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Author Topic: bridge replacement on Yamaha FG-336SB, can i increase spacing?  (Read 3539 times)
pg60
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« on: August 29, 2006, 03:29:44 PM »

I have a Yamaha FG-336SB (hummingbird copy) that I bought new in 1979.  So it has well aged solid spruce top and has tons of sentimental value to me.

But I can't really play it anymore, the spacing at the saddle is a mere 1 15/16", really sucks for fingerstyle.

My question is this:  could a luthier replace the bridge on this guitar and increase the spacing at saddle to normal dred 2 1/8, maybe even squeeze 2 3/16 out of it?  the nut is normal 1 11/16, and there looks like plenty of room on the neck to spread the strings out a bit.

I would appreciate any feedback on the feasibillity and possible cost of this project  :mellow:
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dcarey
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2006, 03:41:05 PM »

Completely feasable. Just double check the dimensions to be certain that the strings won't be too close to the edges of the fretboard.
If it's comfortable for you, it's OK!
Can a wider saddle be installed without a complete bridge replacement? A lot less work that way.

Dan
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pg60
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2006, 04:12:51 PM »

thanks for the reply,

the saddle is actually pretty wide (and low!), it is the bridge pins that are restricting the spacing. that's why i figured i needed new bridge/underside plate.
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jimmyd
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2006, 05:29:00 PM »

To do it right would cost more than the guitar is worth. Remember that the bridge pin holes are drilled through the bridge, the top, and the bridge plate. You need to remove the old bridge, patch the top and the bridge plate then install the new bridge and redrill new holes. Or the best repair would be to completly replace the bridge plate and the bridge and plug the top holes.  This is a job for a skilled luthier and will be very expensive.
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stuco
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 05:50:47 PM »

 

I would either just leave it alone! or maybe you could make a saddle with nut type string slots.  To control where the string goes accross and space them however you want.  I imagine this would slightly affect tone but I think that is a very good concept if I say so myself. 
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pg60
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2006, 07:19:47 PM »

jimmyd: thx, that is kind of what i had assumed but i thought it couldn't hurt to ask some of the knowledgeable people here.

stuco: actually i had the same idea.  cheaper saddles get grooves cut into them anyway, i know this can lead to string breakage, not sure about tone.  don't some archtops have a wider spread at the saddle they do at the tailpiece?  the problem here is that the distance between my saddle and the bridge pins is not very long...
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stuco
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2006, 08:05:17 PM »

 

You may not be able to make a huge difference but here's what I would do: 

Get a bone saddle blank, fit it to the bridge but with a decent amount of extra height maybe 1/8" or maybe more,  Then cut string slots closer to the spacing you would like to have,  Make sure they fit the string very well(you'll want the bottom of the slots the same height as the original saddle)  Then simply smoothe out the slosts giving the rounded edges like the top of a saddle in each slot. and also on the sides of the slots.  You will need the proper tools for this.  I've never heard of this being done but I don't see why it wouldn't work.  Maybe unclrob will look at this and see what he thinks. 
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pg60
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2006, 09:11:30 PM »

thanks!  it is creative thinking and not destructive.  worst case i pop in the old saddle  :mellow:
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stuco
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2006, 09:39:33 PM »

 

Exactly, and you won't ruin your guitar that has sentimental value.  At least I don't think it could hurt it
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