Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: Another rave about the CA bridge

  1. #1
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,013

    Default Another rave about the CA bridge

    Decided last week to bite the bullet and purchase a Cumberland Acoustic bridge for my The Loar LM-220. Have been playing it quite a bit at home recently and felt it was worth investing in.

    It arrived yesterday and I fit it (quickly and not perfectly) to the top, tuned it back up (same strings) and started picking. My wife immediately said the instrument sounded louder and better. Definitely louder.

    Ended up taking it to a Scandinavian music jam last night and played it instead of my guitar for the evening. It was heard, even above the accordion.

    When I actually get around to replacing the strings will fit it to the top better. But even so, am amazed at the improvement in volume and maybe tone. No, it won't be mistaken for a LaPlante. However, it does help the instrument reach it's potential. Only regret was not getting one sooner.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  2. The following members say thank you to Eric Platt for this post:


  3. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    When I actually get around to replacing the strings will fit it to the top better. But even so, am amazed at the improvement in volume and maybe tone. No, it won't be mistaken for a LaPlante. However, it does help the instrument reach it's potential. Only regret was not getting one sooner.[/QUOTE]

    I'd be REAL careful leaving tension on a bridge that isn't fitted to the top completely. You can do damage to the finish in the top if the feet aren't making even contact all around. I've not damaged any mandolins this way (thanks to MC for that) but have definitely mar the finish on a fiddle or two by not fitting the bridge completely prior to returning string tension and playing it. My two-cents, just wouldn't want you to do something inadvertently damaging to your mandolin.
    "All music is folk music, i ain't never heard no horse sing a song"- Louie Armstrong

    Eastman md-314
    Eastman md-615
    Martin D-35
    Takamine gd-20ns
    pre-war German "Stradivarius" violin

  4. The following members say thank you to fidlplr1979 for this post:


  5. #3
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Crockett, TX
    Posts
    921

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Eric, you had me at "Scandinavian music jam."

    What does that sound like?

    Edvard Grieg tunes?
    Chris Cravens

    Girouard A5
    Montana Flatiron A-Jr.
    Passernig Mandola
    Leo Posch D-18

  6. The following members say thank you to ccravens for this post:

    JimY 

  7. #4

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    Decided last week to bite the bullet and purchase a Cumberland Acoustic bridge for my The Loar LM-220. Have been playing it quite a bit at home recently and felt it was worth investing in.
    How does replacing an ebony bridge with a virtually identical ebony bridge increase volume? I have a The Loar LM-310, so I'm curious about the improvement I would see (hear, haha), and where the magic comes from.

  8. #5

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
    How does replacing an ebony bridge with a virtually identical ebony bridge increase volume? I have a The Loar LM-310, so I'm curious about the improvement I would see (hear, haha), and where the magic comes from.
    That's the thing. It's not a 'virtually identical ebony bridge'.

    There have been innumerable discussions about them 'round here and Steve Smith of Cumberland Acoustics is a regular Cafe member and the best source for info but the tighter and more uniform wood grain, better engineering and components (e.g. the posts and post holes), etc., lead to a superior product bar none.

    It might seem like a bunch of hoodoo, but I can personally attest to the difference. I once owned a The Loar LM-500 that I put a CA bridge on and there was an immediate and noticable difference in both tone and volume over the stock bridge, an improvement which increased over the next couple weeks of settling in.

    I'm naturally skeptical, so if not for the similar experiences of a vast number of other Cafe members I wouldn't have considered spending the cash but it was totally worth it once I did.

    C.
    Northfield F5S Amber #347 - 'Squeeze'
    Flatiron 1N Pancake - Not just for breakfast
    Kentucky KM-270 - Not just for whisky
    Epiphone Mandobird IV - Djangly
    Cozart 8-string e-mando - El Ch(e)apo
    Lanikai LB6-S Banjolele (tuned GDAE) - Plinky and the Brane

  9. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Chris Daniels For This Useful Post:


  10. #6
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,013

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Thanks Chris, beat me to it. Also, in the case of The Loar, the CA bridge is probably 30 to 50 percent more mass at least in the saddle portion. Plus, the posts and adjustment wheels are better quality. It just does a better job transmitting vibration from the string to the top.

    As to the other observations - have changed strings and got the fit better. And the strings were dead anyway.

