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Crowning saddle height to match fretboard radius

Whittlez

Member
Messages
2,860
In a symmetrical universe full of symmetrical players, that might be the case, but the truth is there are quite a number of professional players that like the saddle radius on electric guitars to be flatter / larger than the radius of the fingerboard. I know a few players that want the strings flat (zero radius) regardless of the fingerboard radius.
if the strings are flat relative to the fingerboard (or more specifically the fret) radius, then the strings will have lower action in the middle.

pretty much every well setup guitar otoh has the action increase slightly from treble E to bass E e.g .040" at 12th fret high E to .055" at 12th fret low E.

In this case, the saddles are ROUGHLY radiused like the frets but with a skew towards getting higher above the frets as the strings get larger.
 

galibier_un

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,641
And the bottom line is that all of this is player-specific. I tend to like a slightly rising action, moving from treble to bass strings (i.e. 4/64 at the high-E and a "fat" 4/64 at the low-E as @John Coloccia commented). Others may not.

As @walterw, @John Coloccia and other people smarter than me have noted, we're after getting the action correct, and not so much thinking about radius at the bridge. So, with individually height adjustable saddles, you're dialing in the action to your preference and you're done.

With respect to bridges without individual saddle height adjustment, one has to assume the company knew what they were doing as far as the radius is concerned. If something seems off, then you might have a decision to make as far as filing string notches to your preferences. I'd have to think that this is a pretty rare situation, however.

... Thom
 
Last edited:

John Coloccia

Cold Supporting Member
Messages
9,580
And the bottom line is that all of this is player-specific. I tend to like a slightly rising action, moving from treble to bass strings (i.e. 4/64 at the high-E and a "fat" 4/64 at the low-E as @John Coloccia commented). Others may not.

As @walterw, @John Coloccia and other people smarter than me have noted, we're after getting the action correct, and not so much thinking about radius at the bridge. So, with individually height adjustable saddles, you're dialing in the action to your preference and you're done.

With respect to bridges without individual saddle height adjustment, one has to assume the company knew what they were doing as far as the radius is concerned. If something seems off, then you might have a decision to make as far as filing string notches to your preferences. I'd have to think that this is a pretty rare situation, however.

... Thom
Hey Thom,

When I have bridges that don't have individual height adjustments, I just file things down to where they belong. This isn't rocket science. You know, if anyone ever complained that I "ruined" their bridge, or whatever, I would just buy them a new bridge and be done with it. I've never had a complaint.

Stop overthinking it. Strings belong where they belong. Have confidence in your experience and judgement. Get the freaking guitar playing as it should. The company knew what it was doing? BS. I've seen more disastrous setups coming from "big" US companies than I have coming from the "cheap" mass produced guitars in 3rd world Asia.

Seriously, everyone needs to stop overthinking this. Strings belong where they belong. The hardware needs to conform to the needs of the guitar. Period, end of story. It's your job as a luthier, or tech...or just guy who wants to setup his own guitars, to make all of the metal bits proper. This is not complicated.
 

galibier_un

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,641
Hey Thom,

When I have bridges that don't have individual height adjustments, I just file things down to where they belong. This isn't rocket science. You know, if anyone ever complained that I "ruined" their bridge, or whatever, I would just buy them a new bridge and be done with it. I've never had a complaint.

Stop overthinking it. Strings belong where they belong. Have confidence in your experience and judgement. Get the freaking guitar playing as it should. The company knew what it was doing? BS. I've seen more disastrous setups coming from "big" US companies than I have coming from the "cheap" mass produced guitars in 3rd world Asia.

Seriously, everyone needs to stop overthinking this. Strings belong where they belong. The hardware needs to conform to the needs of the guitar. Period, end of story. It's your job as a luthier, or tech...or just guy who wants to setup his own guitars, to make all of the metal bits proper. This is not complicated.
100% agree John. I didn't mean to imply otherwise.

... Thom
 




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