Fiddle and Alternative Strings Forum

Instruments and Equipment => Banjo-Mando-Pickers => Topic started by: cft3 on Aug 15, 2007, 08:10:53 PM

Title: Ya learn something new every day.
Post by: cft3 on Aug 15, 2007, 08:10:53 PM
So I was trying to tune my Mid-Mo M-1 the other night and could not get it in tune. On a whim I checked the intonation; sharp right across the board. I loosened the strings and moved the bridge back a hair or two, tuned up - all intonated and I could get right in tune.  Obviously the bridge had crept forward a bit over time and this is something that I, a relative newcomer to mandolins, had not anticipated.

But the real discovery was the tone! The sound just rang out, pure, sweet, complex like the day I first got it. I guess over time I had gotten used to the loss of tonal quality as the bridge moved. I love playing my mando again!  ;D

This is no doubt old news to most of you folks, but I pass the info along in case somebody else could use it.
Title: Re: Ya learn something new every day.
Post by: lastchair on Aug 22, 2007, 05:59:42 PM
I just thought of something...  On a mandolin, because of the frets, there is only one position the bridge can be in.  Not a like a fiddle where you can move it pretty much north/south within where you like.  The reason is that the 12th fret has to bisect the string exactly, as the natural harmonic is there.  Therefore if it is off, then the mandolin will be out of tune.  Maybe your bridge moved out of position and you were able to get it back just right, which is why you were able to get it all in tune again.  Congratulations on your discovery.
Title: Re: Ya learn something new every day.
Post by: David M. on Aug 24, 2007, 10:25:19 PM
Make sure that the feet (bottom) of the bridge are FLUSH and give full contact to the top.  This'll help give you the best tone.  ideally, the bridge should be perpendicular (in side view) or slightly back (towards tailpiece) to the top.

Also, center the bridge evenly between the F-holes.
Title: Re: Ya learn something new every day.
Post by: ApK on Aug 30, 2007, 04:44:34 PM
The reason is that the 12th fret has to bisect the string exactly, as the natural harmonic is there. 

That's not the 'REASON'.  The REASON is that ALL the frets are fixed and must bisect the string at their proscribed positions, the 12th is no different.
The 12th is just the easiest to check and has the most accessable harmonic.

On the fiddle, you can adjust the position, but of course you'll then be adjusting your finger position to get proper intonation when you do.
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