Bridges

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Bridges

Postby Karaokeb » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:33 am

Having now researched a number of potential instruments to purchase I have a question concerning bridges. Which are best fixed bridges* as on Tomas Buchanan instruments. Movable bridges not adjustable* or those that can be adjusted. *I am aware that the string height in both cases can be adjusted by the use of shims and or reducing the heght of the saddle. Your views would be appreciated.
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Re: Bridges

Postby Dave Hanson » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:48 am

I have 2 mandolins with a solid 1 piece floating bridge, a Gibson A and a Paul Shippey, my F hole style mandolins all have traditional 2 piece adjustable floating bridges if that is any help.
All are carved top mandolins, flat tops mainly have a 1 piece solid bridge, there are exceptions Jimmy Moon puts adjustable bridges on his flat tops.

It really depends on the insrument [ and your personal preference ]

My 1917 Gibson and the Paul Shippey both function extremely well with a none adjustable one piece solid floating bridge [ and sound great ]

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Re: Bridges

Postby Ray(T) » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:19 pm

Horses for courses really. I'm sure all perform relatively well but adjustable bridges - and there is more than one type - have the advantage that you can fiddle around taking the action up and down as you wish; particularly useful if you live in a climate with wide swings in humidity or you can never decide on the action you want.

Incidentally, the "one piece" bridges on the teens Gibson mandolins weren't (all?) one piece. I have a '14 A and the original bridge looks to be one piece until you realise that it consists of a slotted base with three slide-in saddle pieces. Don't ask me why they made them like this!
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Re: Bridges

Postby colirv » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:50 pm

Given their disadvantages I wouldn't want a fixed bridge on anything but a top-of-the-range instrument.
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Re: Bridges

Postby Ray(T) » Mon Mar 06, 2017 7:16 pm

Conversely, all my "top of the range" mandolins have adjustable bridges. I had a fixed bridge fitted to that particular Gibson to make it, at least look, original.
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Re: Bridges

Postby colirv » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:44 am

Ah. I could have phrased that better! My Gibson F5, Weber and Washburn all have adjustable bridges, my '24 A Jr a floating non-adjustable one and my Sobell a fixed one. An adjustable bridge, adjusted properly, seems to me to be ideal. Having said that, my guess is that the the Sobell would not be improved by an adjustable bridge, whereas a cheap mandolin with a fixed bridge probably would.
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Re: Bridges

Postby Ray(T) » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:52 am

I suppose it also depends where you're starting from.

This was the mandolin before I changed the bridge - [url]http://www.mandolinarchive.com/gibson/serial/23871[/url]

(Don't suppose that'll work so you might have to cut and paste.) If anyone has a burning desire to try a Shadow pickup, I still have it somewhere!
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Re: Bridges

Postby colirv » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:01 am

Nice!
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