Welcome to Ray Ross Bass

Upon viewing my instruments, one will easily notice that there is something about the bridge that looks different, at least different enough to warrant explanation.  This bridge is the culmination of several years of development, resulting in a spectacular musical instrument.

While developing my instruments, because of the different design, it became clear that typical hardware, even fancy hardware was not what I needed.  In a classic example of "form following function" or is it "function following form"?, I realized there was a necessity and I invented a solution.  I'm still not sure if I designed the bridge around the instrument, or the instrument around the bridge.  I think they happened simultaneously.  Now that they are both in place, I know I was on the right track.

The bridge itself is the world's first saddle-less instrument bridge.  Until now, bridges typically served three purposes, one: a place to anchor the ball end of the string, and two: to provide a means to intonate the instrument, and three: a means to set the "action" or the height of the strings off of the fretboard.  As a sidebar, there is no such thing as perfect intonation, it is mathematically impossible.  That is why there is always a bit of an angle to the saddle on every instrument from high to low strings.  The purpose is to get as close as possible to perfect intonation without sounding weird to the human ear.  While my bridge is not unique in that respect, it is quite unique in the removal of this critical piece of hardware.  What resulted put simply is a straight line.  This may not sound like much, a straight line, but acoustically something marvelous happened.

Every bridge has a problem.  You need only observe the instrument you currently play.  If you notice, from the anchor position of the string, the string itself goes "up the hill" to the saddle, then completes its journey to the nut in a downhill fashion.  I suspected that this "kink" was a hindrance to at least vibration, if not overall tone.  As it turns out this is correct.  By making the anchor and saddle one piece, the "kink" was removed and what followed still amazes me to this day.

The bridge itself is large, heavy and machined from solid naval brass and stainless right here in America.  This also included a considerable amount of forethought.  The American part is a no brainer.  There is plenty of Chinese crap out there, I am quite sure we don't need anymore of that.  Brass is considered a "living" metal.  What that means is that it is quite friendly in regard to receiving and transferring vibration in a very honest way.  Not all metals respond like this.  Aluminum, while cheaper is considered to be a "dead" metal.  Why anyone would make a bridge from something sonically dead and expect it to sound great is beyond reasonable logic.  Now there are other metals that are also considered "living", stainless is nice.  Also Berylium, Molybdenum, and Tungsten to name a few.  Platinum is the most "alive" metal there is, but that bridge would probably cost $30,000 so we will put that away for now.

It is quite difficult to express subjective terms like "tone" without using words like "peppery sparkle", "oaky undertones " or everyone's favorite.. "phat".  I think the world has plenty of people trying to sell something that employ these terms, I will make every attempt to avoid this.

What I can and will say about my bridge is simply this:  I have never heard a bass with such natural volume, and presence, neither have my customers.  Every note is right there waiting to be heard just as well as the next.  No dead spots anywhere.  Each note rings with undeniable clarity.  The natural sustain and harmonics are off the charts.  The elevated anchor pins create a fulcrum that exert a previously unheard of amount of pressure on the bass itself allowing a vibrational transfer that has never been achieved until now.  I have had many a bassist confide in me that there is a constant struggle to be heard either in a mix or on stage, that struggle is officially over.  That is why Every Ray Ross bass that comes out of my shop comes standard with my very own proprietary bridge.  To put it simply, once you have heard it, why would you play anything else?

Best Regards and Be Heard!

Aaron Ross,

President of and Minister of Propaganda for Ray Ross Bass