Options for bridge replacement, Cort Artisan B4FL

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MonetBass, Mar 25, 2018.


  1. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    This is a two-piece bridge and while the idea is sound, the functionality just isn't there. It is counter sunk (about 0.75" I believe -- will have to remove it to measure).
    tQ7yRXe.jpg
    After futzing with it many times just to get the intonation right, I've decided to replace it. Here's what I'm thinking:
    1. Get a Warwick bridge and use it to replace the saddle portion of the bridge. This would require some filing or routing. The question is: would the height of the Warwick bridge be close enough?
    2. Fill in the bridge rout with like wood (ash) and mount a standard bridge. I'm thinking a Hipshot A or B. How would I make the wood level with the rest of the bass top without ruining the finish?

    Any help would be appreciated. :)
     
  2. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Hello? Is this on? Would I get better responses in the Luthier's Corner forum?
     
  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    These bridges are a bit odd but they work just fine. What is it that is causing so much futzing?

    Inlaid bridges/tail pieces are always tricky to replace. It's usually more trouble than it's worth.

    Retro fitting with another bridge/tailpiece assembly will be expensive and will not cover the existing rout completely. That means expensive grain matched inlays and refinishing work. Easily costing the value of the instrument.

    The less expensive option is to cover everything with a larger bridge. If an inlay underneath is desired it need not be finished beyond a coat or two of poly.

    Recommendations? What is the size of the footprint that needs to be covered. Having that data will make a specification much easier.
     
  4. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks for the response. Setting the saddle height is the most problematic because of having to tune the string down far enough so that it can be taken off the saddle since they have to be screwed/unscrewed to lower and raise the height. Usually the intonation doesn't need to be reset after this process, but sometimes it does. Intonation isn't a huge problem, but the strings still need to be tuned down enough so that the saddle moves freely.

    Yes, that's what I was thinking: Cut a piece of ash to the precise size of the rout, leveling beforehand, then finishing it with a bit of poly before gluing it in place. Then covering it with a bridge larger than the original rout. I'll measure the original bridge to see exactly what I'll need.

    The other issue is that the screws that you see in front of the saddles are supposed to be underneath (inside) the bridge, but because the length is too short, they don't make contact with the metal plate at the bottom of the bridge, thus not securing the saddles in place. Which is why I moved them on top. Maybe these aren't the stock saddle screws, but finding proper replacements may be difficult. Cort has not responded to my emails about this, and finding any information about these bridges online is near impossible.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Go to the large home center on the four lane, or better yet, the cool old hardware store in town that has wooden floors and guys older than dirt behind the counter. Take the screw, or your guitar, with you. They will figure out what you need.

    Failing that, get a screw gauge at either place. Order what you need online from McMaster-Carr or the like.

    Filling in the rout isn't strictly necessary as long as the bridge covers the hole and the base plate is already flush with the body at the screw holes. A lot of work for no gain. If you choose to do it, make sure the grain in the fill runs in the same direction as the grain in the body.

    By the way, loosening strings to move saddles is part of bridge set up. That won't change.
     
  6. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks again. I may just replace the saddle screws and live with it. Good suggestions - I appreciate them.

    But when I say "tuned down enough", I mean to the point of being extremely loose. On my fretted Fender bass, I just loosen the strings slightly when moving the saddles. And I don't expect to be changing the type of string (round wounds) or gauges regularly, so that's not a big issue.
     
  7. dab12ax7ef

    dab12ax7ef

    Sep 25, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    I have an older A5 with that bridge, and I feel your pain. They look kinda cool, but adjustability is a big pain. They haven’t put these bridges on new basses for a while now.
    I thought about doing what you’re thinking of, but don’t really have a good option short of taking it to a pro.

    I did have to plug, drill and remount the bridge screws once. The string adjustment screws can put pressure on the 2 main bridge screws if over tightened. This stripped out the main bridge screws. Once I fixed this, I was able to get a proper set up.
    Sorry this might not be much help, good luck.
    A59A0AF3-BC84-4EF5-9D6C-DAEFA3F20460.jpeg

    Edit: My vote in the poll would be to leave as is...
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
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  8. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thanks for the reply, @dab12ax7ef. I see that your saddle screws (to set intonation) are inside the bridge as they should be. Apparently they should have enough length to hit the metal plate beneath the bridge, correct? Because the ones on my bridge don't (the saddles slide freely even with the screws tightened all the way), which is why they are currently on the outside. I took the bridge apart and you could see the screws are not nearly long enough to push the saddle against the top of the bridge to hold it in place. 202dy suggested I find some longer screws that will work as designed, which is my plan. I agree -- it would be a lot of work and expense to replace it.
     
  9. dab12ax7ef

    dab12ax7ef

    Sep 25, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    Ahh, you actually turn them CCW to back tighten them against the top of the bridge. I know, makes perfect sense... When they are snug turned to the left like that then it locks the back and forth intonation adjustment, and it actually locks the string height adjustment.

    Also, the block that the saddles thread in to might need to be fixed or worked to allow for smooth operation. I had a problem where the saddles would bind in those blocks even when no tension was on the adjustment bolt. This is not correct and caused by me overtightening the adjustment bolts. So I removed those blocks and worked them by gently prying the slit open a little with a screwdriver and making sure the saddle could thread freely without binding. Then put it back together with the adjusters inside, when you back tighten them just enough, the saddle binds slightly as it’s indended.

    I know, again this bridge makes no sense... if this isn’t clear I can take some pics. Others might be interested in this novel design.
     
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  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Mystery solved. ^

    Put em back under and LEFTY LOOSEY to raise the screw head and trap the saddle against the top plate.

    Do that and learn to live with it. Weird but will work ok. Better than surgery. The compound curved top makes it almost useless to try a conventional type bridge. Scars will be hard to hide.

    Or, take a look at Hipshot D style dimensions. 4 String D Style Bass Bridge
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  11. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Thank you so much for this post! Those saddles have been driving me crazy, and like I said, it's near impossible to get proper information about this bridges. And thank you for the suggestion about opening the split in the saddles just a bit. Since I've seen what you're talking about, it makes perfect sense. I'll post updates once I have everything corrected. :thumbsup:
     
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  12. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Just noticed that the Kubicki bridges have an almost identical design for the saddles as the Artisan one:
    rc0pg2ivwhxeopohvk5r.jpg
    Perhaps that was Cort's inspiration?
     
  13. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    So the Artisan B4FL bridge is now back to rights! Thank you dab12ax7ef for your picture and guidance. It is much appreciated!
    lrhLzLf.jpg
     
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