Bridge Saddle Design Question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ESP-LTD, Sep 17, 2001.

  1. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I was looking at the bridge on my new bass; the saddles are cylinders with a set screw on either side of the center. Pretty much like a Fender with a better base.

    It occurs to me that a string would probably sound best with a "sharp" witness point, instead of just riding over a cylinder. I was wondering if anyone had any information on that.
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    A lot of guitar bridges have sharper witness points because of the smaller strings. The trick is for it not to be too sharp. If so, you are increasing the chances of strings breaking.

    IME, the more important aspect of bridge design is mass and precise tolerances. Even the more reputible aftermarkets makers like Leo Quan, ABM or Gotoh don't have particularly sharp saddles.
  3. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Actually, an ideal saddle would be cone-shaped sleeve, a collet, which grabs the string but doesn't bend it. At least, that's what experts say. But you're probably talking about the real world and this design doesn't exist as far as I know, (which isn't all that far).

    A luthier (last name was Tripp), made one bridge like this that was shown to give far superior sustain and harmonics. For some reason, it was deemed impractical from a marketing standpoint. So, there may be an opportunity for somebody good with metal.

    The downside of a sharp witness point would seem to me to be that the string would favor sideways/up or down motion, in the direction(s) it was being plucked/picked because there is less contact area with the saddle. That would affect harmonics.

    There's also an issue with nodes, antinodes, and harmonics which escapes me at the moment.
  4. I can't find it now, it must have been old news, but Ned Steinberger helped to develope an acoustic guitar that used a similar system. They designed it to have no tension on the top plate, the bridge some how just grabbed the strings which were then anchored to a tailpiece.
    Anyway, the point here was to get a better tone as they were able to build it with no bracing on the top plate and without the strings being pre-bent all the vibration transferred, not just the up vibration.