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archtop bridges

Is there any reason, in principle, why you could (or should) not use an archtop bridge on a selmac?
Reject the null hypothesis.
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  • CalebFSUCalebFSU Tallahassee, FLModerator Made in USA Dell Arte Hommage
    Posts: 557
    I have seen pictures of Favino's with archtop type bridges. I don't know if they were just Archtop bridges or archtop style bridges made for these guitars.
    Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    the selmer style bridges have much less mass (for one thing they're hollowed out inside) and don't contact the top except on either side, so presumably they allow the top to vibrate more freely. Caleb I imagine you're referring to Ted's old Favino (now Michael's)? That was a standard archtop bridge I believe, and I think Ted told me that that guitar would probably have sounded better with a selmer style bridge. Although it sounded damn good regardless :) In the end I think it probably makes only a slight difference.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    At some point the Favino I have (formally Ted's) had an adjustable bridge put on it. It really killed the sound. I've since had a trad. Selmer bridge fitted for it and it improved 100%. Basicly it brought back the high end which was really muted with the adjustbale bridge.

    The bridge is probably one of the most crucial links in a guitar's sound production. I don't screw around with it....I have an expereinced pro do all my bridge work and it makes a huge difference. He spends hours sanding the bridge so it makes perfect contact with the top. You'll loose a lot of sound if you just throw a facotry bridge on your guitar without matching it to the specific curvature of your guitar's top. Every one is a little different...you get much more effecient trasnference of sound if it's match just right.


    'm
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 452
    hi all,
    Futhermore typical archto bridges have metal poles, and even a footed (doesnt touch the whole length of the bridge) should not fit without serious adjustment to the feet. Archtops are typically curvier then selmacs. If you are looking for more adjustability- please just carry the truss wrench around with you (for the neck or through soundhole, assuming the guitar has one- some selmacs dont) and use that- the change in sound is not really worth it.
    bennedetto says in his book that he thinks the footed bridge is better- even recomends hollowing it out- and no adjusting poles!!
    Cheers,
    B.
  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    Okay, so now for my followup: I've noticed recently that Biereli, and a few other players, are playing guitars with traditional looking bridges, with a catch. The catch is that the bridges have a bone saddle on them. I can see the advantages to this design in theory, but I've never played a guitar fitted in this way. Does anyone have any experience with this type of bridge on a selmac. Any thoughts?
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • Mac HackMac Hack San Diego, CANew
    Posts: 44
    pallopenna wrote:
    Okay, so now for my followup: I've noticed recently that Biereli, and a few other players, are playing guitars with traditional looking bridges, with a catch. The catch is that the bridges have a bone saddle on them. I can see the advantages to this design in theory, but I've never played a guitar fitted in this way. Does anyone have any experience with this type of bridge on a selmac. Any thoughts?

    I too noticed when watching the new Boulou & Elios Ferre DVD "Live at Djangofest Northwest" that Boulou's guitar has the same bridge set up. The Dell Arte Boulou signature model, a long scale 14 fret Grand Bouche, which he appears to be playing in the DVD, includes this bridge configuration as stock.
    "On apprend tous les jours." - Stéphane Grappelli
  • scotscot Virtuoso
    Posts: 547
    I made an ultralight bridge for my maple Saga with a bone saddle. I have pictures and I would post them but I don't understand how to do it. Help?

    The Saga probably was the wrong guitar to try this on - it brightened up what was already a pretty punchy guitar. All in all I am happy enough with it. I'm still working on another lightweight bridge without the bone saddle. I also am a big believer in fitting the bridge feet exactly to the top. I do it by taping a piece of sandpaper to the top and work the bridge until it fits perfectly. Some people believe that once you've done this, you should remove some of the center contact patch to keep the actual contact area small - either by drilling or carving. I have never done it on a guitar so I don't know what that will do. Maybe on this bridge I'm doing now...
    Best
    Scot[/img]
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,891
    scot...just email me the photo and i'll post it for you.

    'm
  • valdaevaldae new orleansNew
    Posts: 48
    Does the use of a bone saddle increase sustain? Just curious. I noticed that most Pantonettes have this saddle configuration.
    "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch
  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    What am I going for? Hmmm....

    Actually, some of this is just curiosity. I saw Bireli recently and I noticed the bridge and wondered whether there is some principled reason for trying this type of bridge. I don't think you want more sustain from selmacs in general so, if that's what having the bone saddle does, I don't get it. On the other hand, if the bone helps with note clarity (it certainly can on flattops), then it makes sense.

    The other part of this is trying to learn more about what makes some bridges work well, and some not. I recently got a Gitane 250-M; a really nice guitar. Much nicer than I was thinking it was going to be, but of course it's got that Gitane bridge, which is awful (I think). So, before I just go to StewMac or Michael Collins for a new bridge, I thought I'd ask around about this. Also, I have a Shelley Park Montmartre, which is a fantastic guitar, but it has a fair amount of buzzing. Shelley has built me two bridges: the original, and one that is about 1mm higher. The higher bridge works well, but when the humidity changes and the arch on the top alters just a bit, the buzz increases. A friend of mine, whose an excellent flattop set-up and repair man has adjusted the neck, so I'm pretty confident that the only place to address the buzzing issue is with the bridge. And, to make a long story longer, when I've tried to shim the bridge, the tone becomes much harsher, which leads me to believe that I'm not so good at shimming. I'll try Scot's sandpaper technique, but there it is.

    So Ted, it's not broke; I just want to get an idea of how bent it is.

    -Paul
    Reject the null hypothesis.
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