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  #1  
Old 08-10-2013, 10:19 AM
craigjtmp craigjtmp is offline
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Default Replacing your composite bridge saddle with a bone saddle

Hi guys! I am new to the forum. I managed to finally get a Martin guitar. I can only afford a lower end Martin, so I got a 1990s D-15 Mahogany pretty cheap on Ebay, but when I got it I was disappointed with the high end (treble). After some research, I found if you switch out the bridge saddle from composite to a bone saddle, the high end was more pronounced, as well as the mid and low ranges. I am partnering with my guitar tech buddy Jay Monterose, and we made a DIY video detailing how to do it. Thoughts?

Upgrading Martin Acoustic Bridge for Better High End - J Monterose Guitar Lab Video:

http://youtu.be/G5DU2mk3koM
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:05 PM
mustache79 mustache79 is offline
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I think most of us prefer bone to anything else. I buy bone saddles in bulk. They come pre radiused and compensated to a degree. I do all the fine tuning (i.e intonation and radius) myself with these tools:


004 by Bohdan79, on Flickr

I really enjoy working on guitars, so it gives me great pleasure to make my own saddles. It's surprisingly easy.
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:17 PM
craigjtmp craigjtmp is offline
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Default Cool thanks!

I thought it was a kind of not commonly known, learning every day! Any tips you might have for me to further spruce up my Martin? Maybe new tuning hardware? New neck bridge?
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:34 PM
Jim.S Jim.S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigjtmp View Post
Thoughts?
Hi Craig, I'll take that as a invite for a critique.

You do a great job of explaining how to basically shape a saddle and your delivery I thought was great, you know, not too many ums and arrs. You engage the camera naturally as well as comfortably and you are easy to listen to.

Just a couple of points, Rosewoods are generally more stable than Ebonies and Ebony is notorious for longitudinal instability.

The other thing and you mention it a few time but this quote "Increased total frequency response" when you refer to the difference between plastics and bone, what do you mean by that quote exactly?

Jim
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:55 PM
craigjtmp craigjtmp is offline
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That is actually my business partner and guitar tech Jay, and it is only our 2nd video, so we need improvement definitely, so I am not sure what he meant. He has over 30 years experience in building and repairing guitars. He used to be Danny Gatton's guitar tech. I think he was referring to the vibration that the saddle bridge delivers to the top of the guitar. he is opening my mind to how important the saddle bridge is, and how the vibration is transferred; it is very important.
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  #6  
Old 08-10-2013, 09:41 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by craigjtmp View Post
we made a DIY video detailing how to do it. Thoughts?

I know I shouldn't, but...

Having watched the video, I'm not quite clear who the intended audience is or what is the purpose of the video. Part of what I do for a living is to prepare technical training materials and teach people. The first rule of successful technical communication/training is to identify your intended audience and target the communication/training for that audience. The second rule it to identify the purpose of the communication/training and create a presentation that focuses on that purpose.

Who is the intended audience of the video? Those actually trying to do-it-yourself and replace the saddle in their guitars or those simply interested in an overview discussion of the process that would be used? If for the do-it-yourselfer, it's a little short on practical detail and a methodical "how-to" and long on "theory".

The format of the video is a lecture. It is not a "hands-on" demonstration of the methods and techniques used. That's fine, and lecture formats certainly have their time and place. But, it's a different animal than a video intended to show someone how to actually do something. So, it depends upon what your purpose is/was in making this video.

Suggesting that it can be done for $50 or less may be a little misleading. If one already has basic tools, and/or, one is only sanding the thickness of a saddle, that's true. If one has to also buy files, granite surfaces, digital callipers, string height gages/rulers, radius gages, a vice... not so much.

Lastly, in the digital age where nearly everyone has a camera/video recorder on their smart phone and tablet, and it has never been easier to share video in a variety of venues, there is an enormous amount of video available on many, many topics. Prior to making a new video, it may make sense to see what is already available on the topic. Is there any value in making another video on the same topic if yours offers repetition of what is already available and well-documented, or will your video target something unique or something currently unavailable? I suggest that there are already many videos (and websites) that provide good guidance to the potential do-it-yourselfer wanting to replace a saddle. After viewing some of those, ask yourself what your video adds to the existing offerings. (Sometimes, it's fun to make a video just for the sake of making it. In which case, that is it's purpose.)

