Post by leadfingers on Jul 17, 2018 20:06:59 GMT -5
Folks, I am experimenting on an old, cheapo acoustic guitar. Initial project was to put a Fishman pre-amp and transducer in it. All seems to have gone ok. Only question is, the transducer is a flexible, braided covered piece that is about an 1/8 of an inch thick. needless to say, this raises the saddle considerably. I shaved off about 1/2 of the saddle height, so it plays ok. But, I can't help but think I'm losing something in the tone department by cutting so much of the saddle off to get a good string height.
So, I was wondering, I found a 1/8 inch wide cutting blade and was thinking about trying to shave some of the bottom of the slot where the saddle sits, to make it a bit deeper, thus allowing me to leave a bit more on the actual saddle, adding, in my mind at least, more stability to where the strings sit on the saddle. So, hopefully, more stability, more tone??
I do have thoughts on this. I don't have any actual knowledge, mind you. But, thoughts, those I have a'plenty.
My thought is that either way you accomplish this isn't going to affect your tone. So long as the saddle fits properly into the bridge with no "slop" side-to-side, whether you lower the slot or shave the saddle probably won't matter. The string tension is what holds the whole thing in place, and so long as the saddle sits flush in the bottom of the slot, I can't imagine the tone would be affected one way of the other.
Post by blademaster2 on Jul 18, 2018 11:37:30 GMT -5
I agree with Newey - you would need to cut that channel in the bridge to be very flat and accurate along the bottom in order for it to have the same tone. It is much easier to shave down the saddle, and I cannot see how either of them would sound any different if they are done perfectly.
Post by leadfingers on Jul 20, 2018 23:09:52 GMT -5
Newey and Blademaster2, Thanks for getting back, Appreciate the input. Yes, I would need to make sure the cut/routing was perfectly, or near perfect flat. Probably would benefit to have some sort of rig to maintain the depth for consistency. Don't have that, but I can scribe a lint on the saddle and shave it down.
Again, appreciate very much the feedback and opinions!
Post by sydsbluesky1 on Aug 28, 2019 0:14:55 GMT -5
I'll order my reply in the order of least useful to most useful... like a modern day freelance internet journalist. xD
I would add that you would want to mind the break angle of your strings on the back (pin side) edge of the saddle, whatever you do.
If you want to cut it deeper, this is actually something I've done a few times while making slots in replacement bridges. The initial slot is made with a jig of some kind, and then you can remove the jig and deepen it free hand if you are careful. This is actually a pretty normal process by which small guitar builders and just about every repair person I know cut their saddle slots. With your initial slot already present, it would be doable with only a steady hand and a robust constitution.
But don't do this.
Deepening the slot doesn't accomplish you anything. The nut is there, in the most simplified version of the system, to transfer the energy of your string to the bridge > the top. Nothing in the guitar adds any tone. Things are basically there to transfer energy - a bridge plate; to impede energy - a neck; or resonate with energy - the top, all while frantically holding the thing together at the edge of Isaac Newton's peripheral vision.
A gentleman in my company once pondered the prospect of "adding tone" by going from a plastic nut to a bone nut. A few lovely beverages and perfectly legal combustibles later, he set sail upon the idea of grinding cow bones into dust and mixing it with shellac to use as grain filler for his mahagony backed and sided acoustic guitar project. That's called a highdea, I think.
Paul Reed Smith has a wonderful Ted Talk about this general concept, actually. Easily searchable, and very worth a watch.