The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-06-2017, 04:30 PM
oldgitplayer oldgitplayer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brit in Oz
Posts: 107
Default Changing the bridge & saddle

I have an Aria acoustic that I bought in 1968. It became pretty road worn in its day and I have recently removed the scratch plate (which was very ugly), bridge & saddle, nut and tuners to refinish the woodwork.

I have replaced the plastic nut with a bone nut and replaced the tuners. I bought a replacement rosewood bridge with compensated bone saddle, but am now uncertain whether or not I should proceed.

The original bridge and adjustable saddle are rosewood. They are the same as an early Gibson bridge. Obviously the early Japanese guitar makers knew what they were doing and the guitar has a particular tone of its own. I have however forgotten what it sounds like as it has been in in dry dock for about 4 years now and I currently play a D28.

It was a cheap guitar originally with plywood back and sides, but it has sentimental value, so that's why I'm working on it (and learning a few skills as I go).

Does anyone have experience with these old adjustable rosewood saddles? The question is: Should I keep it or replace it with the new rosewood bridge with bone saddle?

Any help would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-06-2017, 04:36 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,065
Default Changing the bridge & saddle

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgitplayer View Post
I have an Aria acoustic that I bought in 1968. It became pretty road worn in its day and I have recently removed the scratch plate (which was very ugly), bridge & saddle, nut and tuners to refinish the woodwork.



I have replaced the plastic nut with a bone nut and replaced the tuners. I bought a replacement rosewood bridge with compensated bone saddle, but am now uncertain whether or not I should proceed.



The original bridge and adjustable saddle are rosewood. They are the same as an early Gibson bridge. Obviously the early Japanese guitar makers knew what they were doing and the guitar has a particular tone of its own. I have however forgotten what it sounds like as it has been in in dry dock for about 4 years now and I currently play a D28.



It was a cheap guitar originally with plywood back and sides, but it has sentimental value, so that's why I'm working on it (and learning a few skills as I go).



Does anyone have experience with these old adjustable rosewood saddles? The question is: Should I keep it or replace it with the new rosewood bridge with bone saddle?



Any help would be appreciated.


Funny, right now Iím visiting a guitar tech thatís gonna work on the adjustable saddle on my 1970ís Japanese guitar. She sounds really good even with that horrible adjustable saddle so I canít wait to hear the difference! He said he can fit a big bone saddle and fill up and polish the existing bridge. He quoted me $100 for the work and setup which I think itís very reasonable. That puts the grand total of this guitar at $240 which that makes it a keeper since I doubt Iíll be able to sell her for anywhere near that much.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-06-2017, 04:39 PM
Athens Athens is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Athens GA
Posts: 1,077
Default Adj bridge

I've had a couple of guitars with adjustable bridges, including a 68 Aria 12 string that I still have.

The ones that I've replaced the Adj section on all saw an improvement in tone and sustain.

Definitely worth doing.
__________________
2007 Webber MJ Engleman/Tasmanian Blackwood
2006 Webber 000-12 Fret Spruce/EIR
1995 Taylor 612C Custom, Spruce over Flamed Maple
1968 Aria 6815 12 String

Last edited by Athens; 12-06-2017 at 07:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-06-2017, 05:25 PM
oldgitplayer oldgitplayer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brit in Oz
Posts: 107
Default

Thanks for the feedback - I was travelling in the right direction but needed a nudge or two. New bridge and saddle it shall be.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-06-2017, 05:34 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5,550
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgitplayer View Post
Thanks for the feedback - I was travelling in the right direction but needed a nudge or two. New bridge and saddle it shall be.

If the existing bridge is not coming off, I'd leave it. Instead, have the adjustable saddle slot filled, a new slot routed and put a regular bone saddle in it.