I've avoided discussion of any technical content and focused solely on the presentation. You did ask for feedback: I've tried to keep it objective and constructive.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 08-10-2013 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:16 AM
craigjtmp craigjtmp is offline
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Excellent constructive criticism, Thanks. I'm a big boy, I can take it. lol We were kind of busy with our "day jobs" and rushed it. We were thinking of doing a follow-up video on the bench for "how-to" video, and this seals it. I am going to try to have him do it without the calipers, and do it as if he was someone doing it at home with hardly any specialty tools, and geared towards a novice. Thanks for the input!
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:43 AM
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murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Hi Craig, I found the video intriguing, to say the least ...I think Charles' comments are very relevant, and I too have no wish to enter into any technical disputations regarding the content , although there were a couple of points I could pick up on ...

What fascinates me is that your business partner Jay, the presenter in this video, was Danny Gatton's guitar tech.

I was, and am, and always will be, a huge Danny Gatton fan ...IMO the most naturally talented guitarist (along with Roy Buchanan ) ever to walk the face of the Earth ... one of the few whose skill was not solely attributable to endless hours of practice... but was Danny Gatton ever that much of an acoustic player ?

I'm just asking ...it's not a leading question or anything, I am just asking, out of interest, since you are in a position to ascertain, whether Danny Gatton ever played much acoustic guitar.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:59 AM
craigjtmp craigjtmp is offline
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murr, Danny never really played the acoustic. Jay works on electric guitars mainly, but I am an acoustic guy so I get him to work on my acoustics; Jay can work on both. I rarely talk about Danny with him, because of course as you may know Danny lost his battle with depression and his life ended in tragedy and is very painful.

I have discussed all the good constructive criticism with Jay, and we are going to make a video "on the bench" showing step-by-step in a DIY video replacing the saddle bridge without the expensive calipers. We also are planning videos on how to replace the tuning pegs on my Martin D15. The neck bridge we do NOT recommend someone doing at home, but may do a video recommending it but directing them to have a professional guitar tech in a shop do it for them; it is a very important part as you all may know in getting the best sound out of your guitar. Thanks all!
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:17 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigjtmp View Post
a DIY video replacing the saddle bridge... The neck bridge...
The white thingamajig at the bridge is widely called a "saddle" (occasionally a "bridge saddle", but not usually): the white thingamajig at the head of the instrument is widely called a "nut" - maybe it should be called a "neck saddle" or a "head saddle". Maybe there should be new names for those things, but, currently, those are the nearly universally agreed upon (English language) names.

if you are going to make an instructional video, it makes sense to use the terminology that is standard throughout the industry, unless you have specific reasons not to and then define the new terminology you are using.

I realize that you are not the expert, but it doesn't inspire confidence in the project when something as basic as using common terminology is overlooked.

Quote:
we do NOT recommend someone doing at home, but may do a video recommending it but directing them to have a professional guitar tech in a shop do it for them;
"Today, I'm gonna show ya all how to make a bomb, but don't do this at home..." I'm of the opinion of not making public videos instructing people on how to do things you advise people not to do.

What is your motivation for making these videos again?

Honest, I am being nice.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:40 AM
craigjtmp craigjtmp is offline
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You are correct about the terms, and I will start using them in the correct way. I am not sure why i was messing up, I was aware of the correct terminology. Maybe getting old...lol

I guess the videos are for someone like me, who bought a low-end Martin or other acoustic and are on a tight budget, and may have composite saddle, string pegs and nut; and we want to let people know how one can switch to bone and get a better high end and better sound out of them. Kind of like how in the day we would add headers to a car or back cut the valves on our street muscle cars to eke a few more horsepower out of them. If they are like me, and on a tight budget, we would like to show them how they can may do SOME of the things at home themselves, but yet direct them to a shop for the one or two things that are better left to a professional so they don't frick up their guitar. I hope that makes sense. Thanks for the advice, this helps a lot in me focusing better and producing a better product. (I am also trying to get extra scratch by monetizing my YouTube videos) : )
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:07 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by craigjtmp View Post
(I am also trying to get extra scratch by monetizing my YouTube videos) : )
I HATE having to sit through some number of seconds of unrelated advertisement before I can click to dismiss it and get to the content I am there to see. (In some cases, where you can't dismiss the ad before it completes, I close it and never look at the content I came for.) For that reason, I have sworn never to subject others to that in the videos I create and put on Youtube. But, that's just me and my preference.

