Need help, My guitar has a weird bridge...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by guitguy28, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. guitguy28

    guitguy28 Member

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    I own an electric dobro with a non-adjustable wooden bridge that's exactly perpendicular to the strings.

    Every guitar I've seen has its bridge saddles on a diagonal.

    Now, I'm by no means a "techie" (which is why I I'm asking this), but does this mean that my electric dobro-with its perpendicular bridge alignment- would have some major intonation issues?

    Help! Thanks.
     
  2. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    Any fretted instrument needs to have SOME basic compensation in order to play reasonably in tune, and yours is no exception.

    Can you post a photo? - as you state it's an electric model, so it would help a lot to see how it's configured in order to offer the best solution.
     
  3. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    What is an electric dobro? Never heard of something like that...?

    Do you maybe mean a lap steel guitar (played with a steel bar instead of being freted with fingers)?
    In that case, a straight bridge would not be unusual: since the strings aren't fretted, but played with a steel bar, intonation has to be done by ear, anyway (like on a violin, or any other fretless stringed instrument), so an intonation-compensated bridge would not make sense!
     
  4. guitguy28

    guitguy28 Member

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    The guitar is a Jay Turser JT-RES. It's a bolt-on, 25.5" scale, with a LP-style body. It has a mini-humbucker in the neck, with a dobro cone and spider (I assume that's what they call the metal assemby underneath?). The wood bridge has a piezo pickup underneath. It's more or less a solid-body electric.

    The wood bridge is about 3/8" wide and sits in a metal assembly. It is 90 degrees to the strings. There appears to be no compensation for the different string lengths.
     
  5. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    Does it sound out of tune?

    Yes, maybe the cone or biscuit should be tilted a bit. Still, no need to go looking for problems if you can't hear anything wrong. Listen to it. Check the intonation. That's where the answer to your question is.
     
  6. Chris Scott

    Chris Scott Silver Supporting Member

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    ... and all bets are off if you're only playing slide on it.
     
  7. bluesjunior

    bluesjunior Member

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    If it is built on the same principal as my accoustic Dobro then the spider sits on top of the cone with the maple saddle at the centre of the spider and the spider can be set in any position. Unscrew and take the cover plate off the cone. You should find that the spider just sits on top. Take a new set of strings and put on the top and bottom E's and tune them to pitch. Now using a chromatic tuner turn the spider until you have the intonation on both E's as close as you can get them. When you are happy with the position take a small screw and screw it into the wood at the edge of where the cone sits with the head at the back of one of the spider legs/arms. This will stop it from moving and also mark your position. Take the two strings off again,replace the cover and then restring and retune with all six strings and you should be good to go.
     
  8. Liquid Quarter

    Liquid Quarter Member

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    I concur....:)

    Not being totally familiar with your electric dobro.........if your using this instrument in a lap steel manner, your basically playing "fretless". When playing "chords" they may sound out of wack.....it may be necessary to "temper" the tuning. On my (normally G-tuned) squareneck Resonator Guitar, I drop the "B" strings about 2 to 3 cents and chords are in tune. This is fairly common practice for squareneck dobro players to do, so this is nothing new. The acoustic wood-body dobros I have do not have any compensated bridges. With lap steel instruments you generally have to develop a good eye (aim) and a good ear (intonation) :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008

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