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New Barbera Bridge

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Jason Hollar, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Finally got my replacement Barbera bridge. Installed it a few days ago and am pleased with the results. I had a Barbera pickup in my old bridge, but since I've had the fingerboard replaced, I've been waiting on the new one for a better fit.

    Some observations on the tone: To my ears, it sounds virtually identical to my last one -- which is good. The pickup is loud and clear. There is a bit pf piezo-sounding harshness to it, but nothing like a clamp-on or wedged-in pickup. All I have to do is dial out that clacky midrange frequency and I'm good to go.

    The pickup also has much higher output than most others which makes my electric bass amp (SWR) happy. In fact, on most casual jazz gigs, I don't need any kind of preamp at all. Plug and play! However, for my louder club dates or wedding gigs with drums and dancing, I employ either a Boss Bass EQ pedal or Aguilar DB924 outboard pre to boost the level further.

    I always get compliments on my tone. People in the audience tell me they have no trouble hearing every note I play -- and all the guys on stage dig it because they can feel the low end from the strings really well.

    My only problem is, and maybe I should post this on the setup page, is that the action is a bit higher than I can comfortably manage -- most likely due to the increased humidity this time of year. I now understand why some folks have two different bridges for the seasosns. I'm seriously hoping things start to dry out soon and my bass returns to a more agreeble action. Otherwise, I might switch to a lighter guage of strings and see how that feels. I normally use Spirocore Orchestra guage for the tension and punch. Might try a set of Weichs or light Helicores again to see how that goes. What's another hundred bucks right???

    Otherwise, my tone is now extra large due to the increased action and brand new pickup! Despite the hassle of taking detailed measurements, making a tracing, changing out the bridge, etc., I highly recommend this pickup anyway. Rich even through in a groovy Planet Waves cable with a hip defeat switch. Man, how cool is that?
  2. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Why don't you get height adjusters put in your bridge and then you can adjust the height whenever you want to?
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    That's what I did when I orderd my Barbera bridge many moons ago...
  4. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Pittsburgh area
    Yes, I have them...they're just all the way down at this point!

    You see, I also added a Fishman Full Circle as a backup option -- in case one of the sensors on the Barbera fails (this has happened to me before). I had the new adjusters (and full circle) installed "threads down" for a supposed better sound on the Fishman. What I didn't account for was that about 3-4 mm of the threaded part...is not threaded!

    All of the intial measurements were done back around April or May before the humidity here cranked up for the summer. At that time, my adjusters were up a bit to compensate for the low action I had. I was shooting for something that would sit near the middle of my adjuster's travel limit -- so I could deal with this problem when it came up.

    Might have to take it to a repair guy for a little tweaking. I do have some room to work on the bridge and feet to snug up the fit. Once I get everything dialed in, it should be all good to go again. But, out of curiosity, I might wait a month or two to see what happens when autumn rolls around and the heat kicks on. Didn't realize the bass was such a barometer!

    Until then, it's back to work to fund this money pit instrument of mine! ;)