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Author Topic: Triple Compensated Saddle?  (Read 8228 times)
dee-ten
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« on: June 28, 2010, 07:10:25 PM »

Hi everyone,

What is the purpose of a triple compensated saddle? What are the deciding factors whether to use the triple compensated or the compensated B-string type?
(I’m asking because I made a triple for my OM-05MT without really knowing much about why saddles are compensated in the first place.)

Any info or links would be much appreciated!
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 09:02:51 PM »

I have never figured out why the saddle is compensated in the first place.I don't make compensated saddle at all.Non of my guitars have compensated saddle's.BUT I'll try.The compensated saddle is designed to to put the guitar more in tune with itself by slightley changing scale lenth of the strings.Some say they can hear it,some use special tuners to read it.At best a non-compensated saddle is 2-3 hz sharp or flat which is in the range that a dog can hear those whistle's {I'm sure I just offended a much of people and that my ignorers will rise but WTF }.Depending on how hard you push the string down at any givin point in a song you can pull a string sharp.So a triple compensated saddle is just a way of compensating for the way someone hears.Hope this helps.
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2010, 09:29:44 PM »

At best a non-compensated saddle is 2-3 hz sharp or flat which is in the range that a dog can hear those whistle's

I think the difference between 440Hz and 437Hz would be noticeable to most musicians.
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 01:55:22 AM »

Sorry I menant to type cents not Hz.Please forgive.
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 05:26:26 AM »

Actually,

The reason to use a compensated saddle has to do with the type of string being used.  Note that the 'uncompensated' part of a saddle is normally found under the wound strings, with the 'compensated' portion starting with the lowest unwound string.  What I mean by this is that the saddle is angled, using longer lengths for the lower strings, and shorter lengths for the unwound strings.

If you had wound strings for all 6 strings, you would only need one angle; likewise if all the strings were unwound, then you'd need only one angle for it as well.

This all has to do with the physics of vibrating strings; the tension that they are under, their mass per unit length, their construction, cross-sectional area, etc.  There's a nice wikipedia article on this topic, with lots of equations for those of you needing to practice your differential equations.

To see the ultimate in string compensation, take a look inside a piano and you'll see that each string length is unique, and that in certain portions of the 'harp' of the piano, you'll see that the length changes per note follow a fairly linear change over relatively short distances.  But because the variables listed above change over the octaves, even including wound and unwound strings, it is not a perfect linear equation.

Photo of the harp section from a Steinway grand piano

Note the 'compensation' in the peg head locations at the bottom of the frame.  Also, piano 'harps' have two or three different sections, depending upon the string construction for sections of notes.


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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 01:14:36 PM »

GA-ME did you remove your post?I wanted to reread what you said and know its gone???I value your thoughts but find that my brain doesn't absorb it all on first read.Plus when I read it the first time I only had one cup of coffee and a customer just arrived so I didn't really finish it.Could you please repost it.
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 02:06:26 PM »

GA-ME did you remove your post?I wanted to reread what you said and know its gone???I value your thoughts but find that my brain doesn't absorb it all on first read.Plus when I read it the first time I only had one cup of coffee and a customer just arrived so I didn't really finish it.Could you please repost it.

I'm trying to be less curmudgeonly. It was mostly unnecessary commentary anyway.
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Danny
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 02:09:11 PM »

  I first saw a triple compensated Larrivee saddle in the short scale models. The LSV-11's and the newer Parlors. I figured it had to do with the shoter scale.
 I also made a triple compensated saddle for my Martin OM-21 and it threw it off pretty bad. Unclrob said that I probably didn't need to compensate at all on the OM-21 so I have a bone non-compensated saddle in now and it is fine. But the earlier Martin OM-21's were not compensated while newer models are. Mine was made in 1993.
   Both of my 12 fret standard scale Larrivees are standard compensation.
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2010, 03:37:03 PM »

There wouldn't be a conversation about "triple compensated saddles" versus "standard compensated saddles" if it weren't for mass manufacturing. When a luthier builds a guitar he'll put the contact points wherever they need to be for that particular guitar and I'm sure some don't use a compensated saddle but I can't imagine any luthier dropping in a pre-made compensated saddle.

  I also made a triple compensated saddle for my Martin OM-21 and it threw it off pretty bad. Unclrob said that I probably didn't need to compensate at all on the OM-21

Those were really two unnecessary guesses. You could have determined how the saddle needed to be compensated based on how the old one intonated.
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2010, 03:43:07 PM »

There wouldn't be a conversation about "triple compensated saddles" versus "standard compensated saddles" if it weren't for mass manufacturing. When a luthier builds a guitar he'll put the contact points wherever they need to be for that particular guitar and I'm sure some don't use a compensated saddle but I can't imagine any luthier dropping in a pre-made compensated saddle.

Those were really two unnecessary guesses. You could have determined how the saddle needed to be compensated based on how the old one intonated.
  Yup.  It was last year and I was learning from mistakes, as usual.
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2010, 03:45:22 PM »

  Yup.  It was last year and I was learning from mistakes, as usual.


