View Full Version : Bridge notches

Martin Jonas
Feb-13-2004, 10:22am
I have a Washburn M3-SW and have noticed that the notches on the bridge are of uneven depth: for both the G and the D strings, the notch for the string on the bass side of each pair is deeper than the notch on the treble side. #As a result, one of the strings of each pair has about two thirds of its diameter below the edge of the bridge and the other one only one third. #Not much of a difference, but noticeable on close inspection. #Is that likely to affect tone and should I correct it? #How (knife or file, presumably making sure to retain a decent front edge)? #It's a standard Gibson-style adjustable compensated bridge.


Feb-13-2004, 1:15pm
hi, I would probably want to replace the piece, but you can probably even them out. perhaps the set up guy at the factory did this to compensate for something, I dunno
I am kinda picky and I wouldnt "sleep at night" with that bridge that way. not seriously, but, even if everything seemed ok, hmmm..... I dunno... how much can a new saddle cost?

can you tell a difference in tone? listen real real close in a quiet room.

also, does it effect your intonation anywhere on the fingerboard? play up and down on those strings and listen real good for that pulse. try with new strings of course.
(if you want to keep that bridge)

Feb-17-2004, 1:27pm
I'd say you should even them out. If the instrument is correctly fretted and compensated, both strings in the unison will not note true unless they are both the same height. In other words, you can't play in tune if the strings are not the same height. Also, your mandolin will be much easier to play with all strings the correct height.

Feb-17-2004, 9:49pm
This is where the set-up detailing comes into the picture, Ideally notch is just a bit more than 1/2 the diameter of the string.
#http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/blues.gif jake&elroy

Feb-18-2004, 11:00pm
The thing to look at on the saddle string height is the bottom of the strings in relation to each other. What the set up person was trying to do (most likely) was to set it up to have the strings all at the same height at the 12th or 17th fret. If the depth of the grooves bothers you (sleepless nights?), level the top of the saddle so the grooves all have about the same string depth.

The bass strings (G and D courses) should be a little bit deeper though.

Bob DeVellis
Feb-19-2004, 9:25am
The notches you describe almost sound like the instrument may have been set up with octave strings on the G and D courses.