I recently installed a fossilized ivory-capped bridge saddle from Kurt Gisclair. My Brentrup 23V was already an exceptionally powerful and clear-sounding mandolin, but the addition of this saddle reinforces and magnifies its best qualities. I picked with some folks the other night and I just couldn't believe the power this instrument has. I really had to hold back more than usual to keep from overpowering the other instruments. If one of your fellow pickers is drifting off-tempo, a few chops at full power will definitely show them the error of their ways. And I can be a lot more relaxed during breaks knowing I don't have to work so hard to be heard.
And it's not just increased volume. The tone is incredible. The instruments just rings. Every note clear as a bell up to the 15th fret and beyond. Woody and well-defined bottom. It's a thrill to hit downstrokes on the open G along with the octave on the D string. It just growls. The bass is the only thing I didn't think was an improvement at first, but I put on new strings and raised the action a little more (the ivory-topped saddle is a little shorter than the original ebony saddle) and now I'm completely happy with the result.
Anyway, this mandolin isn't a banjo-killer; it's a WMD (Weapon of Mandolin Domination). The ivory-topped saddle might not improve every mandolin, but I'm thrilled with what it did to mine. And Kurt is a great guy to deal with. Has anybody played his mandolins?