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BRIDGES: Everything I can think to mention about them
Recent News and Updates
They're Back!
Our Leather Edge Protectors (Side Bumpers), which have been unavailable for several months, are BACK! The manufacturer who was making them suddenly stopped, but we've made arrangements to get them again. We should have them in stock sometime this week. Get your orders in, we'll get them out the door as soon as they arrive!
NEW Grace Design BiX is IN STOCK
The New Grace Design BiX has arrived! Finally, studio-grade preamplification for your bass (or other acoustic instruments) in a compact, road-worthy enclosure. With only the essential features, the BiX puts top-shelf boutique sound into your rig for under $300. Now available for immediate shipment.
Doubler IN STOCK
The New Doubler
The new Euphonic Audio Doubler
improves upon already great sound and features. We have the new amp IN STOCK and ready to ship!
Traditional NXTs IN STOCK
Get yours now!
This is an amazing value -- for our upright bass-playing friends who want an EUB that can "sub" for the big bass, we've done all the upgrades for you -- and even put a custom "traditional" finish on the bass.

You get all the modern ergonomics and portability of the NS Design Electric Uprights, but with the Traditional string set for a more authentic doublebass sound (and bowability). We've also had NS Design upgrade the tuners to the CR-spec Schallers. And the cool traditional brown finish, over the veneer, looks classy and traditional -- and we even include a set of f-hole decals you can optionally install on the bass.

The four-string is the NEW NXTa "active" model, with the built-in flash-rechargeable buffer circuit. We have a limited number of 5-strings left in the original passive design, and those are the last of the traditional 5-strings.

You can't get this exclusive model anywhere else, folks.

Read more!

Recently Added Products
Fancy Exotic Wood Dress-up Tailpieces for Bass
Fancy Exotic Wood Dress-up Tailpieces for Bass
This item is made in USA!These gorgeous American-made tailpieces are made of beautiful hardwoods to provide an eye-catching upgrade to your doublebass. Several options available, beautifully made and hand-finished.
Fiberglas Hardshell Suspension CASE for 3/4 size Upright Bass
Fiberglas Hardshell Suspension CASE for 3/4 size Upright Bass
I've often been asked about Hard Cases for bass. This is a real fiberglas case with tons of wheels, and a suspension system to protect your bass. Not something you'd want for taking your bass to local gigs, but it's the best choice we have available for plane or shipping travel...
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
Genzler Bass Array Magellan 350/BA 10 1x10 Small Combo
The wizard who brought you those great sounding amps (with a similar name) is back! This small combo has the flexibility, hi-fi transparent sound, and great design -- in a portable package -- that you would expect from Jeff Genzler...
• 15.5”W x 15”D x 16”H, 25 Lbs • 175w (350 w/added cab) and 1x10 speaker with array
Note: If I waited until I thought I'd answered every question here, this page would never be posted. So here are my comments so far, in no particular order:

Where should the bridge be located on my bass?

There are two cuts in each f-hole; your bridge's feet should be centered on the two inside cuts. Your bass is designed for that placement; I know some folks move it up or down from that position to adjust string height, but moving it away from the correct position is not a good idea for a variety of reasons, and it could "test" your instrument's structural integrity. The bridge should also be centered on the body, assuming your bass is symmetrical- if it isn't, that's another issue.

Can I buy a new (adjustable or regular) bridge to fit my bass?

No. New bridges do not come in pre-cut sizes to fit each instrument, as basses differ from one another. You will find all replacement bridges to be taller than your current bridge -- they always need to be cut, trimmed, and shaped to fit. Neck angles as well as other construction details results in different bridge heights and widths. The key issue for choosing a replacement bridge is the width of the feet (see next item for details).

How do I choose the right size bridge?

Look or feel inside your bass through the E string f-hole, and you will see the bass bar, a long piece of wood glued to the inside of the bass top. If you measure from the middle of the bar to the mid-point of the bass and double the measurement, you now know the correct measurement of the bridge's feet when measured from center to center to fit your bass. Choose a replacement bridge in that range (most basses are 3/4 size, with bridge feet four inches apart when measured from center to center). Height shouldn't be an issue as most bridge blanks are much higher than needed.

