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Author Topic: Can someone explain this saddle to me?  (Read 2823 times)
aaronjnoone
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« on: February 12, 2007, 03:36:03 PM »

What is this? http://elderly.com/images/new_instruments/20N/CS_bridge.jpg

 Can you get one for your Larrivee? I'm having intonation problems that I can't sort out, and I was thinking about buying a compensated nut, but what is this saddle that's compensated in 3 different places? It's a Tusq saddle on a Seagull S6. I just bought a Tusq saddle, and I didn't see anything like this when I bought mine.
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maxferry
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2007, 03:47:52 PM »

Could this be part of the Feiten tuning system? I know they use a compensated nut, but had never heard of it being applied to the bridge (maybe they do both...?). It could also be someone's solution to an intonation problem...make a new saddle and dress it to compensate individual strings.

I have been intrigued by the Buzz Feiten tuning system ever since I started hearing about it years ago. I don't know exactly how it works, other than something about the compensated shelf nut, but a lot of high-profile players are using this. They are claiming that it's it's the next evolutionary step of the guitar. This would probably solve your intonation problems if you cared to pursue it.

Anyone have a Larrivee with Feiten tuning system on it?
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sgarnett
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2007, 04:23:58 PM »

My early 90s Larrivee had a saddle kind of like that. I don't remember exactly which strings were compensated, because I made my own version out of bone. The compensation of mine is similiar to that Seagull, though I did it more gracefully instead of using steps.

Comparing my older Larrivee to the newer ones, the angle of the slot in is slightly different, and the slot/saddle may be a little thicker (don't know, I only checked the angle).
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2007, 06:13:52 PM »

What is this? http://elderly.com/images/new_instruments/20N/CS_bridge.jpg

 Can you get one for your Larrivee? I'm having intonation problems that I can't sort out, and I was thinking about buying a compensated nut, but what is this saddle that's compensated in 3 different places? It's a Tusq saddle on a Seagull S6. I just bought a Tusq saddle, and I didn't see anything like this when I bought mine.

Ideally the saddle is 'intonated' for the specific guitar that it is in. Take it to a tech and have him make you a compensated saddle. The stock saddles generally do a good job, but buying a random compensated saddle off the internet is kinda like buying a random key and hoping it fits your lock.
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aaronjnoone
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2007, 08:50:10 PM »

Yeah, ok. The Tusq saddle I got was the same one I already had. I was hoping to eliminate my string breakage problem, which sort of worked, I think. But my intonation has been off for about a month, it doesn't matter what I do. Using the old saddle, the new one, different string gagues, more relief, less relief. It seems to be coming down to compensation. I think it's time to have a pro intonate this guitar for me.

What are the Larrivee bone saddles like? Does anyone have one?
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2007, 10:24:14 PM »


What are the Larrivee bone saddles like? Does anyone have one?

Yeh, they have the same compensation it looks like. Taking it to a pro is a good idea.
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sgarnett
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2007, 10:35:46 PM »

Yeah, ok. The Tusq saddle I got was the same one I already had. I was hoping to eliminate my string breakage problem, which sort of worked, I think. But my intonation has been off for about a month, it doesn't matter what I do. Using the old saddle, the new one, different string gagues, more relief, less relief.

If the intonation has only been off for the last month, something else is going on (like humidity, or the lack thereof).
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aaronjnoone
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2007, 12:17:10 AM »

If the intonation has only been off for the last month, something else is going on (like humidity, or the lack thereof).

Guitar is climate controlled with a fairly consistent R/H. I'm very conscious of my humidity level. It all started around the time I changed my saddle. Now I can't get it back in tune no matter what I do. I'm just going to take it to a pro, that's all there is to it. I can't do it myself, I just don't have the knowledge.
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ElJefe
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2007, 01:34:33 PM »

I know a luthier who custom makes saddles because he feels that most guitars have 3 strings with correct intonation and 3 that are off.  It's kind of a little secret that few like to mention and fewer can even tell the difference.

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bearsville0
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2007, 01:43:49 PM »

hi all,

could you explain what "intonation"  means, compared to "being in tune." Do they mean the same thing?

Thanks
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aaronjnoone
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2007, 02:06:15 PM »

hi all,

could you explain what "intonation"  means, compared to "being in tune." Do they mean the same thing?

