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Ebony bridge on a 575?


Frankhond
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That is an interesting question, which means there's no good answer.

The chain of factors includes a large number of variables.  Strings, picks, technique, where the string is plucked, pots, the specs of the guitar (floating, mounted pickups, etc.)  The bridge construction (feet vs. none), fit to top, and the saddle notching all matter.

Most 575s are built as electric guitars.  So when you come to bridge material density, I would guess it accounts for 1-2% tone change.  That's a guess of course.  Saddle notching may be a bigger variable.  Tone superiority is subjective.

I have an ebony bridge on my 575.  I never thought about changing it.  It works.

I can give a different example of when 2% matters.  I was in the military.  A 2% difference down range could be quantified and is important in that circumstance.  The enemy would like our marksmen to be off by 2%, so that would be a positive change to them.

Acoustic playing is a different animal.  A broad, well fitted base with dense wood and precise notching and a very tight saddle to base contact probably is a good thing.  But who would choose a 575 with mounted electronics as an acoustic instrument?

What would increase the tone is to increase the break angle.  In other words, raise that bridge up and drive the sound board harder.  Few will do this nowadays because we rely on amps and don't like the process of investing in callouses.  To quote Richard Pryor: No pain, no gain??  How about no pain, sounds good to me!

 

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Don't most builders of archtops try to match the bridge wood with the fretboard wood? 

Ebony bridge with an ebony fretboard.  Rosewood bridge with a rosewood fretboard.

Since the Heritage H-575 comes with a standard rosewood fretboard, a rosewood bridge seems logical...in most cases.  However, since the founders would build darn near anything a customer wanted back in the good old days, one might find any combination on a 'pre-Plaza' H-575.

My 2007 BlueBurst H-575 Custom has an ebony fretboard and rosewood bridge.  I never considered getting a matching ebony bridge since it sounds great as built.

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On my 575 I replaced the rosewood bridge and pickup rings with a exotic matching woods to match the fretboard. It was called canery

Canary wood is also known as the only canary is wood with distribution from Panama to southern Brazil. The canary tree is about 65-100 feet tall, 2-3 feet trunk diameter.

It is a durable wood resistant to rot, attractive appearance in various colors, such as dark red, yellow, orange, and brown, and has a straight grain figured.

It has a hardness, or denseness similar to ebony.  My Korina 137 has a petrified masterdon nut, super hard a beautiful color.  When it comes to guitar trim, call me ocd

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Ok, so I guess the answer is that it’s mostly cosmetic. I was wondering why most archtops I see this day come with ebony bridges, but the typical 575 has rosewood. 
 

Nothing wrong with the tone today, but intonation is a touch off, and I happen to have an ebony blank. But maybe a TOM bridge could work too. 

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TOM's have been installed on L5's and other high end archtops with minimal difference in tone from a wooden.  Better intonation is the greatest factor in my view. 

Ebony and rosewood are often a matter of taste or aesthetics. 

And in the end they all sound great.  TOM might exhibit a tiny bit more brightness in the attack, but just roll the volume and/or tone knob back a touch and you're back to thick, jazzy sounds.

This guy's tone always sounded thick and beautiful even with the dreaded TOM bridge on his L5.  Whatever you put on your H-575 should be fine.

800px-Wes_Montgomery_%281960s_Verve_publ

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I set an ABR-1 bridge on a 575.  The sound was reminiscent of a squirrel with a spoon tied to his tail running in a ring of pans.  I couldn't take it off too soon!

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17 hours ago, Gitfiddler said:

 

 

This guy's tone always sounded thick and beautiful even with the dreaded TOM bridge on his L5.  Whatever you put on your H-575 should be fine.

 

 

  Gotta believe that THUMB had one heck of a tough surface shapping Wes's tone more than the type of bridge.

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27 minutes ago, Spectrum13 said:

 

  Gotta believe that THUMB had one heck of a tough surface shapping Wes's tone more than the type of bridge.

True.  Wes had a callous on his thumb from from constant use instead of a pick.  I bet he'd sound the same (or close to it) on a Strat or Tele.

He was the embodiment of the saying..."tone is in the hands".

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