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Thread: Identify Cumberland bridge

  1. #1
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    Default Identify Cumberland bridge

    I have 3 bridges on different mandolins. They have been switched around in the past. One is a Cumberland, one is from an Eastman 515 and one is from a cheap kit. How do I determine which is the Cumberland? I have lost track.

  2. #2
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Here's a photo. of the current style of Cumberland Acoustic bridge for comparison,
    Ivan
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    The one with the strongest, best defined tone is the Cumberland. Of course, if the bridge isn't perfectly mated to the top, they'll all sound weak.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Denser wood usually. Crisp machining.
    Stephen Perry
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Hello Dan,

    Identifying a Cumberland Acoustic bridge can be difficult, but here are a few things to look for...

    Our threaded posts are black. They can be raised or lowered by using a 1/16" Allen wrench from the bottom holes on the bridge base, so you will also see that these post holes go all the way through the bridge, but are only threaded part of the way.

    Also, our post holes on the saddle go all the way through the saddle. Some bridges do not go all the way through, stopping before they reach the top edge.

    On our compensation cuts on the top edge of the saddle, our E string compensation is all the way to the front (neck side) of the saddle, meaning there is no ramped cut on the front edge.

    This one is kind of hard to see, but we machine the thumb wheel notches on each end of the saddle with a specially ground bit that leaves a slight radius on the inner corner of this cut. I have found that most other bridge makers do not offer this feature. We do it this way because it makes the saddle much stronger in its areas that are most likely to fail if you don't make them this way.

    Here's the easy way: A couple of years ago we started stamping "Cumberland Acoustic" on the relief area between the two threaded posts on the base. This is one of those things I wish I had done years earlier. I can't tell you how many bridges from other makers I probably replaced over the years before doing this. In the odd occurence that one of our bridges does fail in some way, I now have the customer send me their existing bridge before replacing it. A time or two in the past I have had bridges returned to us in our packaging, and they clearly were not our bridges. Oh well!

    Hope this helps.

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am thinking this is the Cumberland.

  9. #7
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassdan View Post
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    I am thinking this is the Cumberland.
    I'm not so sure. The routed edge cut seems to go too far into the feet, I've only used two or three CA bridges but this is not the look I remember, and BTW, the saddle looks flipped.
    Adrian

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  11. #8
    Registered User LongBlackVeil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    I think i could tell the difference but its hard to describe.

    The biggest thing that i notice is that CAs have thicker rounded edges on the saddles usually. The one you posted does not look like CA to me
    "When you learn an old time fiddle tune, you make a friend for life"

  12. #9

    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Agree with Hogo, doesn't look like a CA bridge



    I sanded and polished this one, but you can see that it differs.



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  13. #10
    Registered User Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassdan View Post
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    I am thinking this is the Cumberland.
    All CA bridge tops I have seen has each little edge (of the off-sets) rounded, this one hasn't. It (just the top) actually looks more like a vintage Gibson than the CA. And, of course, Adrian is correct, it's flipped.

  14. #11

    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Once again, kind of hard to tell, but I don't think that is one of our CA bridges. The tell-tale thing to me is the base. What we call the "cove cut" on the top edge of the base is quite a bit deeper than we normally do. You can notice this by how it interacts with the "shoulders" on either end of the base. Compare to Robert's excellent pictures and you will see the difference.

    The releif area between the posts also looks a bit deeper than we usually go.

    I, too, would flip that saddle around and reslot it, if possible. If it becomes too low after sanding off the existing slots, you may be able to just get a replacement saddle, post spacing willing.

  15. #12
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    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    I think this came off my Eastman and the Cumberland went on the Eastman. The Cumberland will now go on my kit mandolin. I think I might need longer screws. Is that possible?

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