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  #1  
Old 09-26-2023, 12:10 AM
kizz kizz is offline
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Default move bridge or saddleslot

I have bought an old Japanese Fernandes D28 clone probably from 80-90s, maybe earlier, all solid and it sounds good. There is no doubt that it could use a neck reset, the previous owner has sanded down the bridge a bit. It is nicely playable with a good break angle over the saddle and I am thinking of a here and now solution as it will still need a new bridge at a neck reset. Intonation is bad and I have measured that the saddle/bridge must be moved back by about 3 millimeters at high E and about 5 at low E. There is room on the bridge to make a new saddle slot and pinholes. I can move the bridge myself , but does not have the tools to route a new saddle slot.
My question is what would you advise me to do in this situation, move the bridge or fill the old slot/pinholes and make new ones?
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Last edited by kizz; 09-30-2023 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 09-26-2023, 07:11 AM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Replace the bridge.
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Old 09-26-2023, 08:00 AM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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Move the bridge, if the old finish line bothers you, add a decorative strip of wood to cover it. Check your bridge plate to make sure there is room for the new pin holes.

Once the bridge is off, you can temporarily install a trapeze or dobro style tailpiece or even a block of wood and move the bridge around to determine the best location.

https://youtu.be/U6KtnjoD1N0?si=xmft1N9ywY98zMFQ
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Old 09-26-2023, 08:21 AM
Mds53 Mds53 is offline
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Back in 1991 I took my 1967 Guild D-44 to a recommended local Luthier to address my intonation issue. The Luthier turned out to be James Olson, who was already becoming famous for his James Taylor connection.

Jim left the bridge glued, but filled the old saddle slot with epoxy resin and routed a new slot. Then he made a new compensated bone saddle and it was a huge improvement. It's hard to see the old slot unless you look closely.

I still have the Guild and play it often, plus I fell in love with Jim's guitars and ordered one.
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Old 09-26-2023, 08:50 PM
phavriluk phavriluk is offline
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Default a thought

Before I did any violence to the bridge, I'd buy a TUSQ compensated saddle and try it out, see what happens. I mentioned a brand as I've had excellent results with intonation using TUSQ compensated saddles. Price of a burger and very little time. With luck the compensated saddle has the high points favoring the 'good' direction.
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Old 09-30-2023, 10:31 AM
redir redir is offline
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I would replace the bridge too.
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Old 09-30-2023, 10:54 AM
kizz kizz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
I would replace the bridge too.
Do you mean a blank? The problem is that if I put a new bridge on, it will be too high, as the neck has to be reset at another time and the saddle is shaved down. Right now and here the choice is either to move the existing bridge or route a new slot and pinholes.
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Old 09-30-2023, 11:17 AM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizz View Post
Do you mean a blank? The problem is that if I put a new bridge on, it will be too high, as the neck has to be reset at another time and the saddle is shaved down. Right now and here the choice is either to move the existing bridge or route a new slot and pinholes.


This might be the most opportune time to reset the neck, remove the bridge, fill the top and bridge plate holes and replace the bridge with a new one. Otherwise you'll soon be dealing with the saddle height again.

I wonder, though, why the saddle is 3-5mm off from where it should be. Do you know?

Last edited by runamuck; 09-30-2023 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 09-30-2023, 11:42 AM
kizz kizz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runamuck View Post
This might be the most opportune time to reset the neck, remove the bridge, fill the top and bridge plate holes and replace the bridge with a new one. Otherwise you'll soon be dealing with the saddle height again.

I wonder, though, why the saddle is 3-5mm off from where it should be. Do you know?
I am aware that it would be the best solution, but I think it will be a long time before the saddle height gets worse. I choose right now to make it as playable as possible and then time will tell if a reset is worth it. Why the saddle is off is perhaps connected to the fact that the previous owner has removed the bridge and sanded it down a bit combined with the fact that the neck angle is not quite where it should be, but im not sure.
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2023, 06:24 AM
kizz kizz is offline
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The saddleslot was moved back by 2mm, better intonation now but not perfect.
It got to close to the pinhole on low E and A, so a very steep breakangle, but the guitar is playable now. In the future i will replace the bridge and move it back and probably a neck reset. its a great sounding guitar so for now im just enjoying it.
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