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shoulderpet

Suggestions for bridge to replace floating bridge on Violin bass copy

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Hi all

I have a Violin bass copy that I am very fond of,the bass has a Hofner style floatign bridge, however unlike my Hofner I can never quite get the bass intonated and am after suggestions for a bridge with a little more intonation adjustment options to replace the floating bridge currently on there, a tune-o-matic style bridge would be perfect but I cant find one with narrow enough spacing (this bass has 14mm spacing)the bass has a centre block (semi hollow) running the length of the body so drilling holes is not an issue if necessary

Edited by shoulderpet

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I doubt that you'll find anything off the shelf. One thing you could try is to cut slots into the existing floating bridge and add some simple sliding saddles similar to the pic below. Something like that should be pretty easy to fabricate. 

1171155187_slidingsaddles.jpg.e27248f767120eb5357e6360bf8a4993.jpg

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6 hours ago, shoulderpet said:

Hi all

I have a Violin bass copy that I am very fond of,the bass has a Hofner style floatign bridge, however unlike my Hofner I can never quite get the bass intonated and am after suggestions for a bridge with a little more intonation adjustment options to replace the floating bridge currently on there

OK - I'm a bit confused. 

If it is a true floating bridge - ie, if you can place it anywhere - then it is impossible that you don't have enough adjustment options.  Forget the options of the little 'fretlets' on the Hofner-style bridge.  You can just move the whole bridge forward, back or at any angle until it intonates properly.

If it is a pinned 'floating' bridge - so it falls off when you take the strings off, but the pins actually locate it in a specific position - then the pin holes are probably in the wrong place (or there are other factors - action too high, old strings, etc that are affecting the intonation)

Have you got a photo? - I'm sure we can help you sort it without it needing a different bridge...  :)

 

Edited by Andyjr1515

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As @Andyjr1515 said - do you have a photo you could share. You can get a tune-o-matic style 4 string bridge with a 15mm spacing - this is one I bought a while back (though I can't remember where from unfortunately):

g9fZWt0.jpg?2

The saddle would need filing to suit the strings but the spacing  should be near enough.

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2 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

... then it is impossible that you don't have enough adjustment options. 

I think the problem is to do with the intonation of one or more individual strings. It's easy to move the whole bridge and get the outer G and E in tune, but the little 'fretlet' saddles are set in grooves and don't always have a fine enough back/forward adjustment to intonate the inner strings correctly.

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1 hour ago, ikay said:

I think the problem is to do with the intonation of one or more individual strings. It's easy to move the whole bridge and get the outer G and E in tune, but the little 'fretlet' saddles are set in grooves and don't always have a fine enough back/forward adjustment to intonate the inner strings correctly.

This is what I've always done with the violin basses I've owned. To be honest I don't worry to much about intonation being bang on as long as it's not too far out. I just get it the best I can but it's never perfect.

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23 hours ago, grandad said:

This is what I've always done with the violin basses I've owned. To be honest I don't worry to much about intonation being bang on as long as it's not too far out. I just get it the best I can but it's never perfect.

Yes - I agree     ^ this

I'm making an assumption that there are no pins and under the bridge is just a smooth top like this (ignore that this one has two control panels!):

_MG_3429.thumb.JPG.9dfaf217681b24c9cb242dbddb612f19.JPG

And your bridge is something like this?  :

_MG_3522.thumb.JPG.95ffb97de9895ab5f21001193961efa3.JPG

 

It takes a bit of getting your head round the concept but basically you can both move the little fretlets up and down the slots on the bridge BUT you can also move the bridge itself by just sliding it up, down - straight or diagonally.

Now - it is admittedly a bit trial and error, but it is very unlikely that there isn't a combination of fretlet positions AND bridge position that wouldn't get you to an intonation on each string that is pretty much spot on.

There are a number of ways of getting there.  This is just one:

  • Personally, I would start with the positions of the fretlets like this above - one in each slot diagonally with the G closest to the nut.
  • I would intonate the G by sliding the G side of the bridge towards or away from the tailstock
  • Once intonated, I would pop a little bit of masking tape on the body to mark where this position is
  • Then, keeping the G side of the bridge in the place I'd just put it, I would then move the E side of the bridge backwards or forwards until the E intonates
  • I would mark that too with a bit of masking tape
  • I would then check the intonation of the middle two strings and move the fretlets of those to intonate them, leaving the bridge itself at whatever angle it ended up with over the first 4 steps

Generally the middle two strings will intonate with fretlets in one of those four slots

But if they don't - that is, if the intonation range of the middle two strings is too coarse, I would:

  • Move the fretlet of the E string up one slot
  • Re-intonate the E as above, keeping the G side of the bridge where it originally was, next to it's bit of masking tape
  • Now see if the middle two strings will intonate with the choice of slots for the fretlets

As I say, it's a bit trial and error, but remember you only really have to do this once!

Once it is spot on, personally I would commit sacrilege and pop a tiny sharpie dot either side of the bridge so I could always find that position again!  :)

Different kinds of bridges really aren't an option on a violin bass - it is designed to have this curved, sliding bridge and almost all other bridge designs are either flat bottomed or wrong height and, worse, mean drilling holes in the very thin, curved top of the bass (and probably wouldn't work anyway).

Incidentally, Jazz guitars often have this kind of sliding bridge (and they don't even have the adjustable fretlets) as do, of course, violins, cello's and those types of instruments.

 

Hope this helps!  :)

Edited by Andyjr1515

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