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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,

So after a year and a half of (almost) daily riyaaz, my Hemen's bridge is wearing down. I am wondering what is a good time to have a spare bridge on hand, and when is the time to retire the old one? My main concern is that I am about a centimeter above the porous caves on either side of the bridge. Does this texture span the entire length, such that it will be difficult to maintain a smooth surface once I reach this region? I appreciate the help!

Best,
Tomek
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #2 
Greetings, Cheesecake. (years back a resident Lynx point Siamese cat in my house was named "Cheesecake"). Anyway - :? Your bridge sounds right at deaths door. There are still a few hits on it to go but I'd say it's time to get a new one. As you file down this bridge, you may have to build up the legs to maintain original string height unless neck bow - bend has taken care of that for you. Once you hit marrow, look for some white lilies or carnations. With a delrin (not nylon) bridge, you won't have this problem. That marrow underneath usually runs parallel to the top surface. Look at each end and see if there is any difference.
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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Tony,

Thanks for the reply, you have confirmed my assumptions. It seems that delrin and ebony are the most accessible bridges. Having not worked with either, can I trouble you for a briefing on how the materials differ(from each other and from bone)? Workability/soundability?

Many thanks,
Tomek
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #4 
Welcome back ! My experience has been that all the conventional bridge materials will get cut in the end. Ebony has a surprisingly strong resistance. Be sure it's the really black Gabon ebony, not the lighter and sapwood riddled Macassar ebony which is more readily available. Ivory, when available, I'm not really impressed with. Deer horn and camel bone are the standard materials and last a few months, depending on how hard and heavy the string nails it. Elephant knuckle I have yet to see but sounds most interesting, if not amusing. Other woods like Iron wood, 'lignum vitae' I think is it's official name lasts quite a long time and is not all that difficult to work with. I'm a total delrin fan. I love the stuff ! Regarding how it sounds - that can be dialed in through jawari of course, but also by adjusting the bridge mantle and legs. If it seems to your ears that the bridge is coming across as dead or at least dull, you could change out the wood legs, thin them dowm a bit or also file insteps to the underside where it contacts the tabli. I've even gone so far as to drill a series of shallow holes in the delrin to emulate the marrow found on deer horn. If there is any complaint with the stuff, it would be that snow white color. It can be made in a boney color but on order only ( very pricey proposition ). Anyway, delrin is my first choice. Have fun with the new bridge project.
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hello,

I'll once again state my love of Delrin!
Tony made me a Delrin bridge a few years ago and mailed it to me in South Africa, where I was living at the time.
I sent him measurements and photos of my original bone bridge and he duplicated it in Delrin and Kingswood with %110 accuracy.
(I say "%110" because the quality of his craftsmanship on the bridge was actually far better than the original Hiren Roy bridge!)
He also duplicated the traditional carving along the edge as an unexpected bonus (Thanks, Tony!!!)

Based on my experience, I can absolutely attest that Delrin sounds as good as my original bone bridge.
I can hear no difference in tone whatsoever.
(In my experience, tone is almost entirely dependant on jawari, so you'll need to be comfortable doing your own jawari work or know someone who can do it for you to get the sound you like.)
However, I far prefer Delrin because in the two years I've been playing on it (logging well over 2000 hours) it's never needed any maintenance at all.

I can't recommend Tony's bridges highly enough!
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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks to both of you for a good lot of info and opinion. I must confess to a certain degree of eagerness as I have watched my bridge wear away. Looking forward to getting my hands dirty and learning some more ins and outs of my baby.

Cheers!
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musicslug

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Reply with quote  #7 
you can definitely add my name to the delrin fan base. my guru made delrin bridges for my first (Miraj) rudra vina, and later, my Kanailal rudra vina. in both cases I played for a year or so with the original (antler) bridge, so I had a thorough sense of what that sounded like, before going for delrin. I never once had any doubt afterwards that it was an upgrade. the meends are slippery (in the good sense...) as all get-out (delrin is 40% teflon, if I'm remembering correctly), it's clear and loud, and, once you get the jawari right, you'll get years out of it before needing to re-do it - if ever.

p.s. my delrin is brown (not custom ordered), not white.

Daniel
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'd like to see/hear a Delrin bridge with holes drilled all the way through, maybe 3 of them and then sealed off at the ends? Any that I've seen have nice longevity but a very thin tone, they seem too dense and heavy like the urethane/nylon bridges. I like Baruns material he uses, wish I knew what exactly it was called. Some kind of fiberglass but mine has lasted forever and has density of a deerhorn bridge, not too heavy. Anyone know exactly what it is?
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