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Old 10-30-2014, 11:06 PM
Arthur Blake Arthur Blake is offline
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Default "Wood fiber" saddle filler improvisation





Tried to have my local shop fabricate a new saddle, but entailed leaving the guitar there for a week.
Have been changing strings weekly to maintain the sound I like, and simply tired of having the saddle fall out and having to align the ends just right while installing new strings.
Tried slipping a piece of paper but would not fit. Went to "wood fiber" alternative (bathroom tissue) and it worked perfectly. Used a wood toothpick to scrape away the excess.
Just enough to stabilize the saddle and acoustically couple it to the bridge even with the strings off. It was inserted on the bridge pin side, and may have also slipped slightly under the center of the saddle, which happened to be slightly raised such that a small sliver of light was visible when held to a straight edge.
Question: Can a negative prove a positive?
Answer: Yes. Here's how. After installing new strings they sounded horrible, whereas previously they had always sounded wonderful. They were tinny and shrill. Then I realized this is the new string effect that occurs prior to settling in which I had never before heard on this instrument because the saddle was improperly fitted.
After a day they sound great. The bass strings have less "thud" and more "ring" plus improved volume and even "growl" under harder attack. (fingerstyle)
Wondering now, if I even need to go back after the guitar shop catches up with their work next week, or if properly fitted bone will surpass my makeshift attempt.
Will decide then, but for now, I'm pleased with my instant repair.
(no "flames" please - the materials I used are flammable)
Inspiration came from reading the Fretboard Journal. Some of those guys get creative with decoration and on the road makeshift guitar alterations.
The first three guitar techs and luthiers told me a slightly leaning saddle when corrected would make no discernible difference. The next luthier failed to return multiple phone messages, and the fifth, when I appeared with guitar in hand, happened to be gone for the day (despite my having called the week prior) and then his assistant told me it would probably be a week before he could get to it.
So I improvised, with the attitude that it was a reversible experiment.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:47 PM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Blake View Post
...After installing new strings they sounded horrible, whereas previously they had always sounded wonderful. They were tinny and shrill. Then I realized this is the new string effect that occurs prior to settling in which I had never before heard on this instrument because the saddle was improperly fitted....
More likely, your saddle was working properly before and the "wood fiber" is actualyl extremely soft and compressible and was absorbing and damping the vibration energy. Under compression it (the tissue) took a "set".

Basically the paper was a soft gasket muffling your sound. It squished down and now it isn't damping much.

You never want anything soft at the saddle.
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