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Repairing a Bass Bridge

Sometimes the bass bridge will crack on pianos. It becomes evident when the bass section of the piano goes wildly out of tune or certain sections of the bass sound dull or "duddy". This happens more often in places where it gets very dry in the winter but I have found a few pianos in the lower mainland with cracked bass bridges.

The bass bridge is the piece of wood that sits on top of the soundboard where the "speaking lengths" of the bass strings terminate. There are two rows of small pins where the non-copper part of the wire slightly bends and along either of these rows of pins, cracks can develop. Small hairline cracks usually warrant watching. If there are significant gaping cracks either the bridge needs to be replaced or repaired.

image of a cracked bass bridge

A cracked bass bridge that needs repair

Replacing a bass bridge is a major job and needs to be done in a repair shop (on pianos that are worth the expense). A cost effective alternative is repairing a bass bridge and this sometimes can be done on site. The piano is tilted on its back, the bass strings are loosened so they can be moved away from the bridge and the crack is filled with epoxy. After a few hours of curing the strings can be put back in place but not tightened and the piano can be once again be placed upright. In a few days after the epoxy has time to fully cure the piano can be tuned.

Benefits of repairing the bass bridge:

  • The bass section will be able to hold its tune
  • "Duddy" sounding notes will brighten up once the repair is made
  • Your piano will remain usable well into the foreseeable future

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