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The evolution of the Andrew White Bridge

I just love this bridge. I think it’s beautiful, elegant, and defined; classy, yet clearly presenting a contemporary style.  But, there is a great deal more than meets the eye. This bridge has evolved quite a bit over the years. I’ve pulled a few photos from the years to highlight some of the designs that I’ve experimented with, designs that ultimately influenced the bridge you see here.

 

This is such a cool bridge, very close in the overall footprint of our Signature bridge design, but this was an attempt at a pinless bridge that would not have the weakness of most pinless bridges on the market today, the glue is the only thing holding it to the guitar.  In this design, the ball end of the string rest on a 1/16″ stainless steel pin that is glued all the way through the bridge, the soundboard, and the bridge plate. Those pins are set at an angle that does not allow the bridge to pull up, ever. And it was a sexy design as well I must say.

The Tried and True Pyramid Bridge.  It was about 9 years after I began building guitars that I finally started pulling design concepts from traditional guitars such as Martin and Gibson. This is an old school Martin Design.  It has a great look. I love this bridge, but whats important to me about this design is how the bridge becomes very thin in the area between the pyramid and the main portion where you have the saddle and pins. This is important. This allows a freedom to vibrate to the outer portion of the soundboard while maintaining glueing surface area.  You can clearly see how our Signature Bridge design has utilized this concept.

Maintaining a large gluing surface is important, but in addition to that, this bridge is actually married to a few important braces on the inside of the soundboard. There is a brace that falls directly below the upper corners of the bridge.  This provides structural integrity, but it also creates a whip like transfer of energy to that brace, encouraging vibrations to reach out toward the edges of the soundboard.

The concept of the braces functioning hand in hand with the bridge is very important.  In these bridges you see that the bass side is quite different than the treble. The goal is to generate long wavelengths on the bass side and shorter wavelengths on the treble side.

This bridge has the same idea. This creates not only a greater dynamic range in depth of frequency, but also a greater tonal palette and color in tone.

This is classical bridge, very traditional.  This was one of the earlier bridges I created. I’m throwing this in to show how the bridge itself, in this case, offers very little difference in the way in vibrates from the treble to bass side.

An even further example of the impedance matching bridges, but this time a flair in style as well as an attempt to free up some bass side vibration

The pin saddle, replacing the bone, or other saddle material with solid stainless steel pins, carefully crafted to hold each string separately from each other. Ultimately, I removed these pins for this customer and replaced it with a traditional bone saddle. This was an amazing 8 string nylon.

This was an early bridge as well. You can see the influence from the Pyramid bridge, and how the wings are freed up from the center.  But in this bridge there is symmetry.

All of these bridges were built with an incredible amount of research and discussion with some very fine guitar builders. In the end, our Signature bridge has the best features of all these combined with the scooped bass side to free up the bass side just a bit more than the treble side, and the slightly asymmetrical footprint that broadens the dynamic range in tone and color, all with an optimized foot print, glueing surface, that maintains integrity under the tension of the strings, but does not inhibit the resonating surface of the soundboard. There was a lot of thought, over 12 years that has gone into this bridge. I’m quite proud of it.