String spacing at the saddle

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
LBrandt
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Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:40 am

String spacing at the saddle

Post by LBrandt » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:37 am

I have just realized that, with one exception, all of my guitars have a string spacing at the saddle of approximately 56-57mm. But, I have a Hauser copy with a string spacing of 60mm at the saddle! I just never bothered to measure any of the spacings before.

And it may just be my imagination, but it feels to me as if the 60mm spacing makes it more comfortable for me and allows for better barres. Should a difference of 3 or 4mm account for this?

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Michael.N.
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Location: UK

Re: String spacing at the saddle

Post by Michael.N. » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:37 am

56,57,58 mm. 60 mm might be getting more unusual. Not sure why a greater spacing allows for better barres unless your fingers just happen to like a touch more room. It will be a touch though. Increase the string band at the saddle and it has a very small effect on the string band at say fret 3. The right hand may notice it but between the thumb and the 'a' finger 3 mm over 60 mm is nothing, we aren't referring to the right hand stretch of a 13 course baroque lute! Of course there always comes a point when the straw breaks the camels back, I very much doubt that it's a 3 or 4 mm difference at the saddle unless you are at one of the extremes i.e. very fat fingers or very small fingers. It's at the extremes that very small changes can have a great effect on a player.
Historicalguitars.

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Beowulf
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Re: String spacing at the saddle

Post by Beowulf » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:24 pm

It may also be that the slight difference situates the strings under a different point on your finger when you use the barré. This may result in a slight improvement in the ease of using that technique. The difference in comfort may also be due to the action and the responsiveness of the top.
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

LBrandt
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Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:40 am

Re: String spacing at the saddle

Post by LBrandt » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:10 pm

I think that it's just my imagination. I just never noticed the small difference in the saddle spacing before, and I guess that I just thought that it felt different.

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Beowulf
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Re: String spacing at the saddle

Post by Beowulf » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:22 pm

LBrandt wrote:
Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:10 pm
I think that it's just my imagination. I just never noticed the small difference in the saddle spacing before, and I guess that I just thought that it felt different.
Imagination can be a potent force that has effects in the physical world.
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

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geoff-bristol
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Location: Bristol - UK

Re: String spacing at the saddle

Post by geoff-bristol » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:46 pm

I have made 6 guitars so far - the first two had 55 - the next three 60 - the last one 57 !
Evan as a fairly novice player ( or maybe because ? ) I notice the difference on my right hand. Just for the first half hour or so when I switch guitars as daily player. Strangely I notice more going from 60 or 57 to 55 ?
Of course - it may also be body shape - as the 55 are torres - and the 60's are Hernandez y agudo, so different under the arm maybe.
I went to 60 as I play with no nails - but settled now to 57, as I felt 60 was a little out of the 'normal' ballpark. It staying at 57 now !

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