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Thread: custom saddles for Mandostrat

  1. #1
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    Default custom saddles for Mandostrat

    About the only thing i'd like to improve on Fender's recent model is the string saddle. Intonation is always off and they're not wide enough. So i'm looking for a machinist kind of person who can make some angled ones the right length, similar to the AllParts angled Tele saddles (which have too narrow string spacing). Stainless steel would do as well.

    Another idea would be a new 4 string bridge, but my searches haven't turned up one with the same screw hole spacing as the bridge that's on it.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    I have the 4 string version of the mandocaster and changed the bridge out with one of these, he makes them for 8 string as well. They drop right in. Works great and the intonation is now spot on. Also put an almuse pickup on mine and it screams now.
    http://www.moongazermusic.com/bridges.html
    Hughes F-5 #1
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    1958 Gibson A-5

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    Registered User Vernon Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    Guess I didn't see that..too bad, nice stuff. Glad I got one.
    Hughes F-5 #1
    Hughes A model #1
    1922 Gibson A-2
    1958 Gibson A-5

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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    Thanks for writing, Vernon and Jacob. Somebody bought Moongazer's stock, but i've disremembered who it was. Should've bookmarked the website i guess.

  6. #6

    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    When I bought my reissue mandostrat some years ago one of the first things I did was replace the saddles. It made a huge improvement in intonation. I think there was a thread here at the cafe discussing the various options. The nice thing about the mandostrat bridge is that you can buy a set of compensated saddles for the old style tele bridges and they will fit on the mandostrat. I still have the third compensated saddle around somewhere, along with the two stock ones (though they were so terrible I'm not sure why I am bothered saving them). StewMac has a set that lets you really fine tune the compensation, but I went with Wilkinsons that resulted in intonation that was as close to perfect as my ears need. Note that you need to put the correct direction of compensation on the right pair of strings, since the three compensated saddle sets for teles aren't identical. But it doesn't take long to figure out which direction works, and then Bob's your uncle.
    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    Thanks very much for the info and links. The Mandostrat seems to have a wider 13mm spacing than the All Parts Tele spacing, so are the Wilkinsons wide enough? StewMac doesn't list their string spacing. i don't have a Tele anymore, so those dimensions aren't handy.

  8. #8

    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    The Wilkinsons worked for me, Dan. I bought mine from All Parts. Pretty sure these are the ones I bought.
    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    I tell you what I'd like to find, one of the ashtray bridge covers for a Mandostrat. I'm not sure anybody makes them.
    The Loar LM-600-VS
    1972 OMI Dobro Model 60-D
    2003 Martin HD-28V
    2011 Martin GPCPA2
    and a few more....

  10. #10
    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    C B Gitty has a 4 string roller style hard tail bridge

  11. #11
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    The bridges that Moongazer sold were fabricated by Andrew Jerman:
    http://www.crossroadswood.com/Accessories.html

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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    All worthy suggestions here. It seems like most, if not all of the bridges have screw holes in other places than the original. It would be nice not to drill new holes in the body. The Wilkinson for guitar is interesting.

    Then i stumbled on the Armadillo Guitars website, maker of many bridges, saddles and knobs for Telecasters. They also offer angled saddles for the Fender mandolin bridge. The reissue bridges are supposedly made with the same dies as the originals. $20 + $5 shipping doesn't seem unreasonable, and the stainless steel screws are appealing. i'll let you know how it works out.

  13. #13
    Mangler of Tunes OneChordTrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    Possibly an expensive way about it but the Thomann Mandocaster has a similar bridge design which worked very well.

  14. #14
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    Dan, Andrew Jerman, the man behind the Moongazer bridge, is on the Cafe as thistle3585.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Andrew Jerman Irwin-style 5 string electric "Stealie", Eastman 515, Shiro F-5, Crafter M85E, Dillion 335 style, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Boards: Acoustic Electric
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    Looking forward to the Armadillo saddles when they get made and arrive. Should they not suit me, i would be looking for a new 4 saddle bridge with the same hole spacing as the original and Andrew would be hearing from me (and maybe some others listed above). Thanks, Dave.

  16. #16

    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    FWIW here are a couple of pics of the Wilkinsons on my mandostrat/mandocaster/strat-o-lin/whatever...Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: custom saddles for Mandostrat

    The Armadillo saddles arrived today and went on with no issues. They were designed especially for the Fender 4 string electric mandolin, put the intonation just right and are plenty long enough to the space the strings wherever desired. No modifications or compromises, just spot on with excellent craftsmanship and attention to the little details. i'm liking the stainless steel screws, too. Best $20 i've spent in a long time. i didn't know anybody made these. Double thumbs up for the Fender guys.

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