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Bridge question

klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
I'm contemplating changing the bridge on my Dell'Arte. The action is a bit low on the treble side, and Alain sent along a somewhat higher bridge blank just in case.

I do notice that the top edge on the new bridge is measurably thicker than the one currently on the guitar, and also thicker than on any other gypsy bridge I've seen. Does this make any difference? Is a thin top edge desirable?

"It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
-- Orson Welles


  • Jeff MooreJeff Moore Minneapolis✭✭✭✭ Lebreton 2
    Posts: 476
    I'm not a luthier but a player and tinkerer. A truly knife edge bridge (meaning an edge on the top of the bridge that the string contacts for less than 1/8 inch) becomes a fatigue point for the string. You will tend to break strings. The wider top gives you two valuable possibilities. 1. refining the intonation by selecting the point the vibrating "business" portion of the strings exits the bridge. 2. arranging that the "break" or bend of the string over the bridge has two points or a continuace curve up to the point of perfect intonation where it leaves the bridge.

    I'm sure someone could say this better.
    I don't want anymore "knife edge bridges" like most of what I see coming from the factories.

    To bend a string over 10-15 degrees over a fine edge is to invite continuous string breakage at that point.

    Getting the exact string placement on a bridge is working in three demensions. The height, the placement across the bridge, and the placement of the point of intonation along the length of the string all have to be right.

    It's pretty easy for me to carve out bridge blanks with a saber saw and dremel, but getting the three dimensional placement of all six strings perfect is three times as time consuming as making the bridge to begin with. But really worth it when every chord in every position is sweet (in tune) and the guitar plays just right.

    If you can get your hands on suitable 3/4 and very hard wood and can operate a saber "jig" saw, you can make a lot of your own blanks pretty easily.

    Regardless of the price of the guitar I bought, the bridges that came on all my GJ guitars were nicely made (to look at) but not workable both for my chosen set up or good intonation.

    Phew! I'm exhausted trying to explain. If your not at all experienced with wood work, this likely won't help but if your adventurous and have the time it may be worth trying for you so you can discover your own best set up.
    "We need a radical redistribution of wealth and power" MLK
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