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Old 03-03-2021, 01:54 PM
jp2558 jp2558 is offline
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Default Removing a snug saddle?

I'd like to remove the saddle in my GPC-35E but it is a very snug fit. It is not glued in as it was a bone drop in replacement I bought from Maury's and installed myself. After a few years I've decided I'd like to lower it just a wee bit, but today when I gave it my first attempt, I failed to successfully remove it. I was using a soft rag and small pliers but couldn't get a good grip that way, so I tried using a very tiny flathead screwdriver at the end of the saddle, but I couldn't perceive any noticeable movement there either. I'm stumped.

Anyone with any thoughts on next steps?
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Old 03-03-2021, 02:07 PM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
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I was going to take a touch of height off my new SJ-200 saddle when I did my 1st string change a few weeks back. Couldn't budge it too so I'm also interested in suggestions.
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Old 03-03-2021, 02:10 PM
CoryB CoryB is offline
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I use plastic jaw pliers.

Try putting some blue painter tape on the plier jaws - it will protect the saddle but won’t slip the way a rag does.
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Old 03-03-2021, 04:15 PM
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Use a diagonal cutter (wire cutter), blades down, resting on the bridge, at one end of the saddle. (First put a credit card on the bridge to protect it.) Squeeze just enough to bite into the saddle to keep the tool from slipping. Pry up. You may need a small fulcrum like a toothpick or a pencil. If one end of the saddle doesn't budge, try the other.
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:42 PM
jp2558 jp2558 is offline
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Thanks for the input - it is truly appreciated. I plan to try these techniques over the weekend and will report the results.
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Old 03-03-2021, 09:10 PM
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The best way I've found is to use my fret pullers. Grab the saddle right at the bridge and pull up. That way if you make a mark in the saddle, it'll usually below grade when you file down the saddle.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:54 PM
jp2558 jp2558 is offline
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Success... Sort of... I was able to remove the saddle (yea)! I put electrical tape on the bridge along the saddle to prevent scratching the bridge. Unfortunately I was unable to use any of the recommendations above because I simply couldn't get a good grip using any type of pliers and/or adhesives. I was however able to use a very tiny flathead screwdriver and with gentle pressure at the end nearest the low E string, apply enough force to be able to lift it enough to get a better grip on it.

Then I got to work sanding it a bit. In doing so I found that it wasn't perfectly flat at either end so I proceeded to attempt to remedy that. Long story short, I was able to remove enough to get the action where I want it, but upon restringing I found that the low E now has an unforgivable buzz, which only appears when the string is played as an open E. (Missed it by that much...). Other than that it was perfect.

So now I need to get a replacement (Stewmac) but I'm not sure how to measure the top radius, as their site offers three different saddles. I emailed them asking for advice. Hopefully by this time next week I will have this resolved.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:00 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2558 View Post
which only appears when the string is played as an open E.
That indicates that string is too low at the nut.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:24 PM
Mirosh Mirosh is offline
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Yes, nut slot. I just faced this with a new-to-me guitar. For now, I have a small piece of .3mm thick blister pack clear plastic in that nut slot, raising the string to stop the buzz. It adds too much height (intonation goes sharp) but until I find something hard and thinner, it'll do. Maybe someone has other ideas for this.

Some day I or a luthier will fill in that nut slot file it down just right. I might find others that need a bit of work as I get to know the guitar.

I hope something like this will work for you. It sounds like your saddle job worked out OK. Congrats.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:35 PM
jp2558 jp2558 is offline
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Thanks for the insight. I've never done anything to the nut so I am hesitant to start now... I did some homework and found the proper saddle width and radius and just ordered two replacements from Stewmac. Now that I have a good template to work from, I hope to be able to replicate what I have now but without the buzz.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:49 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2558 View Post
Thanks for the insight. I've never done anything to the nut so I am hesitant to start now... I did some homework and found the proper saddle width and radius and just ordered two replacements from Stewmac. Now that I have a good template to work from, I hope to be able to replicate what I have now but without the buzz.
I can understand your hesitancy. However, if the problem is the nut, the appropriate solution is the nut. Sure, you can raise the strings at the saddle high enough that it alleviates the problem at the nut, but doing so gives you less than optimized playability.

The cost is minimal to have a professional fill and re-cut the one nut slot. Depending on who does it and where they are located, around $25.
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:17 PM
jp2558 jp2558 is offline
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Thanks - I'll keep that in mind.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:38 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2558 View Post
Thanks - I'll keep that in mind.
Charles Tauber knows what he's talking about, I can assure you.

It's hard to know who to trust on forums like these. Charles is an expert
in many things regarding guitars but especially setup.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:44 PM
StrumChi StrumChi is offline
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All of these are good suggestions. It hasn't been mentioned yet, so I'll be the first to mention this alternative method. Don't laugh. A sewing needle. The thinnest one you can find. You can insert it on the end of the saddle, just getting it barely in there. Use the bridge for leverage. Lift the saddle up a little bit, then redo it. Redo it until the saddle is lifted. It's worked for me everytime, even when the saddle is almost flush with the bridge.
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