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Quick question about tape on a bass bridge.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TUEP, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. TUEP


    Apr 8, 2007
    On one of my passive basses the little height adjustment screws on the bridge saddles stick up really high. Its where I got the strings really low and where I want them. Downside is when I use a pick the little screws jab into the meat of my hand.

    So I just took some blue masking/surgical tape and covered up the heads of the little screws. Now I know this sounds like a silly question...But will that tape cause any kind of interference with the grounding of the instrument or any sustain issues?

    I know this sounds like a silly question but its always those little things you never know about.
  2. Tape isn't a conductor. It will have zero effect on your bass.
  3. HardPuncher


    Jul 14, 2013
    I'll probably get jumped on for saying this, but if you don't have any intention of getting a new bridge, you could get some of the paint-on latex/vinyl they make for tool handles, pop toothpicks into the ends of the screws, then coat the exposed shaft. You'd want to be careful to tape it up before hand, in case you spill any, but you'd still be able to adjust the bridge, and it'd look a heck of a lot better than having tape on your screws.
  4. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Shorter screws.
  5. Woofer


    Sep 24, 2008
    A Dremel with a cutoff wheel will take care of those tall screws for you.
  6. SamanthaCay


    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    If it's a bolt on neck you can shim the neck to get the saddles higher while keeping your current action.
  7. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
  8. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Grind the bottom of the screws down. They are completely replaceable. Don't cut off the tops - you may need to adjust them again. I did this myself recently.

    Shimming - bah,using a piece of paper to put your basses neck at an angle to the original neck pocket and disrupting the tight wood2wood connection.:confused: And you'll STILL have to dial the setup back in. Height and intonation - tipping the neck moves the nut away from the bridge.
  9. SamanthaCay


    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    Shimming is actually extremely common not just in the repair world but also amongst manufacturers, and if done right should make absolutely no perceivable difference in the sound of the bass.

    One could spend money on screws, or take two or more hours to grind their bottoms or you could take less than an hour to shim the neck and give the bass a proper setup.
    Then again there’s always tape.:D
  10. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Shim the neck so you can set the bridge saddles higher. It's safer than taking a dremel to any part of the bass.
  11. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore? Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    What about something like heat shrink tubing?

    Could always cut it off later.

    YMMV blah blah blah
  12. Jammin Johneboy

    Jammin Johneboy

    Dec 23, 2011
    + 1

    Shorter screws . Hit the hardware store for them. If they don't have them, many cities have bolt/nut/fastener specialty stores that will have them or can get them . They will cost next to nothing they are so small.

    Take one out and bring it to the store to show them . Wrap a long piece of tape on it after you take it out, sort of like a flag on a pole, so if you drop it someplace you can find it easy . Also make sure the threads are the same , some machine screws have finer/coarser threads than others . Putting the new screw right beside the old screw with the threads touching eachother you should be able to see the threads of both screws meshing into eachother. The peaks of the threads of one screw should fit into the valleys of the threads of the other screw. The coarseness of the threads is called the "pitch" of the threads and is measured in the number of threads per inch . A couple of common thread pitches for small machine screws would be 24 or 32 threads per inch for example . Having 24 threads per inch would be considered a coarse thread whereas the same screw with 32 threads per inch would be considered a fine thread machine screw or bolt . Coarse thread screws or bolts are refered to as national coarse and are abreviated as "NC" . Fine thread screws or bolts are refered to as national fine or abreviated as "NF". There are cheap little metal gauges for measuring thread pitch , but you don't need them if you try meshing the old and new screw threads against eachother .

    Also make sure the diameter of the screws is the same obviously . DO NOT force the new screws in if they are resistant to going in. That will likely ruin the threads and the part.

    Best of luck. :)