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simon_says

Ibanez bridge conundrum

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I bought an Ibanez SR1500 second hand about 10 years ago and, as it is my only bass, I have been more than happy with it.  I believe it dates from around the early 90s and was quite good in its time.  I have always wondered why the strings are not aligned down the center of the pole pieces on the pickups (see picture)1123362574_SR1500bridgequestion.thumb.png.2bedd8bae818c0a732c86f1a992f5b7c.png.  The rectangular bridge with 90 degree corners (which looks as though it is correct from looking at original marketing flyers) sits in a slightly larger routed hole with rounded corners.  Should I replace the bridge so that the strings are centered on the pickups, will it improve the sound and where could I get a new bridge from?

Any thoughts appreciated.  Many thanks

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The bridge is the correct Accucast B IV bridge. It’s possible the route is to allow for the previous Omni-adjust model they used on the SRs and the route is as they were transitioning from one to the other but it’s no biggie either way. You will not notice a difference in sound if you try to realign it. It’s fine as it is, it really is. Here is an example of both.

7FE1C1B4-74AC-4617-BF80-7B4CBFAD67D6.jpeg

8B1310C0-BFF1-425E-97C5-0971EC8CFC22.jpeg

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It'll make no discernable difference to the sound, purely visual. 

Looking at the J pickup, the E and G string are both off centre of the pole pieces towards the centre line of the bass, so to centre them in the pole pieces would mean changing to a wider string spacing, which could then possibly give you problems with the strings being to close to the edge of the fretboard. 

Best left alone. 

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Put a piece of black electrician's tape along the pick-up; you won't see the 'mis-alignment' then. :|

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A huge bug bear of mine, personally. Surely if the strings aren't aligned perfectly, this makes a difference in how they vibrate in the magnetic field - e.g. a string directly over a pole piece will vibrate differently than a string centred between two pole pieces due to different magnetic properties applying in each example. I've always admired Sadowsky for their consistency in alignment :)

IMG_7317.JPG.1df5ac908427b8355e23ebd34db19557.jpeg

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14 hours ago, Doctor J said:

The bridge is the correct Accucast B IV bridge. It’s possible the route is to allow for the previous Omni-adjust model they used on the SRs and the route is as they were transitioning from one to the other but it’s no biggie either way. You will not notice a difference in sound if you try to realign it. It’s fine as it is, it really is. Here is an example of both.

7FE1C1B4-74AC-4617-BF80-7B4CBFAD67D6.jpeg

The Omni-Adjust (Gotoh 206) is actually narrower than the Accu-cast B IV, so it's unlikely the routing was made for that bridge.

The Omni-Adjust was my favourite bridge Ibanez ever used, with everything adjustable and firmly locking into place. I had one on my 1987 SR800LE. 

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4 hours ago, acidbass said:

... if the strings aren't aligned perfectly, this makes a difference in how they vibrate in the magnetic field...

This is undoubtedly true, but whether the 'difference' is better or not is debatable. What counts from a sonic perspective, in my view, is what the instrument sounds like. If it sounds good, then that's fine, I'd say. I can understand the visual aspect, although that's not something I suffer from. Pick-ups don't need visible pole-pieces at all, so buying pick-ups with covers, or even with 'bar' magnets, would solve that issue, if issue there is.
Just sayin'; we're all different. ('Better or not' is equally debatable :) ...)

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1 hour ago, Dad3353 said:

This is undoubtedly true, but whether the 'difference' is better or not is debatable. What counts from a sonic perspective, in my view, is what the instrument sounds like. If it sounds good, then that's fine, I'd say. I can understand the visual aspect, although that's not something I suffer from. Pick-ups don't need visible pole-pieces at all, so buying pick-ups with covers, or even with 'bar' magnets, would solve that issue, if issue there is.
Just sayin'; we're all different. ('Better or not' is equally debatable :) ...)

Exactly this. Think about all those boutique "scatter-wound" pickups which are prized for their sound, whereas evenly wound pickups from an engineering PoV ought to be better.

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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I guess the issue is more aesthetic than sonic so Dad's black tape solution is probably the best. Once you have seen the offset it isn't possible to un-see it though! 

As always, I was looking for equipment related reasons as to why my bass playing from string to string is a little uneven in amplitude so clutching at the bridge straw seemed a good idea. What can I blame next??? 

Cheers 

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