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  #1  
Old 03-23-2020, 03:25 PM
Gfzen Gfzen is offline
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Default Saddle Leaning Forward

All--

I recently was given an older (I think 2004) Fender DG-16-E. Before I really had much chance to play it, I noted it had a cracked bridge (which I repaired) and a chewed up bridge plate (which I sanded down and then installed a brass bridge plate in order to fix it). I restrung it, tuned it up and immediately noticed the saddle was leaning forward under string tension.

I loosened the strings to take pressure off of the forward/top of the bridge and to investigate. It looks like the saddle is a bit too narrow for the bridge slot (it easily falls out when the guitar is unstrung and turned upside down). It's also possible the saddle sits up a bit too high (being an acoustic-electric, it sits on a pickup).

My question: Do any of you have thoughts on whether or not I should purchase a new, wider saddle and custom fit it to the bridge slot? Would that take care of the forward lean? Would it also help to sand the bottom of the new saddle down a bit so it sits deeper in the bridge?

While I have played for years, I've never tried to "repair" any of th guitars I've owned. Since this is not a very expensive guitar, my fear of making an error is pretty low--I've never spent a lot of time on a 12-string and my hope is this will be serviceable enough for me to see if a "better" 12-string is in my future!

Thanks in advance for any responses!
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Old 03-23-2020, 03:36 PM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
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You've done some good repairs there - fitting a new thicker saddle should be a pretty easy thing to try.

I've used these 7-string bone blanks ( the 2 pictured on top) I bought on ebay to make my own saddles .. they are 3mm thick.



Here's the link, https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/One-Piec...h/401412427655
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2020, 03:44 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Gfzen, I had the same problem with the used Eastman E1SS-LTD-CLA I bought last year. With my guitar the problem was caused by the thickness of the cheapo coaxial cable Fishman undersaddle pickup it had. When I yanked out the pickup I had to replace the existing saddle with a taller one, but it solved the problem of the saddle leaning forward.

Of course, since I canít get your guitar on the bench I canít tell if it has the same root cause of the problem, but itís definitely a possibility.

By the way, I replaced the Fishman pickup with a K&K bridgeplate pickup and it sounds MUCH better. So thatís something that you might want to consider doing, as well.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:24 PM
stormin1155 stormin1155 is offline
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A new, thicker saddle will solve your problem. Finding one the correct thickness will be your challenge. Sanding down the bottom will lower your string height (action), which may or may not be a desired outcome. It will do little, if anything, to correct the tilting.

In a pinch, you could build up the thickness of the saddle by applying a coating of superglue on one side. Make sure it dries completely before fitting it into the slot. Apply additional coats and sand level until the saddle fits snugly.

The primary negative symptom of a forward tilting saddle is that it affects your intonation. It also may put undue stress on the walls of the saddle slot, and of course, it looks goofy.

Last edited by stormin1155; 03-23-2020 at 04:29 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2020, 04:35 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stormin1155 View Post
A new, thicker saddle will solve your problem.
Stormin, itís not necessarily the thickness of the saddle thatís the issue, thatís what I was trying to get across in my previous post. I also thought that the saddle in my Eastman was too thin, but once I removed the pickup I saw that the saddle was the correct thickness, it just didnít have enough room in the saddle slot to stand fully upright. Once the pickup was removed the saddle filled up the slot correctly, but it was no longer tall enough and had to be replaced.

I mean, you might be completely correct and all that the guitar needs is a thicker saddle. But it could also be the same situation I had.

Either way heís probably going to need a new saddle, but letís not jump to conclusions about the direct cause of the problem until the OP can delve a little more deeply into it.


whm
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:21 PM
Gfzen Gfzen is offline
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Thank you all for your replies.

Since saddles are so inexpensive, Iím going to get a slightly thicker one and sand it down so it fits tighter in the bridge slot. Iíll keep the height the same (I appreciate the reminder about intonation!)ó

I will check back here after this next step and let you know what I find. Itís possible Iíll ditch the current under saddle pickup for something more discreet.

Thank you all again...

If anyone has other thoughts on how to address this Iím all ears.

One last thing, I know Iíll never become a ďrealĒ guitar repairer, but itís been fun to get my hands a little dusty (sanding) and sticky (gluing) on this old 12...
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:33 PM
Mirosh Mirosh is offline
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Both the factory plastic saddle and a bone saddle I bought on line are a loose fit in the bridge lot of my Yamaha AC1R. I just put a narrow strip of masking tape on one side of it and put it back in and it sits OK.

The purist in me says there's some vibration dampening as a result, and adding thickness with something hard like super glue is preferable. The ears on me say "We can't tell." But I am open to opinions, and looking for little projects like these nowadays.
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:13 PM
Gfzen Gfzen is offline
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Iíve thought about doing the ďplastic cardĒ trick or building up the saddleís surface with Super GlueóI am certainly not a thinking there will be a major tonal difference if I spring for a new, thicker saddle.

I think Iím really enjoying trying to get this old guitar into decent playing shape while learning/trying stuff Iíve never done before.

Thanks for your reply! Much appreciated!
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:21 PM
Gfzen Gfzen is offline
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Wade Hamptonó

Iíve always been interested in a K&K...

Do you think having a brass bridge plate would cause difficulties with tone if I installed one of those?

Iím very curious...
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2020, 01:56 AM
nikpearson nikpearson is offline
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Default Brass is heavy...

...slightly denser than steel, and not a good bridge plate material in my opinion. It will add weight to an area of the instrument you probably don’t want to be adding weight to.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2020, 10:10 AM
Gfzen Gfzen is offline
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I appreciate all responses.

I contacted Bob Colosi and heís making a slightly wider bone saddle for me.

I donít know if it will fix the problemóhopefully it will.

Iíll let you all know!
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