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Acoustic Bass Pickup Volume

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Corey Thrasher, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Corey Thrasher

    Corey Thrasher

    Jan 30, 2013
    I recently did a trade for a Michael Kelly Dragonfly. I was told there was a repair done to try and remedy a buzzing E string. The owner was unsure of the extent of the repair. He did complain that the pickup did not have a consistent volume between each string after the repair.

    The guitar has a intonation issue and the action is/was way too high. At first glance I thought it was just a truss rod adjustment. After doing a slight rod adjustment the intonation got better but it is still a good bit off on the A and E string. Later, while restringing I pulled out the saddle and realized that a wedge of bone had been glued to the bottom.

    The A string is noticeably more quite than the E string when plugged in. I'm not familiar with acoustic pickups so I assume the pickup is located in the bridge. Does string distance from the pickup effect the volume like an electric pickup?

    Would taking a belt sander to the bottom of the saddle be a bad idea?
  2. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses

    Read this stickies on setups.

    The repair was a hackjob, and these ABGs aren't anything to write home about; I had one a few years ago.
  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    It is imperative that the bottom of the pickup and the bottom of the bridge slot are dead flat. A buzz is remedied by raising the saddle.

    It is very possible that someone placed a small shim under the E string portion of the saddle. That would create a large (this is relative, but thousandths count in a major way.) gap under the A string, less under the D and more or less contact under the G. It is that lack of contact that will cause a weak response on the A string. Take the strings off the tuners and carefully lift the saddle out of the slot to determine if this is the problem.
  4. Corey Thrasher

    Corey Thrasher

    Jan 30, 2013
    Yeah I'm not a huge fan of the ABG but since separating from the wife and moving back into a apartment it has been great for quite late night playing.

    I would still like for it to be playable when plugged in. I guess the worst I could do is mess up the saddle and have to buy a new one.

    Thanks for the bit of info.