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Warwick Bridges- How They Work

Discussion in 'Non - Official Warwick Customer Support' started by TechJunky, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. TechJunky

    TechJunky

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    I've owned a good amount of Warwick's over the years, and have always done my own setups. So while I've understand how to make adjustments on Warwick bridges, I've only just recently taken one apart to see how it all went together and how it all worked. When I took one apart tonight, I took a few pictures and thought I'd post them up with a little explanation for those who were wondering what all the pieces were, and how it all functions as a unit. These are not great pictures as I took them in a hurry while working on a bass, so hopefully they're clear enough. Feel free to ask questions or request clearer pictures or different angles, and next time I have one of my basses torn down, I can take updated pictures.

    As with any project work on your instrument, if you don't feel comfortable doing the work, take it to a qualified luthier or tech. I make no guarantees for accuracy, and I am not employed by Warwick and am not liable for any damage or irreversible effects done to your instrument. In other words, don't blame me if you make a mistake! This just a helpful guide to help understand the inner workings of your bass a bit better.


    Here are all the pieces separated. From left to right we have:
    1.) Philips screws which hold the base plate to the bass body
    2.) Bridge bass plate
    3.) Allen screw which secure the top of the bridge to the base plate
    4.) Top of the bridge with the saddles
    The bass plate is firmly attached to the bass body with two screws. The top of the bridge is the part in which the saddles are located and what you see when you look at the bass itself.
    15270891046_9ac34da06a_b.jpg

    An alternate angle of the top of the bridge to show the 4 allen screws which adjust the height of the bridge as a whole unit. They are located at each of the four corners of the bridge. The two allen screws located in the picture between the bridge base plate and top of the bridge are used to lock the bridge in place once the height adjustment is complete.
    15293924315_a1fdb4766d_b.jpg

    A better picture to show the four height adjustment screws at the corners of the bridge.
    15107161039_fdebf67dd9_b.jpg

    Bridge components oriented but separated
    15107159069_37aa8ae427_b.jpg

    Now the bridge components are together as they would be in the bass.
    15290770561_6109909e2c_b.jpg

    Here is the bass with the entire bridge unit removed. The silver wire in the cavity is the grounding wire for the electronics.
    15107256050_79134d9459_b.jpg

    Here is the base plate put in place, and the second pictures is with the screws in place and tightened securely.
    15107205939_3b3997f98e_b.jpg
    15107248780_1985dc8cef_b.jpg

    Once the base plate is secured, you can now place the top of the bridge in place. Be sure the intonation screws are pointing towards the tail/bridge side of the bass.
    15107401877_21d9f8ff1b_b.jpg

    Insert the allen screws in the middle holes to secure the top of the bridge to the base plate. Personally, I tighten the screws down now since my basses are usually already set up and I don't tend to change string brands or gauges often. Even if I were changing the style of string, personally I still tend to secure the bridge together until I have the new strings installed. This way the bridge won't shift or move on me during string installation.
    15293957785_f022338cea_b.jpg
    15107193879_ef3ed64ab4_b.jpg

    To make adjustments on the saddle (for string spacing or height adjust), you must first loosen this allen screw on the side of the bridge for the respective string you wish to adjust.
    15270918056_a496ac18c3_b.jpg

    You can see here the saddle completely removed. Be careful not to loose this piece! It is best to make adjustments (in my opinion) with the strings installed but loose (do not make adjustments with string at high tension or tuned to pitch). The string will hold the saddle in place. Again, first loosen the side allen screw. Then, you can slide the string from side to side to achieve the string spacing you desire. Then, by adjusting the two allen screws on the top of the saddle, you can raise and lower the string. Just be sure to keep adjustments even and keep the saddle level. Once your adjustments are made, tighten the allen screw on the side of the saddle to lock everything in place again.
    15107233820_07929d976a_b.jpg

    And of course, intonation of each string can be easily adjusted with a screw drivers by turning the respective screws behind the bridge for each saddle. Also, as a note of my personal preference, I set the individual saddles to match the radius of the fingerboard first (which I tend to do before I install the strings...contradicting my previous statement), and then adjust the bridge as a whole unit to adjust my action. This makes it easier for me personally to keep everything even, make quick adjustments as necessary, and ensure the radius is correct. You certainly don't have to do it that way. Do whatever is easiest or most comfortable for yourself.

