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UB Bridge adjuster setup -different heights question.Can’t find an answer to

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by BHBassman, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. BHBassman


    Jan 5, 2013
    My 7/8 Bass has walnut adjusters, strung with D’Addario Heavy Kaplan strings. Mostly use this UB for playing Orchestra & Shows, but would like to play Jazz gigs again, as I like the sound & feel of these strings and this bass.
    Would like to lower the bridge to play more freely, as I do with my other UBs strung with EPs & Zyex & lowered action to accommodate the Jazz Pizz soloing while playing in all registers on the bass.
    Problem is, the string action it is set higher, as I was playing more Orchestra & Shows on this bass, and the E String adjuster is a bit stripped-stays at a good Orchestra string height & can’t lower any, but the G string adjuster can lower.
    I just lowered the G string side adjuster 2 turns below the E side adjuster, and there is a difference, making the bass more suited for Jazz, and still good for Orch & Shows. The Bass sounds good & I really don’t want to visit a Bass repairman.
    All due respect-tough for time, $, & would be very inconvenient.
    Question therefore: Is it OK to set adjusters unevenly?
  2. Not really.
    OK for tryout, but if you like it like that for all kinds of music you like to play, let a luthier lower the higher strings a bit so that you can set the G-string adjuster back to the correct height.

    You will even get a larger bowing angle for each string if done correctly which makes grabbing a string neighbor by accident less probable.
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  3. BHBassman


    Jan 5, 2013
    Thanks DoubleMIDI.
    So far so good.
    Planning to experiment this way first, before changing strings or going to a luthier.
  4. BTW, I was wrong with the larger bowing angle. It stays the same but goes closer to the G-side bout for all strings.
  5. BHBassman


    Jan 5, 2013
    Hello again DM. Thanks for your input & reply.
    Played this UB at home for an hour, all Arco. Not perfect, but was able to get around well enough to suit Jazz, Show & Orchestra playing.
    May turn the G String wheel back up slightly.
    The G string wheel is approximately 1 1/2 turns lower than the E side wheel adjuster, and somehow there are no buzzes, and the bass has a great tone & is much easier to play, all over.
    Just played a Jazz Brunch gig Sunday on a large 3/4 responsive club-owned flatback bass with Obligatos, a bridge without adjusters, set lower than I always have this Bass set, and I liked the action.
    Easier to play Pizz & Arco.
    Reckon I’m going have to cross my fingers.....
  6. BHBassman


    Jan 5, 2013
    Just put the adjuster back- both sides are even.
    The Bass sounds great,but the strings are set on the higher side to play Orchestra & musicals, and a bit tougher to play solos for combo jazz gigs.
    Read a few more threads about the issues that could occur with uneven set adjusters.
  7. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    In my opinion of course you can set adjusters unevenly if you like it that way, with no detriment to your bass.

    just be aware that the bridge top will move sideways a little relative to the fingerboard. And that if the adjusters are too uneven they may get hard to turn.

    But if you like it that way, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't do it.
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Wow, you're the first expert here that has expressed that opinion, AFAIK. Don't recall others reasons for not leaving uneven adjusters, other than they might not accomplish the goal because of the lateral movement of the bridge.
  9. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Eric if the adjusters will allow uneven adjustment and the player likes it, why not?

    However it is true that SOME adjusters are installed so tightly that uneven adjustment makes them jam, or forces the feet to a non-fit position, which is not good. in which case perhaps the adjusters need a service.

    But, if the adjusters will allow it, I believe there is nothing inherently bad in it!
    Eric Hochberg likes this.
  10. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Matthew, There must be a million hypothetical reasons why the E and G side must match, and any tilting forces in the threads would create bad sound. I'm with you though.
  11. Over a long time the bridge might get deformed (leg angle and feet).
    It would be OK for checking things out and if there is no time or opportunity to change the bridge, but if one becomes sure that the change in height on one side is desired for a long time, a change of the bridge would be a better permanent solution.
    It also helps to change bridge height more easily.

    BTW, a high friction of the adjusters might not be nice for changing the height, but might give a minimal better sound. If there were no adjusters at all it would be almost as stiff as when the high friction of the adjusters does not allow any movement.
    (OK, adjusters with high friction might become too stiff and that may degrade the sound ... or not.)
  12. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I think that the difference in sound is due to the top and feet of the bridge being separate and joined by a thinner rod, allowing the top to tilt forward and backward more easily than with a solid bridge. In this case the tightness or fit of the threads would no affect.
  13. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I can think of reasons why a person might want their adjusters set unevenly, but am also surprised and happy to hear Matthew say that within reason it's not a huge problem.

    A whole back, there was some stir about bridge adjusters that were like ball bearings between the top and bottom of the bridge, that moved more freely. Does anybody remember these, and are they still around?
  14. They are from Moser. This product is a bit on the expensive side. Don't know the exact name for them, but there are only a few products developed by Mr. Moser. All of them are still available as far as I know.
    Have seen them this year in spring at Musikmesse Frankfurt and bought and installed a height adjustable saddle (Moser HVU = höhenverstellbarer Untersattel) from Mr. Moser via Thomann a bit later for my instrument.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.

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