Recently, I purchased a new Eastman 614 Oval hole and was amazed at how wonderful it sounds compared to my Kentucky 505. I must admit I have never been totally impressed with the 505 , either in its volume or tone. It always has sounded rather 'corked up' if that makes sense. Over the last year or so I installed a C.A. Bridge in it and that brightened up the tone some and increased the volume too.
About two or three weeks ago The factory bridge on the new Eastman broke due to (as I see it) the grain running in a less than Ideal manner. I removed the saddle from C.A bridge on The Kentucky and it works fantastic.
Now, having the Kentucky as a somewhat extra mandolin I decided that I would play around with fixed bridges as per Red Henry and others, experiments we have all read about. I have had some success with this. The volume is much increased and the tone has improved somewhat. All In all, a much more pleasing instrument to play now. But, the tone is still not really 'good'.
Last night I was just picking a few tunes and generally enjoying the sounds coming fom the instuments. After a bit I rested my ear on the side of the Eastman and wow I must say I was rather blown away. The tone(s) I heard were very pure. Each string plucked had a harmony that was very pleasing. As each tone faded away it remained in tune not changing so much in pitch as in just volume. Some of the tones I heard almost sounded 'Electric'.
Trying this with the Kentucky produced almost the opposite effect. Each string plucked sounded full of disharmony, muddy tones. As the tone drifted away so did the pitch, mostly going flat with some strings sharp. Now, I certainly dont expect a mandolin that costs half of what the eastman does to sound as good. But, What I heard was rather ugly.
My curiosity is rather in play here more than the need to "fix" this issue. Anybody have any thoughts on what might be causing this ?