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Here's Steve Tourtellotte's description of his new bridge.

 

Steve now has maple bridges available!
Click here to visit his website!




On August 2nd, Steve wrote:

Hello Red,

Since you've started your bridge experiment I've been doing research. I've called violin makers all over the country to see what I could find out. Also there is some great information on the web:

http://www.rivinus-instruments.com/DesignConcepts.htm

http://www.violadabraccio.com/historical_violin/bridge.shtml


The mandolin and Arch top Guitars are the only acoustic instruments with an adjustable bridge, Why? I think it was a banjo players plot 80 years ago. I spoke with a violin maker the other day and he said if you put a ebony bridge on a violin it would sound terrible. I also found out the type of wood is very important. The French and Germans use select maple with certain tonal qualities and a special hardening treatment which they have kept secret for hundreds of years. I've ordered some European Maple from a violin supply co. and will be doing some more experiments with the design and wood treatment, which I think is equally important. About caps! if you use the right maple you won't need a cap. But if you think it's necessary try bone. Ebony deadens the string vibrations.

The pictures attached is my bridge (made from an old bass bridge) on my new mandolin which I have just completed. It has no finish but the sound coming out of it with this new bridge is incredible. I have just started building again after 15 years and have several more mandolins in the works. I'll never go back to ebony again.

I thank you, Frank Ford and all the other mandolin players experimenting with this long overdue development.

Steve

Steve Tourtellotte
Vice President - Alabama Bluegrass Music Association
www.alabamabluegrass.org
Mandolin Player for the Distant Cousins Band
www.distantcousinsband.com

These are photos of Steve's bridge:

picture of mandolin bridge

picture of mandolin bridge




 


 

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