Schaller 3D-5 Bridge with a .140 B, is it possible?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Stuey3D, Apr 23, 2022.


  1. Stuey3D

    Stuey3D

    Nov 23, 2021
    Hi all.

    A quick question for owners of a Schaller 3D-5, bridge can you fit a .140 B string with this bridge? Some sites list a .135 as the maximum, however if I were to get a .140 with a bridge taper would it fit?

    The reason I ask is that I have an Ibanez GSRM25 28.6” 5 string Mikro bass coming and I also have a 3D-5 coming with it ready to fit as the standard Ibanez B10/B15 bridges are known for being a nightmare to intonate.
    Being a short scale bass I am after some thicker strings to just provide a little bit of extra tuning stability, I currently have a 4 String Mikro setup for BEAD with Dunlop Flats .125-.65 and I’ve also tried the standard Ibanez .130-.65 rounds and they are just a little bit temperamental on the low B, sometimes it will tune and play great other times it can be a nightmare to lock in accurate tuning.

    There is a custom string manufacturer in the UK who will make me strings in any length/gauge/taper that I want so I was planning .140/.110/.90/.70/.50 with the .140 being tapered at both ends, hopefully that little bit of extra thickness will just make tuning that little bit more stable, but now I’ve seen the bit about .135 being the maximum on the 3D-5 I’m now a little worried as I don’t wanna take the drill to a brand new and not cheap bridge to mod it.

    The problem is the 3D-5 is the only bridge I can get easily in the UK which will accommodate the Ibanez 16.5mm string spacing as the Gotoh’s etc are all for 18/19mm spacings, and the only other bridges I’ve seen are the Hipshot Kickass which is difficult to get in the UK in the 16.5mm spacing model and also half as expensive again over the 3D-5, and a no name one from AllParts but it doesn’t have traditional intonation screws as the saddles are loose and from reading up this is a nightmare to setup because of that.

    So has anyone got a 3D-5 and if so would a .140 fit without modding if it was tapered?
     
  2. Murivan

    Murivan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2020
    Huntington (WV, USA)
    2 suggestions.
    The first one is to look at the blueprint of the bridge here: 3D-5
    Where are you afraid that the 140 string won't fit?
    The hole where the ball end rests is 4.6 mm, a 0.140" string is 3.5mm in diameter so there you should have space.
    Depending on where the saddle will be (and considering it's a very short scale we can assume it will be very far back) you might have a very steep angle for the string. A tapered string should help.
    The second suggestion is to send an email directly to Schaller. They should definitely know what their components are capable of doing.

    As a side question, if I may: I am not sure I understand the relationship between tuning stability and string gauge. Can you elaborate on that? Thanks
     
  3. Stuey3D

    Stuey3D

    Nov 23, 2021
    I did think the hole would be big enough, and maybe Schaller only guarantees a .135 due to the saddles and angle of the string going up to the saddle etc which a tapered string would help with. However that being said my Harley Benton MB5 5 String stingray clone came with a .130 but could barely fit a .135 through the bridge so that’s what got me worried whether the Schaller would do it if they are only listing a .135 as maximum capable.

    As for thickness usually thicker tends to be higher tension which usually helps with tuning stability especially on a short scale, however there are exceptions to that thinking such as my D’addario Chrome flats 100/80/60/40 being higher tension than the nickel wound 105/85/70/50’s that they do.

    Unfortunately only D’addario seems to list tensions for their strings anywhere, however the place I am getting my custom strings made have a decent customer service number which I’ve already called to chat to them about the strings and they were very helpful so when I come to order I’m sure they’ll steer me in the right direction regarding best strings for the tiny bass.
     
  4. Murivan

    Murivan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2020
    Huntington (WV, USA)
    Just to be sure we are on the same page (I am not a native speaker so this might be lost on me): by tuning stability you mean the fact that the attack of the note is more "true" to the note you are supposed to be playing (less sharp) or the fact that you can play for a longer amount of time without the need to retune?
     
  5. Stuey3D

    Stuey3D

    Nov 23, 2021
    I mainly use my bass to play a learning game called Rocksmith and that doesn’t officially support B tunings as it’s only designed for 4 string basses, however people have made custom song arrangements in all tunings including B. Well sometimes B will not get into tune when you pluck the tuner will bounce all around the note but not settle down on the note itself and therefore the note detection when playing can be off causing the game to miss notes as you play. Sometimes the string will settle and play perfectly though, however due to being a short scale you have to be delicate when playing as there isn’t quite enough tension in my opinion and when fretting notes they can often go sharp on the low B so I’m thinking a thicker string here will help.
     
    Murivan likes this.
  6. Stuey3D

    Stuey3D

    Nov 23, 2021
    Well I’ve just had a reply from Schaller and the reason they list a .135 as the max string gauge is due to the roller saddle, so a tapered .140 should work nicely.
     

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