    I hope this helped illustrate all the components of a Warwick bridge to those who were curious. It's not rocket science, but it is, in my humble opinion), the best bass bridge design currently available due to the high level of adjustments available and the ability to lock everything down to prevent anything from moving once it is set. It takes a little more time to understand and be comfortable compared to alternate bridges, but once you learn the system and what adjustments are available, you won't settle for anything less!!
     
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  2. da-vonk

    da-vonk Warwick Enthusiast forevah

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    Great info and picz ... thanx !
     
  3. Gnermo

    Gnermo

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    Mods, sticky this!
     
  4. DemBoneZ

    DemBoneZ Supporting Member

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    So i was having an issue with my bridge, i brought a black bridge and it had the 4 grub screws in each corner. Issue is that 2 werel longer than the other 2. I gathered it would be the thick strings and the light strings, but when i was trying to set it up, no way worked at all. I ended up just buying the same sized screws and then everything worked.

    Question, is that normal?? or did they give me 2 incorrect screws with my bridge?
     
  5. Henrythe8

    Henrythe8 Dolphin Hoarder

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    That's weird. I noticed the different length for the necks (beware if you use a long one in the short one place, crack in the neck assured), but for the bridge...
    Just to be sure, it was only the bridge, not the bridge+tailpiece ? as the screws have different length and girth on those two.
     
  6. DemBoneZ

    DemBoneZ Supporting Member

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    Sorry Henry, i dont think i understood half of what you said. No it was the bridge, not TP. If everyone else confirms that the grub scews on their bridge are all the same length then i guess i was just given incorrect screws.

    The neck screws and tail P screws are phillip heads where as the grub screws im talking about are a hex allen
     
  7. Henrythe8

    Henrythe8 Dolphin Hoarder

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    Sorry, English isn't my first language and I have a weird accent. :)
    I was saying that there ARE different length for the neck screws.

    And that there were also screws of different length between the tailpiece and the bridge, so that could have been mixed.

    But if it is only the bridge, then it is in fact weird and might be a mistake.
     
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  8. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K.

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    Interesting to see the base plate isn't one solid piece, I wonder if there is a specific year or models where they began to do this to cut down on weight? I have/ have had older thumb basses and the base plates have all been solid, and very heavy- I imagine the idea is more mass for greater sustain.
     
  9. thefitz

    thefitz

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    I remember hearing that took place around '92 or so, when they stopped using brass.

    They use brass again now - does anyone have a 2013 and on bass with a brass bridge? Is the base plate solid brass?
     
  10. Michael Silver

    Michael Silver

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    Yes 2013 Brass bridges have a solid base plate !!
     
  11. A.G.E.N.T.E.

    A.G.E.N.T.E.

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    Not shure if it's the right place, but my question is bridge related
    When intonating my E string i noticed that the bridge coil gets completly smashed and even though i couldn't get it perfectly intonated.
    I tune my bass to Eb. Am i missing something here?
    IMG_20161010_214138.jpg IMG_20161010_214045.jpg
     
  12. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi buddy, have you tried with another string?
    Have you pressed the string down at the bridge and nut to come straight not round over them?
    Also bridge pickup seems to be a bit too close. Do you have at least 2,5 mm? It can be magnetic pull, especially since the string is looser.

    If everything above is checked, then a solution would be to remove the spring, you will gain a couple more mm's :)
     
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  13. shaftbass

    shaftbass

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    Can someone change the thread title?
     
  14. A.G.E.N.T.E.

    A.G.E.N.T.E.

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    Hey Florin, thanks for the tips.
    For questions 1 and 2, the answer is yes. But it didn´t ocourred me that the magnetic field could be doing some work here. You´re right, i have a tight space between bridge pickup and string. I´ll have to get that checked. ;)
     
  15. Systolic

    Systolic

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    How wide can you get the string spacing on the 5/6 string models?
     
  16. shaftbass

    shaftbass

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    How about now?
     
  17. Charmand G

    Charmand G

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    Can somebody please change the title to "...how they work" ? I going nuts here.

    ...and there I saw Shaftbass` post. :)
     
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  18. shaftbass

    shaftbass

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  19. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Whut?
     
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  20. Hoggles

    Hoggles Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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