Position of bridge. Is this harmful to bass/soundpost?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by bassist31588, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. I have been getting really irratated with the bass Im using. I took it off to sand down the bottom and it's impossible to do it by hand. So I put it back on realizing, "wow, the action will be so much lower if I just move the bridge BACK towards the tailpiece." So I did. I moved it back an inch, and it's right on top of where the soundpost is. And the action is wicked sweet now, upper registers arent hard, and when I play jazz my right hand isnt cramping up anymore. The strings used to be 3/4 of an inch more or less above the end of the fingerboard. That can be tiring to your fingerstyle pizz playing. High action I realize is good for bow, but does nothign but cramp up your right hand.

    So Question, is this a harm to the soundpost or any other part of the bass other than the strings (which have more tension as its closer to the tailpiece). This isn't my bass, it's the ebst of the 6 basses that my school owns, and Im the only bassist. The other 5 are just horrible. But Im sure youve seen your fair share of high actioned basses, these are literally basses with strings 1.5-2 inches above the fingerboard. A couple are quite decent basses (they are student models, but in good condition, not beat up), but one is old and beatup, ive seen 5,000 year old basses in better condition than this thing! lol...

    There's an obvious mark from where the bridge was located before and I was wondering if people would think im nuts and not careful with my gear. Hey, if something breaks, my instructors won't know, those basses aren't in TOP condition...

    I'd own my own but I simply dont have 3,000 dollars for something a step up from a student model. The bigger the piece of wood, the more expensive quality is... and then there's maintenance. I dont see why I should spend 400 on an adjustable bridge for a bass thats not mine. Or then again a string change for one of them I rehearse on (I only use two, one at school and one for home practice) the strings are uncoiling. By the time I graduate higschool it'll need a new set of strings...

    So is the position of my bridge dangerous to the stability of the instrument? I know it knocked the intonation out of bounce, but thats no biggie, its a 3/4 size and I can't imagine the scale of a 4/4 (as if anyone owns one:D )
  2. Sorry that was quite lengthy for that question. Its my first time on the upright bass forum.

    For those who dont want to read all of the above:

    I moved my bridge back towards the tailpiece to lower the action. Its above the soundpost. Will this hurt the bass?
  3. I dont see why I should spend 400 on an adjustable bridge for a bass thats not mine.[/B][/QUOTE]

    You might not want to spend the money for a bridge, but for what it's worth, you can get an adjustable bridge from www.gollihur.com for $65 + $5 shipping.

    Luthiers where I live charge $30 to $40 to fit a bridge for you. One local Luthier said he would sell me a high-quality adjustable bridge, and install it for $130.

    If your school's bass needs strings, however, that should come under the heading of "required maintenance". Strings are "consumables".

    Tell them they've been "Consumed" and need replacing!
  4. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    There's a little bit of anarchist in me. I would say to the school "What, you mean the bridge isn't in the right place? How the heck did THAT happen?"

    Sounds like they don't put much thought or effort into the instruments they own. So, they give you (a student) a big expensive thing and send you on your way. If you do something to it that makes it better and easier to play, why would they expect any different sort of behaviour out of you?

    Go ahead and do it. If they call you on it, play dumb.

    If you want to spend your own bread on a bridge (adjusters aren't strictly necessary; they don't give you much range of adjustment anyway) then you won't have a problem buying one on the net from Bob Gollihur. I did. Bob sent it toot sweet (that's Canadian for "very quickly") and his instruction were pretty good too.

    The luthiers reading this are rolling their eyes, but I have been in your shoes, my friend. You the boss.
  5. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Moving the bridge over the post will not adversely affect the structure of the bass. It may cause a negative effect in the tone, but if this is what you need to do to make it playable then it is the lesser of two evils.
  6. Ok, thankyou guys. I just didn't want to risk screwing up the soundpost. It's not impossible to replace but it'd be a pain in the ass...