These are the measurements (approximate) of the bridges I sell from bridge feet center to center:

3/4 size:
4 inches
1/4 size:
3 3/4 inches
1/2 size:
3 7/8 inches
7/8-4/4 size:
4 3/4 inches

Fit: How well should the feet fit?

The bridge feet should be perfectly shaped to match the top of the bass, for maximum sound transfer. There are tricks to do this; email me if you'd like to take a look at the installation instructions I've written, which include some of these "tricks of the trade."
There are bridges with feet that swivel, but I don't carry those types of bridges. Even though the feet on those bridges have the ability to swivel, most of the time they still do not fit the top perfectly; they still require fitting for the best results. That fit is a critical ingedient in acheiving the best sound from your bass. The top part also still needs to be cut and shaped on that type of bridge, so given the work you still have to do, IMHO it's hardly worth the much higher cost for the fancy swivel-foot bridges.

Do I need an adjustable bridge?
    There are many reasons for installing an adjustable bridge; here are some of them:

    Carved basses generally move with the seasons, and adjusters allow the player to keep a consistent string height as the bass expands or shrinks.

    Whether carved or laminated, some players prefer different action for differing styles. Adjusters allow you to make those changes for an amplified modern jazz gig on Friday night and an acoustiic bluegrass jam on Sunday.

    Some laminated basses also move a little, but regardless, sometimes it's good to be able to make minute adjustments to "fine tune" the bass to your preference. With a solid bridge, unless you're ready to break out the tools, whatever height to which the bridge is cut is the way it is.

Bridge height

    Don't make your bridge too short and action low at the bridge. Most players should leave enough height for good tone and room for string "bloom." If your bass is tough to play at the lower positions near the top of the fingerboard, it's the height of the nut that may need addressing-- lowering the bridge a little won't have a significant effect on the action at the nut.

Will adjusters affect the sound of my bass?

    Probably, everything does, but how much?? There is a link to a site (on my Double Bass Links Page) with a scientific study of the affects of adjusters of various materials, but I think you'll find most bassists have chosen adjustable bridges. I use adjustable bridges on my own basses and don't feel that I'm sacrificing much in the way of sound -- if I did, they wouldn't be on there.
The top of the bridge -- string spacing and slots
    The spacing of modern 3/4 size instruments varies from 7/8" to over one inch, and can be dependent on the fingerboard width and personal preference. One thing that should not be overruled is the depth of the indentations for the strings. That's right, indentations -- not slots! They should be no deeper than 1/2 the diameter of the string, enough to keep the string in place but not so deep as to "pinch" the string, which can interfere with tone. Too wide and you invite buzz. Round is a good shape, and it should be smooth and tapered on both sides, where the string enters and leaves the bridge. Sharp edges and narrow slots can snag or choke the string and damage it, as well as grab the bridge and move it as you tune. Graphite (rub some onto the position using a soft lead pencil) lubricates the slot and helps keep things smooth.
Tips for a healthy bridge
    Keep an eye on the attitude of the bridge; it should be perpendicular to the top of the bass. Over time, due to continued tuning along with the fact that no bassist can walk through a doorway three times without bumping into it at least once, bridges move. The usual result is a bridge leaning towards the fingerboard- not a good thing, as foot contact is important, and that lean may earn you a warped bridge. Readjust it as needed; loosening tension a little and applying a gentle karate chop (ouch, that hurt, maybe I'll be smart enough to use the spine of a book next time) at the top of the bridge to realign it is a good idea.

Products Related to This FAQ

The Fine Print:

The information contained herein is based on what's in my brain — and/or my observations and opinions from my personal experiences (and those of Bob, before me) — as of this moment today, and is subject to change. I'm sure that a great deal more information and detail could be added — but the intent of these writings is to present easily understood, quick FAQs, to address common questions and improve the reader's general knowledge.

What's written here is by no means any kind of authoritative absolute answer, for I am not the world's greatest authority on bass (not even close), or on much of anything else, for that matter. So, by all means, get a second opinion, and know that all the information provided here is for general informational purposes only. I am not providing professional advice; be aware that, where applicable, any information acted upon is at your own risk.

I simply and sincerely hope the information and opinions here are helpful to you on your quest for knowledge about the bass and related subjects... that's the point!

I welcome email with dissenting and additional viewpoints/information/updates that help improve my personal awareness and these content pages. If you have a question that you think belongs here, please let me know.