The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohanAbrandt
    The calculation changes with innovation and relative cost of labour, material, machine time. I bet a maple neck with a maple fretboard is cheaper to produce today than a one piece.
    Cheaper than it used to be, but cheaper than a 1-piece, why? Seems to me it must be possible nowadays to create both solutions through CNC, with very little (skilled) human intervention. But the one-piece still has the advantage of not requiring a glueing step where things can go wrong.

    Curious though, do those one-piece parts have a trussrod?

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  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB
    Cheaper than it used to be, but cheaper than a 1-piece, why? Seems to me it must be possible nowadays to create both solutions through CNC, with very little (skilled) human intervention. But the one-piece still has the advantage of not requiring a glueing step where things can go wrong.

    Curious though, do those one-piece parts have a trussrod?
    The one piece has a channel in the back for the truss rod where you glue in a strip of wood. I guess the 2 piece can be done in 2 setups in the cnc router, where the 1 piece needs 3. Mostly guessing.

  4. #28

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    Yabbut, when Leo started selling guitars CNC wasn't even a thought in the back of someone's mind. Computers barely existed, and the few that did exist had their own buildings. That was the case when I was in college. Leo wanted something that could be turned out quickly and cheaply by relatively unskilled labor. By the time CNC came along, it was too late to change much. Times change, technology advances, but tradition trumps all, especially for guitar buyers.

  5. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Yabbut, when Leo started selling guitars CNC wasn't even a thought in the back of someone's mind. Computers barely existed, and the few that did exist had their own buildings. That was the case when I was in college. Leo wanted something that could be turned out quickly and cheaply by relatively unskilled labor. By the time CNC came along, it was too late to change much. Times change, technology advances, but tradition trumps all, especially for guitar buyers.
    I realize there was no CNC or real automation in the early Fender days, but I think they did have things like tools following patterns/templates/pantagraphs and machines that installed multiple frets at a time (from the side). Also, I've read in a number of places that Leo intended necks to be consumables -- instead of refretting (or even level/crown/polish), the solution to worn frets or a warped neck was supposed to be a new neck. I've also read that initially Leo was against using truss rods, and the one piece neck was based on that. Once the earliest necks started warping, Leo was convinced to add truss rods. Installation from the back (and hence skunk stripes) and the adjustment at the heel were workarounds to fit a truss rod to product and tooling that was already engineered. And now we have Fenders with separate fretboards, and skunk stripes and adjustments at the peghead end. Because <Tevye> Tradition </Tevye>

  6. #30

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    Yup ^^^

    automation in manufacturing has been around since sometime in the 1800’s. The Jaquard loom using plates with holes that pins went through to select thread actions. IBM got their start doing card based machine controls. Didn’t take a room sized Univac, just a dumb machine reading instructions from plates or cards or eventually paper tape. Lot of the Saturn V program was created by Bendix paper tape reading machine contraptions. My bro worked on them.
    Now whether a start up guitar maker could afford that technology then…. I dunno.
    jk

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    automation in manufacturing has been around since sometime in the 1800’s.
    I'm pretty certain you can find earlier examples even, but that's not really the point, is it?

  8. #32

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    Fret slots have been cut using gang saws for a very long time. Theres a hint to how different incarnations of the saws have impacted gibson scale length in the article below

    Scale Length Explained - StewMac

  9. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB
    ...Curious though, do those one-piece parts have a trussrod?
    Quote Originally Posted by JohanAbrandt
    The one piece has a channel in the back for the truss rod where you glue in a strip of wood. I guess the 2 piece can be done in 2 setups in the cnc router, where the 1 piece needs 3. Mostly guessing.
    There are one piece necks without trussrods. Original Fender teles were done this way. Rick Kelly makes very large necks without trussrods. Fender did a small run of "NotNeck" strats for The Music Zoo with very large Nocaster-sized necks and NO truss rods. All of these are solid maple, with no additional reinforcement. Other makers have done similar necks with non-adjustable reinforcing rods of carbon fibre, graphite, or metal.

    Plenty of guitars have been built with stable necks, without the use of adjustable truss rods. All sorts of materials have been used - laminations of different types of wood, added stiffening rods of carbon fibre, graphite, various metals, and so on.

