Maple mandolin bridges are still catching on, though slowly. So far I've sold almost 700 of them myself. Over the last 7 or 8 years I've gone through a few different models of the bridges, and I'm considering making another change.
For the last four years or so, my standard bridge has been an 11-hole model, which seems to give the best overall response-- combination of tone and volume-- on the majority of mandolins. I decided on this maple-bridge type after trying 30 or so designs in about 25 different woods. Here's a pic:
But lately I've been thinking about the winged bridges I made at first, which often gave the richest and bassiest tone, deeply desired by many bluegrass mandolin pickers because quite a few bluegrass mandolins don't have much bass. The volume it gave, however, was a few percent less than with other bridge designs.
But I've found now that a slightly-modified version of those old winged bridges will give both (1) the rich tone most bluegrass players want and (2) almost as much volume as an 11-hole bridge. I have made several of these bridges, and really like the sound. This would be a mandolin bridge specifically for Bluegrass:
--so if there is some demand for it, I may produce this modified winged design for use on bluegrass mandolins. How about it, bluegrass mandolin players? Is enhancing your mandolin's low end as important for you as it is for others? I may put these bridges into production. Let me know.
Steve (in Japan)
I’m glad that you’re blogging again about mandolin bridges, Red, and I remember when you were writing about the weight, etc. of mandolin bridges. I had thoughts about that but afterwards and each time I change the strings on my daughter’s mandolin I notice how heavy the bridge is and how it falls apart too. I think I’m going to be contacting you about a bridge.
Steve (in Japan)
Red, how’s production coming along on the new modified-wing-design bluegrass madolin brideges?