Vintage Mandola Insights
Browsing the mandolin archives, I find it interesting to note that most early mandolas have mandolin bridges. The first instance I can find of a mandola having the correct compensation is around 1913-14 or so.
From this point on there seems to be a smattering of correct original bridges as well as replacement bridges with mandolin saddles. One example seems to have a correct one piece bridge in the case with a replacement mandolin bridge on the instrument. There is even a Randy wood replacement mandola bridge that has been slotted the wrong way around.
Being a longer scale length I realize the exact setback probably is not so crucial, and in times past the knowledge and availability of mandola parts would not have been common. Certainly my knowledge is due to the Internet and the willingness of the likes of Paul Hostetter and others to share their wealth of knowledge based on years of experience.
I found it interesting that there seemed to be a certain point where Gibson wised up to the correct setback, and it has never been such common knowledge that replacements were often not correct.
Perhaps this is actually due to a change from WWPP to WWWP is the standard string set at some point? The earliest example seems to have a WWPP string setup.
Last edited by Ben Milne; Apr-13-2012 at 11:49pm.
Reason: add links
Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.