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Unusual Bass Bridge Problem


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My brother has asked me to make him a bass but he wants a six string with the strings tunes e-e like a guitar but lower!

To do this we are looking at using lower guitar strigs as the high bass strings (assuming there aren't any bass strings oiut there like this).

This takes us to the bridge. Standard 6 string bridges and nuts are very wide and his short, fat, stubby fingers just can't reach accross the fretboard so....

.. I thought about making our own bridge something similar to an accoustic bone saddle in a tiber frame and then a timber stringthrough saddle. I figure we can make our own spacing and seat widths this way BUT how thn would I intonate the thing?

I know we can build a compensated nut and the bridge can be put on an angle to help but that surely isn't going to giv us the exact intonation we require. Any great ideas out there?

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if you could find long enough strings which there must be why not use a regular guitar bridge? have a look at this, im pretty sure this is what your brother means here

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if you could find long enough strings which there must be why not use a regular guitar bridge? have a look at this, im pretty sure this is what your brother means here

Thats a baritone guitar not a bass (i dont care what musicman call it), but the idea of using a normal electric bridge is good as long as you can enlarge the string holes for the bass strings. and they fit in the saddle with little modificated.

You could do the acoustic style bridge thing and would have to make a 'best guess' as to where to put the bridge by looking at how much compensation basses of the same length need. If you made the saddle out of something quite wide (maybe a couple of thick nut blanks) then you would still have lots of room for fine-tuning.

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"Thats a baritone guitar not a bass (i dont care what musicman call it), but the idea of using a normal electric bridge is good as long as you can enlarge the string holes for the bass strings"

it can be used as a baritone or as a bass tuned to e, this is acording to guitarist magizine but now that i look at the scale length i see what you mean. i like Scott's suggestion but is it just me or do they seem quite expensive?

Edited by George Brown
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Yes Scott sorry - just a bit too expensive - he's disabled so doesn't have a lot of money (not in a wheelchair or anything but unable to work).

I was not sure how the guitar bridge would work with saddle changes. Saying that, I've seen the vintage 'roll over' saddles on strats so that may work.

At just short of 30" scale length I would have thought the music man is classable as a bass. It's short but still bass length isn't it?

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I guess there isnt really any proper classification on this thing but to me 22-26" ish is guitar, 27"- 30" is baritone and 30"+ comes into the bass catagory. Thats something you will have to discuss with your brother

Those individual bridges from allparts are stupidly expensive but cheaper ones are becoming available, hipshots are only £25 a peice:

http://www.hipshotproducts.com/cart.php?m=...etail&p=222

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Adding onto what WezV was saying about individual bridges. You can find them even cheaper at resalers (I can get them $2-5 cheaper). You can find them cheapest with off brand stuff, but I can't seem to find any located in Europe, you'll lose the thru-body style going this route though. Here's a start.

Auction

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i got my wood bridge to work, just the other day;

its like the 'acoustic saddle' idea but no saddle;

i laminated some stuff together and cut it out and shaped it;

my best way to explain it would be like a 'giant wooden nut'

its only a four string but thats how im gonna do a 5er so i dont have to buy another bridge;

strung thru the body with ferrules on the back; you could but some bushings on the front but i just dremeled some angled slots to give the right angle up to the bridge;

i let the strings add their own grooves then dabbed a small amount of super glue to keep them from getting quikly rasped away;

c.t told me i should try the same thing with a piece of fret wire across the top as a saddle; i might try that next

if its for your brother; take the opperatunity t otry something cool!

good luck!

:D

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Fender makes a "baritone" Jaguar or Jazzmaster bass - I don't know which, but it's modelled after the old Fender Bass VI, and tuned like you've stated - standard bass low E as the bottom string, like a guitar an octave down. The neck was like a guitar neck width, and the one I played appeared to use the standard Jag bridge with a TOM style stopbar. (I believe the Bass VI had a trem?)

It was only a 27" scale, but I wonder how long the strings are? Fender sells string packs for these, and and they seem like they might be a good starting point.

