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 Post subject: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 217
Location: North Jersey
Hello All.
I need to replace the saddle on my son's Dean 6 string electric/acoustic. I have already lowered the action a little by carefully and evenly sanding about 10 mils off the bottom of the existing saddle but I noticed it was pitted and grooved where the strings come over it. He is playing at our church in 2 weeks and has asked me to lower the action again just a little and to change the strings to a lighter gauge. It is a compensated saddle. Do I need to replace it with a compensated or can I use a regular shaped saddle? Any other thoughts or suggestions, I am listening. Thanks!

Sincerely,
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 1405
Location: Creedmoor, NC
That is probably a Tusq saddle. First, change the strings as that MAY impact the neck relief (you may need to re-adjust it). The grooves on the top of that saddle can be sanded out if they are not too deep (otherwise you may just want to get a new saddle, definitely compensated). Ideally you should go through the whole setup process to ensure good action. My steps are:

1. Check/Set neck relief (I like .003 to .007)
2. Check/adjust nut slot depth for string height over 1st fret (I like .013 to .022, e to E)
3. Check/adjust saddle for string height over 12th fret (I like 4/64 @ e, 5/64 @E)
4. Check intonation and adjust as necessary

Some like their adjustments higher than mine and the frets need to be LEVEL to get these numbers or lower.

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Tim Benware


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 Post subject: Re: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:42 pm
Posts: 709
Location: Hummelstown, PA
justrfb wrote:

Do I need to replace it with a compensated or can I use a regular shaped saddle?



You do not necessarily need to compensate the new saddle. Depends how picky you are about intonation. You mention church, will he be playing with a piano or organ? If so then you may need to be a bit fussier about the intonation to play in tune with them. Otherwise you may want to install the saddle without doing any comp and check it. I would normally start there even if doing a compensated saddle so I could compute my compensation before final shaping and polishing and then file the peaks accordingly. I never simply copy a saddle, I don't have that much faith in the set up of something I or someone else I know and trust didn't do.

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 Post subject: Re: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5419
Location: Hegins, Pa
I am with Brian , a saddle should be set up to each guitar. There is no one saddle for all guitars.

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 Post subject: Re: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 217
Location: North Jersey
Hello All,
Thank you for your answers and suggestions. I went to our local shop to get a new saddle and they didn't have any compensated saddles to sell me... The guy looked at mine (pitted pretty bad) and suggested since it wasn't cracked or broken, to try and file it or sand it down, didn't even think of that. I thought, what the heck, can't hurt to try. I don't have a "before" picture but I do have a few "after" pictures. I don't have a file set either so my wife Annemarie said to go get a file. Long story short... She said get a nice one and don't go cheap... Cool... Off to Lowes... And since I hope to be building a kit soon... I got a nice set with wood files and mini or micro files too. I fine filed down the saddle and took some off the bottom too. Then sanded with fine grit paper. What do you think? I am listening. Thanks.

Sincerely,
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 1405
Location: Creedmoor, NC
Hmmm? I think I said in my post " The grooves on the top of that saddle can be sanded out if they are not too deep." So I say - Good choice of fix and it looks good too. Hope it has the action where you want it.:)

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Tim Benware


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 Post subject: Re: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:17 am
Posts: 217
Location: North Jersey
Wow!... Tim, I am sorry. I was so stuck on your numbers and checking Willie's guitar, I must have gone right over it. I apologize and thank you for the suggestion. I feel a little stupid right now. Mea Culpa.... Thank you.

Sincerely,
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:44 pm
Posts: 1665
Location: Arkansas
FYI, those appear to be brass inserts. If so, they are heavy and affect the tone/volume/attack of this guitar. These add considerable mass which raises the impedence of bridge movement. So they may be making your guitar sound better.........but more likely, your guitar would sound better if you replaced these with lightweight wood, bone, or plastic inserts. Now if the top is way overbuilt, maybe it will sound worse. In any case, it's reversible so something you could experiment with.

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 Post subject: Re: saddles?!...
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 1405
Location: Creedmoor, NC
justrfb wrote:
Wow!... Tim, I am sorry. I was so stuck on your numbers and checking Willie's guitar, I must have gone right over it. I apologize and thank you for the suggestion. I feel a little stupid right now. Mea Culpa.... Thank you.

Sincerely,
Rich

No problem, I'm just messin with you. That's my sense of humor you'll come to know if you stick around.

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Tim Benware


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