I've recently read that the Traditional Brekke Bridge on my Yellowstone HT has a metal rod in the top part (the part directly touching the strings) for support.
Someone mentioned that this type of bridge would contribute to a different sound than a bridge that did not have this metal insert (i.e. was all wood).
Is there anyone knowledgeable here that could comment on what the sound differences might be?
p.s. the red spruced topped mando is starting to open up, 5 months in, and is sounding better all the time. I can still hear that it isn't finished opening up yet, so the journey is far from over. Fun stuff
Eric, it's fun to hear about your instrument! I understand what your question is about the Traditional Brekke Bridge. I have copied what our answer is below and hope it helps- basically that any potential disadvantages are out-weighed by the advantages, and the reasons we think it actually improves tone. However, the player and the music have the final say over theory, I think, because it needs to sound 'right', too...getting off topic.
For those players who want a more traditional look and sound from their bridge, we offer the Traditional Brekke Bridge. Vern, in collaboration with Bruce, designed this one too and made it look like it's classic predecessors.
We believe that this bridge has several major improvements over other traditional bridges:
-Because a brass bar embedded in the bottom of the saddle supports the entire string area of the saddle, the saddle can be made much smaller than the common old, historical-style saddle.
-The bar also insures that the saddle will not bow, sag or break in the middle over time.
-The design also eliminates the screw holes in each end of the saddle that were a part of the old-style.
-When adjusting the thumbwheels all pressure is directed down against the bridge base instead of up against the saddle as in the older designs. This increased surface contact from thumbwheel to base give our instruments a truer tone and more volume.
-We believe these features give the bridge a more elegant appearance and better mid-frequency functionality.
-To make the bridge easier to use, the top half of each thumbwheel has been machined to accept a 5/16 wrench. The bridge will be supplied with a small 5/16 wrench.
-This bridge may be adjusted under full string tension.
This is very helpful. Interesting to read about surface area and tone. I didn't realize the contribution to mid-range frequency.
Am very happy with the mandolin and get lots of compliments about how pretty is it. Thanks!