Re: Bass bridge setup


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Posted by Sheldon Bird on April 07, 2001 at 20:55:42:

In Reply to: Re: Bass bridge setup posted by Bob Gollihur on February 09, 2001 at 12:32:48:

: : I don't live near a good bass shop and have no dough. My bridge has a warp and I think it's set up too far from the post. (Palatino - Don't flame me, it's all I could afford!) Sound is dull but have new decent strings. I'd like to flatten or replace the bridge and set it (or the post) in its proper place. I have some woodworking experience and some as a piano tech, maybe enough knowledge of acoustics for this task.... Is this something I can attempt myself with likelihood of moderate success? Where can I find info? Or should I just give up and take it somewhere?

: Certainly an experienced luthier is worth a visit, but I think we can all understand budgetary restraints.

: Sound quality may be attributable to the bass, but you may as well maximimize it. Not sure what you mean by flattening the bridge?? The feet should match the contour of the bass' belly - if it doesn't you won't get the best results and can as well potentially damage the instrument. One way to get there is to carve/sand the feet as close as possible and then put a piece of sandpaper, face up on the belly, and rub the feel against it to contour them. The center of the sides of the feet should be lined up with the inside cut in the f-hole. That's the intended position.

: If you are talking about thinning the bridge, that may be a good idea- just don't go too thin, and taper only one side of the bridge. Leave the bottom side 90 degrees and taper the top (fingerboard side) to help keep it from warping, and as you tighten your strings give it gentle karate chops to keep it in a 90 degree position to avoid the pressure to warp it.

: A good starting position for the soundpost is approx. two inches below the bridge foot, in line with it. Moving it closer will usually add focus to the sound, further away, less, but experimentation can be worthwhile to find the best spot for your instrument.

: Good luck!

Thanks, Bob. What I meant by "flattening the bridge" was that I was considering removing it, steaming or boiling it, and clamping or pressig it flat. Didn't know if that was ever done. Used to be a boatbuilder, you know....

I think the bridge is properly shaped. It seats OK on the belly, but has quite a pronounced curve. Possibly I caused it when I restrung, by not giving it the "karate chops" you recommend. Ah, well...

Thanks for the position info - inside cut of the F-Hole. Just wondering whether the position relative to the post was important.

If I wanted to buy a bridge blank, could I? Or do I make one myself?

Thanks for the service you perform here. I'm sure a lot of us rookies are grateful.



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