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Old 12-05-2021, 01:27 PM
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warfrat73 warfrat73 is offline
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Default Adjustable Mandolin Bridge Height

Sometime in the next few days I'm going to take some time and finally do a bit of setup work on my Kentucky KM-500.

As most of you will know, it has an adjustable bridge. The bridge as it came to me is at it's lowest adjustment. I could turn the wheels to raise it, but not to lower it. Such has been the case with the handful of other mandos I've owned.

My sense is that when I set the action at the bridge, I should turn the wheels a few times so that there's room to adjust it both up and down so I can fine tune it and respond to seasonal changes. Or, if the bridge is at it's lowest adjustment, I feel like I should bring it down slightly further than I really want it, and then bring it up with the adjusters.

This makes logical sense to me, but I recognize that I might be missing something. Do folks usually just leave the adjustment wheels bottomed out, or provide some room on either side?
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Old 12-05-2021, 02:24 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
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If your bridge is at it's lowest adjustment and the string height is still higher than you desire it to be then something needs work. I've shaved a bit off the lower edge of the top portion of an adjustable bridge in the past, you have to evaluate your particular situation.

Some fully carved solid top mandos can respond to excessive humidity by the top arching up, and that can manifest itself by the strings being too high even at the lowest bridge adjustment. In that case the top can lower if the humidity is monitored and corrected.

Most mandos have the wheeled adjustment, although there are other alternatives like the Brenke bridge as used on many Weber mandos.
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Old 12-05-2021, 02:45 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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First of all, go to that other Forum that deals with mandolin, and get Rob Meldrum's free mandolin setup guide. You e mail him and he sends you a step by step method. Highly recommended. If you still need more adjustment, you can take wood from the bottom of the saddle. That may be indicative of other issues though.

More common is not being able to get low action without buzzing. But mandolin necks do need to be reset from time to time. Meldrum's book will give you an understanding of mandolin geometry. It may be your nut slots are too high. The rule of thumb is they need to be as low as possible, then the bridge adjusted as high as you can stand to play it.
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Old 12-05-2021, 03:24 PM
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Yeah, the nut slots are a bit high. And my sense is that the saddle is a hair too high (I'll re-assess after addressing the nut slots).

The plan is to take a small amount of material off the bottom of the bridge. But, as I said, my inclination is that I should bring it down just a bit past where I ultimately want it, and then add that bit back and fine tune with the adjustment wheels.

The playability is not too bad, but just needs some minor tweaking.
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