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Thread: OM Flat Top Bridge

  1. #1
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    Default OM Flat Top Bridge

    Hi everyone.
    I have an Ozark OM - 20" scale. The bridge that came with it is c**p. Therefore I am going to make another one. It will have a full length foot. I plan to use ebony - which I have used before on anothere instrument - with a 3mm bone cap. The question is - will the bone cap alter the tone of the OM?

    Thoughts and suggestions welcome, as always.

  2. #2
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: OM Flat Top Bridge

    The new bridge will probably change the tone. The unknowable bit is whether it will be an improvement or not At the same time if you can make one, you can make a few from different materials and shapes and see what happens. Welcome to the rabbit hole.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: OM Flat Top Bridge

    I have a flattop OM and built an ebony bridge (nonadjustable) for it so I could stagger the compensation. I found the E string to be too muted so inlaid a piece of bone in the to of the bridge for that string only. Sounds great now. I don't feel the wound strings don't need the bone saddle for tone on my particular instrument.

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    Default Re: OM Flat Top Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    The new bridge will probably change the tone. The unknowable bit is whether it will be an improvement or not At the same time if you can make one, you can make a few from different materials and shapes and see what happens. Welcome to the rabbit hole.
    Thanks Graham. Thinking of different shapes, would a Red Henry style of bridge work on a flat top? The bridge needs to be 22mm tall.
    I've attached a photo of the current factory bridge for reference - the saddle is of preformed plastic.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #5
    Mandolin tragic Graham McDonald's Avatar
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    Default Re: OM Flat Top Bridge

    As I suggested before, there really is no way of predicting what will happen with a different bridge. With a bridge that high and a single transverse brace, I am not surprised the soundboard is collapsing!

    Cheers

  8. #6
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    Default Re: OM Flat Top Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham McDonald View Post
    As I suggested before, there really is no way of predicting what will happen with a different bridge. With a bridge that high and a single transverse brace, I am not surprised the soundboard is collapsing!

    Cheers
    Hi Graham. You must have been reading another post that I made about the Ozark with a collapsing soundboard. That instrument has been replaced by Stentor with another one that is, I believe, an older model. Exactly the same dimensions except for deeper sides (3" against 2.5") in mahogany. On looking inside I have noticed that the soundboard is X braced - great! Why they changed to a single transverse for the newer model I'll never know.

    To bridges, I have made a solid ebony bridge which works pretty well with J80 strings. I am also making a Red Henry model in maple, just to see what difference it makes. And for even more experience I shall make another ebony one with a bone cap, although I suspect that may make the OM too harsh.

    Thanks for yoyur comments
    Jeremy

  9. #7
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: OM Flat Top Bridge

    I just completed my second mandolin build and opted for the Red Henry bridge and am very pleased with the results. I had to fight with the compensation a little bit and do some research on compensation to get it right, but it works really well and I am pleased with the result!... Good luck!
    aka: Spencer
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    Default Re: OM Flat Top Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by soliver View Post
    I just completed my second mandolin build and opted for the Red Henry bridge and am very pleased with the results. I had to fight with the compensation a little bit and do some research on compensation to get it right, but it works really well and I am pleased with the result!... Good luck!
    I have also just fitted a Red Henry bridge to my OM. Compensation worked out easier than I thought - courses 1, 2 & 3 to the front with course 4 to the back. I've left the foot solid through the length of the bridge for the moment. I might try putting an underarch in later.
    It all seems to work well and at least I have a playable instrument that I feel comfortable with for rehearsal tomorrow night!

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