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The Nashville Rubber Bridge Sound

Back in 2019-2020, I started receiving requests for set-ups with rubber bridges. My initial reaction was, "how and why would anyone do that?" But after some careful research and development, I cracked the nut and have rubber bridges of my own design. 

My design differs from the "Old Style" or "West Coast" rubber bridges. This is on purpose. My first draft of the design was much closer to the Old Style bridge (btw, Reuben, if you read this, big fan of your work) but, I was having issues getting that style of bridge to intonate, and honestly, I wanted my design to be its entirely own thing with its own unique sound. So, I came up with this bridgecraft method of my own that uses a wooden core saddle to create an intonation point and mimic the shape of the original wooden bridge this guitar would have had. The result is a tone that is still bouncy and "bongish," but not quuuuite as muted out as the LA bridge design. The sound of my bridge is inspired by the "chicken pickin'" and flatpicking bluegrass styles of playing that I grew up hearing in Kentucky and Tennessee.

Our flagship models were vintage parlor guitars - inspired by Taylor Swift's infamous "Folklore" Silvertone Mo. 604. We cleaned them up, installed clip-in gold foils, then added our rubber bridge. Since then, we've rubber bridged all sorts of modern and vintage acoustic and electric guitars. Since our initial releases, we have improved upon our design and implementation. For some models, we've added an extra piece of muting foam between the bridge and the tailpiece. We're also occasionally using D'Addario XL Chromes Flat Wound strings to further deaden the overtones. Some models even have a piezo rod in the bridge instead of a clip-in pickup....and some have both.

Demo Videos

Recorded Performances

Why is a rubber bridge better than a standard guitar?
The rubber bridge isn't necessarily better than a regular guitar - it's just another tool in your toolbox. Just a different sound to spice up your studio tracks or live set.

What are these used for?
Rubber bridge guitars are popular in the singer-songwriter and Americana circuits. They are also an excellent studio tool that you can use to flesh out your acoustic tracks. My customers have used them on everything from Americana to space jazz to hip hop to bluegrass - my band Big, if True even used one on our pop-punk record. 

Can you describe the sound?
The purpose of the rubber bridge is to mute the harmonic overtones of your guitar. You'll only hear the immediate attack and decay of the note, which creates a "bouncy" or "plunky" tone. A lot of artists love it because you can make your guitar sound like it's been in the closet for 50 years, or like it's being played through a lo-fi record. It's not for everybody, but there are endless ways to use it.  

Do you sell just the bridge?
We do not sell just the bridge because they are made to fit each guitar. We do offer conversions though.

When will you have more rubber bridge guitars in your store?
We try to make a batch of 20-30 every three months, but that schedule can vary. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Instagram for updates!

Can you install a rubber bridge on my guitar?
Most likely yes! It depends on the bridge that's already installed. 
Install Rubber Bridge Only: $195
Install Rubber Bridge + Electrification: $295 (includes Stringjoy strings. Flat wound strings will be extra)

Didn't Reuben Cox at Old Style Guitars invent this? Are you stealing his design?
Reuben Cox of Old Style Guitars is known for developing and popularizing rubber bridge guitars. I have nothing but respect for Reuben's work. My design is intentionally distinct from the Old Style bridge - it is made through a completely different method using completely different materials. If you were to A / B my rubber bridge with any of the other rubber bridges available on the market, you would notice a significant difference in sound timbre. I am calling this sound the "Nashville Sound" rubber bridge.

Can you make me an LA Rubber Bridge?
No. The LA bridge is not simply a style, it is someone else's unique design, so it would be unethical for me to copy it. 
I don't live in LA, so I don't make the LA rubber bridge. If you want the LA bridge, I recommend getting one from Rueben Cox at Old Style Guitars.


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