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strange bridge experiment...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fender3x, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. fender3x


    Mar 12, 2006
    I have a '78 preceision, just got an sx jazz, and also have an ASAT bass... The ASAT has much better sustain characteristics than the other two, and I was curious as to why...

    Many folks here have opined that the mass of the bridge makes a big difference. The ASAT has the giant zinc G&L bridge, so that could be the reason. On the other hand, it doesn't add all that much to the mass of the bass, and all three bridges are fastened down REALLY firmly to the body...

    So I started to wonder about the one other thing that is different about the G&L bridge--the set screw on the side that locks the saddles together. Leo Fender thought that would make them resonate as if they were one piece--and provide better sustain.

    I have looked at the major bridge makers--Gotoh, Schaller, Hipshot, Badass... None of them have this feature. Nobody else gave Leo enough credence to try this, it seems.

    So, I went into my tool shed and found a 3" C-clamp. I clamped the saddles together on my Precision. A-B'd it several times. I have to tell you that I got appreciably better sustain with the saddles clamped. It could be that the extra mass of the C-clamp contributed...but I am pretty convinced that its the clamping that made the most difference.

    So here's a question... Why hasn't anyone (besides G&L) put out a bridge that clamps the saddles together? Has anyone tried making a p/j-bass saddle clamp? I am thinking about making one myself, but it would be such a simple, easy improvement, surely someone else must have made something similar?
  2. Try replacing the plastic threaded screw with a metal screw. It's the same diameter and thread as the saddle height screws.
  3. fender3x


    Mar 12, 2006
    None of these bridges have any plastic screws...so I am not sure what you are talking about...?
  4. Curtybob


    Jun 2, 2007
    Jackson, MO
    I thought I noticed that on my L-2000 tribby before I sold it.... I honestly had no idea the set screw was there until literally 3 days before I shipped it. It was not tightened, and I wondered what it was for. After I tightened it, I changed the strings and I think I heard a difference.... but I just changed the strings.

    Another thing that might lend credibility to this, is that when I got my Ibanez SR3005 the other day, I had to work on the bridge (mono-rail bridges, rather) because none of the saddles were tightened down. They were just floating in the saddle channel (intonation was off and all), and I even had to fish a few of the locking screws out of the body. When I did, I thought I noticed a difference on it as well. But, again, I only played the bass for about 20 minutes before I decided to work on it.

    But I definitely think that the G&L bridges are some of the best around. Well, they are very simnilar to Music Man bridges (hmmmm... wonder why that is? ;) ). Regardless of whether they actually sound it or not, they do look and feel more professional than most any other bridge I've let my palm hover over. Not overly gawdy like the Traben bridges, and not all Wal-Mart like most stock Fenders have.
  5. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    That's good news because I also ordered this bridge a few days ago. :)

    It will be replacing my standard Squier vintage-style bridge. Would you say it'll be an improvement?
  6. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
  7. Bassman822


    Sep 1, 2007
    Bessemer, AL
    As I understand it, on the G&L bridge clamping the saddles together, it has a piece on the bottom that fits into a rout in the body (this piece butts up to the body on the neck side of this rout).
  8. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    Spector bridges also have a set screw, that after all intonation adjustments & height adjustments are made, you set the set screw & it pinches all the saddles together. IMO it's a MAJOR PITA to mess with.
  9. fender3x


    Mar 12, 2006
    It looks like the hex bolts adjust the hight. How do these saddles lock into place?
  10. fender3x


    Mar 12, 2006
    Don't know about any routing. I can't see it just eyeballing the bass, but that doesn't mean much.

    On the other hand, the set screw that clamps the saddles together is very simple. It's on the treble side of the bridge in plain view.

    It's also a piece of cake to adjust. From looking at the bridge on the website the Spector bridge looks similar. I'm curious what makes it so hard to adjust?
  11. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    I'm not sure, my bridge was lost in the post! The eBay seller is gonna contact the post office and sort it out tomorrow. I'll let you know how it works when I eventually get it. I assume the saddle locks into a groove in the side or something. Do you see the grub screw in the bottom pic (on the left the left side of the saddle)?
  12. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    ABM and Steinberger both manufactured bridges with this feature.
  13. fender3x


    Mar 12, 2006
    I do now that you mention it. This bridge looks like it's a knock off of an ABM bridge. They're supposed to be really good. I'll look forward to your review when it gets out of the lost and found ;-) (hope that's soon).
  14. The set screw on the bridge is plastic.

    According to the G&L guy I talked to (Ramie?) it's supposed to be plastic.
  15. You'd have to remove the bridge. There's a bar that protrudes down from the bridge into a routed cavity on the bass. If you were to use this bridge on another bass, you'd either have to mill down the bridge or rout the body of the other bass.
  16. fender3x


    Mar 12, 2006
    Not on mine. Just pulled it to check. The set screw is definitely metal.
  17. fender3x


    Mar 12, 2006
    Looking forward to hearing how you like this--hoping the postman finds you with it. I wandered by Sam Ash today and saw a black one of these on an Epiphone LP bass. They look sharp, and I could really clearly see the set screws. Lot's of screws on these babies, but very solid looking.

    The Spector bridge has set screws that look a lot like the ones in a G&L. Didn't see any other basses that had this feature FWIW.
  18. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    I Have a Schecter with an S-Tek bridge:


    I am wondering if upgrading is better, since a B10 style bass would give greater mass.
  19. Dee_01


    May 19, 2007
    Still hasn't turned up. The seller is gonna give me a refund tomorrow.

    Sorry for the delay. I'll hopefully get one soon. Just bought a new PC monitor though, so money is tight at the mo.

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