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Old 04-14-2009, 07:14 AM   #1
heyjoe73
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Yamaha APX 500 question

Hello All

I've got a question about my Yamaha APX 500 acoustic guitar that I hope someone can answer.

I'm looking to adjust the saddle height on the guitar, as the strings are sitting too high at the moment, playing anything above the 7th/9th fret is very awkward.

Anyway, I've tried to remove the saddle and it won't come off.
I have a sneaking feeling that the pickup in the guitar is stuck directly to the saddle, is anyone able to confirm this or not. If so, is there anything else I can do to alter the string height.

I really love the guitar, it sounds fantastic, looks fantastic, I just want it a bit more playable.

Also, if I took this to a shop to get professionally set up, would they be able to cure this issue, and would such a set up be worth it? This guitar is a keeper, so I don't mind spending some cash on it to get it playing perfectly.

Thanks in advance.

Joe
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:31 AM   #2
LeftyDave
It's time for a change...
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Try to take an accurate measurment of the string height from the crown of the 12th fret and get back to us. Measure from the crown of the fret to the bottomside of the low E and high E strings. MM or inches won't matter, just try to be as accurate as possible. And you take the measurment open, not fretted anywhere on the neck.
As for the saddle being stuck, that's more than likely all it is. Unless it's a glued in style such as on certain Martins, but I doubt that's the issue with your Yamaha. If you have a sidecutter handy that should be all you need to pry the stubborn saddle up and out of the slot in the bridge. Grip the edge of the saddle and use something underneath the head of the side cutter for leverage and to prevent any scratches on the wood of the bridge or the soundboard. Just gently pry up on the saddle until it raises up and out. And don't grab the saddle too hard with the cutter, just enough to get a grip on it. You don't want to crack it.
All is not lost if you do, as replacement saddles are pretty cheap and can be fashioned in a couple hours.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
heyjoe73
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanks for the reply
measurements: crown to low E 3.5 mm, crown to high E 2.25 mm.

Thats good news about the saddle also, its not a straight through saddle, it has a kink in it as well, would that make a difference?. Maybe a picture would help.



Going to be changing strings tonight, so will let you know what happens.

Thanks
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:03 PM   #4
LeftyDave
It's time for a change...
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
That's a compensated saddle. The B and high E strings have been compensated for proper intonation. The main thing here is to remember how the saddle is oriented so that you put it back in the same way. Once you get it out you can sand down the bottom side of the saddle. Only remove small amounts at a time, and keep testing often as you go. The rule of thumb for lowering action is if you want to lower the action at the 12th fret by .5MM you need to remove 1MM from the bottom of the saddle. If you wanted to lower the 12th by 1mm then you would sand off 2mm. It's double. To sand evenly tape a piece of 150 grit sandpaper to a flat surface and rub the saddle along that. You'll have much better control and keep the bottom of the saddle flat and true.
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Old 04-15-2009, 05:45 AM   #5
heyjoe73
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanks for the information. I've changed the strings so was able to get a better look at the saddle, and all its workings. I made a note of which way the saddle went in, so I put it back that way. The bottom of the saddle sits inside a piece of metal which connects to the pickup.

I was able to remove the saddle and have a look round that area of the guitar, and saw 2 good things, the saddle is adjustable in the the way you mentioned, and, there were already 2 shims in there, so I've taken them out to reduce the height.

Seems like I am able to adjust the string height after all, and can get the playability I require.

LeftyDave, thanks very much for your help.
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