Fishman Powerbridge low E saddle not working

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by 9fingers, May 14, 2015.

  1. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    i have a TOM (LP style) Fishman Powerbridge ( their model appears to be Pro TOM 101). The low E saddle is not working. Does anyone how to troubleshoot these things? I'm not sure if it is the saddle or another problem. I see they sell replacement saddles for the Strat type bridges but don't see anything for the TOM type.
    The guitar was bumped on that side of the bridge. How delicate are the piezo elements in these? Would that have caused it?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    you might be very lucky and have a busted wire coming out of the saddle, where they all solder underneath.

    if not, if that wire is solidly attached, then the saddle itself is bad and there's no fix other than replacing it.

    if you or your tech are up for "open-heart surgery on hamsters" you might get a replacement saddle from fishman and wire it in to the bridge.

    the issue there becomes the output level, as piezo saddles apparently have an annoying habit of being unpredictable as to how loud they are once assembled; the companies will make a bunch of saddles, measure their relative output levels, and match them together into sets, almost like power tubes. a single replacement might be noticeably different in level, or it might not.
     
  3. robdean

    robdean Member

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    Late contribution for future reference:
    I had a saddle go bad, low resistance so effectively shorted the whole bridge.
    I was able to dismantle the bridge and remove the bad saddle, but felt I needed to unsolder them all to get access. In fact come to think of it I had to unsolder them all anyway in order to test which saddle was bad, given that I was getting no output!
    There's a hairspring that holds the saddle screws so they can't inadvertently (or easily) be removed, but either by hooking the loop of spring from above or pushing the spring from below I managed to free the screw (I'm not sure which worked, I tried both!) The screw just needs to slip under the spring by less than a millimetre to engage the thread rather than the retaining groove.
    I gently explored the black seal on the back of the saddle with a cool soldering iron but decided I couldn't achieve much. To my amazement, when I re-tested it it was working, so the heat or pressure must've done something :)
    I mailed Fishman about replacement saddles, but despite their apparently good reputation for support I received no useful information back, although I will pursue them. I was frank with them about not being the first owner of the bridge, but since I was quite happy to pay for spares I don't see how this should have put them off from replying to me.
     
  4. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    OP here, I should have updated. I communicated with Fishman & got very prompt and personal replies. I could either buy the one saddle and futz with the little wire, or send it to them & let them do it for not a whole lot more money. I sent it to Fishman & got the whole bridge back like new (might be a new one). It was all very quick and cost something like $50.
     
    robdean likes this.

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