Cello and Bass Saddle Rider Installation

STEP 1: Lay the instrument on its back on a workbench or table with the bridge facing up. Loosen the strings, and set aside the bridge, tailpiece, and existing endpin. For illustration purposes, the double bass is represented here by a block of wood.

STEP 2: Loosen the Saddle Rider mount thumbscrew until it is most of the way out of the cap, and then twist the cap off of the mount and remove the washer. Make sure that the flag is clear of the mount, and that it can freely rotate 360 degrees. If necessary, lubricate it using the enclosed silicone grease.

Insert mount into end block

STEP 3: With the Saddle Rider mount on its side with the screw at 12 o’clock, and the flag facing down as shown above, insert it into the endblock hole. If necessary, ream the hole for a good fit. The fit should be snug, but not so tight that the mount can’t be twisted from side to side. Next, twist the mount until the screw is facing down towards 6 o’clock. Gravity will cause the flag to turn downward as shown below. If it doesn’t, loosen the screw a turn or two to make sure the flag is clear of the mount and can rotate freely.

STEP 4: After completing step 3, the screw and flag should be facing downwards. See photos above and below for correct positioning.

STEP 4, side view, shows flag positioning.

STEP 5: Using the small enclosed screwdriver, move the screw in the direction of the red arrow, thereby pulling flag into its channel on the mount until it touches the end block inside the instrument. CAUTION: Make certain that the flag is securely seated in the channel.

STEP 6: Place the Saddle Rider bolt into the mount as shown above.

STEP 7: First by hand, then with the screwdriver, tighten the flag until the mount is secure in the end block hole. It should be snug, but not so tight that it is difficult to make small rotational adjustments.

STEP 8: Return the washer and cap by twisting them back onto the mount, being careful to align the screw with the hole in the mount. IMPORTANT: During assembly, remember to lubricate both the Saddle Rider bolt and the thumbscrew using the enclosed silicone grease.

STEP 9: Install the tailgut as shown, and fasten it into the tailpiece using traditional methods (for information about tying a kevlar tailgut knot, please watch video below. ) After installing the Saddle Rider and tuning up the instrument, experiment with positioning to find the tonal “sweet spot.” Once the sweet spot is determined, fairly small adjustments will achieve the desired tonal and playing response changes. The excess length of the bolt can be cut off, and edges filed. Any remaining exposed bolt tip should be covered with the included rubber tip, which can be cut to size using a sharp scissors.

CAUTION: DO NOT tie the tailgut knot on the Saddle Rider as shown here! Doing so prevents the tailgut from being held securing in its channel, potentially damaging the Saddle Rider. The knot should be behind the tailpiece.

PLEASE NOTE: There are two models of cello and bass bolt: The original model is slotted and can be adjusted with a coin (quarter for cello, half-dollar for bass). This bolt design, when cut to size, needs to be re-slotted in order to make adjustments. When a luthier determines the location of the sweet spot and desired adjustability, if requested, a new slotted bolt of the correct length will be provided by Saddle Rider Music LLC. A newer bolt design (available in late summer 2020) has eighth-inch holes just in front of the endpin mount and comes with a small adjustment key. Those bolts can be cut to size using a standard inexpensive hacksaw.

If customers purchase a Saddle Rider with the older bolt style, they may contact SaddleRiderLLC@gmail.com to be sent the newer bolt model free of charge.

Now that you have installed your new Saddle Rider, please remember to check out these adjustment tips!

For more installation tips for bass and cello Saddle Riders, please check out these videos:

The video below demonstrates how to tie a Kevlar knot on a cello tailpiece — the same knot is used for violins, violas, and double basses. When cutting the Kevlar, spreading a small amount of superglue around the spot on the cord you want to cut, and allowing it to dry for a minute or two, will help prevent “flowering out” of the fibers when cutting with a razor blade.