I hear from TalkBass about the new user name before doing so. Thanks again, Joshua.

    PEACE: Rick
     
  18. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    So, where to start? I believe the theorem is referred to as Ockham's Razor, "All things being equal, the simplest solution tends to be the best one." Again, the idea was to eliminate the set screws, and increase the surface contact area between the string saddle and the instrument. So I scrapped the set screws and was left with a simple cylinder. I pictured this cylinder sitting in a half round pocket on the guitar. This certainly increased my contact area, but I needed to be able to adjust the height and intonation. It took two months of contemplation before the little light bulb finally went on over my head. If I split the cylinder in half, horizontally, and moved the top half away from the bottom half. Now I can get the top half to move through a, mostly vertical, arc to achieve my string height adjustment by rotating the bottom half in the pocket. The intonation adjustment simply fell into pplace during the evolution of the design.

    I was working in a machine shop at the time. I

    Time's up again
     
  19. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    A pix is worth a thousand words. Can you post a drawing of the mechanics of the saddles?
     
  20. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    Here you go pkr2
    [​IMG]
    I was working in a machine shop at the time. I made a rough sketch and showed it to the boss and asked him if I could try making a couple of proto-types. He said, "Go ahead, we've got all this scrap aluminum around. Use what you need and we'll send them to the plater with a batch order."(Had them plated at no cost)

    Well, I knew it was going to be better than the original Fender bridge. How could it not be? The original Fender design is as basic as it can be and still function as intended. My design had to be better, just like every other bridge that has come along since. Yes, I admit it. The Leo Quan BAI, BAII, and BAIII, the Hipshot, the Gotoh, everything, especially the ABM is an improvement over the original Fender design. Even Leo Fender's own piece of genius he designed for the G&L Basses, the saddle lock bridge design. The surprise of my own design was in how much better it was. Again, the U.S. Jazz Dlx. F/L that the original proto-type went on was an exceptional instrument. In the words of tappel from earlier in this thread, ...."The bass sounded fine before the new bridge. It sounds better now. "

    As to Frank Martins claim: "Anyway, my point was that even though the saddle is resting on the baseplate, the string is not resting on the cradle, but on the elevating mechanism, therefore the contact area is probably not much bigger this way. "

    The assembly is basically three pieces, the saddle, the anvil, and the base plate. The string rests on the saddle (The top piece in the picture above), the saddle rests in the anvil, the boss on the bottom of the saddle piece fits snuggly in the close tolerance groove in the anvil piece. This is the key to the increased surface contact area. Look closely at the tip of a set screw. You may be surprised at how little surface area there really is down there.

    I won't be able to explain all the things I would like to in this manner. I think I'll let folks ask questions as they arise. I appreciate everyone's time and patience in my long winded explanations, and I look forward to more feedback, questions, and comments on the topic. Thanks.

    PEACE: Rick