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Thread: New electric bridge

  1. #1

    Default New electric bridge

    I've been working on a new bridge specifically for arched top solid body electrics. I could spend a bunch of money and basically recreate the generic tun-o-matic style bridge, but since most emando builders are hobby guys or just going the DIY route to save money, I wanted to make something that was a bit budget conscious. So, here is my most recent prototype. I'm using the same concept that I use on my hardtail bridges just to be able to keep the price reasonable. Any thoughts or opinions? Feel free to be brutally honest and pick it apart.

    Andrew
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  2. #2
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    My .02 ... perhaps bridge piece a bit more stable with both ends of the screw supported,

    2nd bend in the base to form a square bottom U .. hole drilled thru both ??
    writing about music
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  3. #3

    Default Re: New electric bridge

    Since I also have been trying to come up with an affordable way to
    make a tune-o-matic style for mandolin family instruments.
    I do feel you have addressed the budget issue with flying colors.
    And I also agree a square U-channel would be more stable.

    Here's my problem, the design you show does not have a radius accross
    the top of the saddles. Or a way to adjust a radius. I feel this is critical for proper playing action. I guess it would be ok for a flat fretboard.

    I thought of using barrel saddles with the height adjustment screws,
    this would also require a wider base plate. It just does not look right
    for my tastes.

    I also would like to hear what others have to say about this design.

    Respectfully,
    Tom

  4. #4
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    Andrew,
    I'm not clear on where the ball-ends of the strings will be anchored. Are you going to use a stop tail piece or a trapeze tailpiece? Will the strings adequately clear the back end of the bridge? And I do agree that height adjustment would be a nice feature.

    Looks wonderful though. Kinda thing I wish I had the gumption to do.

    Daniel

  5. #5
    Registered User Chris Willingham's Avatar
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    Wow. That thing's a beauty. What lucky devil is that going to?

  6. #6

    Default Re: New electric bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoFan-do View Post
    Wow. That thing's a beauty. What lucky devil is that going to?
    Just some guy. So what do YOU think of the bridge???

  7. #7

    Default Re: New electric bridge

    This bridge will require a tailpiece. Due to the travelling distance of the saddles, I can't use my existing string through design because the wraps are too long and will rest on the saddle.

    I have tried several different combinations including using adjustable barrel saddles like I offer on my hardtail bridges but the strings will make contact with the back of the bridge. The saddles sit too low, and I can't reduce the height of the back of the bridge enough to use those saddles. I can get varying heights of the saddles shown so that you could have a radius. The height of the bridge, to set the action, can be adjusted using the thumbwheels.

    I could machine a traditional style tun o matic but its going to put it in the $100+ range, and these would fall in the $30-$40 range. I've also been working on a wrap around style like Jon Mann uses but I really want to be able to intonate the individual strings. I still have several designs on the drawing board, but this is the first one that seems real viable. I have a couple more ideas I am going to tryout this week, as I only have about a week before two of the instruments that require this style bridge are being shipped.

    Thanks for the feedback. keep it coming.

    Andrew

  8. #8
    Registered User Chris Willingham's Avatar
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by thistle3585 View Post
    Just some guy. So what do YOU think of the bridge???

    looks great. and you just answered the two questions I had, about radius and a stopbar, in your last post. I can't wait!!

  9. #9
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    Supporting the bridge pieces by the ends rather than the Bottom will allow use of divided pickups
    such as RMC makes , which have a signal lead coming out the bottom .

    a second piece with square holes supporting the bridge piece ends,
    and the U shaped sheet-metal piece with appropriate holes and slots,
    can get soldered together before plating the works ..
    writing about music
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  10. #10
    Recipient of medication Cliff D's Avatar
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    Looks marvelous. The problem I have with the Tunomatic bridges on my guitars is lack of travel at the bass end, so all these guitars are a tad sharp (on the low E) as one moves up the fret board. What would be very nice would be to incorporate further travel by allowing the bridge to swing slightly on the bass side post, whilst remaining fully anchored on the treble side post: this could be achieved by drilling a track way on the bass side, rather than simply the positional hole. Obviously the track would need to be circular in section to permit some travel, & such adjustment would slightly alter the string spacing, but effectively this would be the same as tweaking a fixed bridge (say like on a banjo) slightly on the bass side. I appreciate that if this were to be done there maybe stability issues which might require a grub screw or some locking mechanism, but other than either increasing the depth of the length of saddle travel within the bridge, or actually staggering the travel channels I can presently offer no further suggestions. If such a bridge were available for the Eastwood I suspect there would be a quantum of interest!
    Last edited by Cliff D; Feb-24-2009 at 8:36am. Reason: grammar (or lack thereof!)
    Sorry madam, but we are fresh out of bull-dogs today!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    I like the design!
    Rather then clipping the corners on the back, what about leaving them on and just putting a radius there. That would allow an infill of wood or whatever which could be drilled for the mounting post and offer a bit more stability, a smoother surface for my hand to whack and might even look classy.
    If using a U channel approach the front of the U would only need to come up enough to allow the adjusting screws to sit in a notch.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    What was the final design?

  13. #13

    Default Re: New electric bridge

    The bridge pictured with gold saddles and a gold stop tailpiece is going on the instrument that is pictured at the top. I started milling a stop tailpiece until stumbling upon a custom, narrow spaced four string stop tailpiece, so I am waiting for it to arrive before final assembly. It is still in the prototyping stage and I will continue to refine it.

    Andrew

  14. #14
    Luthierus Amateurius crazymandolinist's Avatar
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    HY HERO!!! Will be ordering one in the future. I've been looking for one of those forever.
    "The Beauty of Grace is that it makes life Unfair" - Relient K

    "THEY'RE HERE!!! THEY'RE HERE!!! the Albino Brain Chiggers!" - Harry from 3rd Rock

  15. #15

    Default Re: New electric bridge

    Okay, here is an update on the bridge project. I just finished the prototype stop tailpiece. This will be sized to cover a four or five string bridge. I am still working on the bridge itself. The tailpiece is 3" wide which is a half inch wider than the overall width of the bridge. Sorry for the bad photos.
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  16. #16
    Luthierus Amateurius crazymandolinist's Avatar
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    Default Re: New electric bridge

    that's very nice. You're new bridges are very impressive considering the size. Not too many people do as good a job on such small pieces.
    "The Beauty of Grace is that it makes life Unfair" - Relient K

    "THEY'RE HERE!!! THEY'RE HERE!!! the Albino Brain Chiggers!" - Harry from 3rd Rock

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