    A typical Scandinavian music jam is just folk tunes from the Nordic countries. My YouTube page has a few tunes and there are also some from my old band. There is common set of tunes that are often played and those are called "allspel". The jam I went to doesn't play those tunes. Was in way over my head. They are a friendly bunch and let me bang along with the occasional correct note.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Eric Platt For This Useful Post:


  12. #7

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    My Eastman 505 experienced a noticeable improvement with the CA Bridge. I would say it is probably the best upgrade for a lower end solid wood mandolin. A $500-$700 mandolin wouldn't come stock with a $65 high quality bridge like the CA or Randy Wood I wouldn't think and I dont know that would spend the money to fit it to a laminated instrument.
    RDB8847

    Kimble #244

  13. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to rdb8847 For This Useful Post:


  14. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    I recently bought a slightly used LM-700 that was fitted with a CA bridge. Before tightening the strings I looked at the bridge fit, and it didn’t seem symmetrical, and there was very little material there to refit it if necessary, so I spent some time re-fitting the original bridge until I had a chance to examine the instrument. One thing for sure is that the hardware and assembly of the CA bridge is far better than the standard bridge, and it has much less mass. One would assume their choice of wood is equal or better than a standard bridge. The CA bridge is about 55.00, and the standard StewMac bridge is about 27.00 and I just picked up a Golden Gate bridge for 16.00 (I love their thumb picks) – chrome prices. I’m a pretty cheap guy, but it seems if you want to upgrade something on a $500 to $1500 mandolin, that would be a worthwhile investment if only for the improved hardware. I’m looking forward to refitting it on my instrument.

  15. The following members say thank you to Doug Goodhill for this post:


  16. #9
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
    Posts
    1,573

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Love Steve Smith's bridges. Improved the sound of every mandolin I have put them on.
    Gibson Custom Shop F5G Wide Nut (2010) Dave Harvey
    Collings MF (2016)
    Rag "F" style #40 (2018)

    Hohner and Seydel Harmonicas (various keys)

    "Heck, Jimmy Martin don't even believe in Santy Claus!"

  17. The following members say thank you to Bill Kammerzell for this post:


  18. #10

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Has anyone ever tried to do a comparison between old bridge and new CA bridge? SPL meter testing for volume difference? Weighing the bridges and comparing?

    Since MAS is not an option for me (too many guitars, and too little funds), and since I want to make sure I'm getting the most out of my Loar LM-310 (I also built my own armrest, lol), I finally broke down and ordered a gapped, pre-slotted CA bridge. I feel like the mandolin sounds pretty sweet as it is, honestly, so I'm curious to see if I notice an improvement. I do notice that the D course sounds particularly sweet open, so I'm wondering if that's just the nature of the D, or if the new bridge will spread the sweetness around, and balance it across all the strings (haha).

    I'm thinking about recording a song. Probably a simple 10,000 Maniacs song.....this one, in fact:


    (yes, I suck, and the sound quality isn't the best here, for a few reasons)

    Maybe I'll do a bit of another song that has more individually picked notes, as well.

    The idea is to record it maybe 4 times (not like above, of course, just audio), twice with the old bridge (1 with mic and 1 with JJB pickup) and then twice with the new bridge, both natural and plugged in....maybe with the SPL meter as well (I happen to have one from Amazon that I got for setting up my surround sound). Then I could edit it and jump back and forth to compare the 2.

    I'm gonna weigh both bridges too. Also, to keep it as fair as possible, I plan to detune the strings, capo them at the 1st fret, and detach them from the tailpiece, so I can put them back on, and the new bridge will be using the same strings for the test. They're still really new J75s too.

    It may not amount to anything or be particular useful (or scientific?), but if it's never been done before, I thought it might be worth a try. If someone HAS done anything like that, I'd be interested to see the thread.

    Has it ever been stated which type of ebony Steve uses? Like if it's Gabon or whatever?

    Hope it comes soon!
    Last edited by Billkwando; Jul-10-2017 at 11:39am.

  19. The following members say thank you to Billkwando for this post:


  20. #11
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,013

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    I like your ideas. Haven't done any type of official tests. Would love to hear how things change after swapping out the bridge.

    Here are a couple of quick photos of the 2 bridges side by side -
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Bridges resized.jpg 
Views:	134 
Size:	89.2 KB 
ID:	159007 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bridges 2 resized.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	74.0 KB 
ID:	159008

    Hoping the attachments work.
    1935 Gibson A50, 2018 Collings MT, 1989 Flatiron Performer A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1935 Kalamazoo KM-21, 2018 Eastman MDO-305
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Longtine-Pl...4404553312723/

  21. #12

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Platt View Post
    I like your ideas. Haven't done any type of official tests. Would love to hear how things change after swapping out the bridge.

