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archtop jazz, electric - tunematic or ebony bridge?

joseph

Member
Messages
1,472
Hello, I picked up an archtop (L-5 style knock-off) which came with a tunematic metal bridge sitting on an ebony base. The builder (I wasn't the original buyer) says it will sound much better acoustically if I get a carved ebony bridge, but other people say amplified it will sound better with the metal tunematic- and I mostly play amplified.
Is it worth it looking into a solid ebony wood bridge, or is the tunematic the best amplified tone? thanks!
 

Dave Wakely

Member
Messages
1,860
From past experience, I got a lot more sustain with a tunematic than wood, and slightly improved intonation. If you want 'plunk' - with a wiry aspect - stick with ebony: but it's much more vintage - and I mean real vintage, not early 60s! - sound.
 

jads57

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,112
I think the main thing is that wood base is carved to fit the top of your guitar properly!
 

bluegrif

Member
Messages
4,918
If I played traditional jazz, I'd go with an ebony bridge because that is the trad tone. But, as a blues player, most of my archtops get a TOM. The exception being my 51 Epiphone, which has the original rosewood bridge and sounds great.
 

MartinPiana

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,446
If I played traditional jazz, I'd go with an ebony bridge because that is the trad tone. But, as a blues player, most of my archtops get a TOM.
+1 with this line of thinking. and +1 on making sure the base fits perfectly.
 

Brien

Member
Messages
1,153
The wood bridge sounds more acoustic. You may like that, or not. I'd say, have a wood one cut, to try, and keep. I've even swapped just for particular gigs or recordings.
 

Alter

Member
Messages
768
also you can get a wooden bridge with metal saddles for an in between solution. i like an ebony bridge myself.. if you re not familiar with the differences in sound, check out your favorite jazz players.. there is the benson sound, and there is the jim hall sound for example...
 

Boogie92801

Member
Messages
2,238
There is one other thing to consider - are the pick-ups modern or not? Since most modern pups are set up for a plain G string and vintage guitars generally had a wound third the bridge intonation was cut for the wound G on monst guitars but if the pups are modern the G string will be very weak and require a very high adjustment of the pooll piece and generally lowering the other pols accordingly.

I prefer the wood bridge but find that the newer guitars need some adjustment for the G string to hang with the B string in volume.

I have had a woodedn bridge made for a plain G (f or 11's) and it works well.
 

joseph

Member
Messages
1,472
Thanks people- I switched out to an ebony bridge and it does make a big difference acoustically, will see what the amp does- thanks again!
 




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