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What Bridge Do You Like?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Ike Harris, Feb 8, 2005.


  1. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    To the luthiers(or wannabes like me): I've used several different bridges on basses, ranging from 2 or 3 from Lemur or other places to whatever I can find in town. My Kolstein has the obligatory Kolstein bridge which I find wonderful, otherwise I usually get the adjustable(or non) Aubert from Lemur for a new setup. What other bridges do you guys like to use?

    Ike
     
  2. Hi Ike,

    I'm looking forward to seeing the replies to you question!

    My story is that I acquired a four-year-old Englehardt bass last year that still had the original slab-cut bridge. It was badly cupped (string edge toward the FB), and I replaced it with a new "German model, selected wood," $25 wholesale. Along with endpin and tailgut upgrades, the setup came out great.

    12 months later, the bass still sounds awesome, but this "selected wood" bridge is curving toward the fingerboard just like the junky one! What gives? :eyebrow:

    Some other bridges for sale, up to $50, are described as "old wood," "very old wood," and "treated wood." Various "brand names" as well.

    I hope someone can shed some light on the differences and tell me, how old is old, and can aging of the newer ones be reliably accelerated under controlled conditions?

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  3. Ike Harris

    Ike Harris

    May 16, 2001
    Nashville TN
    I can't answer any of those questions, but one reason I threw the post out for comment is, I need a taller bridge for my American Standard, which for some reason has a bigger neck angle making the standard 3/4 bridge too short for it at the appropriate point. BTW, what is your source for the bridges you mention?

    Ike
     
  4. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Most bridges will start to warp towards the fingerboard if you don't actively keep after them. A properly cut bridge will typically have the curvature applied to the fingerboard side, leaving the tailpiece side 90 degrees to resist warp. However, constant tuning, as well as the inevitable doorway bump, will almost always make a bridge begin to lean northward. It's up to us to keep an eye on it and readjust the bridge to a perfect perpendicular position. I've always had the habit of giving it a gently karate chop between the middle strings to return it to its upright and stowed position for landing. ;) Now that I am aging and my hands hurt I've reverted to tapping it with the spine of a bad book.

    I have never had a warped bridge in the last 40 years, and I don't think it's because I chose expensive bridges -- because I couldn't afford them.
     
  5. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Ike, the German tool and luthier supply outfit called Dick Tools will send you a beautiful catalogue -- two, actually, one for woodworking tools and another for luthiery items -- if only you go to their website and ask. The luthiery catalog has more bridges depicted in glorious colour than you can shake a slab at, including lotsa tall ones.

    When filling in the online form asking for the catalogue, check off the "luthier" box to get the bridge porn.
     
  6. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Despiau is a current favorite for bridges. Aubert started producing some bad blanks, and the Tellers are too chippy. Dick Tools is a good resource, but you have to deal with the exchange rate. (Thanks, W.)
     
  7. International Violin.

    Many thanks to Nick & Damon for the tips; and I'm especially glad to join the throng in saying "All Hail" to Bob! :)

    Bob
     
  8. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    I've been using Despiau A (3-tree) bridges here and there, and have been quite happy with them.
     
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Either INDIANA or HAVE YOU MET MISS JONES.
     
  10. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    my jelly filled bridge comment must have offended somebody !
     
  11. Mudfuzz

    Mudfuzz

    Apr 3, 2004
    WA...
    I can't see how, but there is something odd going on, in the last 3 minutes I've seen both versions of this thread in a cut, uncut, cut pattern. :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  12. Yeah, to play that you have to make giant steps.
     
  13. INDIANA don't have a bridge. Madison County, on the other hand...
     
  14. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Is THAT why there are so many frustrated suicidal Hoosiers?