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  1. #1

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    Hi, I have a couple of Hoyer Archtops which have roller type bridge fitted. whilst seemingly innovative, the plastic (?) rollers seem to me to take the edge off the sound. I have one example with two brass rollers fitted,would this not be a sensible modification or perhaps change the bridge completely?
    I just wondered if anyone else had thought these bridges could be improved?
    many thanks
    TimA Hoyer Bridge problem-hoyer-bridge-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Yes, the Hoyer bridges with plastic wheels can be considered ‘tone suckers’. Do any of your Hoyers have the version with metal wheels? They tend to be an improvement.

  4. #3

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    The whole thing to me is a waste and energy sapper. I would put a completely new bridge and saddle on the guitar in a heartbeat.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  5. #4
    Hi, my thoughts exactly...there are two brass wheels on my example in the photo...
    tim

  6. #5

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    keep it! that bridge is part of the hoyers charm...its not supposed to have a tuneamatic...gretsch had a similar wheeled bridge...i would get rid of the plastic tho...shouldn't be difficult to fabricate brass replacements...or even ebony!

    don't make the guitar something its not..thats why its cool to begin with!

    cheers

  7. #6

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    The Arnold Hoyer bridge for plucked instruments, preferably guitars, was applied for patent on Aug 21, 1953, and granted in 1957. This is important to know because 1. the 1950s in Germany were still quite miserable years, and 2. the design of the German guitar companies - mostly established by former WWII expellees - was still distinct and fully independant of US archtop guitar design.

    The original German patent can be looked up here: Espacenet -





    Original document

    (the drawings are on page 3).

    Funny to watch some instant rejection reactions, if it comes to non-American or 'weird' design. Psychologists have long recognized that people love the things they already know - the basic principle of advertizing.


    What's eye-catching is the mere height of the original old Hoyer archtop bridge, about 40mm, despite the archings of the carved tops, which are on the higher side as well.
    The reason for this were the efforts of Hoyer to get - quasi violin-style - more tonal or cutting power unplugged in a rhythm band, plus more trebles, by the implementation of a comparably extreme neck angle, resulting in a marked break-over angle of the strings.

    During the first years, the roller saddles in the metal enclosure were also made of nickel-plated brass. The weight of these bridges, the metal, and, what is more, sturdy wooden parts made of ebony, was high. A guitar rival at the time, Roger, had been addressing the same problem (though caused by his German carve procedure) by the introduction of the weight-reduced 'Superton' bridge. Arnold Hoyer went the path of reducing weight by replacing the metal rollers with flashy red and white plastic rollers.


    Since you can make the saddles, like nuts, of different materials like wood, bone, brass, fret wire, aluminum, TUSQ, etc., plastic rollers can be ok - if you like their (slight) tonal filtering. It also depends on your targeted goals - well, if you have any. Plastic saddles can 'eat away' a certain amount of trebles, but since the early Hoyer archtops are generally more on the cutting and 'bright' sounding side anyway, this must not be a disadvantage. Vice versa, plastic can be eaten in turn by the strings, so don't expect extreme longivity … Guitar makers coming from a violin maker background like to get brilliant and clear trebles, though anything but a harsh and shrill sound. And just think of multiple 'taming' actions developed for overly bright and 'hifi' sounding electric guitars, resp. pickups.


    Replacing the plastic rollers would be ok, as would the making of a new bridge, but keep in mind that the latter should be taller than the conventional 1" bridges. And you probably wouldn't clap your hands when, conversely, spotting a new non-OEM German or Asian part on your 1950s American guitar, would you?
    More promising, IMO, would be a radical, controlled, invisible weight-reducing of the wooden bridge parts.


    The Hoyer plastic rollers were not a consequence of cost-cutting measures; even the high-end 17.8" carved 'Special' models got them later. My guess is that it was due to weight-reducing. Also, some German players loved guitar showboats with as much bling-bling as possible, something to dream of - remember the poor times in Germany: the Hoyer 'Bianka' and 'Special SL' models.
    Here a link to a Hoyer 'Special SL' from 1964: RESTAURATION HOYER-SPECIAL-SL „DIE ZWEITE „ << Schlaggitarren . On the last pic you can see the pronounced break-over angle and resulting tallness of the Hoyer bridge. It's well possible that the restorer HR replaced the original red-white plastic roller bridge by the version with metal rollers: that guitar is not lightweight anyway - and would you like to watch red roller saddles on top of this on that boat?

    It's possible also that, later on, the Hoyer patent bridge was available with a lower and lighter wooden base part (like on the pic of the OP above), when the neck angles got less extreme, and amplification had finally been available everywhere in Germany.

  8. #7

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    The basic issue with the Hoyer roller bridge is that it is simply a piece of shit.
    A heavily designed, detailed, engineered and fabricated piece of shit.
    It belongs in the case pocket, not on the guitar.
    A couple of my Hoyer Specials have what appear to be wood bridges that sit on wood bridge bases.
    These Hoyer wood bridges are suitably distinctive, elegant, match the aesthetic sensibilities of the guitar and, most importantly, sound much better than the roller bridge garbage.
    Very easy to make one if you have some photographic reference - I'll post a picture later.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  9. #8

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    LOL, Hammertone, I've always thought that only Germans could be so opinionated! Bummer!
    Well, I don't know how you see that, but, personally I'd never put a "piece of shit" in my case pocket! Ok, others may be inspired by doing so …
    Then, of course, I'd like to have nothing but plain shitty-brown finishes on roller-bridged (Hoyer) guitars, so I don't have to see the "piece of shit" on them.

    Later, Hoyer, Walter Hoyer, that is, switched to ordinary wooden guitar bridges, real acoustic impedance wonders, the elegant sort of which every schoolboy could chop off a pinkie-thick twig from the next tree and carve with his pocketknife in five minutes:

    A Hoyer Bridge problem-hoyer-3064-jpg



    Err, shit - sorry! - shit, something serious must be going on, shit, with the venerable English-American language, shit, and more and more of its users! The shit must be found in the nitty-gritty - let's rummage around the kernel of the brute!

  10. #9

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    Apologies to o.p. tuxtimb but this is funniest thread I’ve read on this forum in... ever? Don’t usually come here for the laughs.

  11. #10

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    Hey, the Katzenjammer kids are just having a bit of fun.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  12. #11
    Well i certainly wouldn't like to think i put shit in my case pocket!.... excellent
    Tim

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret View Post


    ordinary wooden guitar bridges, real acoustic impedance wonders, the elegant sort of which every schoolboy could chop off a pinkie-thick twig from the next tree and carve with his pocketknife in five minutes:



    I like to use a variable speed reversing mill drill machine, a band saw and a nice assortment of exotic hardwood to cut an ordinary guitar bridge. Who knew that all you need is five minutes, a twig, and a jackknife?

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Cushman View Post
    I like to use a variable speed reversing mill drill machine, a band saw and a nice assortment of exotic hardwood to cut an ordinary guitar bridge. Who knew that all you need is five minutes, a twig, and a jackknife?
    yeah but you don't use zebra stripe binding either!!

    haha

    cheers