Maybe go to one of the string tension calculators, and and figure out the tensions of various string guages over your scale length and work on constructing something from there. I feel like I had seen bass players playing 6-string basses strung this way, so they must be available. But if it looks like something akin to the fender gauges works for your setup, then it would appear that a normal guitar bridge would work. (Honestly, I don't see why you couldn't slot a TOM for the larger strings. They aren't *that* huge.

While I can see for a bass player the full-scale length would be nice, I really enjoyed the shorter scale of the fender, it wasn't so weird it messed up my normal style of bass playing, but it opened up a whole new world of bottom end chords. The smaller fretboard width was terrific. I never understood why you'd want a fretboard as wide as your face. And I'm love with that tuning - the low B never really did it for me. I've never found I actually wanted anything lower than maybe a whole step below standard E, and you can always drop tune for that occasionally. (Although, I guess playing reggae or something might change things)

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Cheers guys - I think this is going to be on for a bit of experimentation!

I might buy some saddles and test out the theory of using a guitar bridge on his old knackered bass he has lying around. If that works, then that's an easy option isn't it? I like the whole 'making the bridge' thing though so it may be worth trying both.

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My brother has asked me to make him a bass but he wants a six string with the 6'strings tunes e-e like a guitar but lower!

To do this we are looking at using lower guitar strigs as the high bass strings (assuming there aren't any bass strings oiut there like this).

Just buy a 7 string bass set of dean markley's and don't use the low B one. Tune them as you wish.

This takes us to the bridge. Standard 6 string bridges and nuts are very wide and his short, fat, stubby fingers just can't reach accross the fretboard so....

How short and stubby are his fingers? If you ebay around you'll see plenty of asian no-name 6 string bass bridges, most of them have very small 15-16mm string spacing, just check those out.

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Extremely short and fat! I told him he needs to sing as he's not built for bass! :D Well he is because he's really fat and for some reason, every cover band I see has a fat bassist! :D

A 15mm string spacing makes the neck about 90mm at the heel! That's 1.5 times the size of my start and the bass he has now!

We're trying to get closer to the 70-75mm mark. The gap (or lack) between strings really isn't an issue - just that he wants a thinner neck width.

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Extremely short and fat! I told him he needs to sing as he's not built for bass! :D Well he is because he's really fat and for some reason, every cover band I see has a fat bassist! :D

A 15mm string spacing makes the neck about 90mm at the heel! That's 1.5 times the size of my start and the bass he has now!

We're trying to get closer to the 70-75mm mark. The gap (or lack) between strings really isn't an issue - just that he wants a thinner neck width.

Actually a 15mm spacing makes the bridge 75mm B) 6 strings means 5 gaps between the strings 5X15mm = 75mm

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Actually a 15mm spacing makes the bridge 75mm :D 6 strings means 5 gaps between the strings 5X15mm = 75mm

Doh - here's me working on 6X! I am a dozy one - that'd be great then.

The whole idea of a wooden, homemade bridge strikes me as a good idea - something else made and not bought on the guitar. How do you go about inntonation then though?

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You could do the acoustic style bridge thing and would have to make a 'best guess' as to where to put the bridge by looking at how much compensation basses of the same length need. If you made the saddle out of something quite wide (maybe a couple of thick nut blanks) then you would still have lots of room for fine-tuning.

I am quoting myself here.

You need to find a 34" scale 6 string bass and measure how much compensation each string needs, find a few if you can to compare and go for the average. There are probably a few people around here with basses like that, or ask over at talk bass as well. Look at acoustic basses as well since they will have a bridge similar to what you are thinking

You get better intonation on a acoustic by changing where the peak of the saddle is, ends up something like this:

http://www.sheehans.com/images/help/compensated-saddle.jpg

If you used a thick nut blank as your saddle then you would have a lot more room to adjust where the peak is. I would probably use two nut blanks arranged similar to this:

http://www.cottenmusic.com/images/Misc/Sul...it%20saddle.jpg

The other option is to have a bridge/tailpeice combo with a moveable bridge like this:

http://www.carvinmuseum.com/images/yearbyy...erbassflyer.jpg

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