Alternatively, as 1neeto suggested, just have an over-thickness saddle made to fill the adjustable saddle slot. On all guitars that I make, I use a wide saddle, typically 3/16" thick and compensate for each string. Do that, and it'll play better in tune than it ever did before.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-06-2017, 07:59 PM
Athens Athens is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Athens GA
Posts: 1,077
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
.....Alternatively, as 1neeto suggested, just have an over-thickness saddle made to fill the adjustable saddle slot.......
Yes, this is what I did. Have a slotted hardwood piece made for the saddle to fit into that fills the slot in the bridge.
__________________
2007 Webber MJ Engleman/Tasmanian Blackwood
2006 Webber 000-12 Fret Spruce/EIR
1995 Taylor 612C Custom, Spruce over Flamed Maple
1968 Aria 6815 12 String
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-06-2017, 09:58 PM
oldgitplayer oldgitplayer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brit in Oz
Posts: 107
Default

So I already took off the bridge some time back and having now re-examined the parts and listened to wise counsel, I think I'll use the new bridge and saddle rather than mess with the old.

Thanks for the help.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-06-2017, 10:30 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5,550
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgitplayer View Post
So I already took off the bridge some time back and having now re-examined the parts and listened to wise counsel, I think I'll use the new bridge and saddle rather than mess with the old.

Thanks for the help.
Sorry, sloppy reading. I'd missed that you had already removed the bridge. Might as well use the new one then.

The usual caveats apply: the bridge pin hole spacing needs to match the old one, and the position of the saddle slot relative to the footprint of the bridge MUST put the saddle in the correct location for accurate intonation.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-06-2017, 11:46 PM
oldgitplayer oldgitplayer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brit in Oz
Posts: 107
Default

Yes - I've checked all the hole alignments and saddle location with regard to intonation and all the ducks seem to be lining up.
I just need to buy a couple of long clamps and I will be ready to glue.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-07-2017, 12:31 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 5,550
Default

For the last several decades Iíve used two 3/16Ē x 3Ē bolts with washers and wing nuts to clamp bridges. I donít use clamps. Just another option.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-07-2017, 01:32 AM
oldgitplayer oldgitplayer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brit in Oz
Posts: 107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
For the last several decades Iíve used two 3/16Ē x 3Ē bolts with washers and wing nuts to clamp bridges. I donít use clamps. Just another option.
Brilliant!!! - I see how easy that will be using the holes in the bridge and body.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-07-2017, 01:35 AM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,065
Default

Make sure the repairs are worth it. After seeing the tech today he noticed a few things that escaped me when I first checked the guitar. The bridge is lifting a bit from the top, and the work to make the saddle fit will be a bit more extensive than he expected. So he recommends to completely remove the bridge and re-glue it, but he said that removing the bridge could reveal other surprises. He estimated $125 at the very least depending on what he runs into, so i decided to not run the risk of a costly repair when the guitar is playable and sounds good already. I can always sell it for what I paid for and get something better.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-07-2017, 02:05 AM
oldgitplayer oldgitplayer is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Brit in Oz
Posts: 107
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1neeto View Post
Make sure the repairs are worth it. After seeing the tech today he noticed a few things that escaped me when I first checked the guitar. The bridge is lifting a bit from the top, and the work to make the saddle fit will be a bit more extensive than he expected. So he recommends to completely remove the bridge and re-glue it, but he said that removing the bridge could reveal other surprises. He estimated $125 at the very least depending on what he runs into, so i decided to not run the risk of a costly repair when the guitar is playable and sounds good already. I can always sell it for what I paid for and get something better.
I'm 70 years of age and this guitar has been with me for 50 years now. It has seen gigs, concerts, parties, coffee bars, recording studios, and seranaded some impudent beauties in its time. So it deserves a new lease on life...
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-07-2017, 02:06 AM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,065
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgitplayer View Post
I'm 70 years of age and this guitar has been with me for 50 years now. It has seen gigs, concerts, parties, coffee bars, recording studios, and seranaded some impudent beauties in its time. So it deserves a new lease on life...


Oh yeah then totally worth it. Canít imagine the stories of that guitar could talk!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-07-2017, 08:53 AM
Truckjohn Truckjohn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 1,257
Default

On the question of the bridge.. It's really up to you at this point. Remember that the weight of the adjustable parts does contribute to the tone of the instrument... This weight tends to act as a "low pass filter" of sorts which seems to "bump up the bass" at the expense of bright trebles. Replacing these parts with lighter weight wood tends to shift the balance towards treble - which you may or may not like..
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=