Hardware for Basses
These hardware items for basses consists of Bridges, Nuts, Machine Tuners, String Hold
Downs, Strap Connectors, Output Jacks, and other miscellaneous parts. However,
some of these parts can affect the sound and playability of the instrument
significantly. Below are two pictures of Gotoh Machine Head Tuners on a
5-string Jazz Bass Neck.
On the left side of the right photo is string hold down bar between the nut and
Below is a picture of a black plastic nut for a five string Warmoth Jazz Bass
Neck. The nut is out of the slot and ready for installation. Notice
that there are pencil marks in the slot on the neck. These were used to
determine where the slots in the nut should placed.
Bridges have a huge impact on the sound of the bass. There was a time when I
had heard that changing hardware items like the bridge or tuners, would change
the sound, but I did not really believe that it would be that noticeable, until
I tried some experiments.
I have a Warmoth 5-string Jazz Bass, which was a "build-it-at-home-project" of mine, where I had purchased the raw parts to build this bass. For the bridge I chose a Schauller Chrome Bridge, because I liked the design and the mechanics of the adjustments. The sound of the bass though was weak for a Jazz Bass. My good friend Dan Mohler (a great bassist and set-up specialist) loaned me a Wilkeson Bridge for the bass. He said to try it out and see if makes any difference, since he was sure it would. I reluctantly put the Wilkeson on the bass...WOW! I was really surprised that the bass sounded so much better and the attach of each note was stronger. I immediately called Dan and told him about the difference. He told me that if I put a Carvin Hipshot Bridge on that bass it would sound even better. So I ordered a Carvin Hipshot, and sure enough he was right. I have since put that same bridge on my Schecter Stilleto 5-string bass. The Schecter came with S-Tech type (individual bridge pieces for each string). The Carvin Hipshot made a good bass sound even better, and it is also easier to adjust the saddles on the unit for correct string length adjustments. See photo below.
Below is the nut and string hold down near the head of a five strings Jazz
Bass. The nut is in the center of the photo. The string hold down is
towards the upper left corner and has two black screws with it.
Below are some string ferrals which are placed below the bridge, so that the
strings are fed through the back of the bass, then up and over the bridge and
across the finger board to the head stock. There are five string ferrals in
the photo below. On the right side is the black rear cover for the
electronics inside the bass.
My main purpose for installing these string ferrals under the bridge was to
accommodate the bare core Super Step strings by LaBella. Currently I only
pull the B string through the back of the bass. This allows for a short
length (about 1/2 inch) of the bare core to be exposed past the bridge. If
I place this string in the bridge, as I would normally do, the exposed bare core
would about 1-1/2. This causes the string sound to loose to much bottom
end (low frequencies). When being fed through the back of the bass, and
exposing only about 1/2 inch past the bridge saddle, the sound is almost
For locations to find and purchase bass
, check out the Resources
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