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Restringing Question

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Matt R., Jul 6, 2012.


  1. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Hope this isn't redundant, but I'm about to restring my bass for the first time. Does the bridge *always* tilt a little when you restring, or are there ways to avoid this?
     
  2. bssist

    bssist

    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Try changing only one string at a time. While each string is off use a pencil to "color" some graphite into the string slot on the bridge. Bring your new string up to tune (maybe even 1/4 tone past), then move on to the next string. Don't be surprised if the bridge moves a little, it is to be expected. Just be sure to get it back in its proper relationship to the top and all will be well. There are lots of posts in the tb forums about it and some videos on youtube that you may find helpful.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Thanks! :) I know to change one at a time and I will definitely pencil the slots. So the bridge movement is pretty much unavoidable then?
     
  4. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    Sometimes it moves and sometimes is doesn't for me. I always check the feet to make sure they are flush with the belly.
     
  5. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Ok thanks! Will do.
     
  6. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    When Arnold sets up my bass, I use soft lead pencil to mark the corners of the bridge feet. I also measure the string length an write it down. It's easy to forget. From the on, it's easy to keep everything properly aligned
     
  7. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Thanks Don. Why are you recording the string length? I'm sure it's a dumb question.
     
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I bet so that he knows if/when the bridge angles up slightly, especially if there are adjusters that allow a little play in the angle. Knowing the exact length from nut to bridge-tip when all has just been set up by a pro let's you know about the "tilt" you mentioned.
     
  9. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    To know that the bridge feet are in full contact with the top.
     
  10. When I restring, I crank the tuning machine with my left hand and hold the top of the bridge in place with my right. Bonus points for sounding the string while tuning to a harmonic on the adjacent string. I find this technique isn't always necessary with steel strings, but with gut or nylon which stretch like crazy, it's mandatory.

    Lay the bass down on its ribs and eyeball the bridge, in profile, every so often. It's ok to give it a gentle, sidelong karate chop or gentle tap with the spine of a paperback book if your bridge is tilting toward the neck.
     
  11. Matt R.

    Matt R.

    Jul 18, 2007
    Huntsville AL
    Wow, thanks for the info. Great replies.
     
  12. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    If I'm not sure of my original string length, would it be appropriate to set a small square on the bass's top and then check that the tailpiece side of the bridge is parallel to the square while the feet are centered on the ff hole notches?
     
  13. Yes, I use a right triangle against the back side (bottom face) of the bridge to check that the bridge is not begining to pull in either direction.

    But there is still good reason to check your string length -If you carefully measure from the lower end of the nut slot to the upper end of the bridge slot on both the E string and the G string you will be able to check that your bridge is straight and that your string length will be correct accross all strings.
     
  14. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    That's ok, assuming your bridge was set up that way. For example, mine was set up with the bisected side of the bridge 90ยบ to the top.
     
  15. tornadobass

    tornadobass Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Iowa City, Iowa
    bisected side, as in down the middle of the wood?
     
  16. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    Yes
     
  17. JDBassist51

    JDBassist51

    Sep 30, 2012
    Sherman NY
    Once the bridge is in the correct position, a bridge positioning stick (as shown on youtube) works well to keep it in alignment.


    John
     

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