    Here are a couple of quick photos of the 2 bridges side by side -
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Bridges resized.jpg 
Views:	134 
Size:	89.2 KB 
ID:	159007 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bridges 2 resized.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	74.0 KB 
ID:	159008

    Hoping the attachments work.
    Thanks for the pics!

    Which one is which? LOL

    Also, what did you mean by attachments?

  22. #13
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,013

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Meant the photos. Still never sure I'm doing it right.

  23. The following members say thank you to Eric Platt for this post:


  24. #14

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
    I plan to detune the strings, capo them at the 1st fret, and detach them from the tailpiece, so I can put them back on, and the new bridge will be using the same strings for the test. They're still really new J75s too.
    I've never had to detach the strings to change or fit a bridge. As long as there is enough string winding on the tuner posts you can detune enough to lay the bridge down without damaging the top, especially if you use blue tape to mark the intonated position as a guide for sanding. Since a proper fitting will usually take quite a few stages of sanding and testing, removing the strings each time is far too time consuming. Just fit with the saddle removed, or slid onto the posts over the strings. A capo is helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
    Which one is which?
    The CA bridge is easily identified as the installed one in the first pic. More precise compensation. Smoothed edges. Slotted and well seated posts. Sturdier thumbwheels. More uniform woodgrain. Overall much nicer fit and finish.

    C.
    Northfield F5S Amber #347 - 'Squeeze'
    Flatiron 1N Pancake - Not just for breakfast
    Kentucky KM-270 - Not just for whisky
    Epiphone Mandobird IV - Djangly
    Cozart 8-string e-mando - El Ch(e)apo
    Lanikai LB6-S Banjolele (tuned GDAE) - Plinky and the Brane

  25. The following members say thank you to Chris Daniels for this post:


  26. #15
    Fatally Flawed Bill Kammerzell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
    Posts
    1,573

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Done the ear test. Always sounds better. Opens it up. Nothing scientific though.
    Gibson Custom Shop F5G Wide Nut (2010) Dave Harvey
    Collings MF (2016)
    Rag "F" style #40 (2018)

    Hohner and Seydel Harmonicas (various keys)

    "Heck, Jimmy Martin don't even believe in Santy Claus!"

  27. The following members say thank you to Bill Kammerzell for this post:


  28. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    I took a few measurements of a CA bridge, and the bridges that came with the Loars. The largest differences are the thickness of the bridge and saddles, and the width of the gap in the base. The saddle on the CA is .02 thinner resulting in .5 gram savings in weight. It is harder to compare the lower part of the bridge, as I don't have any fitted for the same instrument. The CA lower bridge is .045 thinner, and the scoop is a bit larger. The gap in the CA bridge is only .5 inch, while most others are about 1.0 inch. The CA lower bridge is at least a gram lighter than any other bridge i have available. It may be important that the contact area of the CA bridge is about 1.29 Sq Inches, while the standard bridge is 1.31 (very close I think). This results in the CA moving the contact area over a "wider" area without a resulting change in the contact area. Interesting stuff that might explain the gain in volume (pun intended!)

  29. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Doug Goodhill For This Useful Post:


  30. #17

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Daniels View Post
    I've never had to detach the strings to change or fit a bridge. As long as there is enough string winding on the tuner posts you can detune enough to lay the bridge down without damaging the top, especially if you use blue tape to mark the intonated position as a guide for sanding. Since a proper fitting will usually take quite a few stages of sanding and testing, removing the strings each time is far too time consuming. Just fit with the saddle removed, or slid onto the posts over the strings. A capo is helpful.



    The CA bridge is easily identified as the installed one in the first pic. More precise compensation. Smoothed edges. Slotted and well seated posts. Sturdier thumbwheels. More uniform woodgrain. Overall much nicer fit and finish.

    C.
    The smoothed edges are about the only thing you described that I can actually see, but maybe it's my monitor. I can obviously see that the 2 are different, but I don't have my mando on me right now to be able to identify which one is stock, by comparison.

