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Wooden bridge versus adjustable


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Here's a question I sometimes wonder about. Does anyone have any thoughts/preferences concerning compensated wooden bridge or adjustable saddle/metal bridges? I was SHOCKED to find that my 175 intonates perfectly with the wooden bridge and 13-56 strings. Wes style octaves actually sound richer annd somehow MORE in tune than I've ever gotten from a metal bridge. It's hard to explain... Thoughts....?

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Interesting question.....


I've played a variety of archtops and other guitars with wooden bridges


Some wooden bridges are 'straight' saddled...others have a 2nd string notch


All very sophisticated, but in the heat of performance of arguable benefit


The accuracy of a 6 saddle metal bridge is undisputed


But in my experience a wooden bridge does have a tone edge on a quality hollow jazz guitar....





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I agree. Wooden bridges are"drier" and have less sustain, if you want that classic Johnny Smith sound.


I like a livelier sound. My favorite setup is an Adjust-O-Matic with nylon saddles. This is good with round wounds, but GREAT with flats.


I've never had intonation problems with wooden bridges, BTW, except for the odd set of "bad" strings...


Just my opinion.


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I agree. Wooden bridges are "drier"


I really like this description, it's perfect. The term I usually use is "woodier".


I too prefer the sound of a wooden bridge. I have a rosewood bridge on my L-7 acoustic, and HAD a Tune-O-Matic on L-5CES. The L-7 is set up with a floating pickup system, and the L-5CES of course has the two top mounted humbuckers. The two guitars sounded very different (my main use is plugged in), and although I didn't want them to sound exactly the same, I did want the L-5 to sound a little more like the L-7.


Contrary to what has been stated above, the Gibson compensated rosewood bridge on the L-7 DOES NOT intonate properly with the strings I use (LaBella #800M 14-67). It also seemed all the aftermarket bridges were similarly notched as the Gibson. After checking and analyzing the intonation and bridges on the three guitars that I use these strings on (two with wooden bridges, one with Tune-O-Matic), I determined the biggest problem was the "G" string. For my strings this saddle needs to be about as far back of the center line as the standard cut is forward of the center line.


Anyway, I took a micrometer to the perfectly adjusted Tune-O-Matic and used those measurements cut a compensated bridge from a chunk of ebony. The second try was a keeper, and I couldn't be happier. The change in sound to the L-5 was EXACTLY what I was hoping for.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I've had a bad experience with LaBella nylon strings (for Spanish guitar). The wound strings break (sometimes overnight after restringing with a brand new set), they snap in two either at the bridge, or at the tuning keys, but they always break. La Bella told me it was my guitars, not their strings.


Ok, so I tried other brands of strings and they last for a year or more without breaking. So much for LaBella's copout. [thumbdn]


I think LaBella is selling old strings.

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