String Saddles Bottoming Out

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Matt R., Mar 23, 2014.


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  1. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

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    I have a '78 Fender Jazz Bass and I have had constant problems with the height adjustment screws working themselves down as I play. It can take as little as one song to completely bottom the saddle out.
    I have replaced the saddle 4 times now with brand new saddles.
    The current bridge is a brand new Fender 70s Reissue. The replacement saddles have all been brand new Fender 70s RI saddles.
    The break angle of the string over the saddle seems just fine.
    And I'm not interested in using nail polish or loctite to fix this. A new bridge shouldn't have this problem.
    There is apparently another issue going on here. Has anyone had something like this happen?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

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    I forgot to mention, this is ONLY ON THE E STRING.
     
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

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    The issue is vibration. It rotates fasteners. If it didn't, your car would never squeak. Your reluctance is sorry ridiculous. They are free floating screws that tighten against nothing that holds them in place.best quality clean threads are supposed to offer little resistance. Only crappy badly cut threads offer resistance to turning.

    You can't expect no movement on an instruments that it's entire purpose is to vibrate!

    Get some BLUE loctite and put it on the screw threads. Wind the screws too far out the bottom of the saddle. Put a dap if loctite on the threads. Wind screw back up into the saddle and set height. Wait for it to dry and it won't move

    Make sure to put just a tiny dot of loctite on the threads so you can break it free easily. A toothpick works good to apply.

    Alternatively nail polish works well. That's what they used in the old days: 1960s
     
  4. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

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    Thanks. But again, I want to fix the issue. I've never had this problem on a new bridge and I've used a ton of these Fender reissue bridges without any problem.
     
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  6. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

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    Well your expectations on threads are beyond the realm of reality. You've said you changed saddles to no avail.

    Your other basses obviously had threads that had enough burrs on them to catch and not turn. Your new on has clean threads so they move easily.

    You can't beat the laws of physics

    You can remove the screws and put burrs on the threads. :eyebrow:

    If you really can't get past this, get a Babicz which by design virtually eliminates vibrational issues. Or sell the bass.
     
  7. Bobster

    Bobster

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    Have you used other bridges on this particular bass that haven't had the problem?

    I only ask because not all wood is equal. Some pieces of wood will resonate more than others and this bass may produce more vibration that the others you've worked with before.

    Just a thought.

    Anyway, best of luck with the solution!

    Bob
     
  8. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

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    Thanks!

    I had a bridge on there when I first got the bass a year ago (Fender 70s RI). The same thing happened, but over the course of a gig or two.
    Since then when I've replaced them, the problem has been way more pronounced as described above.
    I've considered the possibility that there's some inherent weirdness with the bass's resonance, and have had that same thing suggested recently as well.

    I'm trying to exhaust all ideas before resorting to a Babicz. It would surely solve the issue, but damn they look goofy on beat up old Fenders. ;)

    It's hard to imagine that bridge not sticking out like a sore thumb on this bass:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings Supporting Member

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    At the end of the day, as already mentioned, the forces moving the set screws are string vibration. If you don't want to use loctite or nail polish or put a burr in the screw threads, how about replacing the set screws with one that already has a nylon patch built in to prevent vibration movement? Here's a link: http://www.mcmaster.com/#set-screws/=r7zssb and go to cup point screws, then go to nylon patch locking screws.

    If were me I'd probably use a pair of pliers to put a slight crimp in the threads of the offending set screw, or use a wee bit of gunk of some sort. But it's your bass so perhaps these nylon patch screws would suit you better.
     
  10. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that link man!
     
  11. rogerb

    rogerb

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    I tried some of that plummers tape around the threads, that worked for a while but they still slip and change, so I just put a couple of plastic shims underneath at the height I want for each string, 1, 2 or 3 thin peices between the screws. They've stayed ever since. Not pretty but not ugly either, good temporary solution that has just become long term for me.
     
  12. squirefan

    squirefan

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    If you can find a tiny nut to fit the screw, you can tighten it against the bottom of the saddle as a locknut once the height you want is set.
     
  13. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

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    :eyebrow:

    96tbird is right. The fix is a small drop of blue loctite. Back the screw out almost all the way and put a dab on the threads. Screw it back in and let it set. Simple enough.
     
  14. JustForSport

    JustForSport

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    Better than typical Loctite is Hi-Tack Spray-a-Gasket:
    it doesn't lock the threads, just leaves a soft vibration damper between the male and female threads. Also, once it sets up, it doesn't attract dirt, etc.
    Works on diesel engine and small 'shakey engine' bolts.
    Requires almost no extra torque to remove the bolts/screws it has been applied to. This prevents stripping out the tool/driver slot- hex, phillips, etc.
    Side benefit- it also seals threads to prevent moisture migration: no corrosion/oxidation.
    Just remove the screws, lay 'em or a sheet of paper, spray lightly, then re-install.
     
  15. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

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    So, you don't want to fix this. What's your point, then?
     
  16. joeyl

    joeyl Supporting Member

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    I think we have had an amazing run of people running to the Internet asking for help, then dismiss all advice as garbage :rollno::scowl:
     
  17. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

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    I didn't dismiss it as garbage, but feel free to mischaracterize my post all you want. I'm asking about a stupid saddle on a bass, so there's no need to be condescending here folks. I posed the question in hopes of figuring out if there was an inherent problem in the instrument itself.
    I want a permanent fix, that was the point. I decided to say screw it and buy a Babicz. Fixed.
     
  18. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

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    The point was I want to fix this. Not rig it. I just double checked, and my original post was indeed in English. Jesus.
     
  19. squirefan

    squirefan

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  20. Matt R.

    Matt R. Supporting Member

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    The bridge isn't the issue necessarily, so it's going in my spare parts stash.
     
  21. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

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    He BOUGHT another bridge, rather than fix this.

    So, yeah, agreed.
     

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