    I appreciate your comments about how to do it with the strings on. One thing I'm confused about. If I tape off around the original bridge, in order to know where to put the new one, how will I sand to fit the new bridge? Won't the tape markings throw off the contour of the top, for the sanding, even if I put the sandpaper over top of them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Goodhill View Post
    I took a few measurements of a CA bridge, and the bridges that came with the Loars. The largest differences are the thickness of the bridge and saddles, and the width of the gap in the base. The saddle on the CA is .02 thinner resulting in .5 gram savings in weight. It is harder to compare the lower part of the bridge, as I don't have any fitted for the same instrument. The CA lower bridge is .045 thinner, and the scoop is a bit larger. The gap in the CA bridge is only .5 inch, while most others are about 1.0 inch. The CA lower bridge is at least a gram lighter than any other bridge i have available. It may be important that the contact area of the CA bridge is about 1.29 Sq Inches, while the standard bridge is 1.31 (very close I think). This results in the CA moving the contact area over a "wider" area without a resulting change in the contact area. Interesting stuff that might explain the gain in volume (pun intended!)
    So the CA bridge is actually lighter? I thought the prevailing (but perhaps presumptuous) wisdom was that the CA bridge was heavier, denser ebony, and that that somehow makes a difference in the sound?

    I'm still curious about the specific kind of ebony used in these, and if that is considered to be a factor in the perceived tonal improvement. I notice Steve hasn't chimed in on the thread again, so maybe it's a trade secret!

    Let's hope it's not ebonized luthite! (kidding!)

    I'd be perfectly willing to accept that tighter tolerances and more precise machining would be enough to make the difference everyone raves about, but it's good to separate the wheat from the chaff, as far as the truth is concerned.....especially when it comes to something as subjective and difficult to quantify as tone. I'm reminded of the Tonerite debate that rages on...

    Our ears and minds can often easily be fooled, especially considering that nobody likes the feeling of buyer's remorse (not that $67 is THAT big of a deal, I'm speaking more in general terms here, when it comes to instruments and mods) so when we get that new mod or new instrument, naturally your brain expects it to sound better, and so it usually does.

    I'm reminded of the guy who was saying that even his wife noticed that his brand new $5,000 mandolin sounded sooooo much better than his old $500 mandolin.

    I asked him what I thought was an astute question....... Whether she had made that observation before or after she learned it was a $5,000 mandolin.

    He never answered....

  31. The following members say thank you to Billkwando for this post:


  32. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    On Ebony...
    I would think that denser ebony would conduct sound better then a less dense ebony or other wood, but with these small items - the CA saddle part is only 4.0 grams, i'm not sure that density would show in the weight of the finished part. Newton's ideas of motion and inertia indicate that a lighter bridge would be more responsive to the forces put on it by the strings.
    Just a passing thought - we often talk about getting more volume, and the difficulties in measuring it objectively, but it might be easier to measure sustain where the two seem to be linked as opposites of the same physical properties. (electric guitar - rigid bridge/top - no volume, big sustain. acoustic guitar flexible top/bridge bigger volume shorter sustain.)

  33. #19

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Goodhill View Post
    On Ebony...
    I would think that denser ebony would conduct sound better then a less dense ebony or other wood, but with these small items - the CA saddle part is only 4.0 grams, i'm not sure that density would show in the weight of the finished part. Newton's ideas of motion and inertia indicate that a lighter bridge would be more responsive to the forces put on it by the strings.
    Just a passing thought - we often talk about getting more volume, and the difficulties in measuring it objectively, but it might be easier to measure sustain where the two seem to be linked as opposites of the same physical properties. (electric guitar - rigid bridge/top - no volume, big sustain. acoustic guitar flexible top/bridge bigger volume shorter sustain.)

    That's an interesting point about the sustain. Unfortunate, I had already completed the "before" phase of my before and after testing before I saw this. Interesting to note, The CA bridge weighed 18 grams, and The Loar bridge weighed 16 grams. After removing (essentially) all of the excess material needed for fitting, the CA bridge is down to 16 grams, same as The Loar.

    I've done 3 things for the comparison (while playing the same series of 4 of 5 songs excerpts -primarily chords and arpeggios- but some standard picking as well):

    - I've recorded the mandolin, plugged direct, into Reaper.

    - Simultaneous with the above, I ran my SPL meter, pointed at (and level with) the mandolin, from 1 meter away...with a video camera pointed at the SPL meter and recording the readings (and incidentally the audio, of course). The meter was set to fast response and "A" weighting. I think it peaked around 80 or 81db (not at home right now).

    - Separately, I recorded the mandolin with a large diaphragm condenser microphone, an Okatva MK 219, with headbasket mod.

    After gathering the above, I set about installing the CA bridge.

    Now, I've heard more than a couple people say something along the lines of "Yeah properly I installed the CA bridge, but if I had it to do again, I would take it to a luthier", and I wondered why. I've also heard people say that it took about 4 hours of sanding, which I hoped was an exaggeration. It was not.

