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Thread: Givens Saddle - custom size?

  1. #1
    Registered User Matt Livingston's Avatar
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    Default Givens Saddle - custom size?

    I recently purchased a 1991 Givens A3 off the classifieds here. The saddle of the bridge is cracked. Right now, it still plays great and the crack is not causing any issues I can tell. At some point, if/when I have to do something I guess I have three options:
    1) Glue it - I've read that results can be mixed
    2) New saddle - The owner included a new replacement bridge (unopened) with the mandolin. The saddle is 2 1/4 (screw to screw). The Givens seems like it's 2 3/16. Would I need a custom saddle?
    3). New bridge - Rather work with what I have but I guess it's a fall back option.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User Matt Livingston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

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  3. #3
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    Normally, I would say replace the whole thing. But I have feeling that break can be glued and it might last a long time.

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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    Replace it and don't even think about it. If you want to you can slightly ream the bridge holes to get a fit. But make sure the ream is side to side, do not allow any front to back at all. Not what I would do...I'd just replace the whole shooting match. I have CA'd the split bridge a couple times (out of stubborness) and it has never held.

    As "they" say...YMMV.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    That bridge has the threads in the lower part, so opening the holes in the replacement saddle would work and avoid fitting the base. That split would bother me, and the experienced people here don’t seem to trust glue, generally say replace. In my world, a bit of wire would be strong enough, plus a little glue for acoustics. Or just put in the whole new bridge, both parts, bearing in mind that fitting is necessary. On a high-end instrument, best done carefully.

  6. #6
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    There is quite recent thread with similar crack glued and reinforced. I've done that many times and it always held. Though in this case the break looks like it is not just split along grain but there is some crooked crossgrain break or bend on the right side as well... but it could be just artefact of photo.
    The base doesn't look fitted too well so you will need to fit it and replacing just saddle won't save you much work. And don't forget that you cannot remove too much wood from saddle (especially at the wheels) or it will end up like the old one.
    Adrian

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    I'd replace the whole thing. Then you're done with it. Get a high quality replacement from Cumberland Acoustics or Bill James (axinc.net). Fitting the base properly isn't that big a deal if you're careful.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dale Ludewig For This Useful Post:


  9. #8
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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Ludewig View Post
    I'd replace the whole thing. Then you're done with it. Get a high quality replacement from Cumberland Acoustics or Bill James (axinc.net). Fitting the base properly isn't that big a deal if you're careful.
    Cumberland is great to work with....just give him the center measurement of the post distance. Adrian has had good success with gluing and he is extremely qualified. I am a hack....just good enough to know that I am same. But I have had two superglued bridges fail within maybe six months. That said, why bother to even wonder if it will hold? Also, learning to fit a bridge base to a top is time consuming but also very enlightening. It draws the understanding of the instrument closer to you. Once you do it you will understand that "good enough" is not good enough. It will need to be perfect. It also helps to be retired. And a bit anal compulsive (retentive?) (if that term is even allowed here) that way. And regardless of what Dale says...fitting the base properly is a huge deal the first time. Figure four hours. And then you will wonder.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    Well, Dale has probably done several thousand bridge fittings through the years, so, yeah, no big deal to Dale, but for us mere mortals, a bigger deal than it should be, lol. Around my house, if a project doesn’t involve at least 3 trips to Lowe’s and a new tool or 2, it’s not worth the effort
    Chuck

  11. #10
    Registered User Matt Livingston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    Thank you. Replacement bridge ordered. I'll keep playing it as is for now but once the bridge comes I'm sure I'll want to fit it on.

  12. #11
    Registered User Matt Livingston's Avatar
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    Default Re: Givens Saddle - custom size?

    Wound up ordering a CA bridge. As described, I went through the sanding exercise to fit the bridge. The top curvature of the mandolin is enough that I wound up needing to take off enough of the bridge so that it is no longer a 2 footed bridge. It's now full contact. Wasn't necessarily going for that approach, but I rolled with it. Sounds great. I do like the original bridge from Givens (SN etched beneath the saddle) so I'll try to repair it and save it for a rainy day. Thanks for the advice. All worked out in the end.

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