What do I do about these saddles?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by mike80, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. mike80

    mike80 Member

    Messages:
    2,665
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    Near Lima, Ohio
    I took all the strings off my Schecter C1 Classic the other day to clean it and polish the fretboard. Then I noticed the saddles have indentations from the string windings...like a mold of the string. Is this something to be concerned about? Should I try to polish them out, or leave them be? My guess is that it could cause tuning problems, along with a higher chance of string breakage.

    It's a TonePros locking bridge, and I thought it wouldn't be as soft of metal as it is. I was kinda surprised to see string imprints in it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  2. mike80

    mike80 Member

    Messages:
    2,665
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    Near Lima, Ohio
  3. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

    Messages:
    16,945
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well, i'd say if your not noticing any issues, just leave them be. If you start to have tuning, intonation or other issues, replace them.
     
  4. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,533
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    Location:
    North NJ
    There's probably some life left in the saddles for sure... and you can VERY gently file out those indentations. They ain't dead yet!
     
  5. Bob V

    Bob V Member

    Messages:
    1,191
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Glen Head, New York
    The genglest way to smooth out the saddle notches is to put some grit or polishing compound on a scrap piece of string and use it to buff the notch. Old fashioned automotive compound (the gritty stuff they sold when cars were made of steel and backseat seatbelts were for sissies). Will do the trick, just get a little in the windings of the string. Works for nut slots, too, as long as you go slow and don't actually cut anything deeper.
     
  6. 57paf

    57paf Member

    Messages:
    231
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Maybe you should show it to a tech before doing anything.
    I'm not sure what kind of bridge is on a Schecter. Would it happen to be a Gibson-style Tunomatic? Those bridges come with notchless saddles, usually brass, sometimes nylon or aluminum. In Dan Erlewine's book, you are supposed to whack the saddle with a rubber mallet to make an imprinted notch so the strings don't slide off the saddle. If that were the case, it might be okay if the notches aren't too deep.
     
  7. mike80

    mike80 Member

    Messages:
    2,665
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    Near Lima, Ohio
    It's a TOM style bridge. I think it must be aluminum, because it seems very soft. The saddles do have a slight notch in them, and I had to deepen the slot for the low E...it kept flopping off the saddle. When I filed it down, it didn't appear to be brass colored, and filed rather easily.

    I started wondering about it because I didn't notice the imprints when I changed strings a few weeks ago, and this week I broke the A string. I wondered if the saddles could have something to do with it. Other than that, I haven't experienced any tuning or intonation problems.
     
  8. Tinman

    Tinman Member

    Messages:
    1,949
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2005
    Location:
    Rockford, Illinois
    I don't think Erlewine recommends that method. I recall that he witnessed folks doing that at the Gibson factory. Anyhow, if your saddles are notched, I'm not sure what your issue is. Do you mean that you can see the impressions of the windings on the wound strings within the notches?

    If that's what you're referring to, use nut files to smooth them out, and then polish them a bit if'n you please.
     
  9. mike80

    mike80 Member

    Messages:
    2,665
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Location:
    Near Lima, Ohio
    They did have a slight notch in them when I first bought the guitar, but now it's string impressions on the E and A strings.

    I would take a picture, but my crappy camera won't focus in on the saddles well enough.
     
  10. GtrDr

    GtrDr Member

    Messages:
    799
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central Florida
    As long as your not breaking strings & the string radius matches the neck radius, you should be ok. If you get loud pings & the string jumps sharp as you tune up, then smoothing out the slots are a good idea. It's best to do all six, so the string radius stays the same. It's real important to have the correct nut slot files to do this acurately. The slots need to have a smooth, round bottom so strings dont hang up. Just have your tech go over them at the next set up. I use Big Bends in the string slots as the nut & saddles.
     

Share This Page