#1
I've seen a video tutorial on how to sand/shave a bridge saddle in order to lower action. Unfortunately, when I took out mine last night, i was shocked. It had a wire.

I followed the wire and it's connected to the internal tuner. It's a Takamine guitar.

What should I do now?

#2
That's the piezo electric pickup strip, and it's not supposed to be there. It's supposed to rest under the saddle, and NOT be attached to it.

Have you tried very gently prying it off with your fingernails only?
#3
I'll try it now. I noticed that area where the metal plate is attached has been shaped to make it attach perfectly to the bridge.
#4
It worked but I used the tip of the guitar string that I removed as a pry. It looks weird though. I am not sure I'll be able to sand it properly. It's different from what I expected. It has 6 notches at the bottom.
#5
Here it is - http://imgur.com/a/Nb1CA

Should I just buy a cheap one in Amazon then just cut the wire and not use the piezo electric pickup strip anymore?
Last edited by v1rt at Jul 27, 2016,
#6
Quote by v1rt
It worked but I used the tip of the guitar string that I removed as a pry. It looks weird though. I am not sure I'll be able to sand it properly. It's different from what I expected. It has 6 notches at the bottom.
Takamine does strange things with bridges and saddles, I wouldn't worry about it.

I'm wild guessing the notches are an attempt to prevent "cross talk" between individual strings. Also notched, the saddle may be a bit more flexible and conform better to the bottom of the bridge well.

However, I'm not entirely sure the piezo was intentionally formed that way, just a bit off center when the saddle was installed and might have wrapped itself around it. (And again, this is just a guess).

OK, sanding through those notches isn't going to hurt anything. I seriously doubt if it would have any audible effect on your tone whatsoever.

Just remember, when you sand, keep the bottom of the saddle absolutely straight and flat. The bottom of the saddle must be at a true right angle with the sides of it. That way, you get full contact with the piezo strip, and full energy transfer to the bridge, on so onto the guitar top.

Plate glass is a good medium for sanding saddles. Make a stop at your local auto body shop and see if they'll turn you on to a few small bit of sticky back sandpaper. You press it onto the plate glass, and sand your little heart out, making sure the saddle is absolutely vertical as you're sanding.

And we'll worry about a new saddle, if, and only if, you screw this one up.

Bee-cauzz, a new saddle is apt to be taller than the one you already have, and so would require more sanding, not less.

Read this: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html It will do you a great deal of good.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 27, 2016,
#7
I use carpet tape to stick the abrasive paper to a sheet of glass. Since I use a lot of it, it is easier than hunting down sticky-back paper.

While I'm all in favour of taking material off the bottom of the saddle, I can see a potential problem. - It might bring the metal piezo channel into contact with the thick upper part of the saddle. Depending on how it looked, I might be considering taking material off the top of the saddle instead. That is generally a more difficult option, but it might be the best in this case.
#8
Quote by Tony Done
I use carpet tape to stick the abrasive paper to a sheet of glass. Since I use a lot of it, it is easier than hunting down sticky-back paper.
Well, I am still in "Kansas" and finding sticky back sandpaper is not an issue.

Quote by Tony Done
While I'm all in favour of taking material off the bottom of the saddle, I can see a potential problem. - It might bring the metal piezo channel into contact with the thick upper part of the saddle. Depending on how it looked, I might be considering taking material off the top of the saddle instead. That is generally a more difficult option, but it might be the best in this case.
If it were demonstrated to me the the saddle sides were indeed tapered or not parallel, I would concur. Like I said earlier, Takamine is odd, with their split saddles and such, yet I still haven't seen another brand of guitar where the saddle proper, wasn't of constant thickness. (That doesn't mean they don't exist).
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
That's the piezo electric pickup strip, and it's not supposed to be there. It's supposed to rest under the saddle, and NOT be attached to it. . . . .


A couple of manufacturer's use that integral saddle/UST type of transducer. If you look at the pic of the saddle you can see that the lower section is designed with a rebate to accommodate the transducer.
#10
Quote by Tony Done
. . . While I'm all in favour of taking material off the bottom of the saddle, I can see a potential problem. - It might bring the metal piezo channel into contact with the thick upper part of the saddle. Depending on how it looked, I might be considering taking material off the top of the saddle instead. That is generally a more difficult option, but it might be the best in this case.


And this ^ ^ ^ ^ is the only safe way to do it.It is more difficult since you need to preserve the radius but with care you can do a satisfactory job.
#11
Quote by Garthman
And this ^ ^ ^ ^ is the only safe way to do it.It is more difficult since you need to preserve the radius but with care you can do a satisfactory job.


oh did he mean, shaving the top part of the saddle rather than the bottom part?
#12
I have an idea which I think is going to work. Rather than sanding the saddle, I'll just melt the part where each wire sits on with a heated guitar wire.

Check this out - http://imgur.com/a/LlyJf
Last edited by v1rt at Jul 27, 2016,
#13
Quote by v1rt
I have an idea which I think is going to work. Rather than sanding the saddle, I'll just melt the part where each wire sits on with a heated guitar wire.

Check this out - http://imgur.com/a/LlyJf
Well it is pretty "adventurous", but I have to assume it will work. You can clean the grooves up with a torch tip cleaner after the melting process.

I would however, have a spare saddle handy, in cause all does not go according to plan.

I would caution you that the saddle is "intonated" effectively making some strings shorter, some longer. You would be removing any compensation with this "burning your bridges behind you" type of approach.

Here's a picture of a "compensated saddle". You can judge for yourself if burning grooves through it is a good idea:



NOTE to all: Boyz and girlz, this is why Cranky doesn't buy, sell, play, or screw with in any way, Takamine guitars.
#15
Quote by Captaincranky
Well it is pretty "adventurous", but I have to assume it will work. You can clean the grooves up with a torch tip cleaner after the melting process.

I would however, have a spare saddle handy, in cause all does not go according to plan.

I would caution you that the saddle is "intonated" effectively making some strings shorter, some longer. You would be removing any compensation with this "burning your bridges behind you" type of approach.

Here's a picture of a "compensated saddle". You can judge for yourself if burning grooves through it is a good idea:



NOTE to all: Boyz and girlz, this is why Cranky doesn't buy, sell, play, or screw with in any way, Takamine guitars.


Will do. The next guitar I'm planning to buy is Taylor. Someone told me it's a great guitar. My budget will be around $500-600.
#16
I've played a fair number of Taylors'. They are very well made and have a big open sound.

EDIT. Looking at CC's pic reminded me that if the saddle is low after it is done, it would be a good idea to cut ramps between the pin holes and the saddle to increase the string break angle over the saddle. This increases the downward pressure of the strings on the saddle and piezo helps reduce the risk of uneven output. - Some piezos are very sensitive to differences in this downward pressure.

This is a pic showing the ramps I cut in one of mine:



The brass pin is holding a flying brace.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jul 27, 2016,
#19
My Takamine is done the same way, the pickup is a brass looking strip that wraps around the saddle. Mine just slipped right out with no trouble, I sanded the bottom and put it back together, working perfect 15 years later.

I'm pretty conservative with sanding a bridge saddle, I sand a little, put it back in and check. Takes me 5 times as long, but greatly reduces the chances of overdoing it and sanding too far.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...