#1
Hi,

This is my first post. I'm really enjoying the forum, great information. But I haven't found any info about how should I let the break angle on a pinless bridge.

I've just bought this Takamine EGS330SC which I'm loving it btw.
The action came pretty high but I knew I just had to remove shims and I'd have a nice action.

So I did my setup, I removed 3 of 4 shims (maybe it was too much), but now the action is perfect for me since I like low action and it's not buzzing. I also adjusted the truss rod to make a perfect relief.

But the saddle is now very low, which is making now the strings touch the bridge.

I don't know if I should let it like this. Is that a problem or will it bring me one? What are your opnions?

The bridge is now looking like this:


And I'm also worried about the 2nd/B string which looks like is tearing the saddle. Is it normal?

Thanks.
Last edited by Rainsteel at Nov 9, 2011,
#2
Anybody?

If anybody knows at least about the B string, it will help me a lot. Is it safe to let it like this?

Thanks.
#3
From what I can see, it looks really low. Perhaps too low. The strings are sitting on the wooden bridge instead of the saddle now, which leads to poorer contact.
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#4
Quote by captivate
From what I can see, it looks really low. Perhaps too low. The strings are sitting on the wooden bridge instead of the saddle now, which leads to poorer contact.

Before you could say that anything is too low, the OP would have to post the established action height, in thousands of an inch.

The problem I'm seeing is this; if the guitar's 12th fret action height is within tolerance, say .100 thousandths of an inch, (@E-6), and the strings are contacting the bridge, it is possible that the neck is set at the wrong angle.

Were this an old guitar of mine, I would file the bridge slightly under each of the strings, to allow for the now shallower angle as the string enters the bridge's guide/retaining hole.

However, this is not an old guitar of mine, and if the action height cannot be brought into tolerance without modifying the bridge, I think it should be returned......

You have to balance that statement with the fact that the maker, "never promised you a rose garden ", so to speak. Meaning that if the action is set well lower than .100", you've created this problem yourself. Acoustic guitars need a higher action that can be utilized on a good electric.

Still in all, I'm suspicious of the neck set angle, big time.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 10, 2011,
#5
^The guitar's design clearly intended for the string to sit on the saddle and not on any part of the bridge in that manner. If it sits on the wooden saddle, it is by all means "too low". This would be regardless of the neck angle as it has no relevance to the string after the saddle in this case. Regardless of how far forward or backwards the neck bends, it would not affect the contact after the saddle because of how taught the string is.

The only case in which the neck angle would have relevance is if the neck went far forwards enough to be greater than the angle of the string between its contact on the bridge and on the saddle, which would be absolutely absurd and clearly not the case in this instance. The neck angle being the problem just does not make sense in this case.

The tops of the saddle also look worn quite a bit where the strings sit. That could be another contributing factor.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#6
Quote by captivate


The only case in which the neck angle would have relevance is if the neck went far forwards enough to be greater than the angle of the string between its contact on the bridge and on the saddle, which would be absolutely absurd and clearly not the case in this instance. The neck angle being the problem just does not make sense in this case.
Sorry, I disagree. A neck angle being too, "far forward", (less than 180 degrees in relation to the sound board, will cause you to excessively lower the saddle height to bring the action into spec. When the saddle is excessively lowered, the sings will hit the bridge either forward of the bridge, or the case of this type of bridge, behind it as well.

Quote by captivate
The tops of the saddle also look worn quite a bit where the strings sit. That could be another contributing factor.
Yes it could. However, I'm working on the premise that this is a new guitar, and that still leaves the neck angle suspect, since if you need to lower the saddle until it either contacts the bridge or even comes close to it, the neck angle is wrong, period.

If we work on the assumption that the neck angle is correct, and the action is within spec, then the bridge is either machined incorrectly, or just flat our designed wrong. In either case, if the guitar is new, then it could justifiably be returned for that.

Contingency "C", is the owner has taken too many shims out of the bridge. But, as I stated originally, the OP has to give a tangible measurement of the action height in the first place, in order for any diagnosis to be relevant.
#7
I'm just going to reply within the quote because it's easier.

Quote by Captaincranky
Sorry, I disagree. A neck angle being too, "far forward", (less than 180 degrees in relation to the sound board, will cause you to excessively lower the saddle height to bring the action into spec. When the saddle is excessively lowered, the sings will hit the bridge either forward of the bridge, or the case of this type of bridge, behind it as well.

I agree that a flat angle of the neck would result in problems. I also agree that a neck bowing backwards would hit the bridge side towards the neck(in an extreme enough case).

However, this should have no relevance to what happens after it contacts the saddle. Behind the saddle is pulled extremely taught. What creates the contact between where the pins sit and the saddle? The saddle height. If the saddle were higher, there would be no contact to the bridge.

There is no other factor because the string is pulled taught. We know that it cannot be the neck angle. Regardless of how forward or backwards a neck goes, the angle behind the saddle to the sitting position of the ball remains exactly the same.


Yes it could. However, I'm working on the premise that this is a new guitar, and that still leaves the neck angle suspect, since if you need to lower the saddle until it either contacts the bridge or even comes close to it, the neck angle is wrong, period.


I would say it's more likely a bridge defect rather than the neck angle. Even then, I think it's much more plausible that the saddle height is just set up incorrectly to where it should be.


