Removing String Notches From Saddle?

Choice of classical guitar strings and technical issues connected with their use.
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Beowulf
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Re: Removing String Notches From Saddle?

Post by Beowulf » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:19 pm

Laudiesdad69 wrote:I don't know if this is right anymore, but I was taught by my luthier friend (he apprenticed under Dan Earliwine) that when testing the intonation to check the 12th fret fretted note with the open string note. Not to check the 12th fret harmonic note to the 12th fret fretted note because of the distance of string travel to the fretted note will cause the note to be off (sharp). The 12th fret harmonic is on a flat plane that doesn't require string deflection to sound the note. Without being able to adjust the string length, all you have to work with are the saddle, nut, and thickness of strings. Unless you have a truss rod like on an electric or steel string.
Righto...I have Dan Erlewine's book on guitar repair. When I check using open strings, the notes are still sharp at the 12th fret, though the G string is relatively close (with the compensated cutback). Given that the intonation error is affected by the action height, I'll wait until I find the optimum string height before adjusting the leading edge of the saddle. The effect is lessened in this case as I am using HT strings and have a 662mm scale instrument. Also my frets are medium height so I think the problem is less than it would be with taller frets.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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Beowulf
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Re: Removing String Notches From Saddle?

Post by Beowulf » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:20 am

Well I dropped the action to 5/32" (4mm) and 9/64" (3.6mm) and the GC-10 plays better than I have ever known! I'd say that ease of playing has increased by around 30%. The voice is still robust enough for very good dynamics and tone colour has improved. I can also shape the tone and character of notes with less effort. Not bad! I now notice a slight decrease in the bass power, but this is comparing the Augustine Blue basses to the D'Addario EJ44C basses. This is I think due to the lower average tension of the bass strings: Augustine - 16.28 lbs. versus D'Addario - 17.33 lbs. There are no problems with buzzing so I haven't gone too low.

Now on to intonation which still needs to be adjusted. I suspect I will need to move the front edge of the saddle slightly back, mostly under the bass strings. Yamaha's later concert models (GC70/70C & 71, GC82S/C) all appear to have a slightly angled saddle which is further back on the bass side...so this makes sense as my saddle is parallel to the bridge.

Any suggestions on how best to accomplish the adjustment...trial and error?
Last edited by Beowulf on Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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Beowulf
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Re: Removing String Notches From Saddle?

Post by Beowulf » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:25 am

oops!
Last edited by Beowulf on Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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Beowulf
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Re: Removing String Notches From Saddle?

Post by Beowulf » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:26 am

duplicate post
1971 Yamaha GC-10

robert e
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Re: Removing String Notches From Saddle?

Post by robert e » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:21 am

I'm glad this project is going well for you! I'm curious to know what the soundboard-to-string distance is now, at/near the bridge.

I'm pretty sure saddle compensation calculations have been debated on this forum in great detail. But, then, how much precision are you capable of with your current tools? Trial and error may be just as effective, depending. You'll likely lose more saddle height in the process, though that depends on the current saddle profile.

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Beowulf
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Re: Removing String Notches From Saddle?

Post by Beowulf » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:45 am

robert e wrote:I'm glad this project is going well for you! I'm curious to know what the soundboard-to-string distance is now, at/near the bridge.

I'm pretty sure saddle compensation calculations have been debated on this forum in great detail. But, then, how much precision are you capable of with your current tools? Trial and error may be just as effective, depending. You'll likely lose more saddle height in the process, though that depends on the current saddle profile.
At the bridge I measure just below 7/16" (~11mm) and 13/32" (~10.3mm). The G string area of the saddle has a sloped cutaway on the front edge and that seems to bring the intonation just about spot on...so I think there is enough on the front edge of the saddle to provide at least 1/64" cutback in other areas...perhaps more without dropping the saddle further. I have a string gauge and a set of precision calipers, as well as a micrometer.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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