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ABG saddle slot

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by redname, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. redname


    Apr 30, 2010
    i've got a ABG which has unbalanced string volume when plugged in.

    i did some reading up and most of them point to an uneven saddle or saddle slot.

    I've check the saddle, it's straight, so that leaves the saddle slot.

    how do i level it on my own?

    PS: just in case you are wondering, the ABG is a fender ictor bailey acoustic bass 5 string and i googled that the unbalance volume (at the low B) is a common problem for this bass :meh:
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    By saddle level, it is meant that the bottom of the saddle is not making full contact with the piezo element under it. Sometimes the element is not in full contact with the base of the saddle slot so it is not fully coupled to the body.

    Take strings off. Pull the saddle out and check that the bottom is flat by standing it on a good flat surface. If that's good try to pull the piezo up out of its slot. Do not pry at it, they can break in half. If to is moving but catching in the slot that can be a sign that it isn't well seated. Continue to tease it up out of the slot, gently, using a bent paper clip or similar device. I would use my stainless dental pick set, cheap at hardware stores.

    Once the element is out, you can gently scrape the sides of the slot so it freely can be put in and taken out. Now, look at the wire and the bump it makes on the under side if the piezo. Is it on the B side, if yes is the " bump" not allowing it to sit flat in the slot? Common problem. You will have to gently clear away some wood at the hole the wire passes through to give the bump room to seat. Once that element is well seated, that guitar will sing nicely.

    There is possibility that you have a flexible element. If so pull it out make sure that the wire hole allows good seating and reassemble.

    Edit. The element is not that fragile that it breaks if you look at it. There is a thin steel plate in the element to protect it just don't apply enough pressure to bend it.

    Hey and if its under warranty you should take it to an authorized repairman so if something goes wrong, it's his fault. Not that it will, but under warranty, they should do it for you.
  3. redname


    Apr 30, 2010
    wow, thanks.

    that's really a lot of information, i have to take some time to absorb it.

    you are right that it's a flexible element. my bass teacher told me to change the element to something like the one in the picture, he said it might solve the problem.


    PS: i won't bring it to the shop i got it from cause the last time i brought something to repair at that shop, ittook 3 months and couldn't fix it :mad:, thus I'm checking whether there are any simple solutions that i can handle
  4. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Yes a solid element will likely work better and that mini jack is kind of standard and should plug right into your preamp on the bass. The flexi elements work fine, you just have to ensure its flat in there and the saddle is making good contact. Hogging some wood out around the hole can usually help the situation.
  5. redname


    Apr 30, 2010
    great, think i'm able to get a solid element for cheap from ebay just to try it out.

    sorry, does hogging some wood mean taking out some wood?

    i'm not from America, so there might be some terms I'm not familiar with :)
  6. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Sorry, yes hogging means removing. I guess its slang based on a pig ( hog) digging for truffles. :) The cheap elements on eBay are perfectly good. Piezo elements either work or they are broken; there is no good or bad sounding.
  7. redname


    Apr 30, 2010
    oh no, i think i'm having some issues here.

    i did some measurements and it seems that i'll need an element that's around 8cm long to cover from the hole to the G and most available in the market stops at 7.2cm.

    maybe taht's why a flexible element was used, so that it's able to stretch a bit more
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Ok i think you need to ease the transition of the element from flat in the bottom to through the hole. Now it is a sharp 90 degrees. You need reduce the angle by making the hole larger to give more space for the cable to bend. You can also angle the hole if that makes sense.
  9. redname


    Apr 30, 2010
    tried making the hole larger but still doesn't work out.

    highly possible tht the B string is too near the hole?

    i shimmed the area of the B string by abt 4 name card high and now it sounds more balance but the action is affected
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

  11. redname


    Apr 30, 2010
    yap, i emailed the guys at shadow and they replied me it's 95mm long, so i gotta take some measurements. gonna be quite some work for a DIY job :)