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Thread: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

  1. #1

    Default Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    I begin practicing/learning chop chords today - and I can hear the short sections of the string behind the bridge ringing out - really loudly

    My first thought is just to slide a little piece of foam under there to shut them up but are there any other neat solutions?

    thanks
    Tim

  2. #2

    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    You can weave a piece of leather through them just above the tailpiece, attach some leather to the underside of the tailpiece cover or under the strings at the tailpiece, or use the little rubber o-rings that fit between the strings.

  3. #3
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    What kind of tailpiece do you have? Most (but not all) tailpieces have a forward ledge or lip that the strings lay on as they extend towards the bridge. A piece of felt or cork there can help dampen them from ringing, and it's easier to keep in place than something you have to install/uninstall every time you change strings.
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    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    +1 for a small piece of leather woven between the strings. The only down side is aesthetics.

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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    I have a piece of leather under the strings. You can glue it to the underside top of the tailpiece cover, or put it under the strings. It is out of site, works well, and you don't have to fool with it when you change strings.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Seems like the choices are:
    A small piece of felt, rubber or leather inside the tailpiece. Some tailpieces come with one of these. Cheap and invisible. Maybe not the most effective as people seem to need more.

    A strip of leather wound through the strings near the tailpiece. Some folks don't like the look of this.

    A harmonic suppressor Weber and Hill Country stringworks make these (among others I suppose). Look nice but are more expensive

    Rubber grommets. You can get em at a hardware store. Some folks like the look of these. I find it hard to find the right size. The ones I tried seemed to effect the angle of the strings from the tailpiece to the bridge.

    Also some folks like to dampen above the nut as well.

  7. #7
    Registered User loess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    The black rubber grommets that you can sometimes find at the hardware store are I believe the same ones that are also used in tattoo machines (they keep the needle firmly secured to the tattoo gun's armature bar). I couldn't find any grommets at my local hardware store, so I found a pack of 100 on eBay, from a tattoo supply company. Only cost a few dollars.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a picture of the grommets installed on a mandolin between the strings behind the bridge:
    (thanks to Jake Wildwood for the photo!)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    TimO, if you have difficulty sourcing these, send me a PM. I have a ton of extras from the bag that I bought on eBay, and would be happy to mail you a set to try out.
    *`.☽☆☾.*

  8. #8

    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin View Post
    What kind of tailpiece do you have? Most (but not all) tailpieces have a forward ledge or lip that the strings lay on as they extend towards the bridge. A piece of felt or cork there can help dampen them from ringing, and it's easier to keep in place than something you have to install/uninstall every time you change strings.
    The tailpiece looks a bit different to what I'm used to seeing - see if this picture link works: https://photos.app.goo.gl/VmZkYrrmAYaCOy8B3

    thanks

  9. #9

    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by loess View Post
    The black rubber grommets that you can sometimes find at the hardware store are I believe the same ones that are also used in tattoo machines (they keep the needle firmly secured to the tattoo gun's armature bar). I couldn't find any grommets at my local hardware store, so I found a pack of 100 on eBay, from a tattoo supply company. Only cost a few dollars.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	tattoo-needle-grommets.gif 
Views:	21 
Size:	31.5 KB 
ID:	162846

    Here's a picture of the grommets installed on a mandolin between the strings behind the bridge:
    (thanks to Jake Wildwood for the photo!)

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	weymann-grommets.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	123.7 KB 
ID:	162847

    TimO, if you have difficulty sourcing these, send me a PM. I have a ton of extras from the bag that I bought on eBay, and would be happy to mail you a set to try out.
    thanks - I'll see if I can track any down.

    (also super thanks for the offer - I'm in the UK though)

    cheers

  10. #10
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Digging up a lot of old chestnuts, Tim..

    rather than the grommets that disappear when a string breaks,

    my old Gibson tail piece, has a strip of leather boot lace under the strings , and a piece of sticky-back felt under the cover..





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  11. #11
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    I use rolled up felt under the strings between the bridge and tailpiece.

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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by TimO View Post
    thanks - I'll see if I can track any down.

    (also super thanks for the offer - I'm in the UK though)

    cheers
    Tim - I had a delivery of 100 of the little beggars last week - a lifetime's supply! They cost me 2.72 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00PZO1R...841_TE_3p_dp_1) and that included delivery to the UK from Hong Kong. They didn't have any in Maplin. PM me your address and I'll send you a few. If you're into breaking strings, bear in mind that they tend to ping off into the audience never to see the light of day again.
    Ray

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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    If you can find an old hardware store (the kind that has one of everything ever made, plus homemade jellies, jams and candy/fudge), there's a good chance they'll have the grommets. That's how I got mine. (I also got some peanut butter fudge while I was there.)
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    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Nothing wrong with a little foam! Unless it keep getting thicker....

