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saddle bottomed and fully extended

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bnolsen, Jul 14, 2014.


  1. bnolsen

    bnolsen

    Jan 30, 2014
    denver area
    So I just got a stock used squier bronco for almost a song and a dance. That its a bronco doesn't really matter, btw.

    Truss rod? Maybe need a quarter turn to reduce relief...let it slide for now.

    drop the saddles...outer strings bottomed out. Move the saddles...uhoh, the DG saddle is almost out threads (definitely far inside the saddle) and still flat at the 12th fret. The EA is not far behind but okay intonation, just bottomed out. Both sets of saddles are sitting on the bridge screws.

    So I've got 2 adjustments to do. Since I'm lazy I'll ask here first.

    First easy one would be to do that quarter turn on the truss rod. Would that move the saddles back?
    Second of course is to add a neck shim to lift the saddles. Would that move the saddles back as well?

    And if neither helps the saddles, does that mean I have to replace/move the bridge?

    And if its important the bronco is wearing a set of earnie ball slinkies.
     
  2. Jefff

    Jefff

    Aug 14, 2013
    Chicago
    I have seen a saddle ground down on the bottom to lower it. It's easier the shimming the neck. And maybe a longer screw for the other problem?
     
  3. bnolsen

    bnolsen

    Jan 30, 2014
    denver area
    here's what i mean. the saddles sit on the screw heads:

    20140714_213034_resized.

    shimming should be easy, just grab some shim material.
     
  4. elBandito

    elBandito

    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Shim the neck.
     
    Pilgrim likes this.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Neither will have a profound influence on the saddle position in terms of intonation. Couple of questions:

    *Did you set your witness point at both the nut and bridge?

    *Exactly how are you verifying / setting intonation?

    Placement of a full-pocket or end-of-pocket shim are your singularly best options for dealing with a bridge that has bottomed-out.

    Riis
     
  6. bnolsen

    bnolsen

    Jan 30, 2014
    denver area
    for truss rod i currently tune it up then just visually check by depressing e string first fret and 17, check gap at 8 or so. Also depress fret 12 and check about 6 or so as well. need to dig up those feeler gauges again.

    then i tune it up. in turn drop each saddle low enough to get fret buzz. raise saddles until buzz goes away (. At this point the strings are flat. Retune, check again, possibly try dropping each saddle again for fine tune. fret 21 seems to be a tad high on the bronco.

    tune back up. adjust the saddle screws using 12th fret. retune string every adjustment and check neighbors. when in tune check 3rd, 5th, 10th, 17th. at this point the G&D strings are still slightly flat at the 12th and uniformly so along the frets.

    this is the 4th bass i've adjusted intonation on, i adjusted truss rods on each of the others. I've also worked over 4 or 5 ukuleles, those aren't as adjustable as basses sadly.

    Just measured: 12th fret string height: G just over 1.5mm, E just under 2mm. For me these heights play just fine. Okay fender likes to use the 17th fret but the quick check height wasn't much different there (I'm at work now).
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    As you've already noted, you have to make some compromise when dealing with "shared" saddles. I would, however, re-establish my witness points if not already done so and check my intonation using the old stand-by 12 fretted vs 12 harmonic. The fact the G & D (sharing the same saddle) are flat shows some promise although a longer intonation screw may be in order. I absolutely hate how the saddle height screws are sitting directly on the bridge mounting screws! You may want to consider replacing them (they appear to be pan head) with stainless steel flathead PH screws so they sit flush with the base plate.

    Riis
     
    Immigrant likes this.
  8. Would going with a larger string gauge make a difference? Those strings look awfully light.

    I only ask because I have a firm belief that if you go up to a higher gauge, the saddles generally need to go back to compensate and intonate IME.*


    *I'm also usually wrong
     
  9. JLS

    JLS

    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Easier than a neck shim? In what universe?
     
  10. Jefff

    Jefff

    Aug 14, 2013
    Chicago
    Ok...easier for me.But that was before I saw the bridge. Frankly, I would replace the bridge with a 4 saddle type. then grind as needed. I like the best possible neck to pocket connection.
     
  11. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    ^^ ++
    I agree, and to also mount the replacement bridge so that the saddles are within intonation range.
     
  12. bnolsen

    bnolsen

    Jan 30, 2014
    denver area
    Looking into what new bridge to get at the moment. I'm guessing a basic 5 screw fender replacement won't have any better travel than the stock bronco? At least those forward screws will be gone.

    Also the strings are somewhat dirty. I'm not a round wounder so I may just decide to order some flats to put on this. Perhaps those might take care of the problem for me.

    I'll recheck the action again tonight if possible and probably do that truss rod adjustment as well to see what gives...and mess with the witness point stuffs.
     
  13. Lawuka

    Lawuka

    May 3, 2013
    RI
    If you shim the neck. You have to raise the strings. When you raise the strings. That also makes them all go sharp. When they are sharp, you have to move the saddle back. Pretty much solving most of your problems.
     
  14. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    As in the other 30+ threads asking the same question: shim the neck.
     
  15. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    if you replace the bridge, make sure to check the string width. i believe your current bridge has a narrower string width than standard fender.
     
    Immigrant likes this.
  16. bnolsen

    bnolsen

    Jan 30, 2014
    denver area
    perhaps but searching didn't exactly quickly lead to all 30+ threads.

    thanks lawuka, that's what I needed to know, I guess I should have figured that out myself.
     
  17. Lawuka

    Lawuka

    May 3, 2013
    RI
    No problem, good luck bro.
     
  18. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Like bass guitar OMG!

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    I seem to remember reading somewhere that they put out a run of broncos that had the nut misplaced by about an 1/8" or something crazy like that.
    That being said it might be worth a check to see whether or not the distance from the nut to the 12th is 15"
     
  19. elBandito

    elBandito

    Dec 3, 2008
    Rotten Apple
    Not true. Shimming the neck changes the neck angle, but the plane on which the neck and bridge lie on remains the same. It's just that before shimming, you're already bottomed out. When you shim the neck without raising the saddles, you're actually lowering the action.

    Have you seen a gibson les paul or sg? They have some extreme neck angle compared to fenders.
     
  20. Lawuka

    Lawuka

    May 3, 2013
    RI
    We're going to have to agree to disagree. shimming the neck will solve this problem.
     

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