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Aligning bridge saddles (string spacing?)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Flippy, Oct 4, 2017.


  1. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    My new Aerodyne bass has a basic L-shaped bridge. After changing the strings, I noticed a gap between the saddles (originally the gap was also present, but in a different spot). How significant is the alignment of saddles?

    If this seems like a novice question, that's because I haven't seen such bridge in a very long time - my LTD bass has a similar bridge, but that one has guides for the saddle screws and they always align nicely.

    Also yay, NBD :hyper:

    IMG_20171004_112831.jpg
     
  2. If the strings aren’t falling off of the board you’re probably fine. Also, it looks like one of those saddle height screws is sticking out of the top of the E saddle more than the other. I’d bet that if you get that saddle leveled up and parallel to the bridge plate at the correct string height that gap will mostly or completely close up.
     
    digmeout, JLS and 96tbird like this.
  3. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    If you're concerned about the positions of the saddles - move them.
     
  4. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    You were right, the E string saddle had quite a slant. I straightened it out and the gaps are less severe, but still present. Luckily this is just an aesthetic issue, like strings being misaligned over pickup pole pieces.
     
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    From looking at the height-adjustment screws, I'll venture to say that the saddles are not level / parallel with the base plate. Re-adjust accordingly. The saddles should not be tilted in an attempt to mimic the fretboard radius.

    Riis
     
  6. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    Only the E string saddle was tilted, but all the saddles are flat now :thumbsup:

    IMG_20171004_154044.jpg
     
  7. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    Avoid tilting the individual saddles. But same height is not mandatory, nor recommended, from saddle to saddle. Follow the radius of the fretboard. Easiest if you have a radius gauge. Set the G and E strings to the recommended height, use the radius gauge to adjust the A and D strings appropriately. Adjust the saddles forward and backwards until the intonation is correct at the open and 12th frets. Any time you move the saddles any which way, this will change slightly. If the open is in tune and the 12th is sharp, move the saddle back. If flat, move the saddle forward.
     
  8. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Better! I'm really OCD about this and sight over the bridge backplate so they're spot-on. The D is good, the others are still off a tad.

    Riis
     
  9. Flippy

    Flippy

    Jun 9, 2017
    Europe
    Thanks, I know this stuff :) I'm concerned only about the horizontal alignment, i.e. the saddles moving left and right.
     
  10. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Cool! Take a long racheted electric tie, wrap it around all 4 intonation screws behind the saddles, and cinch it up.

    Riis
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    one more reason the vintage-style threaded saddles are better! you spread the string spacing out a little (so it lines up between the bridge jazz pickup magnets) and that will cause the outer strings to pull their saddles in towards the middle, holding them all together nicely.
     
    JLS and 96tbird like this.
  12. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    You should get this actually.

    YAP_0977.JPG
     
    walterw likes this.

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