Many CBGs are fretless, played with a slide with high action. Those rarely are concerned with intonation (adjustable bridge). However, on a fretted instrument a seasoned musician will want perfect intonation (12th fret note an octave lower than the open note) and then you want to adjust the bridge.
***** When I build, my 3 stringers are fretless & fixed bridge. My 4 stringers are fretted and adjustable bridge
Hi Jerry. Does it make a difference? Yes. Every bridge that is different than another will have some effect on the sound, just as every box will have different sound. Is one "better" than another? Sound is a very subjective thing. I have heard bridges made from wood, plastic, nails, brass bolts and rivets and they all sounded fine. Some will swear that certain styles of bridges work better than others, and in some cases that is correct, but generalized statements tend to be more opinion than fact. Each person's ears are different... and beauty is in the ears of the listener. : )
I agree with Ted that for perfect intonation, it's usually good to have an adjustable bridge. That can be anything from a hardtail to a simple "floating" bridge that's basically a block of wood that can be moved. Consider: violins and similar instruments technically have "floating bridges"... adjustable. Almost all off-the-shelf electric guitars have adjustable bridges. Most acoustics don't (I often wish they did). Adjustable forward and backward, up and down or both? I've never built a CBG that didn't sound good. Call that being fortunate... or you've got to really mess up to make a bad-sounding CBG. ;D
So long as the 12th fret rule is obeyed (more or less), just about any kind of bridge works. But you can't lose with having a bridge adjustable at least to a degree.
PLUS ONE Wayfinder. 12th fret rule RULES as far as intonation. I'm nor sure why I thought of this, because some people have different opinions, but many years ago I was a member of a Charvel/Jackson forum. One post really slapped me in the face about WTF??? A guy posted that the tone of his guitar was incredibly changed for the better because he changed the tiny tuner mount screws to brass and not steel. NO BULLSH*T!. AND FOLKS IN THE FORUM DISCUSSED HOW THAT MIGHT BE TRUE.
As always, my usual response to any insane claim like that is "I have a tone control on my amp!!"
LOL. That's so true Ted. I can testify that "just the right guitar" makes a great difference in the resulting music. But that guitar will be different for every musician. In the end, the amplifier seems to affect the overall sound more than the guitar itself.
Brass screws? Bwahahaha. But then again, perhaps to his ears it did make a difference. Or it could have just been his imagination. I do know there are as many opinions on forums are there are people-- and too many people on forums just waiting to pounce on something someone writes, inferring they said something that was never intended. Too many people who think their opinions are "the way it is" rather than realizing that's just their personal experience and that diversity is what makes life wonderful.
One of the best bridges I ever used was a plain old brass bolt. On that specific CBG it worked perfectly. Just so happens to be the very first CBG I ever made and I used it because that's what I saw in photos on the net. To this day that git plays perfectly, as well as any complex floating-bridge system I've ever made-- and I really didn't have any experience at the time. So now I worry less about how the bridge is made and more about the action it produces in the strings... because I've never had a bridge make a git sound bad. : )
I will fully agree with some luthiers that a particular design of bridge will produce "better" sound acoustically. But I don't build acoustic instruments; all of mine have cigar box bodies boosted with electronics-- and that bridge is unlikely to affect the settings on my Fender modelling amp one bit. ;D