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Thread: Bridge gap

  1. #1

    Default Bridge gap

    Hello mandolin world!
    I recently purchased an Eastman MD815
    and noticed a small gap under the bridge. I have read on the forums here that the bridge should fit snugly with no gaps, so I知 assuming this should be fixed? I致e also noticed that the G string has somewhat of a tinny sound compared to the others. I hear this tinny sound a bit on the A string as well, but not as much. Could this possibly be caused by the bridge fitting? I知 annoyed because the music shop I bought my instrument from supposedly set it up properly before shipping. Thank you for any advice/guidance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bridge gap

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Howell, NJ

    Default Re: Bridge gap

    That's not a gap, that bridge is made that way.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bridge gap

    To see if the bridge is making contact where it should, tear off a small piece of notebook paper and try to slide it under the feet of the bridge where it appears to be making contact. If it slides under the feet in one or more places, the bridge is not fitted perfectly, or the wood on the top has possibly changed due to humidity changes, pressure, etc. Also, the bridge can shift or tilt from shipping or loosening, then tightening, the strings. That can happen very easily if the strings were loosened a good bit before shipping (for safe shipping) and you had to tune it up quite a bit to get it to pitch. Check to see if the bridge is mostly perpendicular to the mandolin top where it sits. If not, place masking tape to outline the bridge in case it moves, loosen strings, carefully move the bridge to full vertical and full contact of the feet, then hold the bridge in place, and vertical, as you gradually, and carefully, tighten the strings to pitch. This should correct the tinny sound if that was the problem. If you are not comfortable with doing this, DON'T. Bring it to a local luthier or music store for their assessment and recommendations.
    Also, a new mandolin has to be played very much to get the woods to open up, or begin to "wake up". It will sound better in time, as long as it is built, and set up, properly. Sometimes there is a problem with the actual construction of a mandolin, so have someone look inside at the braces, etc.
    I highly recommend that you contact the dealer FIRST, before having anything done that would void the warranty They normally wish to keep their customers happy. You may be able to exchange your mandolin for another of the same model, or one you would like to try in place of yours, if you are just not happy with it. Some dealers will even cover shipping costs for exchanges.
    Last edited by Luzianaman; Nov-21-2021 at 10:40pm.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bridge gap

    Looking at your picture, nothing looks amiss, but that doesn't mean that there isn't something up with the mandolin.
    As Mike mentioned if this is the gap you are concerned about that's how the bridge is designed:
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    While the bridge should be seated properly against the instrument, it shouldn't contact the body of the instrument across it's entire length. You can see it more clearly on orchestral string instruments.
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    Instruments can be properly setup and shipped but there are many factors that can change that between when it is packed and when it arrives to you. If possible I'd reach out to someone local to look at it. They'd be able to diagnose this right away and let you know if there is an issue and if it is the original shop's responsibility to take care of it. Plus if you are new to the instrument they can show you a few things that more experienced players don't think to mention to someone starting out.

    Best of luck and hopefully you'll be enjoying the new mandolin soon.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bridge gap

    Thank you, everyone, for your expertise and guidance. I知 relieved to hear that the gap I知 seeing under the bridge should be there. Thank you!

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