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Tailpiece changing string height? How?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by wdnewman, Apr 23, 2009.


  1. wdnewman

    wdnewman

    Apr 13, 2009
    Just purchased a Craigslist URB to play with a local community band. The prior owner had butchered it up pretty badly as far as bridge fitting and string height.
    Looks like he used a table saw to put notches in the bridge to adjust string height which really needed it because the tailpiece was mounted about six inches too high causing the bridge to be placed about three inches below the end of the fingerboard. The strings were about two inches above the fingerboard. All this to say that I have been trying to fit a new bridge and have been having fits.
    I started by dropping the tailpiece down three inches and fitting the bridge so that the strings would be located 8-10mm above the end of the fingerboard. I had just about reached that point when I noticed that the windings on the tailpiece end of the G string were getting very close to the bridge. To correct this I shorted the tailpiece cable again, dropping the tailpiece to 1 1/2" above the saddle. All this worked well as far as the G string windings were concerned, but then I noticed that somehow all the string heights had increased 6mm! How is this possible? It looks to me as if the string height is a function of bridge height only. I know that moving the bridge closer to the fingerboard would cause an increase, but the bridge has been in the same correct position at all times. Anybody got any ideas?
     
  2. wdnewman

    wdnewman

    Apr 13, 2009
    Found the answer! It involved bifocals and an old age combination resulting in reading the 10mm mark on my micrometer as 15mm, Once read correctly, everything became, magically, perfect.

    Thanks!
     
  3. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Try to get the afterlengths of the strings, the string on the other side of the bridge, to around 7". Even better if you can tune them to 2 octaves and a fourth above the playing notes.
     
  4. wdnewman

    wdnewman

    Apr 13, 2009
    Thanks for that info. Well, the current afterstring length is now at 6". and I do have the room to move the tailpiece down another inch or so, but it would slightly overlap the saddle. If that is O.K., then I'm going to go ahead and do it. I want this done right, or at least as right as I can do it within the limitations of an old bass player with a cheap bass. I am a bit confused about tuning the afterstrings.
    I just took a measurement of the tailpiece which shows an overall length of 13 3/4".
    Is this within parameters for a 3/4 size bass of apparently Pacific Rim origin?
     
  5. wdnewman

    wdnewman

    Apr 13, 2009
    Today I reset the tailpiece, (to a seven inch afterstring length as you suggested) worked on fitting the bridge feet a little better, and installed the new set of Evah Pirazzi strings. Wow, what a difference!! I will have to say that my total past experience with uprights have been U.S. Navy issue basses, mostly Kay and Epiphone, but by gosh, this is the best playing bass I can remember! I can only imagine how a really good bass set up by a professional would sound. Perhaps I will come up and visit your company this summer.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Hey, you're welcome! :) Its really tough trying to help with something auditory and visual with words but sometimes it works out.
     

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