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Author Topic: Positioning and shape of bridge  (Read 669 times)
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« on: October 22, 2006, 09:56:36 PM »

I know that there has to be a good answer to the following questions.  Hope that someone can explain the technical reason behind these items:

1 - Every bridge seems to sit an an angle relative to the nut.  Why?

2 - Why is it that the B string seems to be the only string where the bridge is cut special or has a step / ledge rather than a pivot point where it goes across.  To be more specific, I have looked at my guitars and each has a B string that goes across a flat section of the bridge rather than a peak in the bridge.

I guess that I would have thought that any tonality issues could have been handled by modifying the thickness / composition of the strings rather than shortening or increasing the contact point of a string.

Thanks you for the help.

« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2006, 08:44:51 PM »

1. The saddle is sloped to compensate, generally, for the change in string diameter, and the amount of stretch inherent in each string.

2. The B tends to be compensated further back than the G to account for the change in material. Unwound to wound strings respectively. I re-read your second question. It sounds like a cheap manufactured saddle. Really, all strings should ramp up to a break point but should also be gradual enough to maximize the contact on the saddle for efficient transmission into the soundboard.

In all honesty it's difficult to properly compensate a saddle:

1. The even-tempered system is inherently flawed. We convince ourselves that we're in tune when only the open strings are.
2. You need to know the exact string guage and action the player prefers and uses. A change to either of these puts the guitar out of tune. Even a change in string brand can do this. Only a strobe can help really determine the correct compensation.   
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