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Old 04-10-2012, 03:10 PM
Wadcutter Wadcutter is offline
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Default Takamine "Split Saddles"

Is there some "advantage" to be gained by the split saddle? Anybody know why Takamine favors this configuration over the standard configuration, i.e, one piece? Seems to me if there was some advantage to this configuration other guitar builders would be doing it. The old saw "necessity is the mother of invention" doesn't seem to apply here since other builders don't deem the split saddle "necessary."
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:21 PM
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Lowdens do it. I don't understand such things, but it's about intonation.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:15 PM
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Lowdens do it. I don't understand such things, but it's about intonation.
Oh man. Whenever someone starts talking to me about "intonation," my eyes start to glaze over.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:33 PM
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what i don't quite understand is this: the takamine split saddle has more compensation than a regular saddle could provide. so it seems to me either the takamine split saddle over-compensates or a regular saddle under-compensates.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:54 PM
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I've always wondered about split saddles. Is the intonation better in a split saddle? I hope some luthiers provide answers. The slots and double saddles would obviously be more labor intensive I suspect that if there was a definite improvement in intonation we would see split saddles in more guitars.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wadcutter View Post
...Seems to me if there was some advantage to this configuration other guitar builders would be doing it. The old saw "necessity is the mother of invention" doesn't seem to apply here since other builders don't deem the split saddle "necessary."
Hi W-c...
Some luthiers do, and some luthiers build really deep/thick saddles so they can sset the 2nd string a long way backwards toward the bridge pins, and the 3rd string more toward the sound hole...and then they can still get a proper angle to set the low E (6th) string far enough back to play in tune too. A split saddle can do that without using such a thick saddle.

Takamine accomplished this with a rather thin split saddle, but they sure didn't start this process.

I first encountered a split saddle in the late 1980s on Richey Furay's D-28, and it was the first Martin I'd ever played that really played that in-tune all the way up the neck! He was living in Denver at the time, and a local tech was splitting them, for an extra $35! The tech was known for his split saddles on Martins.

Splitting was probably avoided because it makes it impossible to use a traditional under saddle transducer. Nowdays with K&K and other under bridge plate transducers, it can be covered nicely.

Not all guitars are identical in their intonation out-of-the-box, and there are some quite creative ways of setting our instruments us to play better in tune with themselves.


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Old 04-10-2012, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
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Lowdens do it.
and George has been using this design on his guitars since the 70's.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royd View Post
and George has been using this design on his guitars since the 70's.
My Lowden intonates better than my Martin, but it's not noticeable on all songs, just on some.

I've always thought of the b sting as the red-headed step-child!
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:37 PM
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A picture is worth…well…

It's not limited to Lowden or Takamine…

Old Gibson compensated with split saddle…





New Portland guitar with 6 individual saddles…



Old Taylor 555 compensated with split saddle...





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Old 04-10-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
New Portland guitar with 6 individual saddles…
hi lj,

unlike all the other saddles, the b string is shorter than the g string.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
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hi lj,

unlike all the other saddles, the b string is shorter than the g string.
Hi mc1...

On the Portland, that is true...in the pictures. Not sure what happens in real life...

On a Martin, that would likely be a mistake…

And in all the other pictures, the 2nd string is extended not shortened...

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Old 04-10-2012, 08:31 PM
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I wonder if not only has to do with intonation, but also to get a better break angle on the unwound strings at the same time.

I don't know this for a fact, but just wondering.

As far as the pickups go, Takamine's pickup system is pretty cool. They have a piston for each string that are mounted under the bridge plate, and go through it and contact the pickup in the saddle slot.

I have never played (or heard) a Takamine that was not perfectly in balance plugged in.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:04 PM
Wadcutter Wadcutter is offline
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Thanks for the info Larry and the great pics too. Man that old Gibby has some major mojo! And Bob, like you, I don't believe I have ever heard a plugged in Tak that wasn't perfectly in balance. Tak has that nailed.
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