Strat Saddle Rattle?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by dnrohr, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. dnrohr

    dnrohr Member

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    I have a partscaster with a '57/'62 reissue bridge. I've noticed that under certain circumstances the bent steel saddles spread from each other slightly, which results buzz/rattle when I play hard. The solution I've come to is grabbing across all six saddles and pressing them together when this starts to happen, but I'm wondering if there is something in my setup that is causing it or whether it is inherent to these bridges? The saddle heights match the fretboard radius, and the individual pins are set unevenly to approximate the arc. I'm considering setting them evenly, but with the same string height to see whether more sure footing fixes the issue. I'm also thinking about trying the American Std style saddles. I'm a pretty high action player and cannot stand any buzzing at all. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    My strong advice is this:

    Each individual saddle makes a better mechanical connection and sounds better if both feet are sharing the load equally. Imagine that you are standing up - your strongest stance is when you're balanced between both your feet - the same principal applies to the saddles.

    Following the radius of the fret board is correct, but each individual saddle should be "square to the bridge plate", NOT cocked to one side or the other. The saddle/ string height should still follow the radius, but both feet on each saddle should share the load equally.

    Each individual saddle should look "level" when you sight down the neck from the nut end. Both legs should be the same length (if the allen screws are indeed the same length). They should look like a staircase - step up from the low E to the A and up to the D, nearly equal height to the G, and step back down to the B and then the high E.

    Hope this helps, Dana O.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  3. mellecaster

    mellecaster Member

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    Yeah....try getting you height screws to approx. the same height on each individual saddle...It will still let you keep your radius.
     
  4. dnrohr

    dnrohr Member

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    Thanks, Dana. That was my suspicion. I had always set them that way, but the guy who replaced my nut placed them on the arc. It would make sense why I didn't notice it before a couple months ago.
     
  5. twostring

    twostring Member

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    For some reason, certain bridges with the bent steel saddles will have this problem. I resorted to safety wiring them to squeeze them together on one Strat I worked on a long time ago. It did the trick.

    Safety wire is used to secure critical bolts on aircraft, race vehicles, etc. I already had a fairly small gauge safety wire laying around from my shifter kart, so I just gave it a try. The wire is strong, but is easy to manipulate. I ran the wire under the saddles just behind the height screws, and then over the tops just under the strings behind the "humps". I wish I had a picture of it. Then I just twisted the wire on the treble side, which applied just enough tension to pull the saddles together. I clipped the twist down to about 1/4" and tucked it under the high E saddle. No buzz and no issues after that.

    A quick demo video on safety wire. I would think green gardening/craft wire would work as well, but that wire is very easy to break.

     
  6. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Good call Two String - I do this on one of my Strats too - works great! I used a G string (GRIN)

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  7. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    Well said Dana!
     

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