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Working out where the bridge goes....

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by miles'tone, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Hi there everyone.
    I'm in the process of building my own jumbo acoustic bass guitar (because I can't afford nor find an Ernie Ball Earthwood).
    Now, I've got a short-scale electric bass neck and I'm gonna be fitting a hipshot Rickenbacker replacement bridge. I'm a bit stuck as to where to position the bridge. It's a 30'' scale neck so does that mean it's 30'' from the nut to the back of the bridge (where the string ball ends sit)? Or is there more to it than that?
    I know it may sound funky using EB bits but I'm basically building a reasonably inexpensive buskers bass so I can be heard when jamming with my friends outside,and keep the thing in perfect intonation in all weathers in the U.K.
    I've researched the hell out of fitting the neck/ body construction so I feel confident about that side of things. I just need to know where to accurately position the bridge.
    Please :help:! Thank you.
  2. I dont know how far along you are on your build but the position of the bridge should be one of the last things you do. Basicilly, Cover the bridge area with masking tape. Draw a very accurate center line from your neck to the bridge area and mark a centerline mark on the tape. Measure from the nut and remeasure from the 12th fret and mark a cross line on the tape. You now have a X where the center of the bridge saddles should be. Remeasure everything several times and make sure your measurements are perfect. Remember, it's 30" from the nut to the center of the bridge saddles, not the end where the ball ends are anchored. Also, the saddles should be at midway of their intonation travel. This gives you room to adjust either forward or backwad to get perfect intonation.
  3. What Rocky said is 100% spot on. Do what he suggests & it will be right.

  4. Hi.

    What Rocky said, exept for the saddles being in the middle of their travel IME/IMO.

    This doesn't obviously mean that they don't exist, but I have never encountered a neck where the distance between the saddle and the 12th fret has been shorter than the distance between the nut and the 12th fret. IIRC the Hipshot Ric replacement has longer travel than the original, but still You want as much room to move the saddles back. 3/4 or 4/5 of the travel towards to the nut is my rule of thumb.

  5. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Hey thanks guys, glad I asked first! Makes alot of sense... Cheers!
  6. aquamentus


    Apr 15, 2005
    Keokuk, IA
    Glad I looked at this thread. Thanks guys from me as well.
  7. Maybe I was not clear. The distance from the nut to the 12th fret should be exactly the same as the distance from the 12 fret to the saddles. Now, as we know, the saddles are usually staggered with the largest string being longer than the small string. The saddles may be different by as much as 1/2", so you need room to adjust the saddles forward or back for good intonation.
  8. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    Are you mounting a hipshot replacement bridge on what is otherwise a standard acoustic guitar top?

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