Changing Bridge Question

Quick summary for those who aren’t following my posts like they’re a soap opera:
Got an Ibanez SR500EPB off of Reverb a month or so ago; love it, but the E string sounded muted as if you lightly held a finger on the string just inside the nut when you played it. After much troubleshooting, I narrowed it down to a bad saddle in the bridge, and “fixed the glitch” by swapping the E and G saddles. I ordered a new bridge from Ibanez, and am ready to put it on.

Here’s my question:

Should I use the screws that came with the new bridge, or the ones that were already installed with the old bridge? Or does it not matter? My thought here is that I don’t want to do anything that would cause the new bridge - or the installation of it - to be anything but a perfect solution, so I don’t want to cause threading problems or anything.

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If the new bridge is the same as the old one I’d expect it came with the same screws. Compare the screws to each other. If they are the same it shouldn’t be critical which ones go back in. Spring for the new ones if the old ones show some wear or are striped out.

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I just studied a pic of that bass and I can’t see how swapping the saddles between the E and G strings helped, but if you say it did, then that’s great @timsgeekery . … :slight_smile:

Why would you change the bridge? Especially if is it the exact same bridge? :thinking:

I’ll go along with what @rockaholic555 just said.

Cheers
Joe

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Generally, I keep old with old and new with new.
But that is to put things back if I decide to sell.
If the new screws thread tight, you are good to go.
If they look bigger and are hard to put in, try the old ones but make sure the bridge is tight.
If it isn’t, you might have some drilling to do.

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So, I think that the saddle had become worn down under the thick E string and it was no longer providing a clear, I guess, line of demarcation for the string. It didn’t affect the thinner G string… at least, it didn’t affect it to the point where I can hear or feel it. But yeah, it definitely worked. As soon as I swapped the saddles, the E string was no longer muted and thumpy, but ringing clean and clear like the other strings.

I put a lot of time and effort on this issue and tested EVERYTHING else. It wasn’t the strings (the issue persisted across several different sets by different manufacturers of different sizes), it wasn’t the nut (I could cleanly fret the string at the first fret and it would still be muted and thumpy), it wasn’t the pickups or the EQ (the string was muted and thumpy unplugged as well as amped), and if I wedged a small, thin piece of metal under the string just before the bridge saddle - effectively creating a nut right in front of the saddle - the string was no longer muted or thumpy.

Because the bridge has a bad saddle, and I don’t want it to create more problems down the road. I suppose I could have saved some money and just gotten a new saddle, but I don’t know what caused the saddle to go bad in the first place.

Because the body is arched, and if I didn’t get the exact same bridge I’d have to deal with routing out more space, or filling in unused space. And I’m not a woodworker, so I didn’t want to have to deal with that.

My goal here was to make the bass work like new and not worry about it failing later.

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I have already learned that all bridges are not interchangeable, the hard way.
The Aerodyne for instance have a routed recess as well which makes for fun.
Some have put on BadAss bridges but this effects the overall height of the strings vs. the neck.

I learned (here was the hard way) that on the Frank Bello bass, you cannot put a BadAss Bridge on it and get the E or A string to intonate, not enough room to go back far enough. So I have a spare black Badass bridge for another project someday now.
Measure once, order twice.

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I ran into this same problem before on a couple of my bass’s. Didn’t replace the bridge or change saddles - just replaced the strings and all was good. Maybe when you changed saddles, just the un-tensioning and then re- tensioning of the “E” string helped remove the problem. Typically what I’ve found when I have a string that sounds “Dead” or “muted”, I always go for the string first before anything else. Just my 2 cents….

Keep on Thumpin’!
Lanny

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Yeah, I tried 3 different sets of strings, of different sizes and manufacturers, each time setting action and intonating. I even removed the saddle in question and cleaned it to insure there wasn’t any gunk causing the problem between one of those changes. It was definitely the saddle.

It would have been so much nicer if it was just a string. Then I wouldn’t be dealing with changing the bridge. :smiley:

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Why not just change the saddle?

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I got this bass used, and as I mention above I don’t know what caused the saddle to go bad in the first place. So I don’t know if the fault ultimately lies in the bridge itself, or if there are other saddles about to befall the same fate. I don’t want to have to worry about that later.

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These aren’t really. Moving parts. My guess is it got banged really hard and deformed just enough to make trouble.

That’s probably exactly what happened. But… I’d rather be safe than sorry.

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OK . . . well, thanks for your answers and wish you continued success!

Cheers
Joe

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Kudos to the previous owner. I’ve never replaced a worn out bridge/saddle before how much playing you have to put through that bridge to wore the metal down, lol.

I’ve learn now that the first thing to check when the string sound unusual is the string itself, which usually turned out to be the last place I check. Dead strings don’t always sound the same.

Mmm… I don’t know if I’d go that far. I think the previous owner abused it a bit; I don’t think the damage I see on the instrument - on the bridge and other places - is from playing. As @John_E said above, I think it was banged really hard. There’s some other indications of that as well, and while the description of the bass when I got it on Reverb was accurate, it was a bit jacked up setup- and playability-wise when it arrived.

I did that. I think I mentioned above that I tried three different sets of strings from three different manufacturers and it persisted through every string I put on it.