    I have one very large F-style maple neck with no truss rod and have compared it to standard F-style necks, on the same guitar. My conclusion is that the F-style neck with no truss rod makes the guitar sound noticeably different compared to when the guitar has a neck with a truss rod. I think this is understandable, given the volume and weight of the typical steel truss rods used in the construction of F-style necks.



    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-12-2022 at 02:06 PM.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    There are one piece necks without trussrods. Original Fender teles were done this way. Rick Kelly makes very large necks without trussrods. Fender did a series of "NoNeck" strats for The Music Zoo with very large Nocaster-style necks and truss rods, and follwed that up with a small run of "NotNeck" strats - very large necks with NO truss rods.

    There has also been some fun ways to reinforce necks either to eliminate or to complement trussrods, like aluminum c and I channels and graphite strips

  11. #35

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    Bought one of these after Jabberwocky posted the link. Better quality than anything else I've been able to find online. Going to buy 2 more while they are available.

    >> Ebony Archtop Guitar Bridge

  12. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    Bought one of these after Jabberwocky posted the link. Better quality than anything else I've been able to find online. Going to buy 2 more while they are available.

    &gt;&gt; Ebony Archtop Guitar Bridge
    $125? Oh boy…. That’s expensive.

    This is the WD Music ebony one:


    They are probably from India, Indonesia or China but I think the quality is great. (I drilled the holes thru the top myself, for a more authentic look.)

    This is an $8 dollar rosewood one from AliExpress and honestly, I think the quality is great as well:



    I even prefer the $8 one, because the thumb wheels are less thin and adjust much easier.

    This is the one I put on my 1950 ES-125, dark rosewood, I think I bought it for around $29 off Ebay:



    Has been doing it’s job without problems for 8 years or so now. It even starts to look vintage with the grease of my skin WD Music archtop bridge?



    These bridges all have a standard 12” radius, which is what Gibson used and still uses on all their archtops.

    I hope I am not offending you, but $125 for a bridge seems a bit ridiculous to me….. I think somebody is making $100 profit there……
    Last edited by Little Jay; 05-22-2022 at 09:56 AM.

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    They are probably from India, Indonesia or China but I think the quality is great.
    Those countries all have a long tradition of fine wood working, so why would the quality not be good...

  14. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB
    Anyone on here who has experience with this brand and model, or who has compared "single-foot" with "dual-foot" bridges (on the same guitar)?
    It depends on where the internal braces are located. If the braces are directly under the bridge posts then either a two foot or solid bridge base should work, although my experience has been that the stiffer the bridge the better the sustain. Additionally highly regarded luthiers such as Benedetto, D'Aquisto, Monteleone et al. have stated a preference for the solid bridge base. But the final judge is your own ears and your personal taste.

    If the braces are outboard of the bridge posts then my experience has been that the two foot bridge base will actually bend in the middle from the string tension. This causes the bridge posts to tilt inwards locking the upper part of the bridge and making it virtually impossible to adjust.

    This is almost the case if the archtop has a pickup set into the top. The width of the pickup requires that the braces be outboard of the bridge posts. A floating pickup should have the braces directly under the posts but you can't be guaranteed of that (the manufacturer may be making the same guitar for both set-in and floating pickups) so I advise checking with a flashlight and an inspection mirror. You can get an inspection mirror with a universal joint on it from any good tool supply store. Mine is an "Ullman model B-2" made by Devices Corp. Ridgefield CT. I got it from "House of Tools".

    Cheers, all the best with your Loar and I hope this helps - Avery Roberts

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJVB
    Those countries all have a long tradition of fine wood working, so why would the quality not be good...
    Indeed!

  16. #40

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    I've gone through bridges from Amazon, Stew Mac, WD, and various online suppliers. And while some are generally OK, the $12 ones from Amazon are absolutely terrible. Pot metal hardware, unknown brown wood that weighs very little, and not as tall or as wide as they should be. Not worth the time I put into fitting them.

    So.. $125 is $100 extra compared to those sources. However, when you hold it in your hand and compare it, the difference in workmanship and the difference in weight is easy to notice. Some thought and effort goes into making these bridges which I think is appealing when it comes to craft and matters in how it performs. These come from a reputable source in the US. Made by someone who works on archtops and interacts with a knowledgeable community on their design. They have clearly done their homework and care about the quality of the small batches being produced.

