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Jun 22, 2024 - 7:35:45 PM
1 posts since 6/22/2024

Just replaced the original bridge on my Gold Tone MC-150R (bought new in 2008). I've been playing it open back, and I wanted a mellower tone. The Sampson walnut bridge sure helped a lot. Ordered one in standard spacing, but briefly considered Crowe. So I was pretty surprised when the Sampson made the strings more spaced out.

After much head scratching (and order confirmation), turns out the original bridge had the string spacing at 40mm. Modern standard spacing is 42mm. Is 40mm bridge spacing a thing? Was Gold tone trying to make it more comfortable to come in from a guitar or something?

Don't get me wrong, after a little bit of playing on the new bridge, the extra space feels pretty welcome. Particularly for drop thumbing. But this is my first and only banjo, and I didn't even realize I was learning clawhammer in a cramped space until 15 years later!

Jun 22, 2024 - 7:56:10 PM

2478 posts since 2/9/2007

I've not heard of 40mm spacing. The standard 1-11/16 (close to 43mm) is way too narrow IMO. Crowe is only a couple mm bigger. 47-48mm is about right for me.

Jun 23, 2024 - 6:46:04 AM

8345 posts since 9/21/2007

So, does anyone know how this “standard” spacing was arrived at? I get that “Crowe” is J.D. Crowe and for some reason people believe he was the first to deviate from “standard” (not true BTW).

But I’m curious, is this a Gibson thing?

Jun 23, 2024 - 2:24:12 PM

Fathand

Canada

12398 posts since 2/7/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

So, does anyone know how this “standard” spacing was arrived at? I get that “Crowe” is J.D. Crowe and for some reason people believe he was the first to deviate from “standard” (not true BTW).

But I’m curious, is this a Gibson thing?


I believe "standard spacing " comes from the Grover bridges that Gibson typically used.

Jun 24, 2024 - 6:12:03 AM

79819 posts since 5/9/2007

Bridge and nut string spacing have to fit the width of the neck and the hands of the player.
I suppose Grover depended on players' and builders' inputs for its spacing.
Same as guitar builders balancing neck width and string spacings according to player feedback.

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