I'd been thinking about this for some time, but you guys really got me going. If this has been covered before, please delete it. If it should be in the equipment section, please move it - but it seems to me to be as much about technique and tone as it is about materials.
I've been up all night filing and sanding a taller bridge for my 250M and I am astonished at the difference it has made in the guitar's tone and playability. As far as I'm concered this is a 'must do' modification. I had no conception what a difference a few millimeters could make, and quite frankly was afraid I wouldn't be able to play it at all with the action jacked up.
It's actually EASIER to play now. I can really whack the strings as hard as I want, and even play faster than before. I do not understand the physics and mechanical principles - it just feels right.
The sound really projects - brighter, more open and resonant - and these are old strings!
I am so grateful for all the info I've soaked up here in the last 48 hours.
Thank you all very much.
Once he's got the measurements from your guitar, he'll craft a bridge specifically for you, and you won't have to worry about screwing around with it too much on your own. The replacement he made for me made a huge difference on my guitar, and all without shimming, shaving, etc. For thirty or forty US$, I can't imagine what would have helped more. And for Gitanes, especially, I'm with David-it's a must do modification.
Hope that helps,
I ordered all three bridges that were available from
although there are probably better ones out there, maybe even right here somewhere on this site.
I used the lowest one which is plenty tall enough for the 250M. They're a bit too long to fit between the moustache ends, so those edges have to be filed off first, then the top curved to match the fretboard radius, then slotted and that's it.
Good luck with this little project. Let us know how it turns out. For me, it's like having a brand new guitar - I can't put the dang thing down!
Don't buy a Miller for your Gitane, it does not work well. I have a Miller and it doesn't work with the Gitane. even if it fits under your strings without the strings hitting the pick-up it doesn't sound good. The B-string is far to loud and the whole balance is terrible. It does work with guitars that have a lot of space between de top en the strings, I'd say about two centimeter. I tried it for example on a woodland and that works ok, but still the sound wasn't satisfying to me.. :?
(Scroll down and you'll see it)
Also look as the Dupont bridges. I have used them many times and they are really close to the original Selmer bridge and sound great. I have been building my own bridges lately from the Selmer plans. It is a fun project but if you don't have a good wood shop it will take you way more time then it is worth.
I've been thinking about making a bridge ala the Selmer plans. Cutting the blank and the profiles looks easy enough, but how do you machine the hollow areas either side of the string contact edge, i.e. the upper faces of the bridge? And the carved out areas on the underside (a gouge chisel?). How do you fit the "feet" to the (slightly curved) top?