The rubber bridge concept is building serious momentum! If you haven't tried one, you are missing out.
It all started when some LA session players started exploring different sounds. Many guitars are designed for sustain and resonance, but the rubber bridge does the complete opposite—it deadens the string and gives you a smoother and mellower, more attack-oriented sound. Some players describe it as a "plucked string" or "palm mute" sound, almost like a banjo or perhaps a harp or pizzicato violin. The rubber bridge adds new colors to your sonic palette, and it provides its own unique source of inspiration, too.
But not all rubber bridge guitars are equal! This Rubber Bridge Conversion was put together by Nashville-based session player/producer/songwriter/jack-of-all-trades Sam Hawksley. Intrigued by the rubber bridge sound in the studio, Sam sought to improve the intonation issues that often accompany these guitars. By finding suitable rubber to craft a compensated bridge, Sam is able to keep the intonation consistent as you move up the neck. When the intonation is right, you're able to do so much more with the guitar!
This Rubber Bridge Conversion started its life as a late-'60s Airline-branded department store special. If you're going to the trouble of making a rubber bridge, the guitar needs to ring clear and true all the way down the fingerboard, so Sam started by resetting the neck and dressing the frets. In converting the vintage parlor husk into a rubber bridge, Sam greatly improved the playability and overall functionality of the guitar.
Although the original guitar was an American-made acoustic parlor, this Rubber Bridge Conversion is intended to be plugged in. For a pickup, Sam installed a GFS Lil Killer split-rails humbucker. When you combine the high-output humbucker with the sound dampening of the rubber bridge, the interaction is magic. A single volume control allows the guitar to drop right into your existing electric rig. This Rubber Bridge Conversion sounds great with effects, and it gives you a different timbre to explore new musical passages. We like stringing it with flatwound strings, and it sounds great tuned down D to D!