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Author Topic: Triple Compensated Saddle?  (Read 8139 times)
L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2010, 12:47:31 AM »

Yes, I'm talking acoustic and yes, I am, well I was, talking about making a new saddle. But now that it's made I'll need to tweak it which might not be possible since the action will get too low...
I could shim it, right? A salesman once told me that a lot of guitars, even new ones are shimmed, either one end or completely. I'm not sure how good that is. What do you think?

From what I've read, (and it makes sense), the ultimate best tone and volume is achieved when there is a perfectly fitting saddle that makes direct contact with the bridge at the sides and at the bottom of it.  So, I think most people would say shimming a saddle may have some negative effect since it interferes with the direct transfer of vibrations to the sound board through the bridge.  I have a med. quality Samik Artist accoustic that has a very thin shim under the saddle.  I have to leave it in to keep it from buzzing and I haven't gotten around to making a new saddle for it to see if it would make an audible difference.  Probably others in the forum could better advise you on the pros and cons of shimming the saddle.  Might be a good temporary thing to do till one gets around to making improvements.

PS a good repair manual is a good investment if you like to tinker and tweak.  I have the "guitar player repair guide" by Dan Erlewine.  I've learned a lot from it.
In fact,  I was just reviewing about intonation in there, and realized I made some incorrect statements in my previous dissertation about intonation theory.  I am going to go back there now and edit those 2 posts.  I hope I didn't confuse anyone or destroy any credibility I might have earned so far.
 blush
Kurt
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Danny
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« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2010, 02:41:02 AM »

From what I've read, (and it makes sense), the ultimate best tone and volume is achieved when there is a perfectly fitting saddle that makes direct contact with the bridge at the sides and at the bottom of it.  So, I think most people would say shimming a saddle may have some negative effect since it interferes with the direct transfer of vibrations to the sound board through the bridge.  I have a med. quality Samik Artist accoustic that has a very thin shim under the saddle.  I have to leave it in to keep it from buzzing and I haven't gotten around to making a new saddle for it to see if it would make an audible difference.  Probably others in the forum could better advise you on the pros and cons of shimming the saddle.  Might be a good temporary thing to do till one gets around to making improvements.

PS a good repair manual is a good investment if you like to tinker and tweak.  I have the "guitar player repair guide" by Dan Erlewine.  I've learned a lot from it.
In fact,  I was just reviewing about intonation in there, and realized I made an incorrect statement in my previous dissertation about intonation theory.  I am going to go back there now and edit those 2 posts.  I hope I didn't confuse anyone.

Kurt
  Ditto on no shim if possible. A loose shim under a saddle is just plain sloppy work. A nicely cut and glued slice of ebony or bone is another story.
         Dan Erlewine's book is a must if you want to get into repairs on your own.
  Guitar Center has one copy in stock at a time. You'll have to dig to find it unless you get a counter person with a little more snap than the ones I've talked to around here.
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #42 on: August 06, 2010, 02:55:41 AM »

You can order Erlewine's book and several other good ones from Stewart MacDonald.  They are very good to deal with, and ship fast.  Not sure if I am supposed to supply a link to them, but google will get you there.

Kurt
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Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
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If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
Danny
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« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2010, 02:59:08 AM »

You can order Erlewine's book and several other good ones from Stewart MacDonald.  They are very good to deal with, and ship fast.  Not sure if I am supposed to supply a link to them, but google will get you there.

Kurt
   Here is the link to the free Stew Mac trade secrets ARCHIVE. I love these little lessons and shortcuts. I'm sure there would be something in there on saddles.

                      http://www.stewmac.com/tradesecrets/archive
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2010, 03:12:01 AM »

As said shims are a bandaid.Have a new saddle made.

I just reread L07 post and I read the book years ago but one thing the book doesn't get into is the one thing that can't be accounted for and I have said it before and thats the human factor.The theories are just that theories.True math/pyhsics are wonderful but after years of doing what I do I can't apply them with good results because of the human factor.But I admit its a good read/debate/anything else you can think of.As they say YMMV.
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« Reply #45 on: August 06, 2010, 01:04:26 PM »

@L07.....

You added in another reason why 'fat strings' have different compensation than thin strings that I missed.  There is still the matter of the fact that the string vibration frequencies are in fact dependent upon how much mass per unit length the string has, and the tension that the string is under.

The cross-section geometry is something to be accounted for, but it isn't the only thing to be accounted for with intonation.  However, thanks for reminding us about that part of the whole situation.

I'm actually dealing with this a bit right now.  Teaching myself mandolin on a borrowed Tacoma unit from a friend at work.

I decided I wanted to shortcut the process and tune the intervals like the lower 6 strings of an acoustic and 'ping' the top E string broke as I relieved the tension on it.  Friend said 'why don't you try some mediums on it?" so I went and obtained a set of medium phosphor bronze.

