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Oct 7, 2022 - 3:22:26 PM
40 posts since 8/14/2018

I currently have a low mass 11/16” Snuffy Smith bridge on my Stelling and have been digging the tone with the tailpiece adjusted for minimal downforce.

Every now and then I’d go for double-stop bends on the 1rst and 2nd or 2nd/3rd strings, with both strings being pushed upwards a semi tone (or more, sometimes one half & one whole step, etc)…. and in doing so, the whole bridge would occasionally slide upwards past its natural center point, throwing everything out of tune.

It’s happened enough that I’ve now increased the downforce on the tailpiece and for the most part that seems to have helped… but… I feel like doing so may have added a bit more sustain, or somehow changed the tone in a (admittedly slight) way I don’t quite like as much…

Has anyone else solved this sort of issue in some other way? Perhaps sort of sticky residue under the feet of the bridge that would increase friction without affecting tone much? It’s not a thaaaat big a deal and I can totally live with it as it sits now, but curious…

Edited by - TimFoster on 10/07/2022 15:24:41

Oct 7, 2022 - 4:16 PM

2158 posts since 11/17/2018

I have my tailpiece set 1/16" above the tension hoop (not touching the hoop) so I don't need as much down pressure, and my bridge doesn't move.

You could also "rough up" the bridge feet slightly with a rasp for a better grip.

Edited by - OldNavyGuy on 10/07/2022 16:18:57

Oct 7, 2022 - 4:38:57 PM

40 posts since 8/14/2018

Thanks Jim. If I’m feeling adventurous I might try to rough up the bottom a bit. It’s such a light, skinny bridge, there’s just not a whole lot of surface area to the feet…

I’m not even all that bend-crazy, but it happened at a gig (where I tend to be even more over-aggressive due to stage “excitement”) and… well the song certainly didn’t get any better after that lol.

Oct 7, 2022 - 4:44:34 PM

2158 posts since 11/17/2018

quote:
Originally posted by TimFoster

Thanks Jim. If I’m feeling adventurous I might try to rough up the bottom a bit. It’s such a light, skinny bridge, there’s just not a whole lot of surface area to the feet…


I wouldn't "remove" any wood, just a slight rough up...practice on an old bridge, and then see if you can move it doing bends.

"Light and skinny" might also be contributing...although if it's a Snuffy New Gen 11/16 that Mike Smith makes (I've got one of his 5/8), it's pretty sturdy.

Edited by - OldNavyGuy on 10/07/2022 16:50:26

Oct 7, 2022 - 4:53:32 PM

2158 posts since 11/17/2018

The picture at the bottom of this page on Mike's site shows what I was talking about having the tailpiece mounted slightly above the tension hoop...

kateyzbb.com/about

Edited by - OldNavyGuy on 10/07/2022 16:53:59

Oct 7, 2022 - 5:26:45 PM
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13691 posts since 6/2/2008

I believe a stock Stelling tailpiece bolts to the pot in a way that doesn't allow changing the overall height relative to the tension hoop. It mounts at one foxed height. The tailpiece head is angle adjustable.

Oct 7, 2022 - 5:33:32 PM
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74 posts since 4/26/2018

Chalk on the bottom of the bridge feet. Soft chalk. That is how we keep violin family bridges from moving.

Oct 7, 2022 - 5:49:14 PM
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185 posts since 8/31/2015

A nice trick I've used many times is using spray adhesive on the feet of the bridge. Apply it (lightly) then let it dry overnight, the next day detack the adhesive on the feet on a piece of paper or something similar to prevent accidentally gluing the bridge to the head and voila- you've got a bridge that will stay in place even under the most aggressive bends and no downward pressure from the tailpiece. The bridge will still be easily removable and won't leave any marks/adhesive on the head. I've found this process to work like a charm.
-TD

Oct 7, 2022 - 6:35:40 PM
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40 posts since 8/14/2018

That’s true Ken — I’m unable to change the tailpiece height relative to the tension hoop… only the angle/pitch.

Thank you all for some great advice here! I think I’m going to give the spray adhesive a try tomorrow — I have a can or two leftover from tacking up soundproofing panels. Will see how that goes and take it from there!

Oct 7, 2022 - 8:00:03 PM
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521 posts since 1/24/2004

In the 70s I used a smear of honey on the bottom of the feet, which worked for me.

Edited by - Tim Mullins on 10/07/2022 20:04:09

Oct 7, 2022 - 8:49:08 PM
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2158 posts since 11/17/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Tim Mullins

In the 70s I used a smear of honey on the bottom of the feet, which worked for me.


Did that work when playing in the key of B(ee)?

Oct 7, 2022 - 9:54:39 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

5322 posts since 1/5/2005

Whatever you decide to put on the bridge's bottom, or on the head, make sure it's stuff you can easily remove if it sticks too tight else it might make moving/sliding the bridge back into position a really hard thing to do - latex paint sure was not the thing to use as that gave me a real hard time...

Edited by - Bart Veerman on 10/07/2022 21:57:17

Oct 8, 2022 - 9:23:21 AM

40 posts since 8/14/2018

I have to play tomorrow afternoon, so I’m going to leave it be for now…

But tomorrow night I figure I’ll give some of these ideas a shot. I’ll ramp up in terms of “severity” — chalk, honey, spray adhesive, rasping the bottom a bit…. I’m sure one of these will do the trick and will report back!

Oct 8, 2022 - 11:10:27 AM

2892 posts since 4/16/2003

If other attempts don't work...

... you might try a drop of white (Elmer's) glue behind the bridge.

Oct 8, 2022 - 1:01:37 PM

76905 posts since 5/9/2007

Maybe the tone problem isn't because of the tailpiece.
Try loosening the head 1/4 turn on all the hooks.

Oct 8, 2022 - 7:06:33 PM
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Players Union Member

rvrose

USA

902 posts since 6/29/2007

quote:
Originally posted by OldNavyGuy
quote:
Originally posted by Tim Mullins

In the 70s I used a smear of honey on the bottom of the feet, which worked for me.


Did that work when playing in the key of B(ee)?

 


I wonder if it will buzz?

Oct 9, 2022 - 3:09:36 AM
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Players Union Member

Helix

USA

16086 posts since 8/30/2006

Never harm a Bee if He is going anywhere.
You might be breaking up some fantastic insect love affair.
B careful.

Chalk.

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