If we work on the assumption that the neck angle is correct, and the action is within spec, then the bridge is either machined incorrectly, or just flat our designed wrong. In either case, if the guitar is new, then it could justifiably be returned for that.

Getting it into a tech first would be a good plan. While we can try to analyze as much as possible, it's not conclusive without actually physically looking at the guitar.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#8
+1 with what Captivate said... take it in and let a pro figure it out.
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#9
For my 2 cents worth. My Taki has the same set up as the picture at the top of the thread.
Mine is a hand made expensive model very low action gigged alot thrashed alot and does the job perfect. The strings touch the wood before the saddle the intonation is perfect or as good as
tone perfect or as good as so go figure. I just carn't understand people who buy new guitars
and then they go play with the truss rod underbelievable. Why would you not get it setup BEFORE
you leave the shop. Cheers
#10
Hi guys,

I'd like to thank you for trying to figure out what is wrong.

And I'm sorry to not especify that I bought this guitar used. So I couldn't make the store setup as tuxs suggested.

I'm pretty confident with the truss rod and I also measured the neck angle with straight edge and it's perfect with the bridge. It's pretty aligned.

The "problem" appears to be the bridge which refuses to let the action so low.

Eventually when I travel I'll bring my guitar to a pro to maybe lower that part of the bridge which (apparently) will make no difference.

Now, the update:

I decided that the saddle was really low for the eyes, so I put one more shim (the thickest one, now it's 2 of 4) and it raised a bit, now it's not touching the bridge (maybe just a bit, but now a paper can go through), before that it was almost tearing the wood.

So Captaincranky, you asked about the action of the E-6 on the 12 fret:
It came from 0,20 mm or (I'm not sure if the converter is right) 0,08 inches (with the very low action) to an action of 0,25 mm or 0,10 inches now. Which is also good, just a tiny higher and now I'm not paranoid with the strings hurting the wood so much like before.

Update 2: I've also fixed the part of the saddle where the B strings sits. I've used an epoxy mix to reshape just a bit the saddle where that string was tearing it. Now the B string is aligned with the others and now it looks much better.

But I still leave this doubt:

Some people say you can't let the strings touch the bridge behind the saddle, and some people like Auriemma said that he makes setups like I did and doesn't mind with the strings touching the wood behind.

I'd like more opnions on this... Does it affect the sound?
Honestly I didn't heard any difference since the strings was with good tension and wasn't moving anywhere.

But I'm really looking forward to start this debate to see others opnions.

Cheers.
Last edited by Rainsteel at Nov 10, 2011,
#11
Quote by Rainsteel


The "problem" appears to be the bridge which refuses to let the action so low.

Eventually when I travel I'll bring my guitar to a pro to maybe lower that part of the bridge which (apparently) will make no difference.
I addressed this issue in my earlier post. If this were a used guitar of mine, I would use a set of nut files or similar to cut guide slots in the bridge behind the saddle and directly under each string. This would allow the string the enter the bridge hole unimpeded, while allowing you to retain the lower action. So, agreed this is strong medicine. While I would have absolutely no qualms about doing this for myself, I suggest discussing this "surgical solution" with others who are knowledgeable about such matters, before undertaking it.

Quote by Rainsteel

So Captaincranky, you asked about the action of the E-6 on the 12 fret:
It came from 0,20 mm or (I'm not sure if the converter is right) 0,08 inches (with the very low action) to an action of 0,25 mm or 0,10 inches now. Which is also good, just a tiny higher and now I'm not paranoid with the strings hurting the wood so much like before.
OK, 100 thousandths is a practical action height. Very fine instruments will allow you a few ticks lower. Hopefully what you have now satisfies your needs.


Quote by Rainsteel
Some people say you can't let the strings touch the bridge behind the saddle, and some people like Auriemma said that he makes setups like I did and doesn't mind with the strings touching the wood behind.

I'd like more opnions on this... Does it affect the sound?
Honestly I didn't heard any difference since the strings was with good tension and wasn't moving anywhere.
Just to move the discussion forward, I believe that all the down force of the strings should reside on the saddle alone. If the energy from the strings is distributed across the bridge and saddle, the strings will move sideways more than normal. Whether or not this is audible or causes enhanced wear on the saddle to a degree worth getting upset over, is a job for the "test pilot" of the guitar to determine, and we hope you'll get back to us on this.
#12
Rainsteel, I think if you have a look at the link I've provided, you'll find exactly what it is that you've described and possible cures for it. From reading through this interesting thread, I gather that you're concerned(or were) that by removing too many shims that the break angle of the strings between the pins and the saddle is so shallow that the strings may cut into the wood of the bridge. No worries there, as it's possible to carve out small notches in the bridge to allow for clearance of the strings when the saddle height has been lowered. Another concern you noted was that your B string was sawing into the saddle. That I find a bit hard to believe as it's not a wound string, and if the saddle material is of a good quality, it should be able to take many string changes before needing attention. Plastic saddles being the obvious exception of course. Are you sure your saddle's B string position isn't compensated for correct intonation? Many are. I became wary when I read that you used some epoxy to fix the wear on that spot and now the B sits in the same spot as the rest of the strings. This may not be desireable because of the compensation needed on certain guitars of this string.
Have a look at the link and see how your guitar compares to the "ideal" bridge setup he has, then maybe you will be able to find one that more closely resembles your current setup and learn what it is that you may need to do or at least where you can go from here.

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/Guitar/Setup/Saddle/saddle01.html