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Squier Bass VI Q: How to intonate a rocking bridge?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Gnobility, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Gnobility


    Aug 13, 2003
    Bought a Squier Bass VI a few weeks ago, and am in the process of replacing the strings with a .022-.102 set. I've got some questions about this thing:

    - I was surprised to find that the bridge posts pivot back & forth about 3/16" in the 2 bridge post holes. :meh: I'm baffled as to how one is supposed to maintain even ballpark intonation when changing strings with a bridge that has 3/16" of slop to the holes. How do I place that as I install the strings? Push it to the rear of the post holes, to the front, or try to center it within 0.00002" or so by eye?

    - I've read that guys who go up to ~.100" E strings, in order to get enough rearward travel of the saddle to intonate, have to either remove the spring behind the low E saddle, or reverse the bridge altogether. It looks to me like if I crank the saddle back any further, the string will make contact with the far end of the intonation screw. Should I lower the saddles to reduce the angle of the intonation screw, and compensate by extending the rocker-pivot setscrews? Or should Ieave them alone and grind the screw shorter to avoid contact with the string?

    - Finally, I wish this thing was a hardtail. Can I just crank down the trem spring tension until it's solid, and wrap the bridge posts with tape until they're snug in the aforementioned bridge post holes?
  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    The bridge rocks as part of the vibrato system. Evidently some people do wrap tape about the posts to fix it so you would not be the first. This website has some intonation tips but I question, as do you, how you set the intonation properly when the bridge moves that much. Seems better to set it with the bridge centered but then how would you keep it there over time as you play the instrument? I don't have mine yet so my knowledge about what to do comes from the internet and we all know how trustworthy that is! But if I bump your thread by posting the wrong information perhaps someone who has a better answer will join the conversation.

    As I said, you would not be the first to use tape. I would think however that you would be better off removing the spring, replacing it with a spacer or a stack of washers, and then tightening the screw against that.

    I don't know if my interest in the vibrato tailpiece will survive for long but going in I am looking forward to having and using it so I would love to hear some words of wisdom on how to set it up and keep it in its centered position while you are playing but not using the whammy bar.
  3. Gnobility


    Aug 13, 2003
    khutch (and any other new Bass VI owners), here's what I did:

    - reversed the bridge to allow the bridgepiece to go back far enough to intonate the new .102" low E string

    - ground the end of the bridgepiece screw for the little E bridgepiece so that it doesn't contact the string when drawing the bridgepiece way fwd to intonate

    - pushed the bridge / bridgeposts assembly rearward in the 2 barrels in the body while I installed the strings.

    - after tuning it up, I push the trembar way flat and then pulled it way sharp a few times to let the bridgeposts find their own center in the barrels. In the future, I'll change strings 1 at a time to try to maintain that center and hopefully avoid re-intonating with every string change.

    - amazingly, I guessed pretty well on my bridgepiece placements, becasue intonating is a bit more troublesome because I have to put the string aside to get to the now forward-facing intonation screws.

    - after tweaking the trussrod, fine-tuning string heights, and touching up the intonation its holding tune just fine, even after moderate trem use

    I like your idea about replacing the trem spring with a stack of washers to lock it. I'll probably do that, and fixed the bridgeposts if tuning stability proves troublesome in the future.

    It's something having a bass bridge where those low notes all ride on thin-gauge sheetmetal plates, pointed setscrews, and springs, rather than a chunk of boilerplate like a Badass bridge!
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    There are replacement bridges that are supposed to fix that problem. The Fender version of the VI has a different bridge.

    Also, lubricating the saddles where the strings make contact will let them slide more easily over the saddle and rock the bridge less.
  5. Vintagefiend

    Vintagefiend I don't care for 410 cabinets at all.

    Aug 6, 2013
    Columbia, MO
    I flipped the bridge and shimmed the neck and I'm still not 100% happy. Gonna go Staytrem.