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Bridge on true Selmers

Craig BumgarnerCraig Bumgarner Drayden, MarylandVirtuoso Bumgarner S/N 001
The bridges I see on original Selmer petite bouche guitars are very asymmetrical in height. What I would call normal or slightly over height on the treble side, but VERY tall on the bass side. Much taller than most any modern made Selmer style I've seen.

You can see this in the Close View of the two Selmers listed as well as on Francois Charle's plans.

Anyone know why that is besides the obvious possibility that they just wanted to get the bass strings higher? The strings don't appear to be abnormally high, but it is hard to see.

It seems quite possible that the neck angle is greater than on modern guitars thus requiring a taller bridge? Doesn't this result in a higher break angle over the bridge and tonal differences. I wonder why we don't see more of this on modern replicas?



  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622

    The base side is higher but the images you are seeing on the link you sent are a bit of an illusion. The bridge does come to a nice point, the compensation and angle of the shot makes the bass side of the bridge look much higher then it really is. I have the honer of seeing a Selmer most any time I want. I have inspected it very closely (as I am building a guitar myself) and the bridge is very normal and looks like a nicely fitted Dupont. The thing most people don't do when they fit a bridge blank is finish it. So it does not come to that nice point at the top but rather is heavy. Not only heavy on the top but all over. The blanks can be tuned quite a bit. They are made to allow for the extra wood to come off in order to truly fit every guitar. That is why it is called a blank. The bridges on the link you sent are very nicely fit and finished. I have seen some Favino bridges that really are tall and thin so you are right in saying that some of the older guitars do require a tall bridge. Look at the thickness of the fret board on older guitars. They did this to accommodate a Stimer. Most new guitars can't fit a Stimer under the strings. There is just not enough room. The Dupont VR models have a nice thick finger board for this very reason. One can play with a Stimer with ease.

    BTW if you ever get a chance to see a Dupont VR they are the closest build I have ever seen to an original Selmer. Really nice ruitars. The tone is dead on and I think that is what a new Selmer would have sounded like back in the day.

  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    Josh Hegg wrote:
    Most new guitars can't fit a Stimer under the strings. There is just not enough room.

    actually a lot of the gypsy guitars made these days can accomodate a Stimer, although most of the low end ones cannot.
  • Josh HeggJosh Hegg Tacoma, WAModerator
    Posts: 622
    I guess lower end is what I meant. I stand corrected. :)

  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 270
    I have a Dell'Arte Sweet Chorus that's about five years old and could not fit the Stimer in properly. When I played anywhere above the tenth fret (twelfth on some strings), the strings would hit the pickup. It's a damn shame, too, because when it wasn't hitting the strings, that thing sounded amazing.

    By the way, I bought my pickup from Jacques at, and he was great. He answered all my questions before I bought it, he shipped quickly, and when I couldn't make the Stimer work with my guitar, he was polite, even apologetic, and refunded my money very quickly. I'd definitely do business with him again.

    - Rod
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