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Tim - Are you hearing the strings themselves ie.'overtones',or the strings ringing against the underside of the tailpiece front edge ?. I ask because my Lebeda mandolin has a similar 'cast' tailpiece on it. The upward string pressure under the front edge is obviously sufficient to prevent any 'ringing',but a bit more of a tailpiece angle upwards & i could imagine a problem.

    There are 2 things that you can do - 1) Try a strip of leather or grommets placed between the strings. 2) Remove the tailpiece & glue a strip of thin leather to the t/piece front edge underside. I had to do that with my Weber. It originally had a thin piece of red felt under it which quickly shredded,so i replaced it with a strip of leather & it's been ok for the last 10 years.

    Either or both might work for you - hopefully,the easy option !,
    Ivan
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Tim - I had a delivery of 100 of the little beggars last week - a lifetime's supply! They cost me 2.72 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00PZO1R...841_TE_3p_dp_1) and that included delivery to the UK from Hong Kong. They didn't have any in Maplin. PM me your address and I'll send you a few. If you're into breaking strings, bear in mind that they tend to ping off into the audience never to see the light of day again.
    Ray
    You sir are a scholar and a gentleman - message inbound :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    If you can find an old hardware store (the kind that has one of everything ever made, plus homemade jellies, jams and candy/fudge), there's a good chance they'll have the grommets. That's how I got mine. (I also got some peanut butter fudge while I was there.)
    yes, but how was the fudge?

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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    I feel I should point out that old hardware stores of the type David refers to died out in the UK some years ago (remember Woolworths?) and have been replaced by the interweb.

    Got your message Tim and I'll try to sort it later today. Never done Paypal (although my account apparently gets suspended regularly!) I think I can afford a stamp.

  18. #18
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I feel I should point out that old hardware stores of the type David refers to died out in the UK some years ago (remember Woolworths?) and have been replaced by the interweb.
    Fortunately they're not totally extinct, there's one near me that's a real Aladdin's cave and is my go to place for hardware. Even sells single nuts.

    No fudge though

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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    You'd have thought that they'd sell fudge if they sold nuts

    We used to drive past a good hardware store on the way into Chesterfield but they now sell lady's frocks. Must have more frocks!

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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I feel I should point out that old hardware stores of the type David refers to died out in the UK some years ago (remember Woolworths?) and have been replaced by the interweb.
    That's also happening on this side of the pond. Fortunately, there are still a few.

    As to the fudge, it was great. I'm almost diabetic so I had to drag it out over a few days. I think that made me appreciate it more.
    David Hopkins

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    Recording King Resophonic Mandolin; Slingerland Songbird Guitar (c. 1939)

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    ''Maplins'' UK stock a few different sizes,
    Ivan
    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    I can't see any on-line of the right size and, as I said above, they didn't have any in the shop when I looked. All the ones they do have are ten times the price I paid for them.

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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    I have done quite a few set ups and have found that some noises that we think are "overtones" are there because of the bridge not being fitted perfect....I found this to be true on two mandolins that I just finished setting up and after working on the bridge the noise was gone...Something a person that does set ups should check out for you...

    Willie

  24. #24

    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    Thanks to Ray(T) the grommets arrived today.

    Put them on and there was an immediate improvement - but oddly still a high overtone. I'd have sworn blind that it too was still coming from the bridge area but when I tested damping various parts of the mandolin, it was coming from the D and A string courses on the headstock!

    Added a grommet each to those pairs and now it is nice and quiet when damping/chopping.

    Thanks again Ray.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Stopping the strings resonating behind the bridge?

    You're welcome Tim. Sympathetic ringing sounds can come from various parts of a mandolin; usually from between the bridge and tailpiece but, as you've discovered, sometimes from between nut and tuners. It really depends on the individual instrument and whether the effect is obtrusive to your ears.

    I picked up a Fylde mandolin, from 2009, at auction a couple of weeks ago. I cleaned it up and swapped what looked like the original eight year old strings for a new set of J74s. The ringing overtones were really bad - particularly when lifting my fretting finger. Damping the strings behind the bridge has cured most of the problem but it's clear that certain harmonics are still being generated by the open (unfretted) strings.

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