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upright got screwed


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I brought my upright in to get setup and looked over like you guys told me to. They guy called me up later telling me that he was going to sand down the bridge to make it play better. I said alright, whatever you think makes it better man. He plays upright himself. I got the bass back, the bridge was sanded and moved farther down, it must have been too far up i suppose. I play the bass and it sounded absolutely horrible. The g string had buzzes everywhere, worst round the 7th position and the carried over with the other strings as well. The E string sounded really muddy, and the volume was gone. I dont know what im gonna do. I think he sanded it down way to much. Can i get this guy? Or do i have to buy a new bridge.

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Wow...that guy really screwed your bass up. Who did you take it to? How much money did you spend?


Does your bass have adjusters on the bridge? If so, raising the action somewhat may help things...


In any case, bring it right back to him and show him what it sounds like. Tell him you want it fixed for free. If he refuses, take your business elsewhere from now on.


Perhaps he figured you'd like it if the strings "played better" with super low action....

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Lots of parameters at play here.


First of all, I assume this guy is a qualified repairman at a music store. If the bridge was properly cut and placed initially, the guy may have messed up and he'd never see my bass again. However, the bass and bridge may have had problems that he couldn't fix without a new bridge. If so, he should have told you.


Second, the fingerboard has to be planed and the proper camber carved in it. If this wasn't done, that will dramatically effect how low the action can be. (Some fingerboards cannot be carved, either because the ebony is too thin, the fingerboard is warped at the overhang, or the fingerboard is plastic.) Also, the nut heighth has to be correct. I suspect strongly that your fingerboard has major problems and needs to be planed. You mention buzzes "everywhere" which are indicative of high spots. Also, Seventh position is in an area of the fingerboard unsupported by the neck. Often, especially when people carry the bass by it's fingerboard (I was taught to do it that way initially!) the board can warp badly.


Third, check that the bridge is more or less aligned. The little notches in the f holes should align with the center of the foot of the bridge...more or less.


Fourth, make sure the soundpost is still standing, and that it is just below the foot of the bridge. The foot should not be directly over it...the soundpost should be offset a tiny bit.


Fifth, thinning the bridge will not effect the action...it will make the instrument a bit brighter. Unless the bridge top or feet were cut, the old action is restorable. However, the tech may have noticed the bridge was on the fingerboard side of the notches. I have seen many basses whose bridges were too short when supplied by the factory...in this case, on initial set up somebody sets the bridge too close to the fingerboard...intonation is off.


Sixth, there is a direct relation ship between string heigth and volume. If the string action is low, the bass is softer.


I suspect this bridge is not very good (I don't remember what kind of bass it is, or where you got it.) If the bridge is a Dresden or equivalent highly flecked maple, you can have heighth adjusters installed for probably $75. If the bridge is not a quality bridge, you should have one installed by a competent repairman.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.


Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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