KSM Guitars   50 West 400 North, Logan, Utah 84321 Phone: 435-753-6813 Fax: 435-750-6045 Send us an email

What is the Most Important Part of an Electric Guitar or Bass?

Not many people give this much thought, but like many other guitar techs, I have given this much thought. Why do some players change out their tuning keys and pickups in the quest for perfection but completely disregard their bridge?
Let’s look at the tuning keys. Sure they are very important, but they do one job and that is to loosen and tighten the string. And yes, they better do it well or the instrument is going to go out of tune. The bridge is also responsible for the tuning of the instrument and the bridge provides intonation that is critical for that tuning.


Now let’s look at the pickups. A pickup can alter your sound from thin and tinny to fat and distorted and anywhere in between on the sound spectrum. But without a good solid anchor that attaches the strings to the body, that sound is going to be degraded. Energy from that vibrating string is going to be sucked into the vibrating parts on a bad bridge and not picked up by your pickup.


What about the nut? Players often change those out to bone or graphite. The nut is the other anchor for your strings and is very important, but it just sits there. The nut holds your strings up to the proper height and separates the strings by the proper distances from each other as well as the edges of the fretboard. A bridge must do all of those things, but it should also adjust to the proper positions and hold them in place solidly.


And think about all of those strings that are breaking at your bridge. How many break at the nut? Almost all string breaks occur at the bridge, so the angle at which the strings lay over the bridge saddle is very important. The saddle should not create kinks both for string health and sound health.


Body materials can be thought of as important parts, and many variations have been used; from the fine, beautiful Honduran mahogany of a Les Paul to the slabs of Masonite used on a Danelectro. Every instrument body has its own sound, but that sound can’t come through strongly unless the strings are attached through a rock-solid connection at the bridge.


So I argue and contend that of all the important components of an electric guitar and bass, the bridge holds them all together. What do you think?

Why is the KSM Foundation bridge so expensive?

Answer: Just like everything else in the market place, price reflects costs. To manufacture the KSM Foundation bridge the machining has to be so precise that the thickness of the anodizing or nickel plating has to be accounted for so that the bridge functions properly. The individual parts must move with out binding or sticking and yet have no gaps so that there is as much sound and feel transferred into the instrument as can be possible.
Just for fun take a drawing of the KSM Foundation bridge to your local machinist and ask him how much it will cost to have him make one for you.

Do I have to drill holes?

Answer: The bridge will line up with most Fender screw patterns for the center three screws, then the two outer side screws can be drilled to add stability and security by having fresh attachment areas. If you feel uncomfortable with this process please contact a qualified guitar or bass repair person. There are also helpful installation videos on the KSM guitars YouTube channel. View the KSM Bass Bridge installation video here

Which bass guitar stock bridges can be directly replaced with the KSM Foundation™ Bass Bridge with no new holes to drill?

Answer:
Fender: Jazz Bass (excludes American Standard, and Deluxe)
Precision Bass (excludes American Standard, and Deluxe)
Dimension Bass
Jaguar Bass
Short Scale Mustang Bass
All Squire basses except the Bronco model.

Schecter:
Baron H
Diamond - J Plus
Diamond - P Plus
Omen Extreme 4
Omen 4
Stiletto Extreme

Ibanez:
Talman Bass TMB 300 and TMB 100
Black Eagle 2609 B
GSR 200
GSR 100 EX

Tune Guitar Technology:
Bassmaniac TBJ42


There are also helpful installation videos on the KSM guitars YouTube channel. View the KSM Bass Bridge installation video here

Why not chrome?

Answer: The KSM Foundation bridge is manufactured with aircraft grade aluminum. This is a very strong material with weight benefits and especially sonic benefits. Unfortunately aluminum can not effectively be chromed without the possibility of it flaking off in the future. The nickel plated KSM Foundation Bridge blends well will other chrome hardware that is on your bass.

Why not brass?

Answer: The speed at which sound can travel through aluminum is faster then that of brass. Learn more here
Also, with the larger mass of our bridge brass would make your bass heavier and could become uncomfortable on an already heavy instrument. Because of aluminum's quality the instrument itself becomes more alive.

Why are there no 6, 7, 8, 9 etc. string versions?

Answer: The KSM Foundation bridge is a relatively new product and as the demand builds for this bridge the options will increase with time.

Why is the KSM Foundation Bridge not found in part supply stores or big box stores like Guitar Center?

Answer: This company is very strict in who represents our product. This has been a learning process for us and we have found that the best place for the customer to go, is to the source of the product. We want to deal with questions and issues. Please don't hesitate to shoot us an email at ksmguitars.com we will get back with you ASAP.

Why are there just a few string spacing options?

Answer: The string spacing that we offer is the measurements found on the most popular basses. We do realize that there are other needs out there, and that is why we have the option of the unslotted saddles, so that you can file in the slot spacing of your preference.

Why do the through-body string holes on my Fender American Standard bass not line up with the bridge?

Answer: There are many configurations of screw patterns and string through options out there and we have found many possibilities can be achieved with the design we have developed.
The situation concerning the American Standard can be solved by centering the A string through body hole, with the bridge hole for that string. This will allow the other sting holes to have enough string hole area to have the string pass through, although not completely centered on the other string holes. All new mounting holes will need to be drilled. Or if you choose to not use the string through option just line up the regular mounting screws.