The bridge, for all intents and purposes, is an antenna, transmitting the sound from the strings to the body of the guitar. Obviously the transmission by this antenna depends on the materials it is made from, its size and shape. Therefore, it must be made with great care and attention, considering the distance between the strings and the soundboard. In fact the bridge is one of the factors, together with their inclinations, diameter, string gauges and tensions that affect the pressure on the top. The shape, materials and measurements used are selected to obtain the perfect bridge to match the guitar’s specs.
On guitars you may select the following:
1. The 455 Schaller Bridge (all metal)
2. The Tune-O-Matic Bridge (a metal bridge on a wood base)
3. The Ebony Bridge (a wood bridge on a wood base)
In acoustic archtops, ebony bridges and bases are commonly used, as they emphasize a sweeter, mellower sound. The octaves’ tuning at the 12th fret are obtained by moving the entire bridge and base assembly. The compensation between strings is reached by working steps on the bridge for each string, creating longer or shorter string lengths, thereby adjusting the tuning of the octave at the 12th fret. This creates perfect intonation up and down the entire neck. Moreover, a wood tailpiece gives a particular tension to the strings, and contributes to the typical jazz vibe sound.
In semi-acoustic guitars, the choice of bridge is related to the quantity of acoustic sound desired. If you need a prevalence of acoustic sound, a good solution is the selection of a wood bridge, base and tailpiece. For a slightly more electric guitar, the combination of tune-o-matic on the wood base is an ideal middle way to have the smoothness of a wood base. This also allows you to regulate the octaves string by string. Finally, in a guitar with marked electric characteristics, you can use a Schaller 455 bridge. In fact, since it is a metal bridge fixed to the body, it has a more brilliant output. The included tailpiece gives a different tension compared to a floating bridge. This is another factor affecting the final output, giving some brightness to the sound. Bridges are not a single factor affecting the final sound. The bridge alone is never decisive to the total output of the guitar. The sound of a guitar is always the result of the conjunction of several factors and each selected component contributes to the total sound of the guitar.