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Ovation celibrity mandolin mcs 148 bridge blown out

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oldbrodave
Posted 2018-04-04 9:15 AM (#543043)
Subject: Ovation celibrity mandolin mcs 148 bridge blown out


Joined:
April 2018
Posts: 10

I recently purchased this mandolin at a garage sale. Thought I got a real bargain. Went to put on new strings and when I was within half a semitone of in tune....the top blew off the bridge. Bummer to say the least. My question? What would this thing sound like if I just left the bridge as is and put a tailpiece on it. I am not contemplating trying to play it acoustically. I understand that these sound pretty good through an amp so would like to keep the pickup in the bridge. Worth the small investment or should I cut my losses and just trash it?
I have already searched for a replacement bridge with no luck. Emailed the factory...no reply.
I originally posted this in new members but the moderator advised moving it here. Maybe it will give y'all a few laughs at the silly idea. Have since ordered a tailpiece. Will post how it turns out. At some point someone removed the bridge and took the finish under it down to bare wood. Looks like it was reattached with epoxy of some kind. I suspect that an attempt to remove it again would cause a lot of tear out.
Thanks for your thoughts,
Bro Dave
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MWoody
Posted 2018-04-04 9:25 AM (#543044 - in reply to #543043)
Subject: Re: Ovation celibrity mandolin mcs 148 bridge blown out



Joined:
December 2003
Posts: 13860

Location: Upper Left USA
Never surrender, never give up!

The bracing was set up for a bridge and not for a tailpiece, they transfer the energy differently.
Keep searching for a replacement bridge, they are out there or can be made.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2018-04-04 1:01 PM (#543052 - in reply to #543043)
Subject: Re: Ovation celibrity mandolin mcs 148 bridge blown out



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 816

Location: Spin axis of a California map
I'm with Woody.. keep looking. Or will the tailpiece create a permanent fix and can't be un-fixed? Whichever, it will be interesting to see how you configure it with a trapeze. I hope it doesn't cause more damage than benefit.






Edited by Love O Fair 2018-04-04 1:10 PM
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oldbrodave
Posted 2018-04-07 7:26 PM (#543116 - in reply to #543043)
Subject: Re: Ovation celibrity mandolin mcs 148 bridge blown out


Joined:
April 2018
Posts: 10

Well I put the trapeze on. To my ear it don't sound that bad. As I figured acousticallyl not what you would want to call ear splitting but plenty good enough for a little solitary practice. Amped up you can make all the noise you would care to make. These are the issues I had to deal with. As you said there was no bracing for a tailpiece. I removed the strap button from the end and cut and shaped a chunk of wood that fit the shape of that plastic bowl. I had to deal with a reinforcement boss that was under the strap button and trimmed it to fit over the kerfing. I went with gorilla glue to hold it in. I was not sure how titebond would react with that plastic fiberglass whatever. A little creative clamping and I got it in there securely. I trial fitted the tail piece and the strings were going to hit the back side of the bridge. Out with the trusty belt sander and cured that problem. I then saw that the way the thing was configured there was going to be little if any break over the bridge. The E course was only just touching the bridge. I bent the tail piece down to where it set flat on the top with just a thin strip of leather under the front edge. I also ground some off of the front lip of the tailpiece. That gave me a fair amount of break over the bridge. I also put abut 50 thou of shim under the saddle. Stung it up and had 80 thou on the base and 65 on the treble as it was. Also the intonation was spot on which was a pleasant surprise. I used light strings. As i said I would have rather found a replacement bridge but this bridge was removed at some point and reattched with some kind of industrial strength epoxy and buried down to bare wood in that 1/8 inch thick finish these things have on them. A little probing conviced me that getting it off was going to be next to impossible. BTW anyone trying this note that that strap button is not on the center line as you would expect so it leaves you with a little hole to fill.
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Love O Fair
Posted 2018-04-07 8:03 PM (#543118 - in reply to #543043)
Subject: Re: Ovation celibrity mandolin mcs 148 bridge blown out



Joined:
February 2016
Posts: 816

Location: Spin axis of a California map
Your work process and result reminds me of a song-- "Though the truth may vary, this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore."
It sounds like you crafted quite a capable ship there. Play on with smooth sailing!
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