    OMG, the sanding takes FOREVER. Having fitted The Loar bridge, I assumed it would be something similar. Let me tell you, there is a world of difference between sanding a bridge that basically already fits, and installing one that is essentially a blank, that is meant to accommodate any arched top mandolin.

    There's a very pronounced V (not counting the gap, of course) in the saddle base, no doubt intended to fit mandolins with a far pointier top than mine. So the inside of the V, about a centimeter from the gap on either side, extends far higher than the top of my mando, and the outside centimeter of each foot extends far lower than the top on mine. We're talking maybe a couple millimeters here, which is A LOT when you're sanding.

    I started sanding on Friday night and will still be putting the final touches on sanding when I get home tonight. It was too much for just doing it at my work bench. I ended up doing it on the couch, with the mando in my lap, for most of the weekend.....watching A LOT of YouTube. Yesterday, I watched/listened to Led Zeppelin at Knebworth while sanding it, and that's nearly a 3 hour concert.....and that felt like less than half, or maybe less than a third of the time I've spent sanding the thing. I can't say how many times I was tempted to take a dremel to it.....but I didn't.

    I'm taking my time and making sure to do it properly for a proper comparison....but man it is miserable! LOL

    Are the any shortcuts that luthiers take to get the bridge CLOSE to fighting form, prior to sanding? Of course, it would be too late for me now, but I am curious.

    Edit: I also noticed that I should've paid the extra $5 to get the lower version of the bridge, but I hadn't seen anyone else mention it, so I had hoped the standard size would be right for The Loar.

    Unfortunately, when I tested for fit and popped the strings into the the slots, I realized that even at its lowest setting, the saddle is way too high for this mando, which means I'll have to take my handy ####### file to the undersides of the saddle where the posts go through. It's probably going to have to come down at least 2mm (more than the thickness of the thumbwheel, for sure), but at least the file should be faster going than the 220 sandpaper I've been using (I hope!)

    I did notice how much more tightly the posts fit into the hole, with zero play or wiggle. You have to line up the saddle perfectly parallel with the base to put it back on, because the holes are too perfectly sized to allow for any tilt when you're putting it back on. It just won't go.
    Last edited by Billkwando; Jul-17-2017 at 12:42pm.

  34. #20

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    ah, the brain can be such a sly, obfuscating and misleading component of a human. the placebo effect does come to mind ... or is my mind playing tricks on me, yet again?
    Mandolins are truly *magic*!

  35. #21

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    ah, the brain can be such a sly, obfuscating and misleading component of a human. the placebo effect does come to mind ... or is my mind playing tricks on me, yet again?
    Hahaha, that's certainly partly what I had in mind here. I was a little surprised it had never been done before (that I know of)

    Really though, the idea was originally just to definitively compare to see which I liked better, tone wise. I really like the way the middle 2 courses sound on this mando, in particular (very throaty, like it has an awesome cold, lol), and was hoping the new bridge would spread the magic out.

    While I was at it, I just thought that since folks often rave about the difference/change in volume, that would be worth looking out for as well. Obviously, whatever the results are, it's not necessarily going to apply to everybody's situation, so I'm not trying to present it as any kind of potential final verdict...just an honest comparison. I just hate doing a bunch of work on something and having nothing to show for it besides "Well.......I THINK it might sound better.....maybe?"

    I did tune it up last night to check the bridge position for intonation before doing the final fitting, and I did notice that it seems to be treble-ier than before, and that I could take the action down crazy stupid low now (for me anyway) without buzzes. I didn't see an increase in the tone that I was looking for, and if anything, the middle strings sound like the outside strings now......but maybe that's just my imagination? (haha)

    Again, it was an imperfect fit (especially after having to angle it further than the angle I had been sanding it at for intonation, using the old bridge location as a guide), with zero time to for the bridge to settle, and just a quick test run, so I'm not assuming that it won't sound totally different next time.....or that my brief impressions weren't wrong.
    Last edited by Billkwando; Jul-19-2017 at 9:37am.

  36. #22

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
    The smoothed edges are about the only thing you described that I can actually see, but maybe it's my monitor. I can obviously see that the 2 are different, but I don't have my mando on me right now to be able to identify which one is stock, by comparison.

    I appreciate your comments about how to do it with the strings on. One thing I'm confused about. If I tape off around the original bridge, in order to know where to put the new one, how will I sand to fit the new bridge? Won't the tape markings throw off the contour of the top, for the sanding, even if I put the sandpaper over top of them?



