Saturday, November 9, 2013

Zebra Bridges by David Cunningham

A few days ago I notice Banjo Hangout (BHO)  member David Cunningham’s ad for bridges:

I asked David to build me four 5/8 Zebra bridges with a Katalox cap, two in Crowe spacing and two standard spacing.

David noted that his bridges “have a .010 arc chord depth at the base to account for the sag of the banjo head. This helps to prevent sag at the top of the bridge over time.”

That’s way too technical engineering like for me, but it seemed like a good idea, and I’m a sucker for new, innovative bridges. 

They arrived today and I tried them out on my Style S 10 inch Vega Little Wonder pot hooked to a Wyatt Fawley neck, built as an A scale banjo.  It’s a fairly new addition  to my arsenal, and I’ve spent a bit of time trying to pin down a sound using various bridges (and toying with the other customary variables).

In thelast 24 hours, before David’s bridges arrive, I had at least a half dozen custom made bridges that have accumulated in my inventory on and off that A scale banjo.  They all gave me an appreciably different sound, but didn’t get me closer to what I wanted.

David’s zebra wood bridge with the Crowe spacing delivered.  Gave me a great sound across the fingerboard, and helped get me the clarity I wanted with the strings stretched up to A tuning. 

His bridges are sleek , nicely made, flawlessly cut and sanded, and consistent in their architecture.  The Katalox cap is strong, stands up to refilling the string slots – I’m using a thicker gauge nylon string and David’s bridges were apparently slotted for steel strings.  Zebra wood has a nice look.  I don’t think it’s necessarily easy to work with; I’ve cut some tailpieces and other things from that wood before.  But David scored big on the quality of the work using Zebra.  He brands them, and labels them – height, weight, spacing – on the bottom of the bridge feet for convenience.

These are nice bridges.  The remaining three are probably going to migrate to my other banjos.  Looking forward to making that happen and getting the nice, clean sound that comes from this product.

Contact David at:

Thanks, David.

Play hard,


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