Multi piece bone saddle

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
SteveL123
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Multi piece bone saddle

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:42 pm

Aesthetics aside, is there anything wrong with using multi piece bone saddles to optimize/ dial in string heights @ the 12th fret? I was thinking of making 6 individual bone saddles with a gap between each (to avoid buzzing). Once dialed in, I can make a one piece saddle and transfer the dimensions over, or leave the individual saddles if sound/ tone is not affected by having individual saddles.

Bill B
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by Bill B » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:16 pm

Ive seen it. I tried it on a steel string. I think if the slot that the saddle sits in is deep enough it works fine. I tried it on a steel string for a piezo, and the slot was not really deep enough, they were unstable. But I would be more surprised if it didn't work, with a deep enough slot.
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bacsidoan
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by bacsidoan » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:54 am

None other than the labor involved so long as you have enough break angle and slot depth to stabilize the small pieces. The advantage is that you can dial in height adjustment as well as "saddle compensation" for each string. The other fringe benefit is weight reduction.

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petermc61
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by petermc61 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:31 am

I think it would be a lot harder finishing the saddles to the correct size and thicknesses and getting the bottoms straight and level to maximise the contact to the bridge. It sounds a lot like a solution looking for a problem as far as I can see.

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bacsidoan
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by bacsidoan » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:53 am

You can make a taller rectangular saddle with the right thickness and a flat bottom, than cut it in to 6 small pieces and adjust the height and the angle for saddle compensation by filing just the top surface. Like I said, more labor is involved :)

SteveL123
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by SteveL123 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:20 am

Thanks for the replies. Currently I have a well fitted bone saddle with action that is slightly on the high side on most strings. I did compensation on the 3 treble strings but have changed strings after (to D'addario high tension carbon) since the compensation so the compensation is no longer ideal. I want to cut the current saddle into 6 pieces to make it easier to fine tune the height, and maybe swap some of the pieces around for better intonation.

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petermc61
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by petermc61 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:41 am

I suspect a trial and error approach to changing saddle for intonation improvement will be a tough slog. Can you take some measurements and figure out what compensation you need for each each string? You could then make a saddle individually compensated for each string.

oc chuck
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by oc chuck » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:14 am

For myself, on two of my guitars I have cut the saddle in half.
Much easier to adjust the trebles and basses separately.

Brynmor
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by Brynmor » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:24 pm

A few years ago I cut the saddle on my 2001 Kevin Aram into six individual pieces. It was nothing to do with string height or intonation, I just wanted to see how it affected the sound as I was looking to get better separation between notes. I felt that it made an improvement and I have kept it that way since. On another of my guitars, on which I had previously used individual saddles, I returned to using a single saddle but, after setting the string heights, I set the compensation by curving the top of the saddle on both bass and treble sections. This was quite time-consuming but not as difficult as it sounds. The result is much like having the saddle cut in half, with separate compensation for bass and treble halves.

SteveL123
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by SteveL123 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:36 pm

If one tune all 6 strings up to pitch to check the sound after each adjustment of a string and then go on to adjust another string, a one piece saddle would require loosening all 6 strings. Whereas a 6 piece saddle would require loosening one string at a time. That is a lot of time saved!

Question: Are string life shortened by more cycles of winding it up to pitch then unwinding it all the way?

Brynmor, interesting about the better separation between notes of the 6 piece saddle. I'll try to pay extra attention to that and see if I notice any differences.

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bacsidoan
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by bacsidoan » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:01 pm

When cutting your saddle to 6 smaller pieces, if you leave gaps between the pieces, you effectively reduce the weight of the saddle. The weight reduction effect may or may not be perceptible, depending on your guitar.

lifewithasong
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by lifewithasong » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:32 am

oc chuck wrote:For myself, on two of my guitars I have cut the saddle in half.
Much easier to adjust the trebles and basses separately.
Agreed. I've done this before on at least one of my guitars and I felt that it improved the sound of that one, as well.
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SteveL123
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by SteveL123 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:19 am

Here's the break angle. This is the bone saddle before I cut it into 6 pieces.
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SteveL123
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by SteveL123 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:34 am

6 piece saddles filed down to get these string heights @ 12th fret

E 4.00 mm
A 3.50 mm
D 3.35 mm
G 3.20 mm
B 3.10 mm
E 3.10 mm

Playabilty definitely improved. The strings and guitar are still settling. It does sound a little less loud than the one piece (higher) saddle.
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Last edited by SteveL123 on Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

SteveL123
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Re: Multi piece bone saddle

Post by SteveL123 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:43 am

Has anyone converted a 6 hole bridge to a 12 hole to increase break angle? The break angles on the 3 treble strings are pretty flat now after filing the saddle pieces lower. If I can get a 7" long drill bit, I think I should be able to drill the bridge in situ with good enough accuracy enough if I make a jig.

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