    So the CA bridge is actually lighter? I thought the prevailing (but perhaps presumptuous) wisdom was that the CA bridge was heavier, denser ebony, and that that somehow makes a difference in the sound?

    I'm still curious about the specific kind of ebony used in these, and if that is considered to be a factor in the perceived tonal improvement. I notice Steve hasn't chimed in on the thread again, so maybe it's a trade secret!

    Let's hope it's not ebonized luthite! (kidding!)

    I'd be perfectly willing to accept that tighter tolerances and more precise machining would be enough to make the difference everyone raves about, but it's good to separate the wheat from the chaff, as far as the truth is concerned.....especially when it comes to something as subjective and difficult to quantify as tone. I'm reminded of the Tonerite debate that rages on...

    Our ears and minds can often easily be fooled, especially considering that nobody likes the feeling of buyer's remorse (not that $67 is THAT big of a deal, I'm speaking more in general terms here, when it comes to instruments and mods) so when we get that new mod or new instrument, naturally your brain expects it to sound better, and so it usually does.

    I'm reminded of the guy who was saying that even his wife noticed that his brand new $5,000 mandolin sounded sooooo much better than his old $500 mandolin.

    I asked him what I thought was an astute question....... Whether she had made that observation before or after she learned it was a $5,000 mandolin.

    He never answered....
    Well I'm that guy & I thought I did answer anyway to your question, the wife did not know which mando I was playing and She could care less about what an instrument cost She never asks. I buy & sell amps, Guitars, PA gear, etc. and every so often a mando. I think in last 2 years I've bought 4 and sold 1. Anyway I really wish that there was no tone difference between a 500 buck mando compared to 5k mando because I think we would all save a boat load of money. No ears are being fooled if those 2 mandos were even close in tone I would have sent the expensive mando back. I get it when a small change is made and you expect a result you may hear it when others can't but if you buy a new 500 buck mando and compare it to a 5k mando you will hear a difference.

    Anyway my new project is a Loar 310 I'm putting a K&k into and was curious about the CA bridge results I don't want hi-jack this thread comparing mandos. I'm thinking the bridge on the 310 will need some work and maybe a CA bridge will be worth putting on. I get the Loar this Saturday mean while I'll stay tuned.
    Lou

  37. #23
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    1,013

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by rfd View Post
    ah, the brain can be such a sly, obfuscating and misleading component of a human. the placebo effect does come to mind ... or is my mind playing tricks on me, yet again?
    Well, I guess it could be placebo. Like everything else. Strings, setup, or even instruments themselves, nothing really matters.

  38. #24

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Loubrava View Post
    Anyway my new project is a Loar 310 I'm putting a K&k into and was curious about the CA bridge results I don't want hi-jack this thread comparing mandos. I'm thinking the bridge on the 310 will need some work and maybe a CA bridge will be worth putting on. I get the Loar this Saturday mean while I'll stay tuned.
    Lou
    Awesome. I've never been near a $5k mando, so I wouldn't know! I did play a $5k acoustic guitar at GC, and it didn't sound any better than the $600 Taylor I played right before it.

    I'm going to be making a thread for my comparison on the LM-310, so you're welcome to post in that. It'll be about the same topic and the same model mando, so I would welcome your input, and would like to hear about your experiences.

    I'm just waiting until the bridge is fully fitted and settled before I do the 2nd round of tests.
    Last edited by Billkwando; Jul-19-2017 at 3:32pm.

  39. #25

    Default Re: Another rave about the CA bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Billkwando View Post
    Unfortunately, when I tested for fit and popped the strings into the the slots, I realized that even at its lowest setting, the saddle is way too high for this mando, which means I'll have to take my handy ####### file to the undersides of the saddle where the posts go through.
    Probably too late but I spoke to Steve at CA about this same issue when I was fitting mine and it's quite common. His recommendation was sanding the lower part of the saddle and not under the post holes. Just find a 90 angle in your house (countertop, etc.) to place the sandpaper on one side and lay the side of the saddle on the other. Easy and quick and you aren't removing structural material.

    C.
    Northfield F5S Amber #347 - 'Squeeze'
    Flatiron 1N Pancake - Not just for breakfast
    Kentucky KM-270 - Not just for whisky
    Epiphone Mandobird IV - Djangly
    Cozart 8-string e-mando - El Ch(e)apo
    Lanikai LB6-S Banjolele (tuned GDAE) - Plinky and the Brane

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •