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Thread: Issue...I think...

  1. #1
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    Default Issue...I think...

    I just recently had my bridge replaced due to the stock one being uneven...the shop had a replacement they put on for free rather than spend the time taking wood off the stock one.

    However...I just noticed when plucking the E stings that I can just barely hear what sounds like a brief and subtle tone coming from the other strings. If I mute the other strings then pluck the E strings I don't hear it. It's very very subtle, but now it's like I cannot help but hear it.

    What could be the cause?

  2. #2
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Issue...I think...

    Could be that the portions of the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece, or between the nut and the tuning pegs, are vibrating when you play your E strings. There are li'l dampening devices, from rubber grommets, to leather strips woven through the strings, to felt installed under the tailpiece cover, to combat these unwanted tones.

    Try just putting some sound-absorbent material around the strings between the bridge and tailpiece, and see if the "brief and subtle tone" persists.
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    Registered User Pete Summers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Issue...I think...

    Do you mean when you play the e string you faintly hear the other open strings vibrating? That would be natural. Setting the e string in motion also sets all the other strings in motion, i.e., a sympathetic vibration. Sympathetic vibrations are always present because all the strings touch the bridge, which is vibrating, so they vibrate also, to one degree or another. Maybe you are just noticing it now because of the new bridge. Or maybe I misunderstand what you are saying?

  4. #4
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Issue...I think...

    What Pete said. From the description, that is what all my instruments have done all the time; not a bug, a welcome feature.
    ...still raises the question what your old bridge was like to prevent that, though.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Issue...I think...

    Its possible I am being a bit to anal when it comes to stuff like this..that is the scientist in me. To Allen's point, I actually dampened the strings both behind the nut and the bridge and tried it and hear it...that was the first ting I thought about. I have a nice piece of felt in the tailpiece that is dampening them behind the bridge.

    I am guessing this is natural and I just noticed it for the first time..it was very quiet in my bonus room last night when I was tuning up and am guessing I just heard this for the first time. I am thinking too that maybe it was doing this on the previous bridge as well but for whatever reason just never noticed. Maybe I am just getting better tone to the body of the mandolin now?

    Heck being a beginner and wondering what is right and what is not sometimes! LOL

    Thanks for the responses and input.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Issue...I think...

    I think you are suffering from "new owners syndrome". I have it too whenever I buy a new or used mandolin. For the first few weeks I am hypersensitive to sound and tone and I often think something is dramatically wrong when in fact my hearing is so sensitive that every undertone or very subtle nuance becomes exagerated snd aggrivating to the point where I took my first mandolin to a luthier and had him fine tune it when in fact it really didn't need it.

    It is probably part of the learning process... How to determine whether there really is a problem and how to fix it or have it fixed. Most problems can be fixed by yourself if you are at all handy. There is little you can do to destroy your mandolin by fussing with the tuners, nut, bridge or tailpiece... These parts are meant to be tweaked when necessary. You will save a lot of money by learning to do it yourself. To that end I would buy extra nuts and maybe a spare non-adjustable bridge or two. If your resent bridge is adjustable you should learn to adjust it.... All of this info is available free on the internet... I personally nave found frets.com to be an excellent source of repair and adjustment info. but there are several other sites as well.
    Bart McNeil

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  8. #7
    Closet Banjo Picker P.D. Kirby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Issue...I think...

    I think the overtones you hear from the strings be it from the bridge to the tail piece or the nut to the tuners is part of the overall sound of a good mandolin or a well setup one anyway. I for one happen to like the added option of having them or muting them with the heel of my right hand when not desired. Besides, Bill didn't use no stinking leather strap or grommets! Hey it had to be said...
    Never Argue with an Idiot, they will just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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  10. #8
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Issue...I think...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Summers View Post
    Do you mean when you play the e string you faintly hear the other open strings vibrating? That would be natural. Setting the e string in motion also sets all the other strings in motion, i.e., a sympathetic vibration. Sympathetic vibrations are always present because all the strings touch the bridge, which is vibrating, so they vibrate also, to one degree or another. Maybe you are just noticing it now because of the new bridge. Or maybe I misunderstand what you are saying?
    The sympathetic vibration that's translated through the saddle/bridge sounds exactly like what he's talking about, and I get it on mine too. It will resonate through the whole instrument unless I dampen the other open strings. It used to drive me nuts, and still does sometimes. I was watching one of Mike Marshall's tutorial lessons the other day and noticed he was getting the same thing on his Loar; it was very noticeable in the video, as his mandolin was the only sound being recorded. So I'm gonna stop letting it bother me when I hear it on mine. It's just par for the course!

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