Just remember Dan, successful people are really just repeat failures until they aren't!
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2010, 05:45:10 PM »

Quoting GA-ME "I'm trying to be less curmudgeonly. It was mostly unnecessary commentary anyway."

I like your curmudgeonly and find it at time's very necessary.

On to the piano comparision.You can't really compare an instrument that is hammered to one that need you to press down on a string and pluck or strum it.

I just did a saddle replacement on a Larrivee that had a triple to a two point compensated.This was a premade saddle that I going to have to say was not compensated for the guitar but mass produced.It was not done for a particular player and the way he/she plays.Since we all press down the strings with different pressure which changes depending on the excitement factor of the player it becomes very hard to find a mid point to compensate to fit all factor's.Plus you need to intonate slightly flat due to the fact that we are pushing a string to a contact point that again changes and if you push to hard you will pull the string sharp.I can't remember the mathimatical formula that is used to develope how a guitar is strung all I remember is that according to the math it is almost impossable to perfectly intonate a guitar.


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Michael T
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2010, 06:13:54 PM »

I tried a Colosi single compensated and a Larrivee triple and a Colosi triple all in bone for my DV09. The triples both messed with it at the higher registers on the low E, I couldn't tell any difference on the trebles. When I called the tech he said he had the nut set for a single compensation so I ordered my WAHI single compensated from Bob and ran the guitar by the shop. It was pretty much dead on as the tech said, so a little truss adjust and she is fine.

When Jim Holler did my hand carved 12 string saddle each string had to be done at the nut & saddle individually, it is as close as I have come across up the neck & I mean all the way. Probably not 2 cent's one way or the other even on the bass strings. I guess it depends on the set up at the factory but it would lead me to believe unless you are doing the saddle & nut go with what you have and just change material, it did surprise me though. 
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2010, 08:15:44 PM »

I have never figured out why the saddle is compensated in the first place.I don't make compensated saddle at all.Non of my guitars have compensated saddle's.BUT I'll try.The compensated saddle is designed to to put the guitar more in tune with itself by slightley changing scale lenth of the strings.Some say they can hear it,some use special tuners to read it.At best a non-compensated saddle is 2-3 hz sharp or flat which is in the range that a dog can hear those whistle's {I'm sure I just offended a much of people and that my ignorers will rise but WTF }.Depending on how hard you push the string down at any givin point in a song you can pull a string sharp.So a triple compensated saddle is just a way of compensating for the way someone hears.Hope this helps.
Why you... How could you say such a thing???  IGNORED BY 8!!! 

Just kidding. :)
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dee-ten
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2010, 01:02:57 AM »

Ok, dumb question time...

What steps should I take to intonate the guitar?

(Here's what I was thinking: First, tune each open string to correct pitch and then check at the 12th fret. If the note is sharp, move the contact point farther away, thus creating a longer string. And the vice versa for a flat tone.)

I did try the above but had a difficult time with my cheap tuner. What type of tuners do you gentlemen use?

I also noticed that it's more "difficult" to tune mahogany than rosewood. On several strings the tone drifts sharp 2 or 3 Hz after plucking, while on the rosewood it stays pretty much right on. Any thoughts?

Thanks everyone.
GA-ME, you really should re-post. It was good commentary.
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2010, 12:56:31 PM »

Mostly I use my ears But I do have an old strobe tuner {tube} and a Boss TU12H.I always tune 2-3 cents flat,more if the player is a heavey string pusher.
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2010, 01:10:54 PM »

      I use the" intellitouch TUNER". It is a clip on with a lifetime warranty. It seems to work real well and can be used when there is a lot of other nose around you.
      My son uses a program he downloaded for free on his computer and it works great for him.

      I can string up a guitar and get the tuning almost perfect by ear as I'm stringing up, but for some reason as I try to fine tune my ears aren't working as well as they used to.
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dee-ten
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2010, 09:02:30 PM »

Another question in addition to the previous:

Is it necessary to cut grooves where the strings lie, or is it ok just to let them find location and seat themselves?
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2010, 09:15:22 PM »

Of my gits, only the P-09 came with a triple compensated saddle.
 I first saw a triple compensated Larrivee saddle in the short scale models. The LSV-11's and the newer Parlors. I figured it had to do with the shoter scale.

I tried a Colosi single compensated and a Larrivee triple and a Colosi triple all in bone for my DV09. The triples both messed with it at the higher registers on the low E, I couldn't tell any difference on the trebles. When I called the tech he said he had the nut set for a single compensation so I ordered my WAHI single compensated from Bob and ran the guitar by the shop. It was pretty much dead on as the tech said, so a little truss adjust and she is fine.
So when I get around to trying a bone saddle in my parlor, should I go with what the same compensation?
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2010, 11:26:18 PM »

Another question in addition to the previous:

Is it necessary to cut grooves where the strings lie, or is it ok just to let them find location and seat themselves?
   Don't cut any grooves in a saddle.
Of my gits, only the P-09 came with a triple compensated saddle. So when I get around to trying a bone saddle in my parlor, should I go with what the same compensation?
                        If the tusq saddle is OK then just duplicate what it is.
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