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An extensive series of bridge experiments by Robert Schuweiler


On October 21, 2005, Robert wrote:


I have had very interesting results I would like to report.

1. Indian Rosewood with multiple hole style - at first was very poor, as I reduced the amount of mass became a favorite for woody sound and volume.

2. Brazilian Rosewood with multiple hole style - used on my A model with mahogany back - not pleased, may convert to my F to report more

3. Maple, I have come up with a very unique design that incorporates the larger holes and the removal of most of the wood. I capped the top with bone. The results are breath taking very woody and very, very loud. Aesthetically the large holes allow for a more pleasing violin bridge like beauty that the multi-holes do not accomplish. I am very pleased. Note the complex angles of the bridge. I could not show you all of them for some reason I couldn’t get decent pictures of any

4. Mahogany - large hole design with the removal of most of the mass, capping with bone and lamination of walnut feet. Wow, very mellow and loud. This is on my mahogany instrument.

Summary of findings:

1. Removal of mass critical

2. Addition of bone allows for rigidity -– enabling mass to be removed

3. Making slight slots for strings on the bone amplified the volume because ¼ of the string was embedded in the bone. It is critical to use gauged files for this work

4. Type of wood affects tone and volume - Maple very loud and less woody, mahogany very mellow, rosewood very loud and woody

If you are in the mood I would love to take another wack at a large hole Indian Rosewood. I suspect this will have the best combination of all. I am now a firm believer in capping the tops of these bridges with bone.

Attached are some pictures.

picture of mandolin

picture of mandolin

picture of mandolin

picture of mandolin

PS – ebony nuts are okay, mahogany poor, bone is best of the lot


Robert Schuweiler

On October 30, Robert added:

I bonded a bone cap on the Indian Rosewood multi-hole - see photo and the results were less woody, louder, overall very good but falls short of the maple. I plan to experiment with the feet of bridges and plan to make some along the line of Violins. My current theory is: less mass is better, bone caps are effective for sound volume and strength and do not diminish the woodiness in general and I think a smaller foot print will yield results by concentrating the sound. Here is a picture of the Indian rosewood.

picture of mandolin



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