Is it possible to add a bridge block ... Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Dreaming... for now » Archive through December 22, 2006 » Is it possible to add a bridge block to a blockless alembic? « Previous Next »

Author Message
Username: bumhucker

Post Number: 83
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 3:39 pm:   Edit Post

can this be done? is it tough to do?
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1384
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 4:51 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, it is possible. I've heard of it being done before. As far as difficulty/cost goes, I couldn't tell you.

I suspect that the hardware and electronics are removed and then the top is routed to create a hole for the block. Then they would need to insert the block and maybe glue it in. Finally, they would need to tap the block or set inserts for the bridge to screw into. Not sure if there might be some refinishing to be done as well. Eventually someone would get around to reinstalling the hardware and electronics and setting the instrument back up.
Username: mica

Post Number: 3756
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 4:57 pm:   Edit Post

Usually it can be done without refinishing, but we never know until the routing is done. If you're interested in having this work done, you should just call us up and speak with Valentino.
Intermediate Member
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 121
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Friday, November 10, 2006 - 7:52 pm:   Edit Post

What would the sonic advantage be to, say a fretless epic? My set neck Epic has a beautiful midrange rich sound. Would this inhance this or reduce this? I believe that sustain is the main reason for the block?
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 4514
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, November 11, 2006 - 2:54 pm:   Edit Post

I think Bob made a study of bridge blocks at one time. He may have some insights on how a brass block might change the tone.
Senior Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 729
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Saturday, November 11, 2006 - 10:32 pm:   Edit Post

Oh, that hurts... yes, I did a major study (at least 8-10 different blocks), and after a couple of years I still owe the results, at least to the people at Alembic who were kind enough (is that the right word?) to get me started.

Unfortunately, one thing I had no way of testing was the difference between an original, non-routed bass, versus same with the addition of a block.

However, there are some older posts here from people who added a block to their bass, and some searching should turn them up. As a start, I suggest searching for all the words "sustain block add", which should get you a few.

From everything I've read here in the last few years (which is very close to everything), I do not recall anyone regretting the installation of a sustain block.

Of all the things I tried, brass was really very good, hard to beat. Again, I can't compare with/without, but I generally think it will improve the sustain, pretty evenly across the tonal range. At least compared to other block materials, brass was one of the most neutral in increasing sustain, without changing the overall balance.

There is some slight chance that brass in particular will bring out the highs just a tiny bit more than the mids, but I doubt you could tell without doing a controlled, side by side comparison.

I don't know enough about how you play or what you like, to advise you. But just going by the words, "fretless" and "beautiful midrange rich sound", I think you'll like it. It will help all those overtones play against each other a bit longer, making it more rich and complex without noticeably changing the balance.

Try a search or two anyway, to see what others have said. I'm not sure you'll find anything quite as specific as your question, but you might pick up some useful observations.
Intermediate Member
Username: haddimudd

Post Number: 185
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 8:33 am:   Edit Post

Please forgive my stupidity, but what is a bridge block? OK, I can imagine what it is but doesn't every bridge have a bridge block? What would be the advantage of ordering a bass without one (I saw you can choose that option in the custom quote generator)?


Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 947
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 8:46 am:   Edit Post

I believe they are speaking of a solid brass “block” recessed in the body directly beneath the bridge itself. The bridge then mounts to the block. Most other brands the bridge mounts to the body of the instrument.
Please correct me if I am wrong here but I think this is correct.

Intermediate Member
Username: haddimudd

Post Number: 187
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 8:54 am:   Edit Post

That's what I think, too. So what is the exact advantage of ordering an instrument explicitely without it, as one obviously can do in the custom quote generator? I would think once a manufacturer has committed to such a beneficial feature there would be hardly a reason to offer an instrument without it. A bit like bolt on vs. set neck options. Curious.
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 617
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 9:29 am:   Edit Post

The standard set necks do not have a bridge block it is a custom feature.

Intermediate Member
Username: keurosix

Post Number: 136
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2006 - 7:40 pm:   Edit Post

Yes you are correct. The bridge block is the brass block recessed in the body directly under the bridge. Also known as a "sustain" block for obvious reasons. The only reason I can think of for not ordering one is to shave off the extra weight (~ 1 pound?) if one is sensitive to heavy loads on the back. As a cost saving option, it can't be too expensive to omit? The Custom Quoter shows 0 charge to remove it.
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 620
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Wednesday, December 06, 2006 - 3:49 am:   Edit Post

I looked this up yesterday on the Excel quoter and it's $125 to add a sustain block.

Intermediate Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 148
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006 - 6:05 am:   Edit Post

Go for it!!
I've got one on my 1976 Series 1, and it sings like a bird--------$125----peanuts dosh!!

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration