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New Bassplayer wants adjustable bridge

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by mwshelton, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Hi guys, I'm a beginner who just purchased an Engelhardt EC1. The action is terrible. I don't want to have to track down a luthier so I plan on installing an adjustable bridge. What brand would you reccomend. I want agood one that is affordable. Thanks, Mike
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I'd recommend tracking down a luthier, right after you find a good teacher. Also spend some time in the newbies link (at the top of each section) as your post indicates to me that you'll gain a whole lot from the exercise. Fill out your profile and folks here will have an easier time helping you out.

    Welcome to TBDB.
  3. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    They don't just "bolt-on". They have to be fitted to your bass and therefore that's why you need a luthier. Check out this site and see some of the hand work that needs to be done.

  4. I live in bluegrass country. I know of a few instrument repairmen, but no luthiers. I would like to purchase a good adjustable bridge before I take my bass to a repairman. My action is terrible 12 to 14mm. What brand should I purchase? Thanks, Mike
  5. Brent Nussey

    Brent Nussey

    Jun 27, 2001
    Tokyo, Japan
    If the bridge you have is good and fits well, you can add adjusters to the bridge you already have. As everyone said, it's best to get a luthier to do this, but if you know how to use a drill press and mark a 90 degree angle, you can do it yourself. I'm no great woodworker, but I've done it and it came out well. Get a set of adjusters which are made out of one piece of machined aluminum. Some adjusters are 2 pieces, a wheel and a shaft, fixed together. Might fail one day. Also, get a type where the threaded part of the adjuster is bigger than the unthreaded part. This way you can drill the holes into the feet, cut them off at the right spot(s), and tap out the hole where the threads will go. I put a set of Henry Boehm's adjusters in a bridge I have, and I'm quite happy about it. There are other luthiers making similar ones, I think Jeff B here on the board has them like this too.

    Of course, a luthier who's done this hundreds of times will likely do a better job than you on your first try, but I don't think this is impossible to do yourself, unlike cutting a new bridge, which *will* be a mess. Anyway, if you screw up the adjusters, then you're just back to having to take it to a luthier, only now you'll definitely have to buy a new bridge...

  6. ToR-Tu-Ra


    Oct 15, 2005
    Mexico City
    Well, my string height is 13mm for the G string and 15mm for the rest. I dont have a problem with that, actually I love it. But I play on guts ;) I supposse you're playing steel and I can see why you find it uncomfortable. I'd get a luthier to do the job. You could go see son bass players in your area and ask them who makes this kind of job for them.
  7. dvmweb


    Apr 20, 2002
    Atlanta MI 49709

    Contact Bob Gollihur, http://www.urbbob.com/.

    I bought My Englehardt EM-1 from him, 3.5 years ago, and at the time I also bought an adjustable bridge. I modified the original bridge, lowered it, and used that for awhile. Then after about 3+ years of playing I just fitted the adjustable bridge. Bob sends you good instructions. It is tricky getting the feet to fit the top of the bass, but if your are patient it is not too hard. It is a matter of getting it close then tuning up and then removing it to resand the feet. I used masking tape to fasten sand paper to my bass and then sanded the feet down to fit.

    I am quite a ways from a luthier (+/-220 miles), and I use my bass 2 or 3 times per week, so I don't want to be with out it.

    There is no getting around it that a URB luthier would do a better job. Is one available?

    Good Luck and Happy Holidays;
    Walt MI/USA
  8. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    mwshelton- here is a list of luthiers in NC and surrounding areas: http://www.urbbob.com/luthiers.html

    If you have a stock Engelhardt, you may need fingerboard work, nut work, soundpost work, and the bridge blank may be slab cut... all of these things add up to thin sound, less volume, and buzzing. The setup work from the Englehardt factory is poor. A little t.l.c. up front will give you years of happy bass playing.
  9. dbgal


    Nov 28, 2005
    +1 on Nick's reply

    I too have an Englehardt I bought through Bob G- it was shipped straight from the factory & was marginally playable. But I have had the fingerboard resurfaced (it had a horrible E string buzz), new adjustable bridge, new sound post, & just had the coat hanger tailpiece wire replaced with cable. Now it's a decent, functional instrument with good tone and is easy to play. I'm hoping to purchase a new bass in the next year or so with smaller shoulders (so I can play thumb position), but plan to keep the Engle & set it up for pizz. You should definately invest the time and money into getting your bass properly set up by a knowldegeable luthier- it's worth it in the long run in playing enjoyment & joint/muscle health. The necessary work shouldn't take more than a week or so.