Weird thing on what I'm guessing is a Wilkinson 3D bridge?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by PlayItAway, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. PlayItAway


    Apr 24, 2014
    Hey everyone, so I'm looking after a friend's 5 string bass which has a Wilkinson bridge on it. I couldn't see any sort of model number on it, but from some image searching I'm guessing it's some form of 3D bridge.

    I'm trying to adjust the action, but I'm having trouble with one of the screws on the A string. It seems to be blocked somehow by another screw mysteriously protruding from the side of the screw hole. Here's a picture:

    wilkinson weird.jpg

    It might be a bit hard to see clearly, but the treble side action screw hole of the A string saddle has something blocking it. I can't tell what it is.

    Would anyone know what this is and how to fix it?
    Thanks :)

    Attached Files:

  2. robert43


    Jun 5, 2007
    Not burred out grub screw? ie rusted / wrong size Allen key used
    If so I would say use try a small screw driver after using WD40 or such if it fits in to grub screw head.I would even recommend taking the saddle off bridge and soak in wd etc before trying any thing
    Another way would be if the screw is rusted & is pocking out I would even try with a pair vice grips etc screwing it all the way out
    96tbird likes this.
  3. CatchaCuda


    Feb 3, 2018
    Transfer, PA
    Is it the end of the intonation screw? wilkinson weird_1.jpg
    Forgive me, I'm not at all familiar with 3d bridges.
    Reedt2000 and sissy kathy like this.
  4. robert43


    Jun 5, 2007
    I think your right I would say that the grub screw been removed due to intonation screw too long
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Just an FYI...when you get ready to replace that bridge, Babicz bridges have the same footprint.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  6. PlayItAway


    Apr 24, 2014
    Unfortunately the string spacing is too narrow for a Babicz bridge... it's barely 16mm. Possibly even 15.
    Also, what do you mean by "footprint"?
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
  7. PlayItAway


    Apr 24, 2014
    I'm not familiar with them either, no worries. But yes, that is the trouble spot.

    That's not the only problem with this bridge either. The anchor holes are so high up that if you set the action to a reasonably low point, the break angle is pretty much entirely lost, so the string rattles around in the saddle.

    This bridge sucks.
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  8. Dean N

    Dean N

    Jul 4, 2006
    Pittsburgh, PA
    If that bridge was my 6 year old son, I'd immediately march his dirty butt upstairs for a shower!

    Seriously, it needs a cleaning. All the little rust bits and chewed up screw bits and accumulated grime is bad for the threads and will make adjusting more difficult. De-rust and clean. And those grub screws will be easier to assess if they're clean.
    Guild B301 likes this.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    'Footprint' meaning the space taken up by the baseplate. Most bridges will be smaller, but Babicz will cover the entire area left behind by the Wilkinson.

    But now string spacing...that is indeed another issue.
  10. jbrew73


    Dec 24, 2006
    • What the heck is a grub screw?
    • (Edit: I googled it. Never heard that term before.)

    As far as the break angle, be sure the neck relief is set correctly. The straighter the neck, the higher you can set the saddles.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  11. Andy R

    Andy R

    Mar 14, 2019
    If the intonation is correct then those saddles are one hell of a way back - look at the B string, the spring is completely coil-bound.
    It looks as if the whole bridge should be mounted further back on the body to me....
  12. Yeah, it would be a lot easier to adjust everything, if it wasn’t so rusted.
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    There's no play left in those saddle springs. I would loosen those saddle screws a little bit. I bet the ends of the saddle screws are up against the grub screws. (Which, by the way, means intonation must be pretty extreme with whatever strings are on it.)
  14. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I know anecdotes are not data, but fwiw I had one of those Wilkinson bridges on a Warmoth 5-string fretless bass I acquired 20-something years ago, and in addition to always feeling just slightly uncomfortable when I had to do palm-muting, the low B & E strings always sounded pathetically anemic. I changed the bridge to a Hipshot Type A, and holy crap, the low strings sounded huge!

    So I'm inclined to agree with @PlayItAway :)

    But even if it was an awesome bridge when new, that one looks like it's well past its expiration date. Time to cut your losses, methinks.