Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

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Henrique Schneiter
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Henrique Schneiter »

Greg, did you find a custom strings set like that or you have to buy those strings from different sets?

I understand what you say. I usually play with 0.010 and 0.011, and recently with 0.012 (still adapting). The initial "discomfort" I felt came from the treble strings mostly.

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Greg Robinson
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Greg Robinson »

Henrique, I have to buy the strings individually and assemble sets myself. I buy strings in bulk and like to have as many different gauges of singles available anyway: I often do partial re-strings for schools that don't have the money to do full re-strings but just need the instruments playable. So, lots of plain steel 1st's, lots of nylon 6ths. Otherwise I'd end up with lots of half-used sets!
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Patrick Kirkham
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Patrick Kirkham »

My favorite bridges are the ones that do not cause discomfort to my playing style, intonate the strings to the frets as well as can be expected and make as much contact with the wood as possible. Here's why; I picture a pie chart attributing the cause of tone of an ELECTRIC guitar to be 95% pickup,4 % wood and 1% everything else. The woods reaction to the vibrating string, whether it is to absorb meeting frequency or highlight frequency latency where there is no cancellation is persistently the responsibility of the nut and bridge and to some extent tuners and tailpiece.Semi-Acoustic guitars highlight this principle in a more digestible way in that the vibration of the top acting with and against the vibration of the more elastic string bring what we hear as "wood" tone. This concept is not lost on a solid body and rather helps define it's attributes as well. But then, I am the guy that can hear the difference in the attack of the envelope of a plucked string between a maple and rosewood fretboard.

Gordon Bellerose
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Gordon Bellerose »

Patrick Kirkham wrote:My favorite bridges are the ones that do not cause discomfort to my playing style, intonate the strings to the frets as well as can be expected and make as much contact with the wood as possible. Here's why; I picture a pie chart attributing the cause of tone of an ELECTRIC guitar to be 95% pickup,4 % wood and 1% everything else. The woods reaction to the vibrating string, whether it is to absorb meeting frequency or highlight frequency latency where there is no cancellation is persistently the responsibility of the nut and bridge and to some extent tuners and tailpiece.Semi-Acoustic guitars highlight this principle in a more digestible way in that the vibration of the top acting with and against the vibration of the more elastic string bring what we hear as "wood" tone. This concept is not lost on a solid body and rather helps define it's attributes as well. But then, I am the guy that can hear the difference in the attack of the envelope of a plucked string between a maple and rosewood fretboard.

I agree Patrick. All of our efforts as builders go toward accuracy and solid fitting hardware. This is not just so it doesn't fall off the guitar, it is part of the tone of each guitar. A I stated earlier in this thread, if we are not striving or at least allowing for transfer of vibration to the body of any guitar, not just an acoustic, then the whole discussion of "Tonewoods" is useless.
A maple body guitar has certain tonal characteristics that are different from a mahogany body, or a basswood body.

This topic stirred up some good discussion. It would be nice to get some other opinions on which bridge is considered best.
We spoke of how important individual saddle adjustments are, both for intonation and height. Some spoke of bridges that are not their favorite type.
What kind of bridges are we using for our builds?
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!

Art Davila
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Art Davila »

Greg Robinson wrote:
Warren May wrote:I really like the Schaller flat mount roller bridge (3D-6?)....
I really dislike this bridge. It does not provide sufficient break-angle and strings pop out of the rollers very easily (although I do play quite hard). I also feel the width adjustment is redundant, and tends to "walk" about and move position, as they cannot be locked in place. The "roller" function is actually reliant on the same mechanism as the width adjustment, so bad design IMHO. Of course YMMV.

As far as walking,
I don't know what the thread spacing is but, bending strings should not rotate the roller a full 360 degress rotation,
but if it did, then the total movement would be the same ase the spacing of the thread,
as a machine thread is very fine on a threaded rod that size your talking a very small movement.
Now if the roller get gunked up and does not want to roll back the each bend could keep twisting the roller in one direction only and that could be cumulatively bad.
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Eric Baack
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Eric Baack »

I'm really liking my graphtech bridge.. but the piezo saddles make me biased!

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Darren Galloway
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Darren Galloway »

I really like the Callaham bridges on my Strat's. Mainly because they are machined steel. I notice quite a difference in tone and sustain when I install these. Worth checking out.
http://www.callahamguitars.com/products.htm

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Greg Robinson
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Greg Robinson »

Art Davila wrote:As far as walking,
I don't know what the thread spacing is but, bending strings should not rotate the roller a full 360 degress rotation,
but if it did, then the total movement would be the same ase the spacing of the thread,
as a machine thread is very fine on a threaded rod that size your talking a very small movement.
Now if the roller get gunked up and does not want to roll back the each bend could keep twisting the roller in one direction only and that could be cumulatively bad.
I've found that they keep walking towards the centre of the bridge, and end up giving you a narrow string spacing at the bridge. I'd intuit that this is due to the sideways forces exerted by the string splay making it easier for them to walk in that direction, and the cumulative effect of such.
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David King
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by David King »

I don't think there's a "best bridge" that will give the optimum results for every guitar. There are plenty of good bridges out there they will each affect the tone in slightly different ways. As one might expect there are builders who will switch out saddle materials to fine tune the tone for each string. There's a whole micro industry devoted to titanium saddles, bell brass saddles, walrus tusk saddles etc. Different strokes for different guitars.

Art Davila
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Art Davila »

David King wrote:I don't think there's a "best bridge" that will give the optimum results for every guitar. There are plenty of good bridges out there they will each affect the tone in slightly different ways. As one might expect there are builders who will switch out saddle materials to fine tune the tone for each string. There's a whole micro industry devoted to titanium saddles, bell brass saddles, walrus tusk saddles etc. Different strokes for different guitars.

Well I am new to to the forum and have made mads to several guitars and have assembled to from parts.

I had no ideal that there was titanium saddles, bell brass saddles, walrus tusk saddles shows I have just not done enough research, Nor am I as well informed as I would like to be.

Are there any real world advantages to these saddles or is it just another way to part a noob from his money?
I have a lot of experience on how "not" to do things.

Mike Baker
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Re: Electric Guitar Bridges - Which is best?

Post by Mike Baker »

I prefer the tuneomatic and stopbar. I like the way it feels under my palm, and I like the look.
And to paraphrase what someone said earlier, every design has it's pros and cons. Pick the one you're most comfortable with.
I also like the Fender type hardtail. Just depends what fits with the design I'm going with at the time.
But these two designs, if I buy quality examples, have a good track record, are familiar to the majority of players, and are fairly economical compared to some of the newer designs out there nowadays. For me that's a win.

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