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New Bridge: Change Tone??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Sir Edward V, Mar 12, 2009.


  1. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    Massachusetts
    I want to get a Kahler Tremolo for my 5-string bass, but I love the tone of my bass and I really don't want to kill this thing. It is the only bass I play, and I play it every day and don't want a new one... for a while at least, but I want a tremolo...

    Will putting in this new bridge change the tone/feel of my bass (other than the obvious tremolo bar that will be there...)?

    I considered finding a bass exactly like mine, and putting the tremolo in that and seeing how it turns out... but I don't have enough money.
     
  2. Greenman

    Greenman

    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    Changing anything might have an effect on sound. How much is hard to tell. Add in a trem and I'm guessing a crap shoot at best. :)
     
  3. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    More than 99% of your tone comes from your strings and pickups. A bridge will change the feel.
     
  4. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I don't know - if any bridge was to muck with the sound of a bass, a trem would be the one. I would *seriously* think about the potential return on investment for a bass trem - they seem to be a much cooler toy than they often end up actually being.
     
  5. There have been A-B comparasons on different bass Forums and the majority say there is very little, if any, difference in tone. Do it if that's what you want, you can always reinstall your original bridge.
     
  6. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Yes - but not with at trem; He will be routing out a cavity in his body for the trem, otherwise I would agree with you.
     
  7. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    Massachusetts
    EXACTLY
     
  8. Depends. A trem is a big, heavy thing. If your existing bridge is big and heavy it won't make much difference. If you have a lightweight bridge, like an old Fender bridge, I am willing to bet it WILL make a noticeable difference-it'll sound brighter, and note attack will be different. Maybe better, maybe not. I'd say don't do it, because you may not like it, and then you're screwed.
     
  9. Mad Russian

    Mad Russian

    Aug 25, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    What about a tremolo effect pedal?
     
  10. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    Massachusetts
    My bridge is rather large. It's a beast, actually. Ibanez.

    No.

    ...not the same... at all.

    Thanks for the thought, but it really would not be the same. Other than it sounding completely different, I really want the control in my hands.
     
  11. southernrocker

    southernrocker Banned

    Apr 4, 2009
    I've got a kahler trem, and if anything it made my tone better. I had a fender bridge before the trem. The trem is a blast, but it has one drawback. If your current bridge has the saddles draggin on the base of the bridge for the action you want, the kahler will give you a higher action. The kahler is one solid tremolo, and I wouldn't worry about it killing your tone. Good luck!
     
  12. Son of Magni

    Son of Magni

    May 10, 2005
    NH
    Builder: ThorBass
    My advice would be to make sure you get a locking trem. When it's locked it shouldn't hurt your tone at all. And since on a bass a trem is used about 0% of the time you could just leave it locked.
    :bag:
     
  13. DerHoggz

    DerHoggz I like cats :| Banned

    Feb 13, 2009
    Western Pennsylvania
    They make locking bass trems?
     
  14. HogieWan

    HogieWan

    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    i'd buy a cheapo sx or similar (used if possible) to try it out on. if it doesn't make much difference in the tone and you like to use it, move over to your main bass
     
  15. Beej

    Beej

    Feb 10, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    In my own experience, replacing a bridge with a tremolo significantly reduces an instrument's capacity to sustain. Some ability to sustain a note is absorbed by adding a tremolo. I'll caveat this though by emphasizing I've never put a tremolo on a bass, only on guitars, but the effect is noticable...
     
  16. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    A Kahler is different though, because its cam's and rollers, not floating, in fact I've noticed a sustain improvment since I added Kahlers to basses.
     
  17. Sir Edward V

    Sir Edward V Not Actually Knighted... Yet!

    Dec 11, 2006
    Massachusetts
    I do have a ****** bass I could try this out on... but its kinda torn to shreds as it is... and its a 4 string and the bass I would put it on is a 5er
     

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