The bridge had left some tan lines on the top of the mando, so I tried to place it exactly there and tuned it open, but upon fretting any chords - yuck - major out of tune-ness.  While not individually compensating strings (the bridge is pretty much straight across), I did end up moving it farther away from the neck perhaps 3/32" or so.  I also tuned it up to 'proper' mandolin intervals and now am learning the right chord shapes.  Cleaned up the fretted chords quite nicely.

Lesson to be learned - the tension/geometry/mass per length differences of the mediums vs. the lights that were on there required different string lengths - accomplished by moving the saddle farther away from the neck.  Proper use of a compensated saddle can do this for you but it's not a crap-shoot to decide on the string lengths.  There is a method to the madness as anyone who has properly set intonation on an electric can attest to.
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« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2010, 02:18:23 AM »

@L07.....
You added in another reason why 'fat strings' have different compensation than thin strings that I missed.  There is still the matter of the fact that the string vibration frequencies are in fact dependent upon how much mass per unit length the string has, and the tension that the string is under.
The cross-section geometry is something to be accounted for, but it isn't the only thing to be accounted for with intonation.  However, thanks for reminding us about that part of the whole situation...................
Somehow, I had reasoned that the tighter the tension, the more compensation was required.  In my original post, I said that or at least implied it.  After reading more, I discovered the exact opposite is true!  blush  I still can't wrap my head the physics around that, though.  So then, I thought, "if that is true then the biggest factor by far must be the "distance from fingerboard/thus stretching" effect since even though the skinnier strings are under less tension, the compensation is quite a bit more towards the bass side".  Again, I was making an assumption that skinnier strings had significantly less tension than fat ones.  Seemed logical to me, but assumptions can be dangerous.  Then it occured to me that the packaging on a set of D'Addario strings I have includes the tension values for each string, so I looked them up.  To my surprise, the tensions aren't necessarily progressively greater with the increased diameter!  In this set, the B string has the least and the D the most tension.  And the differences among all of them are not nearly as great as I thought!  So now it seems to me that, yes, the extra stretching of the bass strings required (because of their greater distance from the fingerboard), is the overiding reason for more compensation on the bass side since the string tensions alone, being closer in value than I thought, would suggest the saddle would not be nearly as slanted based on string tension alone.   wacko If one considers the tension values below, one can see why a saddle "stepped" for each individual string would be the absolute best solution to compensate for all these complex relationships.  At least in theory. That is why electrics have them, I suppose.   (Electric guitar designers have the luxury of including adjustable saddles without affecting the tone, while accoustic designers do not?)

Stats for D'Addario EJ17s:
1st, E .013" 27.4 lbs. tension
2nd, B .017" 26.3 lbs.
3rd, G .026" 35.3 lbs.
4th, D .035" 36.8 lbs.
5th, A .045" 34.0 lbs.
6th, E .056" 29.0 lbs.

Kurt
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

Became a Shooting Star when I got my 1st guitar.
Back in '66, I was 13 and that was my fix.
Still shooting for stardom after all this time.
If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2010, 03:00:29 AM »

Gibson used adjustable bridge's acoustics for a short period of time,as did some Japanesse builders.Years ago there was an adjustable bridge called the Grandaddy that fit into the standard saddle slot that was also adjustable.They were basically tun-a-matics.
As to string hieght causing the problem I have a client who like's high action on his tele with the 3 barral bridge though intonated a tad flatter then most it plays in tune.He also play's an old resonator with that has the same action and a straight saddle that also play's in tune.
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« Reply #48 on: August 11, 2010, 08:08:11 PM »

Well, I just had a "Tech Tuesday."  I clamped the strings on my P-09 and swapped out saddles. I sanded a new 'B' compensated Tusq saddle to be exactly equal in height to the triple compensated Tusq that it came with. Then I restrung it, stretched and tuned and played for a while. Same today so I could see if there was much difference.
 
So if anything, it sounds better.  It sounds good and I don't find any weirdness in the tuning up or down the neck.  If anything jumps out I will post it. Otherwise, if I get a bone saddle for it, I will order a 'B'Compensated one.




PS My other 'Tech" project was swapping strings on my Cargo from Elixir 11's to EJ 17's to see if the neck needs a truss rod...
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Chris
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« Reply #49 on: August 12, 2010, 03:55:20 AM »

Here is one surprise from my change from triple to 'B' compensated: There was a thread a few months ago about the imbalance of the B string on a parlor. I could sort of hear what was meant, but it wasn't bothering me so much.  

Well, it just struck me that my P now sounds more balanced, and I must say I like it better this way. Perhaps not compensating the high e makes the difference?
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Chris
Larrivee's '07  L-09 (40th Commemorative); '09 00-03 S.E; '08 P-09
Eastman '07 AC 650-12 Jumbo (NAMM)
Martin   '11 D Mahogany (FSC Golden Era type)
Voyage-Air '10 VAOM-06
-the nylon string-
Goya (Levin) '58 G-30
-dulcimer-
'11 McSpadden
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