    I think these bridges are targeted at the vintage guitar market though that's not my application. My Wu and Yunzhi guitars have a lot of potential which I'm looking to tap. I'm looking for quality.. not price point.. not cheap. However, it's the sound that matters and determines value so we'll see after the install.
    Last edited by Spook410; 05-22-2022 at 02:42 PM.

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avery Roberts
    my experience has been that the stiffer the bridge the better the sustain. Additionally highly regarded luthiers such as Benedetto, D'Aquisto, Monteleone et al. have stated a preference for the solid bridge base.
    Thanks, that's helpful. The Loars are pretty faithful copies of the original L5 as far as I know, a model that I presume someone like D'Aquisto must have seen more individuals of than most of us. Sustain on mine isn't bad but shouldn't become shorter, esp. not on the treble side (I'm hoping the relative lack there is also due to the fact the saddle leans backwards much more on that side).

  18. #42

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    If the saddle leans, it's usually one (or both) of two issues. The post holes in the base can be drilled at an angle, or more likely, too big, so they don't support the post properly. Or the base isn't sanded perfectly flat, so the base is angled instead of being straight up. The top can also be sloping down at the bridge, but that's somewhat less common. I think the post holes being too big is probably the most common cause, and that can be fixed, but it's a PITA, done properly. I think the tone suffers to some degree with tilted bridges, but I've done no careful, repeatable experiments to prove that.

    Archtops were not designed for sustain, in fact the opposite. For maximum volume, the energy from the plucked string needs to be dissipated quickly. The longer the sustain, the less volume is produced, although over a longer period. Solid-body (and semi-solid) electric guitars were invented precisely to get more sustain. If sustain is important to you, you shouldn't be playing a solid carved archtop. Different horses for different courses.

  19. #43

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    Well, this thread inspired me to replace the rosewood two-footed bridge of my Ibanez AF55 with the earlier mentioned solid base $8.00 AliExpress bridge. Took me about 50 minutes all in all, including sanding.

    Had to cut out corners of the top part to let it sink between the thumb wheels, otherwise it was too high. I stuck a piece of 120 grit sand paper to the top to form the foot to the arch (which is very flat btw). After that I oiled it with some boiled linseed oil:



    I am surprised! The sound improved!! Didn’t think it would be that noticeable but the guitar clearly gained a little sustain and somehow sounds more ‘substantial’ now. It’s not night and day, but enough to love it even better. It’s a serious contender with my ES-125 and that’s not bad for a $350 guitar!

  20. #44

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    I suspect one of 2 further possibilities: either the posts never properly vertical to begin with, or they got bent somehow. The base appears to be adjusted properly to the top. There's been a thread about this issue a few months back.

    I know archtops are not built for sustain. Doesn't mean they can't have any, and also doesn't mean I can't optimise it by experimenting with different bridges (which I expect will not benefit only sustain).

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    This is the WD Music ebony one:


    They are probably from India, Indonesia or China but I think the quality is great. (I drilled the holes thru the top myself, for a more authentic look.)…
    That looks like a Teller Model 107 archtop bridge, made in Bubenreuth, Germany. They are excellent quality.
    Attached Images Attached Images WD Music archtop bridge?-teller-model-107-jpg WD Music archtop bridge?-teller_archtop_guitar_bridges-lo-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-24-2022 at 01:35 PM.

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    That looks like a Teller Model 107 archtop bridge, made in Bubenreuth, Germany.
    Hmmm, yes now that you mention it, I think I bought it from the Framus website many years ago…. So it probably is a Teller!

  23. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Hah, Pyramid tape-wounds? I'm surprised your strings stay put with such almost imperceptibly shallow saddle slots, BTW!

    But glad to have been of help

  24. #48

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    Thomastik Swings ;-)
    .012 or .013, can’t remember

  25. #49

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    I never cut slots in my wooden bridges. The little dent the string pressure makes is enough to keep it in place (I also don’t get pinned bridges…. Mine never move!)

  26. #50

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    It only takes a very shallow indentation to keep the strings in place. I only deepen slots to get the radius matched to the fretboard, then use them as a guide for re-reradiusing the top of the saddle. I don't like saddle slots any deeper than necessary, and less than a millimeter is necessary.

    Pinned bridges are a method of keeping bridges in the proper place for inexperienced players who don't know how to intonate a movable bridge. Gibson et al use it to keep from having to deal with unhappy new owners who accidentally move the bridge and don't know how to put it back in the right place. It has no other use, AFAIK.