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Can I Get Some Info/history On Classical Bridges?

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I am building a classical bridge for my first build guitar.

I started to wonder why the bridge saddle is so narrow on a classical guitar, I thought why not go 1/4 wide?

Would this transfer more string vibration to the top?

has it always been this way? Just one of those things that makes you wonder.

Has the classical bridge as a whole always been the same shape.... while other steel string acoustics have artistic bridges made for them almost daily?

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I thought why not go 1/4 wide?

Would this transfer more string vibration to the top?

I'll take a stab...

The bridge needs to be as light as possible, because its inertial mass (correct technical term?!) will kill string vibration. There is no need for the extra weight of a 1/4" wide saddle. I imagine that a nylon-string bridge should be even lighter than a steel-string, considering the lower tension (thus lower energy) of nylon strings at standard pitch.

Also, if the saddle has the proper shape on top, the strings will only rest on a tiny portion of it.

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Thanks for the input.

makes sense I guess, kind of the reverse of electric guitars. the last couple of acousitics I took apart had very light bridges, I figured they were cheap. lol.

now, if we change this up a little and go towards a semi hollow, or chambered body, with a piezo pickup, do you think the classical style bridge will offer a good tone still, or is it a non issue once electronics are involved?

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If the top is so stiff that it can hardly produce sound (as with semi-hollow electrics etc.), the lightness of the bridge does not matter. E.g., the Gibson ES335 has a TOM bridge. Of course, it also has solid wood beneath the bridge.

If you're talking about archtop acoustics, that's a whole nother beast, as the sound production is based on the downward force of the strings trying to crush the top rather than the torquing force of the strings trying to tear the top off the guitar.

Edited by Geo
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Thanks for all the info.

I have a few different guitars I am working on.

I actually built a semi hollow body acoustic (10 string, and my first build), and I am building the bridge. It would be the same as building a solid body guitar, routing out the entire inside of the guitar, and adding a top and bottom. not much acoustics I gather because of the 1.5 thickness and solid edges, and a thicker top like a danelectro.

I built up a bridge for it and made my own pickups for it out of piezo's under the bridge. did a test on an electric with it just sitting there and it sounds ok. we'll see what happens once in place. I get a different tone with it not sitting flat, it sounds air-y, and pushing it down flat give good response, solid tone, but lack of open tone.

I also have a project arch top. and old harmony, maybe 50-60's era. I bought it smashed and kind of put it back together. The neck recently fell off. looking at this as well for putting into use.

I also have 3 acoustic classicals that need some work. one needs a bridge, the other 2 will probably get some out there mods.

Thanks again.

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