Bridges

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sturob
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:35 am

Bridges

Post: # 6361Post sturob
Fri Sep 01, 2023 10:11 pm

Hey All!

I have lurked for a long time and haven’t posted, hello hello.

I’m curious as to the group’s thoughts on bridges. It feels reductionist to say it’s simply that a belly bridge can (often) support heavier strings due to its greater surface area and therefore stronger bond with the top.

I ask because I’ve noticed that sometimes a model will have a belly bridge, and sometimes a pyramid. I realize that it can be chosen as a custom option, but I recently saw an 0 with a pyramid that was made last year. All the models, even down to the Baby on the Collings site, are now shown with belly bridges. Albeit the text description for the Baby calls it a “small belly-style” bridge.

So aside from aesthetics and possibly historic reasons, why might someone choose pyramid over belly, or vice-versa? I understand that the conventional wisdom would be to use lighter strings on a pyramid bridge for reasons already mentioned, but… how does its lower mass affect its ability to conduct the string vibrations to the top? Or who cares.

This is quite esoteric, I realize, and maybe not the best question for my first post in years. But I’m curious! So I ask.

Thanks,

Stuart

Frank Sanns
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:38 pm
Real Name: Frank Sanns
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Bridges

Post: # 6363Post Frank Sanns
Sun Sep 03, 2023 8:12 pm

Hi Stuart!

I had hoped that others would answer but I guess I will give my one dollar's worth (used to be 2 cents).

It is usually thought that pyramid bridges give better response especially for finger style. Sometimes they may or may not have as much headroom as a belly bridge. Also missing is what is going on underneath. The dimensions of the bridge plate under the bridge can have a large impact on the feel and sound of the guitar.

All bridges are a compromise as are other aspects of guitars. If you are looking for a brighter, snappier sound then a belly, in general is probably a better choice. If looking for more of a 000 feel and sound from an OM, then a pyramid might be the way.

Derek
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:50 pm

Re: Bridges

Post: # 6364Post Derek
Sun Sep 10, 2023 11:34 pm

A pyramid bridge is ok with medium gauge strings on the E and B (0.13 and 0.17) strings (at least in standard tuning or lower tension tunings) according to the info I got from contacting Collings
many years ago and I have used them as such ever since on my Collings C10. Keep light gauge on the other strings.

sturob
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:35 am

Re: Bridges

Post: # 6365Post sturob
Mon Sep 11, 2023 1:09 pm

Thanks for the replies, fellas.

I got a new guitar with a pyramid bridge and am excited to get to know it. A Collings 01PecanE. 14-fret. New to me but looks like it just left the workshop.

This deviates from the bridge comments but I am pleasantly surprised by taking Engelmann through its paces. They sure know their craft.

And Frank, nice to interact with you again! It’s been too long.

Stuart

Frank Sanns
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:38 pm
Real Name: Frank Sanns
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: Bridges

Post: # 6370Post Frank Sanns
Tue Sep 19, 2023 1:01 am

Nice to hear from you too Stuart. I miss our chats.

Englemann is an outstanding wood for the smaller body guitars. Too many people chase adi or now the baked woods but Englmann is so responsive and warm. I am surprised it is so overlooked.

I have a classical guitar with such a top. It is killer.

Enjoy your new toy as well as your rare arch top.

Frank

Silly Moustache
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:58 am

Re: Bridges

Post: # 6454Post Silly Moustache
Sun Dec 03, 2023 1:53 am

Hi Stuart, et al,
I'm a 12 fret freak, and have three DS models, an 000, and recently, a 00.

I expect a belly bridge on my dreads (with mediums) and pyramids on the rest (with lights).

So Martin deigned these great guitar shapes, but I've seen belly bridges on the smaller guitars, which just don't look right to me.
I think that Collings has it right.
For 14 fretters - yeah, dreads, OMs and 00 - seemingly all bellies.

I hope someone responds , and I wish this forum was more active.

Ol' Andy, the Silly Moustache.

Greg Y
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:35 pm

Re: Bridges

Post: # 6455Post Greg Y
Sun Dec 03, 2023 3:31 am

I've had both..... but more belly bridges. 0,00,000.... all 14 frets. My best example with a pyramid bridge was a 0001G long scale...... incredibly powerful guitar....
I've played more 12 frets with pyramids. Then again 30s 40s Gibsons.J35 J45 J50s had pyramid bridges. I did try 13-56 on the 0001G but it was as loud and powerful but more open with 12-54.
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