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View Full Version : What is your favorite bridge design & why?



3nails4holes
12-29-2011, 08:05 PM
i was reading over a post from someone who just got their first koaloha and they were discussing the bridge.

i did some looking and it got me to thinking: what is your favorite uke bridge design and why?

also, imaginary bonus points if you can explain the sound (not aesthetics!) benefits of a particular design...

i've posted some pics to spark the discussion. they are all koaloha bridges--old and new.

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3nails4holes
12-29-2011, 08:06 PM
a few more...

you don't have to submit koaloha only. i just used these to jump start some thoughts.

for example, i love the honu turtle on the big island ukes!

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RuckMonkey
12-29-2011, 08:17 PM
I can't add anything about the sound qualities of any bridges as all I have is my cheapy beginner Makala, but, I totally second the notion that the Honu bridge on the Big Island ukes is far and away my favorite bridge for the aesthetics of it. :D

3nails4holes
12-29-2011, 08:20 PM
here's a pic of that bridge.

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Plainsong
12-29-2011, 09:54 PM
So this is like QI for uke bridges, where we get points for being interesting, and a blaring siren if we say something obvious, especially if it's a myth. :)

I won't get any QI but yeah I love the honu bridge. In terms of ease of use... IF I could tie a knot, the pin bridge on my Kanilea would be best. Since I fail at knot tying, that also removes the slot bridge from the running. That leaves the standard twisty tie bridge as the one most friendly to my fingers.

For pure bling, I like the the old Koaloha crown bridge of course.

Also I think the pull-through bridges are handy.

But my big thing is headstocks. So many uke designs fail at the headstock, like they just were drawing the design on paper and lost the will to live by the time they got to the headstock.

808boy
12-29-2011, 09:57 PM
Aloha,
As far as aesthetics go, the Koaloha Crown,and the Big Island Honu bridges. As far as design, the tie on bridge (for tying on or the use of beads).

WhenDogsSing
12-30-2011, 02:17 AM
String-through top bridges for practical reasons, not for aesthetics.

dnewton2
12-30-2011, 02:34 AM
I am kind of partial to the bow-tie bridge. Not sure why, just seems simple yet unique.

That said as far a a bridge style affecting the sound I would think, Dont Know, that a string through and maybe bridge pin, would have an advantage. Having the string go through the sound board and apply addition 'preasure' on the conection between the bridge and sound board would seem benifitial. I have had a bridge start to pull off the sound board from a standard bridge (it was a cheap uke) but none the less the strings are pulling the bridge off the soundboard so if any separation started the transfer of vibration would diminish. Overall weakening the sound.

my spelling stinks ;)

ichadwick
12-30-2011, 05:05 AM
Suspension. Much more interesting, visually, than, say, covered or straight span bridges.

Shakespeare
12-30-2011, 05:19 AM
The dolphin bridge on the makala dolphin ukes. I got one yesterday to see what all the fuss was about.:cool:

stevepetergal
12-30-2011, 05:32 AM
Yeah, the dolphin is cute, the turtle is nice. But I do love that crown style on the Koaloha. I always wondered why they went to the "bowtie". It's a blob with no style. (Is the crown still available?) And, I like tie-on bridges. They appeal to my meticulous nature. I love getting those knots just so.
I think only the builders would be able to tell you authoritatively about sound.

wickedwahine11
12-30-2011, 06:05 AM
I am kind of partial to the bow-tie bridge. Not sure why, just seems simple yet unique.

Different strokes for different folks. The only reason I don't own a KoAloha tenor is that I don't care for the bowtie bridge and refuse to buy one with it, and I can't convince anyone to sell me their crown bridge tenor.


But I do love that crown style on the Koaloha. I always wondered why they went to the "bowtie". It's a blob with no style. (Is the crown still available?)

I heard it was for functional/practical reasons. And alas, no, you cannot get the crown bridge anymore. I suppose if Paul Okami was still taking custom orders you could have ordered one, but otherwise you end up like me, trolling the internet for someone willing to sell theirs.

So to answer the OP's question, the crown bridge at KoAloha is my favorite on a KoAloha. Otherwise, my answer is anything but bridge pins. I hate changing my Kanile'a uke's strings because of those bridge pins. It may look nicer than the tie style but I dread it each time I restring that uke.

3nails4holes
12-30-2011, 06:12 AM
i asked koaloha back in sept 2010 about the crown bridge question. here's the email i got back from brian:

Thank you for taking an interest in KoAloha Ukulele. We switched to the bow tie bridge for a few reasons. The crown bridge was very difficult to make and had a very high chance of breaking during the process. The points of the crown is where a lot of chipping occurred. I would say out of five, two would break.

The crown style was also prone to lifting off the sound board because it was made of two pieces. This rarely happens with the bow tie style, because it covers more surface area on the sound board.

A crown bridge is something we would normally accept for a special order. However, due to a four year back order, our shop manager is temporarily not accepting any special or custom orders. He hopes to catch up by some time in 2012. Sorry for the bad news.

Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me for any questions.

MGM
12-30-2011, 07:01 AM
bow tie bridges are no longer on the Koaloha tenors They now have the koaloha logo bridges more rectangle traditional shape

wickedwahine11
12-30-2011, 07:55 AM
bow tie bridges are no longer on the Koaloha tenors They now have the koaloha logo bridges more rectangle traditional shape

Oh wow! Thanks for the info Mike. I look forward to seeing them -- and maybe buying one now.

I really liked them in this photo.
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Looks like I may be taking a trip out to the KoAloha factory next week. Maybe I can pick up a factory second if I'm lucky. :)

ukulelepuapua
12-30-2011, 08:25 AM
The bridge to kill all bridges would be Eric Devine's bridge doctor bridge/ because it allows for High highs and low lows all while dis-allowing the sinking of the bridge over time.

http://cdn1.gbase.com/usercontent/gear/2725655/p1_uowme1o5a_so.jpg

PoiDog
12-30-2011, 08:40 AM
1: The DeVine bridge. Love that asymmetrical design
2: KoAloha Crown: very distinctive and recognizable
3; Kanile'a Pin Bridge: Love the shape and the fact that the strings go through the bridge and directly connect to the soundboard. And the pins have a nice retro-elegant touch.

3nails4holes
01-18-2012, 04:03 PM
The bridge to kill all bridges would be Eric Devine's bridge doctor bridge/ because it allows for High highs and low lows all while dis-allowing the sinking of the bridge over time.

http://cdn1.gbase.com/usercontent/gear/2725655/p1_uowme1o5a_so.jpg

does anyone know what it is about this bridge that actually accomplishes this? granted one can infer from the string location & shape, but does this really seem to make a difference?

it is very cool looking!

and what is this about the bridge sinking? does this mean that it may actually press into the wood surface over time? i've heard of bridge lifting where the side farthest from the sound hole lifts up and away from the body.

hmgberg
01-18-2012, 05:02 PM
The gondola pin bridge on the Lyon & Healy Shrine ukulele and the airplane bridge on the Johnny Marvin tenor.

Pukulele Pete
01-19-2012, 12:19 AM
I like the simple slot type bridge found on Vintage Martins . I really dislike the classical guitar tie type bridges , the way they look and the way they work. I also dont like bridges shaped like animals , or any other than the simple slot type bridge.