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Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

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Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

Postby Beate Ritzert » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:59 pm

Maybe it is better to post it here - the project will be very unconventional but closer to an archtop than to a semi solid. I am planning a Bass VI with fanned frets. The current sketch of my ideas (the shape is a design i did when i was 15):

Image

It will be massive beneath the bridge, and, like my very first successful guitar have two parallel braces on the bottom plate which also define the stability of the construction while the top between bridge and neck will be able to move freely.

A Bass VI is a Baritone guitar tuned as deep as a bass with two additional strings, EADGBE, one octave below a guitar. It needs strings with small ballends ans of course appropiate strings (Low E 0.095"). It also has a narrow guitar like string spacing. In this example i would probably have to look for strings for a Schecter Hellcat VI. Alternatively for a Bass VI or a Beatles bass with two additional strings for an archtop guitar. The string height is guitar like on the treble side, but of course bass like on the bass side. Shortscale bass like, i.e. with slightly larger string height than usual. And that makes the matter difficult.

Now i am in search of suitable (and affordable) single bridges. For guitar.

What i know:

Hipshot: that's a traditional Strat bridge as a set of singles. Hard to buy from Germany. Moreover: strat bridges are a nightmare in connection with bass strings. The thick E-string must be heavily bent.

ABM-Müller: easy to buy, pretty. It is unclear wether the adjustability is sufficient, especially in string height - which is critical for bass strings in a guitar bridge. And i doubt there will be enough space between saddle and string holder. Too narrow for the low E.

Kahler: Similar to ABM, and harder to come by.

All of those would have to be modified at least to mount the low E string.

Is anyone aware of other possibilities? I would actually prefer single bridges over the usual integration of bridge and tailpiece. That would allow me to make an arched top.
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Re: Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:18 am

Beate - I have a Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI (which I love). One of the most common modifications done almost out-of-the-box is replacement of the bridge, because Fender copied their original that had some intonation issues. The one I installed was the "Staytrem" bridge. It's designed as a "rocking" bridge to accommodate the tremolo, and requires a stop-tailpiece which seems to be consistent with your design. However, I see no reason that it wouldn't be possible to figure a way to mount it as a "hardtail".

Also, as to the strings, I use La Bella flat-wounds, but they also make round-wound versions.

I understand that Kalium also makes Bass VI sets, but have no experience with them.
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Re: Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

Postby Beate Ritzert » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:36 am

Steve,

i have already done a conversion which i love, too. This one, i use it with LaBella Flats as well, the shorter version for the Hellcat VI:

Image

Please note the strat bridge which is positioned in a way that the adjustment is only needed for fine tuning of the compensation.

The key difficulty in my project arises from the fanned fret concept of this project. These more or less require the use of a fixed bridge (or something custom made). And there i do not find something suitable, except, maybe, Rick Toone's hybrid bridge - but that does not look as if it was more than a prototype.
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Re: Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

Postby Steve Sawyer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:14 pm

Beate - my apologies. Fanned frets. I missed that in your OP. While looking up Rick Toone's bridge I found http://fanned-fretinnovations.com/ which seems to have some interesting options if you haven't already found them.
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Re: Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

Postby Jason Rodgers » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:38 am

There are some single-string, ABM copies made in China that can be found on amazon or ebay. They aren't too bad, and I bought a 5-string pack for under $25USD, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

Postby Brian Evans » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:50 am

When I googled single string bass bridge saddle, I found many versions available, in different sizes. Not sure why they wouldn't work aside from availability and price, I guess. Some were quite pricey. Example http://www.bestbassgear.com/single-stri ... ridges.htm
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Re: Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

Postby Peter Wilcox » Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:09 am

Jason Rodgers wrote:There are some single-string, ABM copies made in China that can be found on amazon or ebay. They aren't too bad, and I bought a 5-string pack for under $25USD, if I remember correctly.

The ones I got from China had a very limited vertical adjustment (about 1/8"), and I had to widen the saddle slots for the E and B strings (5 string bass.)
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Re: Bridge for semi hollow Bass VI with fanned frets

Postby Beate Ritzert » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:36 pm

That project needs guitar bridges because of its string spacing, which is that of a guitar.
The price for the ABM3210 would not frighten me if i knew it fitted. But ABM publishes contradicting specs: adjustment height +2.25 mm resp. +3.5 mm, and it is not clear that a 0.096" string will really fit into the slot, although that is the given limit. The K.O criterium is the adjustment height.

I am short before trying to do my own bridge although i am really bad in working on metal...
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