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Old 06-24-2015, 06:32 PM   #1
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Bridge saddles causing string buzz?

my main guitar is a heavily modified yamaha pacifica 112. It was my first one and I still love it. Since the original saddles (cheap vintage bent metal style..we have all seen that crap) gave me tons of string breakage and scratched palms, I changed them to graph tech string savers years ago. Over the time, the high e string started to buzz sitar-like. Not teribble but it is clearly audible. I set up the neck, bridge height and everything and it wouldn't go away. It even is still there when I play the 22nd fret, so it can't be the neck or the action - am I right or am I stupid?
What I know is that the graph tech string savers are made of some plastic which does wear a lot faster than metal does. The string savers also don't guide the strings in a groove whre the string leaves the saddle. The strings ride on flat plastic on the last millimeters. Action on this guitar is pretty damn low ...so there seems to be not that much of a defined edge for the string to sit on. I guess a something round where the string is tangent to, like a fret, would be better. Can this be the cause ..and respectively a possible solution for the problem?
I found cheap metal saddles which guide the strings in a groove and the part the strings sit on is round. (image below) Should I give them a try?
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:52 PM   #2
Paleo Pete
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That's the same saddles my Squier Strat has, I've been very pleased with them.

I can't think of much that would cause the kind of buzz you're talking about, you seem to have already ruled out most of the obvious ones.

Check for something loose and vibrating. Pickup cover, pickup switch, loose screw somewhere, anything like that that might be buzzing.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:56 PM   #3
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i have a hard time thinking that the saddle would be the issue. it has force being applied downward and forward from the string, i don't see how it could buzz.
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:01 AM   #4
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No, I don't think it's the saddles. Or, rather, it's not due to the saddles in and of themselves. I suspect it's an intonation thing.

I mean, do what you want. But I recommend properly intonating your guitar first.

I'm guessing you don't have a Strat, but the bridges you're talking about are definitely "Strat style", so you probably could figure some stuff out from this:
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:12 PM   #5
Paleo Pete
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The only thing I can think of related to the saddles would be if an intonation screw is loose and rattling.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:38 PM   #6
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Just to add to the possibilities, this line could be something to do with it...

"The strings ride on flat plastic on the last millimeters"

You said yourself that the plastic wears a lot faster and I'm wondering if the string has worn away the plastic part where it has been vibrating. If you think about it, the string would always be held fast from the tension where it first comes into contact with the saddle (from the sting to guitar body side) but, overtime, the string vibration from playing would wear the "last few millimeters" on the fretboard to saddle side. The vibration from the string would be in the right direction to wear that away and the result could be a buzz. The high e would also make sense to go first as it is the thinnest and there for sharper with more pressure exerted onto the plastic part.

All that was me with my engineer head on rather than guitar. The fix, especially seems as Paleo Pete has good experience with them, would be the saddles you showed us. This will mean that the string leaves the saddle at a tangent and there is no contact for the string to wear after that.

Quick addition. Have a close look at the plastic saddle without the string in place. You may see a witness if any of the above has been happening.

Last edited by SpiderM : 06-28-2015 at 11:45 PM.
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