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Question about bridges

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
What kind of bridge makes a GJ guitar sound best?

I just finished lowering and installing a bridge which I moved from one guitar to another. it does make the guitar sound better (the previous bridge was one of those adjustable archtop type bridges) especially boosting the midrange.

My new bridge is made of rosewood, which I presume is a desirable wood?

Its inside has been hollowed out... Is that good?

it sits atop the guitar on two feet... Is that the best way, or is it better if the whole bridge contacts the guitar's top?

The strings sit in rather shallow indentations, to the point where some of them will come out of the groove if picked too hard...?

comments from everyone are welcome, but I'm especially interested in hearing opinions of luthiers and repairmen...

Will
Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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Comments

  • jonpowljonpowl Hercules, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Altamira M01F
    Posts: 636
    I'm certainly not a luthier but I saw this YouTube video about a bridge repair that answers some of your questions.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,712
    Thanks. That bridge looked almost exactly like mine, including the hollowed out interior and the two feet, so I guess that is the standard design for GJ bridges?
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • Posts: 3,661
    I posted a question about a difference in bridges and got lots of useful answers.
    I'm yet to do anything concrete about it besides that I fitted my existing bridge a tad better, but I'm still planning to.
    Anyway here's a thread and there are some very detailed and descriptive posts in there:
    viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11819

    Buco
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,712
    Very informative thread, Buco, thanks for the link.

    I'm just kind of curious about people's experimentation with various materials and designs.

    I was kind of hoping that the illustrious Mr Holo might share his thoughts with us on this subject, because anything I could do to replicate the rich harmonics of his guitars would be desirable.

    Personally if I had to trade off volume for richer tone, that's a sacrifice Id be prepared to make because when I play in public my guitar is usually amplified, and when I play at home I really don't need any extra volume... In fact, as far as my wife is concerned, the less the better!

    Will
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,252
    Hi Will,

    Picks and strings are a lot better way to quickly alter tone and volume than bridges - try silk & steel and a Dunlop Gator 2mm held backward and you'll be in mellow-ville without any guitar mods. Or Get one of the really thick... i forget... Mustache? picks. I played one at Michael's last time I was up there and thought... whoah... this is like driving a Cadillac... Nice picks, but the really thick picks always leave me wanting a little more zing - whether Wegen or Mustache or whatever. YMMV depending on what you want. In terms of materials for bridges - it's a lot like bridge-plate material for Western and Spanish guitars. Mass mellows, density brightens... but the weight and intonation of these bridges is much more finicky than most due to the reduced soundboard mass and increased scale length, so bridge mods tend to end in tears a lot. Never mod a bridge that works - always do whatever else you can to return the guitar to the desired state. For instance, humidity mellows a guitar too - a lot of GJ guitars get zingy in the winter as the wood dries out and decreases in viscoelasticity, and the action lowers, reducing top loading which reduces system damping, and increasing the amount and onset of fret-outs... and as the action drops, the relative intonation changes which can make a guitar sound ugly and people perceive loss of intonation in different ways, but in general, it'll give you a bumpier ride. So, humidify a guitar, put silk & steels on it & up your pick thickness a little and you'll go from Lotus to Lexus.
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,712
    Thanks, Bob. You da man!

    Will
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • Posts: 3,661
    I agree with Bob, strings and a pick is the first thing you should experiment with.
    If you wanna get a mellower tone, silk and steel is the way to go.
    In my case that (I use LaBella now and Gallo before) and a pick (BlueChip SR60) made enough improvement for me that I didn't have any more need to mess with the bridge.
    I will still try another bridge at some point just so satisfy my curiosity.
    I may even make my own, I have most if not all the tools needed and I was thinking I could practice on some pine out of 2x4 until I get my hand trained.

    I see bridge and guitar relation as an equalizer and speakers.
    All speakers like guitars have a different character and fundamentally that will always stay the same but you can eq their sound and that's what I see different bridges do for a guitar, tweaking bass mids and trebles.

    Buco
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,712
    Good ideas, Buco. I've been thinking about getting a blueChip pick for a while now but I always wind up so overwhelmed by their many models that I can never choose one. Plus I keep hoping that somehow I could try a few before choosing.

    I find that djangobooks.com does not sell silk & steel strings, surprisingly enough, so I guess I'll have to try my local music store...
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • Michael has the Galli Silk and steel strings
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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