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Thread: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

  1. #1

    Default Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Just received my new (used) 2014 Weber Gallatin A octave mando, w/f holes, yesterday, and while loving it, it seems the saddle is really high on this instrument. Lots of threads showing on the posts-7/32'' on the G string side. The action is good, might be lowered a tiny bit, so that wouldn't affect the high saddle.
    I can't imagine the top sinking on a three year old instrument, and it looks intact, but it's precarious looking with that big space between saddle and bridge? Is this normal?
    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    A picture might help, but it's not necessarily an issue: saddle might have been reduced in height too much by a previous setup person, or the instrument may just need a higher bridge than a regular mandolin one can provide. That's not necessarily uncommon for larger instruments - when you think of it, if you build an OM to the same geometry as a mandolin, just larger, then the bridge will necessarily need to be larger/higher too.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    [QUOTE=Tavy;1616745]A picture might help, but it's not necessarily an issue: saddle might have been reduced in height too much by a previous setup person, or the instrument may just need a higher bridge than a regular mandolin one can provide. That's not necessarily uncommon for larger instruments - when you think of it, if you build an OM to the same geometry as a mandolin, just larger, then the bridge will necessarily need to be larger/higher too.[/QUOTE

    Thanks, here's a look...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Quote Originally Posted by kickapooviking View Post
    Thanks, here's a look...
    Yikes, somebody has mucked (and you may wish to replace one letter in that word) about with that - the saddle isn't sitting on the adjusters at all and looks to be non-compensated.

    My guess is the original saddle broke (it happens) and someone just stuffed a "bit of wood" on top as a temporary replacement. Time for a new bridge saddle as a minimum I would say.

  5. #5
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    I'd go with what Tavy says too, but on looking at pictures of the Weber from various sites it seems it had a Brekke bridge and the saddle looks not unlike the one in your photo; the bridge feet look similar too in their general profile. I think I could also see that second nut on each of the screw posts that yours seems to have, so maybe have someone look at it locally. Whatever it is, there's a lot of post showing between base and saddle, and no contact between saddle and knurled screws.
    I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order. - Eric Morecambe

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  6. #6
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    Yikes, somebody has mucked (and you may wish to replace one letter in that word) about with that - the saddle isn't sitting on the adjusters at all and looks to be non-compensated.

    My guess is the original saddle broke (it happens) and someone just stuffed a "bit of wood" on top as a temporary replacement. Time for a new bridge saddle as a minimum I would say.
    That is the Brekke Traditional bridge that Weber uses on octaves and mandolas. They work differently and the saddle does not sit on the adjusters by design.
    That said, the saddle does look a little high. I have the Bitterroot A Octave with the same saddle but mine has no more that 1-2 mm of the bolt threads showing above the bridge base adjustors for the action to be about 5-6/64ths" at the 12th fret.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

  7. #7
    Registered User jonny250's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Looks like the adjustment is right at the limits, i had that on my first Weber A style [not a gallatin]. what does the neck look like? straight?
    my weber f-style has the same bridge / saddle but only a couple of mm raised.

  8. #8
    Bridger Products
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    The bridge is a standard Brekke/Weber traditional bridge and it looks to be adjusted about as high as it will go.

    I would check with Bruce Weber at Montana Lutherie. He can send a taller base or I could also cut a custom one for your instrument.

    It's possible that it could be replaced under Weber's warranty.

    Bruce may also have some ideas about adjusting the truss rod or other solutions with your existing bridge.

    Hope that this helps,

    Vern Brekke
    Bridger Products

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    Registered User Eric Davis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have a Gallatin F octave set up with average action and the bridge is not nearly set that high. I would have that looked at
    Eric Davis

    2014 Daley F Standard Mandolin
    1925 Gibson A Snakehead Mandolin
    2016 Weber Gallatin F Octave

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  12. #10
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Well clearly I know nothing about Webers: thanks for the corrections!

  13. #11
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Quote Originally Posted by VernBrekke View Post
    The bridge is a standard Brekke/Weber traditional bridge and it looks to be adjusted about as high as it will go.
    The only time I've had a bridge maxed out like that, it was on a new (to me) used mandolin whose top was sinking. I don't want to be alarmist, but I would be interested in a few additional photographs that focus on the arch.
    1924 Gibson A Snakehead
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  14. #12

    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    I don't understand. How can the intonation of this be correct if the bridge isn't biased?

  15. #13

    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Neck is perfect, as well as the action. I talked with Greg Boyd from Missoula, MT., the shop I bought if from, and he claims the nut height is typical for this model. Again, the instrument is only 3 years old so it seems unlikely the top could have sunk. Or?
    ~Thanks

  16. #14

    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Thanks! Greg Boyd says a high saddle is typical for this instrument. I took him at his word since the neck is straight and the action just right. Think I'll follow your advice and contact Weber, but I surely don't want to have to invest any more money into repairs!

  17. #15
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    If you end up needing a new bridge, Steve at Cumberland Acoustics is a great guy to deal with.....

    http://cumberlandacoustic.com/product/mandolin-bridge/

    He can make you any type of bridge you want.

    Hopefully Weber will take care of it.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  18. #16

    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Greg Boyd, at Fine Instruments, says mine is "normal". Hehe. Well, I've emailed Weber to see what they have to say. BTW, since we seem to have identical instruments, what is the measurement from the top to the bottom of the strings on the neck side of your bridge? Mine measures 1 1/8".

  19. #17
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Quote Originally Posted by dadsaster View Post
    I don't understand. How can the intonation of this be correct if the bridge isn't biased?
    Go here and read.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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  21. #18

    Post Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    I got the rep at Weber to admit that the instrument likely had the wrong bridge/saddle installed. Weber was transitioning from Montana to Oregon and some parts were in short supply. They are sending me a replacement saddle, gratis!

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  23. #19
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Octave Mando bridge and saddle

    Great that you got a happy outcome. What sorts out the Good companies from the bad is how they deal with a problem.

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