An alternative is to request donations (PayPal or otherwise) for those who feel the content is of merit. Consider it "pay for performance". Another alternative is to make the content available for purchase on DVD or by download. It's a means for those who feel the content is of value to show their appreciation.

The other question is the "business model" you want. Is the video content the product or is it the advertisement for the product? Is your (or Jay's) intention to make money in selling information (i.e. instructional videos) or to make money by offering setup and repair services - or even both? (Teaching others how to do something is often different than just doing the thing.) If repair services, the video is the advertisement for those services. In that case, perhaps it is "smart" to make money on the advertisement by being paid for having unrelated advertisements. But, unless you have real gold to offer, chances are iffy that I'll make it to your content. Again, that's just me. With a zillion potential viewers, perhaps you can afford to lose some. You have a LOT of competition out there, much of which is free and without ads. What'll drive people to your offerings?

Last edited by charles Tauber; 08-15-2013 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:14 AM
arie arie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigjtmp View Post
Hi guys! I am new to the forum. I managed to finally get a Martin guitar. I can only afford a lower end Martin, so I got a 1990s D-15 Mahogany pretty cheap on Ebay, but when I got it I was disappointed with the high end (treble). After some research, I found if you switch out the bridge saddle from composite to a bone saddle, the high end was more pronounced, as well as the mid and low ranges. I am partnering with my guitar tech buddy Jay Monterose, and we made a DIY video detailing how to do it. Thoughts?

Upgrading Martin Acoustic Bridge for Better High End - J Monterose Guitar Lab Video:

http://youtu.be/G5DU2mk3koM
thoughts:

-some dude chillin' on the couch telling me about guitar tech using the wrong terms. not very inspiring. what is a "price point guitar" really? every guitar is a price point guitar. depends where upon one's price point is.

-electric guitar in the beginning of a video intended for the acoustic crowd. why?

-advertisement in the middle of the video. Really? i feel like Gordon Ramsey right now. reminds me of "cyber-hijacking"

-working on a guitar while sitting on the couch -and working on the top of it too (14:38) not cool either. get a workbench or at least a table. videos like this inspire legions of people into bad work habits.

-video way too long. check out Robbie O'Brian's "Luthier Tips du Jour" videos.

-what is the focus here? lecturing?, commerce?, advice?, advertising?

-too much "imagery" in the beginning of the video. branding, fire, graphics, dandelions, trees, more branding, etc...

-annoying captions.

still i've seen worse. don't take it personal. there's room for improvement here and with a little bit of effort it can be done

Last edited by arie; 08-15-2013 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:59 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by arie View Post
check out Robbie O'Brian's "Luthier Tips du Jour" videos.
Excellent suggestion.

Good content; excellent presentation, good production quality, well planned, well implemented. Modular approach adding up to an impressive body of knowledge available for free without advertisements. All around professional quality. He is in the business of education - that is his "product" - and is good at it.

I've never met him, but based on the quality of his Youtube "advertisements", I wouldn't think twice about sending someone to him for personal instruction, what his business is about. I've even considered purchasing products he showcases in his "advertisements".
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:36 PM
arie arie is offline
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Excellent suggestion.

Good content; excellent presentation, good production quality, well planned, well implemented. Modular approach adding up to an impressive body of knowledge available for free without advertisements. All around professional quality. He is in the business of education - that is his "product" - and is good at it.

I've never met him, but based on the quality of his Youtube "advertisements", I wouldn't think twice about sending someone to him for personal instruction, what his business is about. I've even considered purchasing products he showcases in his "advertisements".

Mr. O'Brian and the Dan Erlewine/Erick Coleman Stew-Mac videos are imo the "Gold Standard" of internet instruction.
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