Single String (thru body) Bridge Grounding - How in the heck do you do it?

PrestonSF

Active member
Messages
56
How does one ground the Single String Bass Bridges?  Without being sloppy or doing extra routing?

(I have a Lakland with a string thru body bridge, and I love the sound, but on top it has one solid plate... the Warmoth single string bridges are individual pieces of finished metal...  wtf?)


Sorry if this is a silly question, and thanks in advance for the input!

 

ByteFrenzy

Senior member
Messages
1,177
Couple of options, I think some are even mentioned on the Warmoth pages about the bridge. First would be to ground just one individual bridge, and use a metal full width string guide à la Floyd Rose to make the connection to the other strings. Second has the drawback of being visible, you'd run a single strand of coppper wire along the top of the bass under the bridges and cover it with some transparent laquer for protection. Third would be to rout a narrow and shallow channel connecting the bridges, install a ground wire and fill the slot again. Final option is to leave out the ground wire to the bridge altogether. A lot of schematics with active components (pups and/or preamp) don't show or need the bridge ground anymore. My Thundermoth does not have the bridges grounded and its as quiet as any other of my basses.
 
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8,318
ByteFrenzy said:
First would be to ground just one individual bridge, and use a metal full width string guide à la Floyd Rose to make the connection to the other strings.

A brass nut would work along those lines as well.
 

dbw

Senior member
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4,531
I managed to do it invisibly... I drilled small holes between each of the bolt-holes and put some strands of speaker wire between each pair of adjacent bolts. 
 

PrestonSF

Active member
Messages
56
dbw said:
I managed to do it invisibly... I drilled small holes between each of the bolt-holes and put some strands of speaker wire between each pair of adjacent bolts. 

That's kinda what I was thinking... anyways, thanks for the advice.  Always good to hear about a good/bad result before you try it.

 

PrestonSF

Active member
Messages
56
greywolf said:
Didn't need to ground my with Barts/pre-amp  quiet as a church mouse

You obviously aren't playing next to a computer screen in a city with a 100 year old power grid.  :icon_smile:
 

ByteFrenzy

Senior member
Messages
1,177
PrestonSF said:
greywolf said:
Didn't need to ground my with Barts/pre-amp  quiet as a church mouse

You obviously aren't playing next to a computer screen in a city with a 100 year old power grid.   :icon_smile:

Active pickups / active preamps actually CAN be completely quiet even in extremely unkind environments. If you look at the schematics on the website of the company who builds them, and it doesn't show a ground connection to the bridge, you can be pretty sure none is required.
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
The key is the active pickups part. note that 95%+ of the bass pickups on the market are passive, not active.

I had a somewhat similar situation on a bass build a couple years back. this build had an Macassar Ebony nut at one end and a bone acoustic style piezo bridge at the other that required thru-body stringing. The only grounding solution was to ground the body string ferrules (back side of the body.)  To accomplish this I routed a small channel under the bridge and then ran a ground wire to each ferrule. I secured each wire across the recessed ferrule spotface so the seated ferrule would be FIRMLY in contact, and then pressed the ferrules into place. I connected all of the ground leads into a single lead under the bridge, and then ran this single lead to common ground inside the control cavity

This worked perfectly, but it was a lot of work (planning and installation) to get it right on the first try

Depending on your skill abd available tools, you could do a similar thing with the individual bridge saddles. The difference would be to bring all of the ground leads into the control cavity if you didn't use a single exposed grounding wire (i.e. no plastic covering) daisy chained thru all of the bridge saddle seats

all the best,

R
 
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