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Gibson Belly Up bridge


gibbyuk

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I think initially Gibson did the belly up bridge as an easy way to be different than Martin. I think they are careful to do a lot of little things that separate them from Martin as to not be accused of copying or stealing their ideas and designs. I think in most cases they barrow from each other, as well as all the other makers at that time as well as now. All companies take and build on the ideas of their competition, the trick is being just different enough even if it isn't better.

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My SJ45 is belly down

 

yIKfVeyl.jpg

 

 

And that would be typical of early SJ bridges in the banner era. Gibson also used belly-down bridges on some guitars in the late 1960's, in the adjustable bridge period, so they are not unknown from time to time.

 

Don't ask me why they would use one or the other, or the straight ones as well (replicating older Gibson bridge styles from the 1930's-40's). Martin seems to have been a bit more consistent than Gibson in this regard.

 

Hmmm, do I see a pattern here.....?

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Are you with us, Kaiser Bill - shape/curve/bulge/stomach/belly opposed to straight. .

 

The up/down belly is a weird detail in the Martin/Gibson divide, , , and in Gibson's own history as well.

Players who always had downs find ups totally odd, almost to a degree of seeing them as faults. Probably the other way around too.

It's all a matter of gettin' used to both (though my deeper spot still feels the down is the most 'correct' after all those Morris and D-35 years).

 

I guess people outside the acoustic guitar-realm would find the topic nothing but crazy. . .

 

No so with us inside the rosette. .

 

 

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Imho, the Martin belly-down style makes more sense from a structural stability standpoint,

due to the larger gluing surface behind the pin holes.

 

But for some reason I visually like the belly-up bridge!

 

Gibson's argument has been that the belly up bridge solved a different structural problem.

 

Tops often sink above the bridge, due to the pull of the strings. The extra surface of the belly in that area reinforces the top and spreads out the force of the strings pulling down, preventing the top from caving in.

 

Since they point the belly in different directions from time to time, I'm like some of the others that think they just did it to differentiate themselves from Martin and others.

 

Red 333

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Tops often sink above the bridge, due to the pull of the strings. The extra surface of the belly in that area reinforces the top and spreads out the force of the strings pulling down, preventing the top from caving in.

 

Thanks, Red. I thought belly up acted as a lever to fight string pull, too.

 

Since they point the belly in different directions from time to time, I'm like some of the others that think they just did it to differentiate themselves from Martin and others.

 

Of course this blows any sort of architectural rationale out of the water....

 

I wonder if luthiers have fights over this.

 

 

FMA

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Okay...duh all of a sudden the lights came on. You are calling the wooden piece where the pegs go a bridge. To me... the bridge is the white (bone or plastic) piece that the strings set on. Thats where I was totally confused. So what was the question??..LOL

 

 

KB, the bridge is the wooden bit that the saddle (the white bone/plastic bit) is fitted into. It can be a bit confusing, since we talk a lot about a fixed bridge and an adjustable bridge, when the adjustable bit is actually the saddle.

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Gotcha...different nomenclature for acoustics than electrics...at least for me.

 

Same for both, Bill.

 

The bridge attaches to the guitar body, and is the support that holds the saddle. The strings sit on the saddle.

 

On your Les Paul, the tunomatic bridge bolts onto the guitar's top, and has six adjustable saddles. On your acoustic, the bone or plastic saddle sits in an angled slot that is cut into the wooden bridge, which is glued (and sometimes screwed) to the guitar's top.

 

Red 333

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