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Thread: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

  1. #1
    Bridger Products
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    Default Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    Im hoping to get some feedback from the players, builders and dealers on this forum about changes that I have made to my original Brekke mandolin bridges. Basically, do the changes seem reasonable?

    The changes were made to accommodate a growing European market and to reduce the number of stocking/inventory parts I need to make and for builders and dealers to buy.

    The main changes are:

    1) There are now three arch-top mandolin base sizes: Tall, Low and Ultra-low. I'll still offer the flat mandolin bridge for Flat-top instruments.

    2) There are new adjustment screws: 3 mm stainless set screws with 3 mm brass inserts. These replaced the rather odd 5-40 custom inserts that were used.

    3) The adjustment L wrenches are 1.5 mm and gold colored.

    4) A small indentation has been added to the base, between the slots, to identify the new bases that use 3 mm screws.

    5) The bottom arch is full-contact rather than a two-foot design. In the past, I've offered both - with the two-foot as the standard but I have been getting more requests for full-contact bases. So, this change was based on my belief that anyone who can fit a bridge can make a full-contact bridge into a two-foot bridge, if desired, but a two-foot cannot be converted into a full-contact. Is this a reasonable assumption?

    6) All arch-top bridges will be shipped with radius saddles. - In the past, flat saddles were standard and radius saddles were by request. It is easy to sand a radius saddle flat but much harder to make a flat saddle have a radius. Again, is sanding a radius saddle flat a reasonable expectation for my customers?

    A complete bridge package will contain: an ebony base, wedges, short and tall intonated saddles, and a 3 mm adjustment wrench.

    Thanks, in advance, for any guidance or feedback on these changes.

    Vern Brekke
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  2. #2
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    I think its all reasonable, especially arched saddle for arch top instruments.

    Love my bridge on my 98 Absaroka.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    I welcome all these changes, especially the full-contact base. When and where these new bridges become available, I’m in.

    Tom Fuldner

  4. #4
    Mandolin & Mandola maker
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    I have a batch of these new bridges and I think the changes are well worthwhile.
    Peter Coombe - mandolins, mandolas and guitars
    http://www.petercoombe.com

  5. #5
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    I had a question about heights of the various options and discovered that Vern has it all (and more) spelled out on his website: http://bridgerproducts.com/brekke_br...brekke_bridges . NFI.
    New to mando? Click this link -->Newbies to join us at the Newbies Social Group.

    Just send an email to rob.meldrum@gmail.com with "mandolin setup" in the subject line and he will email you a copy of his ebook for free (free to all mandolincafe members).

    My website and blog: honketyhank.com

  6. #6

    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    Interesting. I know a lot of people like having intonation already set, but I hope there will be the option of getting an uncut saddle.

    In my case, I have some pancake mandolins which are strung as mandolas, and for which I made ebony Red Henry bridges. Only the highest course is plain wire, with the rest being wound, so it requires different intonation from the mandolin's two plain courses and two wound.

    I was reading Peter Coombe's writings about the Brekke performing as well with a separated foot and mid-saddle cut-out, and being adjustable, so I'm on the verge of ordering two flat Brekke mandolin bridges of the correct height range.

    I've heard nothing but good things about the Brekke bridge, so I'm excited to try them out!
    ----

    Playing a funky oval-hole scroll-body mandolin, several mandolins retuned to CGDA, three CGDA-tuned Flatiron mandolas, two Flatiron mandolas tuned as octave mandolins,and a six-course 25.5" scale CGDAEB-tuned Ovation Mandophone.

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  7. #7
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    All of these changes make sense. The new ones should function much like the old ones.
    I have one on my Collings mandola strung with Thomastik strings and there is not a hint of 'twang' in the sound. Just an amazingly warm sound.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

  8. #8
    Mandolin & Mandola maker
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    Vern told me that all the saddles from now on will have my saddle cut out modification implemented. This gives quite a nice extra sparkle to the treble on flat top mandolins and a brighter and richer tone on arch top mandolins, and I am happy Vern has taken it on board. Vern supplies the saddles as a blank to me, so there is that option available. With a blank you can tailor your saddle compensation to what ever strings you use.
    Peter Coombe - mandolins, mandolas and guitars
    http://www.petercoombe.com

  9. #9
    Bridger Products
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    Thanks for the responses everyone. I appreciate your thoughts on the bridges very much and appreciate that the changes do not seem unreasonable. My main focus with these changes has been a conceptual shift from selling essentially custom bridges to a more generic product that can be displayed in a store setting.

    I have to apologize to Peter. I've been doing his modification on the saddles long enough that I didn't think to include it as a new concept.

    Blank, uncompensated saddles will always be available as a custom option as well as flat saddles, if requested. I will also still do custom bridges for larger instruments: mola, octave, bouzouki, etc ...

    Vern

  10. #10

    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    Woo-hoo! Thank you, both Vern and Peter, for your responses!
    ----

    Playing a funky oval-hole scroll-body mandolin, several mandolins retuned to CGDA, three CGDA-tuned Flatiron mandolas, two Flatiron mandolas tuned as octave mandolins,and a six-course 25.5" scale CGDAEB-tuned Ovation Mandophone.

    Love mandola?
    Join the Mandola Social Group!

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    THanks for the update Vern. I look forward to trying the new design.
    Bob Schmidt

  12. #12
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by VernBrekke View Post
    6) All arch-top bridges will be shipped with radius saddles. - In the past, flat saddles were standard and radius saddles were by request. It is easy to sand a radius saddle flat but much harder to make a flat saddle have a radius. Again, is sanding a radius saddle flat a reasonable expectation for my customers?
    It seems reasonable to think most people could sand a saddle flat (though I'm sure there are those among us who could screw it up), but here's my question:

    First of all, I have only worked with a very few Brekke bridges so I'm not extremely familiar with them and this is based on ignorance.
    If the arch is sanded flat, is string length affected? In other words, does reshaping to flat change the compensation built into the saddle?

  13. #13
    Bridger Products
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    Default Re: Changes to the Original Brekke Bridge

    To answer John's question, the intonation cuts on the saddle are deep enough that the compensation will not change when a radius saddle is sanded flat. That is, the intonation cut is straight at the bottom and does not follow the radius of the saddle so sanding the saddle flat is the same as if it was originally intonated as a flat saddle.

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