General tech questions

Setting up a floating bridge? Measurement?

1

Was thinking of tweaking the bridge a little on my Silver Falcon. So is there any special things to have in mind when to do this?

As I understand there should be the same distance to the nut from the 12 fret as to the bridge?

Ill guess this is for the lower strings but how do I measure for the higher strings? As there is an angle on the bridge placement.

Would be nice with som help on this! Thanks!!!

3

Hi LL,

In short:

Most bridges will be about 1,5mm farther than 2X distance from the FRONT EDGE of the nut to the CENTER of the 12th fret for the High E and about 4.5mm for the low E.

From this STARTING position you can check intonation and adjust accordingly.

Comparing the fretted 12th to the harmonic 12th is the classic method but has its downsides.

For a bar bridge I suggest instead tuning up then checking fretted notes on the B and A strings between the 7th and 17th frets, then adjusting the bridge position for a "best fit" amongst a number of tested notes bretween the 7th and 17th frets. Forget the harmomnics.

The Mal setup overview is helpful to many and a genuine and hard effort to summarize the issues.

I do not agree at all with his comments on the Buzz Feiten system.

Anyway, good luck wth this.

4

A strobe tuner app is useful for this.

5

Ultimately, the actual measurements are much less important than that the guitar play in tune.

For that, you can put away the measuresticks and begin by placing the bridge so that the base is more or less positioned between the centerlines of the f-holes (assuming it's such a guitar*), with the bass side a little further from the nut than the treble side.

Then start the intonation process (using Mal's, chrisp2's, or other such instructions). Move the treble end of the bridge slightly to get results on the 1 & 2 strings, the bass end to get results on 5 & 6. (When moving one end, you keep the other end from moving; imagine the base has a pivot in the middle. Unless both sides are far out of whack, in which case, of course, you move the whole thing.)

It's an iterative process. Tune to pitch, check, bump a little as needed, retune, check again. Play a little, bump more, tune it, check it.

It takes much longer to talk about it than it does to do it. There's nothing magic about it, and no voodoo.


  • If it's not a f-hole guitar (and even if it is), I bet the guitar has some slight scuffing or a dull-ish patch on its top where the bridge has usually been set. It's a good bet it belongs right in that area, which makes it a good place to start.
8

Wherever the 12th fret and the 12th fret harmonic are the same. Use your tuner.

9

Yes I position the bridge by comparing the 12 harmonic with the fretted 12 note. I know there are other ways...all introduce error somewhere...so I go with what's easiest. It usually comes out 1/4" further back on the low End and 1/8" further back on the high E

10

I start by placing the floating bridge where the open, 12th fret and 12th fret harmonics all are the same. I do some fine tuning adjustment to get the 3rd fret notes in sync too since most open chords focus on the first 3 frets. It's a balancing act.


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