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Wrap around bridges; yes, no, maybe?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by reverendrally, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Phendyr_Loon


    Sep 4, 2010
    I have not used anything like that bridge, but two issues come to mind.

    1. That's quite an extreme bend for a bass string.

    2. Strings with silk wrappings might interfere with the saddles.
  2. Hi.

    This is the first time I've seen a wrap-around bass bridge.

    Damn you PRS for re-introducing the classic BA wrap-around with the intonation capabilities ;).
    They've become a somewhat of a craze in the skinny string side, and now on bass as well it seems.

    While it may look all right, the concerns Phendyr Loon voiced would be on the top of my list as well.

    Given the low price, the material probably won't be able to the take the load either.
    Even some guitar wrap-arounds have been known to crumble under the load.

    I'd do a test build before using something like that with expensive woods.

  3. A craze eh? Well I'm not gonna go crazy. I like the neatness, but if it can't cope with the stress, then I won't bother. ;)
  4. Hi.

    Just Google "wrap-around" bridge and be amazed.

    I sure was a few years back when I saw the first ones re-appear.
    For the life of me I couldn't understand why.
    Until I saw the PRS budget guitars that all had 'em.

    I do have one of the vintage BadAss wrap-arounds here somewhere, that was meant as an replacement for LP JR and LP Special back in the day, but those were discontinued back in the 80's AFAIK.

    If You make one from steel or bronze, I guess it'd hold, and you could make it even sleeker.

    The original isn't that difficult to make either, but does obviously require some metal-working tools and experience.

  5. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Wraparounds are cool for guitars. I built one last year, and used a Wilkinson with the little sliding section. Sounds really good.

    But for basses? No thanks. As has been mentioned, it's too severe of a bend for the thicker strings. And I wouldn't trust it with the higher tensions. Separate tailpiece, please. :)
  6. Ok, so went out to River Music (Windsor) this morning for a few bits and pieces. Awesome shop, great staff and some cool instruments of different sorts.

    While I was there I got to play 2 different instruments. 1973 Gibson EBO (Set neck) and Tokai Vee bass (BO neck). Both had 3 point bridges. Both had high action and to be honest, given the bridges and the like, I think it would be hard to get them really low. The other thing that struck me (and the guy there agreed) was that the rear pickup in the EBO did not cover the E and G strings. I didn't have the range and spacing near the bridge was too wide for the PU. Apparently this is typical for 70's gibson, lots of little dramas. The bass was a boat anchor too. REALLY heavy.

    So I learned two things.
    1. I don't think I want a 3 point bridge for a variety of setup reasons.
    2. I need to be very careful with spacing.

    I reckon I need a narrow bridge for the T-bird pickups. I'll be testing their field before I buy anything coz WeeMac had these very dramas with his 8 strings. So, It seems to me like Tune-O-Matics and 3 points will be out. I'll be finding something more narrow like say, individual bridge pieces. Stay tuned and thanks for all you ideas so far.

    P.s. the body tracing also turned up today. Thanks JIO! :)
  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I dunno. Gibsonish stuff, like the T-O-M and the three-point, are usually narrower than the Fenderish stuff. 1 7/8", if I recall, rather than Fender's 2" standard. So I don't think that'll be a problem.

    But the Schaller roller bridge is a very nice bridge, is adjustable for string spacing, and I believe that Gibson themselves used a version of it on certain models in the past. There's even one for sale in the Classifieds right now!

    Other choices in my book are the original BadAss (slotted for the spacing of your choice), the Hipshot A model (rock solid, available in a variety of spacings, and adjustable to boot), or the Hipshot D model, with its separate tailpiece.

    Edit: another great-looking option is Scott Dasson's Badbird bridge, a direct retrofit version of the early two-piece Tbird bridge. Scott is a TB member, using the name "godofthunder59". You can also Google search "badbird bridge".
  8. I looked into the badbird bridge. Great product, but totally out of my price range. Basically I'm looking for something I can land here for under $50. I know that sounds cheap, but Ibanez, Yamaha and Cort are paying less than $10 for every bridge they put on a sub $1k bass. So if Chinese is good enough for them, it's good enough for me. I've had a schaller. Nice bridge but a little fiddly.
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured

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