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Thread: Looking to Replace the Bridge

  1. #26
    R-5, MT & A1 ('12. '13) lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by stevojack665 View Post
    If you're going through the trouble to replace the bridge, get a great one!
    https://cumberlandacoustic.com/product/mandolin-bridge/
    Best,
    Stevo
    Hi Stevo, I have been shopping on that very site and have Cumberland at the top of my list. Thanks, Dan

  2. #27
    R-5, MT & A1 ('12. '13) lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    Okay Mandolin Pals and Advisors: I read carefully all the suggestions and took my investigation a step further. I had never fully loosened all the strings and taken the bridge off of any of the mandolins I have owned and intonated. I read the information provided above and took the bridge off and looked it over. The base was on the instrument in the right direction but the top, actually the saddle, could be reversed as to not fall into the forward lean it had developed. The posts were both secure and were not bent in any way. The thumb wheels were operating correctly. Someone, with good intentions I am sure, had redrilled the holes in the saddle to enlarge them and the one on the high strings was too large and the strings were pulling it too far forward. I reversed the saddle and began the set up and adjustments from scratch.

    After I intonated the high E and low G I tightened up the the middle D and A strings, checking for a nice straight bridge top. Everything was working wonderfully at that point. Next, while watching a Brad Laird set up video and then an Audey Ratliff set up video , I raised the action with the thumb wheels a bit. I tuned and returned, and began to play. The bridge is solid, each string is intonated at the octave and there are no buzzes with low action. The tone is warmth and projects well, and maintained plenty of dry chop. There will be no need for a new bridge and the mandolin continues to amaze. Audey used some great stock on these woods based on the complex tone and visually pleasing grain patterns. I am grateful for the chance to learn how to get the bridge back in the right configuration.

    Note: the foot had been reversed because the original pencil markings of Bottom and Top were reversed when the bridge was refitted during an adjustment after market by a previous owner. The saddle fit much better in reverse and still was compensated correctly in order to intonate and maintain the right scale and distance from the nut to the bridge saddle. Thanks again all!

  3. #28
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    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    I determined that the bridge wasn't optimal and ordered an ebony tall boy, full contact (no gap) bridge from Steve Smith at Cumberland Acoustic. I will be getting it professionally installed and set up by luthiers at Folk Music Center. The bridge will match the ebony armrest I have on it from Cumberland. In the meantime, it is leaning some but I have it intonated and playing great.

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  5. #29
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    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    I wanted to complete the thread for future reference. The CA bridge described above was installed wonderfully at Folk Music Center in Claremont. Henry and Dave are excellent luthiers and worked with me closely to get it just the way I wanted and also did a pro set up. It is home and playing in great shape. Here is a pick of the new Cumberland Acoustic bridge sold to me by Steve Smith. The bridge matches the armrest Steve sold me earlier, both in ebony. Please click the pix to enlarge so you can see the detail of the CA bridge. Let me know your thoughts or questions. Thanks for all the help.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #30
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    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    Oooh Dan, that Ratliff is looking nice.
    When you going to post a sound sample?
    The silking on the top in the closeup looks so cool!
    Happy pickin!
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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  7. #31
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    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaMatt View Post
    Oooh Dan, that Ratliff is looking nice.
    When you going to post a sound sample?
    The silking on the top in the closeup looks so cool!
    Happy pickin!
    Hi Matt, I appreciate your response and that we share our love of Ratliffs! May I humbly ask, What is "silking"? I know it is a finish concept, but it is a newer word in this context for me. Would you mind defining it for me for my edification? Thanks my friend! Dan

  8. #32

    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    Silking is the pattern that runs across the grain to varying degrees. If you look at high res pictures of an Ellis or a Collings you can usually see quite a bit on very glossy finishes. I don't know if it has any practical value, but it is pretty.

    Actually it is very apparent in the pics above, in front of and to the side of the bridge.
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  10. #33

    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    Silking has nothing to do with the finish, but all to do with the fact that the wood was cut directly across the grain. It exposes the medullary rays. Very pronounced in white oak, delicate 'silking' in spruces such as Engelmann, Sitka or Adirondack.
    Play it like you mean it.

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  12. #34
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    Default Re: Looking to Replace the Bridge

    Hi Bill and Br1ck, I really appreciate you guys giving me these good answers. I see what you mean and I recognize how that appears, as the way you describe it, I have seen it in my Collings Gloss Top and this Ratliff, as well as a few of my acoustic guitars. Interesting terminology. Thanks friends!

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