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Thread: Tailpiece-Bridge combination

  1. #1
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    Question Tailpiece-Bridge combination

    I have seen these a few times, and it looks like a great idea. Anyone know the ins and outs of this type of bridge tailpiece combination as used on this mandola?


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Tailpiece-Bridge combination

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Anyone know the ins and outs of this type of bridge tailpiece combination as used on this mandola?

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    Were you asking about the little curved thingies on each end of the bridge? If so, I have no idea. However...

    If you were wanting to know what's the difference between fixed bridge and floating bridge... while you're waiting for the experts to weigh-in, meanwhile here are some links for some background info:

    1. General-purpose discussions at other sites, not mandolin-specific:

    2. MandolinCafe links about mandos, I just skimmed through these, I haven't read completely through all of the following links yet but they look promising:


    Here's my personal and completely non-scientific observation:

    I don't like glued-on bridges on *any* instrument, because there isn't a user-friendly way to adjust the intonation - in other words, you can't just scoot the bridge back or forward, if the strings are fretting sharp or flat.

    I like to experiment with different (usually slack) tunings, so it's really important for me to be able to move the bridge to the correct spot for better intonation.

    Probably most people don't experiment like that though, otherwise regular modern flat-top acoustic guitars wouldn't exist, with their glued-on non-moveable bridges.
    Last edited by JL277z; Jan-20-2016 at 4:10am. Reason: Fix sentence.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Tailpiece-Bridge combination

    The thing on the mandolin appears to be both a bridge and the tailpiece. The strings start there... there's no separate bridge.
    Rogue A-style Mandolin
    Lyon and Healy Bowlback Mandolin
    Kala Soprano Ukulele
    Oscar Schmidt Mandriola

    ...so far...

  4. #4
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailpiece-Bridge combination

    What you show in that photo is just like a guitar bridge. Not exactly a new idea. You can do a lot of research on guitars to find out more about that type of design.

    Personally, I absolutely hate that about guitars. And I wouldn't buy a mandolin-family instrument that had it. The bracing required to support the string tension anchored to the top plate would be so heavy that the tone would be drastically affected. Intonation and action are not easily adjusted compared to traditional mandolin bridges and separate tailpieces.

    Really, I can't think of any advantage a guitar-style bridge would bring to a mandolin. Only disadvantages.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tailpiece-Bridge combination

    There is NO tailpiece on that mandola. It is a fixed bridge. It changes the stresses on the top of the instrument and so the bracing system is changed as well.
    With a fixed bridge the strings are pulling UP on the top. With a tailpiece/floating bridge arrangement the strings are putting DOWN pressure on the top. Both systems work but for mandolin family instruments a floating bridge system is more common.
    Some modern examples of fixed bridge mandolin family instruments are/where the Ovation line as seen in this video.

    Bill Snyder

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