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Tilting bridge on bass + fret buzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by badstonebass, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. badstonebass


    Jun 7, 2006
    Got a Douglas Hollowbody from RondoMusic. It is a pretty decent bass, especially for the money.

    One thing annoys me though. The Bridge tips forward when tuned to pitch and I have some fret buzz in the first 3 frets on the E and A string. It is not the posts LEANING it is from the actual bridge rolling forward.

    I figured that I would need to stop this tilting of the bridge before I can assess if I need to adjust the neck. It seems I would need to keep it in place for proper intonation as well.

    I know that this is a design flaw on a cheap bass, but what would you guys suggest doing? Early thanks to those who will tell me to throw it away :D.
  2. Mahataru


    Apr 7, 2013
    Pics would help.
  3. badstonebass


    Jun 7, 2006
    Here are a couple photos. The tilt is more pronounced than I could get to show in these photos.

  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Are you that attached to the bridge? I would probably replace it.
  5. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    The bridge: I'm thinking the saddleplate tipping is no big deal, I mean,they are round roller saddles so that contact changing that little bit means little as long as it stays there once strings are tightened. The tailpiece looks very well attached, I'd suggest leaving alone for now. I take it the plate tips a little on the lifter screws and that's it, correct.

    The buzz: buzz in the first three frets. Bad fret job or really flat to back-bowed neck. Check the relief. Extremely small possibility it is buzzing BEHIND the fretting finger(fretted 1st leading to buzz on nut, fretted 2nd buzzing on first,etc.) - but only if the nut has been lowered super low, which would probably lead to buzzing when played open. Not a very common occurrence especially on budget instruments, since they are notorious for having nuts cut way high.

    Hollowbodys do tend to make every little buzz (and finger noise) more prominent, especially when played without amplification. The hollow body can easily resonate at those frequencies whereas solid wood can't.
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Man, send that thing back! Call Kurt and email him the pics.
  7. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Too late, it's already over the wall, cruising in a glider, tipped at a slight angle just past the Brokelyn Bridge. Ernest Borgnine sits in his empty cab and cries.:woot:

    You were referencing Kurt Douglas -no?
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    http://www.rondomusic.com/contactus.html Kurt at Rondo Music.
  9. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    ^Sorry. Well, at least my first answer was totally serious.

    Took at look at Rondo - $249. Darn, I'd hazard one if they had a 5 string.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  10. I'm inclined to say that if the saddles are round, then I am not sure the bridge is any problem. Moving the contact point on the saddles 1/8" forward doesn't seem to me like a problem as long as they intonate. Might be interesting to center the saddles, then press down hard on each side to get a good witness point, then see if that helps keep the bridge more vertical. (Kinda curious about that.)

    I'd look more closely at the neck relief, the nut and the frets.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
  11. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    That is a problem with that design, and there is a way to compensate for it.
    Upright basses have the same problem: as the strings are initially tensioned,
    the bridge is pulled towards the neck. The bridge must be continually set back
    into it's proper position as the strings are tightened.

    You coud do the same thing, start with the strings loose, and then keep pulling
    the bridge back into an upright position as it tries to lean towards the neck.

    I don't know if this would be all that easy to do; possibly you could start with the bridge
    leaning towards the tailpiece.

  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    I would do as mega says but begin with the bridge tilted BACK so tightening strings will pull it upright into place.
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Oh, no...another bridge on "stilts"! Just had a flashback to the two-point jobbys found on several EB-3 models. In this case, there's a certain amount of play amongst the bridge body, height adjustment screws, and threaded body inserts...and this becomes glaringly apparent under ~150 lbs of string tension.

  14. Wow. You're all over the place on this one! Lol. You combined Kirk Douglas and Kurt Russell.
    edpal likes this.
  15. There was a thread about this same issue on the same bass 6 months ago or so. Let us know if you find a solution. Looks like a nice bass otherwise.
  16. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Why not just start with it forward? I understand that thinking on a DB(played for years), but part of that is because there is a LOT more string between the bridge and the tailpiece - the portion of string over the bridge when you start tuning will have migrated north 1/2"+ by the time you are tuned up. And/or the bridge will have flopped over. And the intonation will keep changing. If the saddles section stays tipped to the same point you can intonate,etc. and little change will occur, even after string changes. imo.;)

    It was a mighty fail at humor. Stop, please, I give. Are you the real Snake Plissken?:D
    Gluvhand likes this.
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yes you have to keep that bridge upright at all times to avoid stress on. The threaded insersts. I see that now. Once it's set up right it will be fine. Not the ideal design but functional.

    I actually find it idiosyncratic and therefore somewhat of a charming bridge that looks nice to boot.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  18. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    I can't agree. Tipping forward pre-tuning means it moves no FURTHER. Your suggestion would be to keep pulling it away from it's natural, physical inclination. Which is toward the tuners. IF you pull it back what keeps it back?
  19. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yes I edited my post after I looked further. I had in my mind a mustang type bridge that pivots on its legs.

    The ops bridge is threaded into inserts. I get it now. ImageUploadedByTalkBass1402329070.576962.
  20. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    But the legs have to stay perpendicular or you're stressing the threaded inserts.

    They are threaded? Or is it like the mustang?

    If it is indeed like a mustang the best position is where you can get it to intonate.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014

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