Thanks

Sure. Intonation refers to the guitar's consistency of being in tune all the way up the neck and whilst playing different chords. Some guitars have a tendency to go sharper the higher up on the neck you play. If you grab a tuner and check an open string, then fret the same string on the 12th fret, you should see a perfect octave, or pretty close to it. That's a well intonated guitar. If it goes more than a few cents sharp, there's an intonation problem somewhere.

Example: you tune to pitch, play a 1st position A, it's fine. Play a 2nd position A, it's fine. Play an A on the 12th fret, and the C# is like, really sharp. Chord sounds like poo. Something is off.
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bearsville0
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2007, 02:28:30 PM »

Thanks aaronjnoone,

so, how exactly does the luthier change this??   It sounds like we need movable frets.
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TrinityGuitars
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2007, 03:10:19 PM »

  Each string, and the position of the saddle as well, needs to be compensated to a specific length longer than the actual scale length to play in tune. In tune is a relative term as the concept of a fretted instrument is a huge compromise. We need to fool the ear into thinking the notes are in tune. You can see in this photo that the b string is hitting the saddle at it back edge. This is typical that the length of the b string needs to be a bit longer and compensated to the back side of the saddle. Also see that the a string is at the back and the d and g at the center. This is making the a string longer and the d and g  shorter. When I make a saddle I listen to the guitar test the intonation and adjust the string length for each string as needed. I call this intonation mapping. Those of you that have an 03 from me with a bone saddle have had this special care taken on your saddles / guitars.
  Try this. Measure the distance from the edge of the nut to the center of the 12 th fret. Double this number. That will be the scale length of your guitar. Now measure the distance from the nut edge to the center of the saddle,  this should be longer that the scale length. This extra distance is called compensation. Now check the high e vs. the low e. the low e should be longer.
Jim Holler
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inspector13
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2007, 03:45:21 PM »

Thanks Jim, That is the type of info I really like to read in the section of the forum. Very cool.
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2007, 07:18:41 PM »

To add to Jim's excellant explaination,   ...    My short scale Seagull is factory compensated exactly like the picture above.

The Bone saddle I got from Bob Colosi for my short scale Seagull is shaped a bit different, but has the string contact points on the saddle, exactly the same.  Just smoother transitions between the string locations on Bob's.

The factory tusq saddle and bone saddle from Bob Colosi for my Larrivee's does not have the same compensation shape.

Now my uneducated conclusions.  This different compensation geometry from our Larrivee's is probably due to shorter scale and saddle slot angle in the bridge. 

.02 worth  ??

OTOH,   maybe  unclrob got to that saddle with his belt sander         

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bearsville0
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2007, 09:33:39 PM »

Again, thanks to all. Great info and why I also love this forum.

A question remains regarding the calculations involved in the whole thing:

Isn't the octave theoretically half the length of a string at the 12th fret? if so, the compensation in the saddle would surely distort that absolute measurement  and screw all the fret positions up.
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sgarnett
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2007, 09:53:49 PM »

The octave is at the midpoint; all else being equal. The problem is that all else is not equal.

The shortest distance between the nut and the bridge is a straight line. When you fret the string, it is no longer straight, so the distance from the bridge, to the fret, and then to the nut is slightly longer. The force you have to exert to fret the string is actually stretching the string, making it go sharp. Some strings are more elastic than others. The stiffer strings require more additional tension to reach the fret.

Also, the strings don't bend perfectly at the nut and saddle, even at rest. When you fret a note, the string will actually bend with a small radius (larger for the larger strings), which increases the tension even more.

The saddle compensation is an attempt to correct for this. It can never be perfect, because all of these factors change with string size, type, brand, strength of the attack, and age of the string (due to stretching, fatigue, worn spots on the windings from fret contact, etc). Luckily it doesn't have to be perfect.
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bearsville0
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« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2007, 10:17:38 PM »

"Luckily it doesn't have to be perfect."

Thanks. That makes me feel a lot better! 

The best compensation is "brain compensation."

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aaronjnoone
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2007, 11:04:14 PM »

What's odd in my case is, I think putting in the Tusq bridge pins gave my guitar more complexity of tone. I seem to hear the minute discrepancies of intonation more clearly. But with that, I have more volume, clarity and sustain, so I guess it's a compromise. Overall, it's getting better to my ear.
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ElJefe
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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2007, 11:33:35 PM »

By the way, if you need to buy a guitar, Jim Holler is the guy. 

Just don't buy the one that I am waiting on for delivery.  I can't say which one it is because now a Weber mando is calling my name.

This info has been pretty well covered:  http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/intonation.htm

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Larry

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