#1
I bought a new acoustic in the summer, and at the time I thought the action was a bit high for my tastes but that it could always be fixed.

Now I've played it a bit I decided it needs changing (I should have got the guitar shop to do it when I bought it).

Anyway, when I did this on my old, worthless, acoustic, I took the saddle out and sanded the bottom of it to reduce the height, then replaced it.
It did the job fine.

But taking a closer look at the saddle, the string spacing is not even - some of them are closer together than others.

So, should I just buy a new saddle - do they come with the notches ready filed?
I don't have notch files, so should I just get a guitar shop to sort this out for me?
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha
#2
You dont have to file notches in a saddle. I think you're confusing saddle and nut.
#3
Yes sorry.
I assumed the string spacing was caused by notches but of course it isn't.
I might slacken off the strings and readjust then retune - should this cure it?

On closer inspection, the saddle is flat top, yet the string is only in contact with it at the edge nearest the bridge pins.
Is this correct?
All the acoustics I have had before have had round top saddles.
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha
#4
Just thought - this guitar has under saddle pickups as well!
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha
#5
STRING SPACING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SADDLE. MAKE A NEW NUT, AND CUT THE NOTCHES SO THE STRINGS ARE SPACED EVENLY.


Jeez.
Quote by Ur all $h1t
On public transport I furiously masturbate while trying to make eye contact with as many people as possible for as long as possible.
#6
Actually, I had a bash at it last night.

I lowered the saddle a good way by sanding the bottom. It wasn't even flat, it was curved!
Also, I profiled the top, because it was flat.
I also discovered that the dodgy string spacing was due to the bridge pin holes being drilled slightly awry :/
Maybe I got a bit of a duffer from the factory...

Anyway, the lowered action makes it play much better, as expected.

But also, having profiled the nut - it now rings!
The difference is amazing. Even the mrs noticed it and she is tone deaf.
I knew it was a bit dull with lack of sustain before but I put this down to old strings.
Apparently not, this thing sustains well and rings sweetly now.

Looks like I have a way to go when trying out acoustics in shops
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha
#7
Sand the bottom of the current saddle on a flat surface on sand paper and put it back in. YOu need at least 1/8 to 1/4 inch above the bridge to avoid a sitar sound.
#8
Quote by Dr. B
Actually, I had a bash at it last night.

I lowered the saddle a good way by sanding the bottom. It wasn't even flat, it was curved!
Also, I profiled the top, because it was flat.
I also discovered that the dodgy string spacing was due to the bridge pin holes being drilled slightly awry :/
Maybe I got a bit of a duffer from the factory...

Anyway, the lowered action makes it play much better, as expected.

But also, having profiled the nut - it now rings!
The difference is amazing. Even the mrs noticed it and she is tone deaf.
I knew it was a bit dull with lack of sustain before but I put this down to old strings.
Apparently not, this thing sustains well and rings sweetly now.

Looks like I have a way to go when trying out acoustics in shops


I read through this thread a couple of times trying to figure out what might be going on with your guitar. The highlighted sentence above stuck in my mind. Why would the top of the saddle be flat while the bottom of it is curved? That's backwards. It really sounds as though it was installed upside down sometime previous to you owning the guitar, but now you've gone and altered it to make it fit. Sorry if I'm completely wrong here, but I can only work with what I'm given, which is your description of the problem. Suggestion: If the saddle isn't compensated, meaning that it's straight across the top surface, no forward or aft notches filed into it to shift the string contact point to correct intonation, then you would benefit from buying and fitting in a new bone saddle. I'd be wary of how true your existing one is now since it's been altered, unless of course you are perfectly content with it as is. Should you decide to upgrade, there are plenty of tutorials on the net to help you through the job, and it's pretty painless.
#9
Thanks Dave.
When I said it was curved on the bottom, I didn't mean it was profiled or anything - just not flat.
The top of the saddle was profiled across the radius, curved in the same was as a fretboard, but not along the axis of the strings.
So instead of sitting on a small contact point, the strings were sitting along a ~2mm ledge.

The underside of the saddle was flat in both directions, but not flat enough along the long axis.
When placed on a flat surface, it touched about 2/3 of the way along, then I could see daylight as it curved away from the flat.

I was tempted to just buy a replacement, but my fix has worked so well I'm going to live with it at least until the next string change.
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha
#10
Sounds like you have a decent grasp of whats going on. Glad to hear that you're satisfied with the repair job you did. Good job in identifying that the saddle needs to be truly flat on the bottom to achieve good vibrational energy transfer across all 6 strings. Even moreso with the pickup. Is your current saddle plastic or bone? If plastic the switch to bone will open up the tone of the guitar even further plus give you a net gain in volume and sustain. Just something for you to think about.
#11
Thanks.
Probably plastic as it was a cheapish model.
Will consider that upgrade at next string change.
Main Gear:
Ibanez RG550EX
Ibanez S470
Epiphone SG CS Ltd Ed 1966 Reissue
Cort M200/WS
Richwood RS17CCE acoustic
Hayden Mofo
Harley Benton 2x12 Celestion V30

My Band - Haemasmtha