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Thread: Identify Cumberland bridge

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Manchester - Lancashire - NW England

    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Here's a photo. of the current style of Cumberland Acoustic bridge for comparison,
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Weber F-5 'Fern'.
    Lebeda F-5 "Special".
    Stelling Bellflower BANJO
    Tokai - 'Tele-alike'.
    Ellis DeLuxe "A" style.

  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.

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

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Chicagoland, IL, Southside

    Default Re: Identify Cumberland bridge

    Denser wood usually. Crisp machining.
    Stephen Perry - Primarily violin family - Acoustic blueprinting
    South Side Chicagoland

  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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