Author Topic: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much  (Read 2869 times)

Red Lester

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new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« on: March 16, 2014, 09:41:19 PM »
acoustic archtop adjustments made over the weekend
with wisdom gathered from several online posts I decided to lower the string exit height closer to fret height,
also i fashioned a new bridge from a white tail deer antler, the previous bridge I had carved from oak wood mill work and it was too tall;
the neew bridge is not as tall, plus the saddled, carved from a piece of beef bone, fits better (lower and more stably) into the slot in the new antler bridge.  I do not have proper tools to make this stuff;  I ended up putting 2 blades on my hack saw frame to make the slot on the antler bridge for the bone saddle. I think the nut is actually some type of plastic but I was too tired to make a nice antler nut yesterday - maybe soon I'll replace the plastic nut with a antler one.
any how, the guitar sounds a lot nicer now, louder, and truer pitch at the high frets.
My motivation for this little project was that after recently stringing with 12-56, heavier than previous strings, the new strings did not fit into the nut slots or the saddle slots, not they do, and the action is lower now too.
But I got me a problem with the heavier strings, I need to discipline my left hand fingers because now I a lot of string buzz, not from unwanted fret or pickup contact, but from the side of my fingers contacting the strings.  I've always had the issue but now it is worse -- I am not willing to thin down my fingers so I have lots of practice ahead of me to train my fingers to keep correct posture and not touch the strings to the side of the finger.  attached is a view of the new antler bridge (and old bone saddle) the view is looking down from the neck toward the bridge

http://burlapandblues.com/viewphoto.php?photo=1395004563.jpg
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 09:47:17 PM by Red Lester »

KenBJammen

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 11:04:33 PM »
Does anyone ever read these things.  I have some guitars, some amps and some effects but none of them play the guitar for me.... Yet.

yosoytudios

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2014, 01:12:50 AM »
you need to go to a good tech. those are far from proper saddle sluts (actually you don't need sluts in the saddle at all anyway), and certainly not intonated. the buzz is from incorrect finger position, you are not coming in at the proper angle from the top, and not fretting the notes with the tip of the finger. play chromatics on each string and play the open string above and below the fretted string after each note, they should be nice and clean without any contact anywhere. of course, this is not easy, i doubt most of the guys here at bab can do this.

RichR

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 02:10:21 PM »
My brain keeps trying to change "antler bridge" to "alter bridge".  Curious about why you wanted to lower the string exit height. 

Can't tell for sure from the pic, but it doesn't look like the saddle positions are 'compensated'.  Usually a non-adjustable bridge has an angle to approximate intontation.  Maybe the angle is there, and just doesn't show in the pic.

Curious about those 'saddle sluts'.  Is that the technical term for rodeo groupies?

KenBJammen

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2014, 03:17:46 PM »
play chromatics on each string and play the open string above and below the fretted string after each note, they should be nice and clean without any contact anywhere. of course, this is not easy, i doubt most of the guys here at bab can do this.

That is difficult.  I have been writing songs that have open string voicings (5th fret, 7th fret etc) and it has taken a great deal of practice and skill to get them clean. 
Does anyone ever read these things.  I have some guitars, some amps and some effects but none of them play the guitar for me.... Yet.

Red Lester

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 03:48:14 PM »
.....play chromatics on each string .....


Well I will have to google "chromatics" sometime soon because I don't know whata re "chromatics"  in this context.
I have a "chromatic" harp, for some reason they call it chromatic due to it has a button on one side that sort of bends the notes.


RichR

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 03:53:26 PM »
.....play chromatics on each string .....


Well I will have to google "chromatics" sometime soon because I don't know whata re "chromatics"  in this context.
I have a "chromatic" harp, for some reason they call it chromatic due to it has a button on one side that sort of bends the notes.

Chromatic just means moving fret by fret-- musically, half-steps.

Red Lester

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2014, 03:54:42 PM »
My brain keeps trying to change "antler bridge" to "alter bridge".  Curious about why you wanted to lower the string exit height. 

Can't tell for sure from the pic, but it doesn't look like the saddle positions are 'compensated'.  Usually a non-adjustable bridge has an angle to approximate intontation.  Maybe the angle is there, and just doesn't show in the pic.

Curious about those 'saddle sluts'.  Is that the technical term for rodeo groupies?

I lowered the nut exit height to enhance the pitch when fingering the top few frets.

The bridge is slanted some, with the first High E closer to the neck than the 6th low E.
The slant is less than it was with the taller bridge.  Don't know why less comp needed with lower string height, but I am getting same tone from 12th fret chime and fingering, that is how I position the bridge, for each string I get same tone form chiming over the 12th fret and fingering above the 12th fret.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2014, 03:56:58 PM by Red Lester »

yosoytudios

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2014, 05:50:27 PM »
My brain keeps trying to change "antler bridge" to "alter bridge".  Curious about why you wanted to lower the string exit height. 

Can't tell for sure from the pic, but it doesn't look like the saddle positions are 'compensated'.  Usually a non-adjustable bridge has an angle to approximate intontation.  Maybe the angle is there, and just doesn't show in the pic.

Curious about those 'saddle sluts'.  Is that the technical term for rodeo groupies?

I lowered the nut exit height to enhance the pitch when fingering the top few frets.

The bridge is slanted some, with the first High E closer to the neck than the 6th low E.
The slant is less than it was with the taller bridge.  Don't know why less comp needed with lower string height, but I am getting same tone from 12th fret chime and fingering, that is how I position the bridge, for each string I get same tone form chiming over the 12th fret and fingering above the 12th fret.
we have some terminology issues. i think you mean the nut height as measured by the first fret string clearance. the nut exit height would be the height of the nut going towards the tuners, would not affect the pitch at the lower frets (the top frets are at the end of the neck closer to the bridge, the lower frets are closer to the nut).
fingering at the 12th fret isn't always meaningful for intonation, i have seen many people push the string really hard and that changes the intonation, so less angle is needed on the saddle for compensation because the finger pressure makes up for some of it. since the thinner strings bend easier, the apparent compensation is less, but only because of poor technique.

Red Lester

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2014, 10:56:18 PM »
My brain keeps trying to change "antler bridge" to "alter bridge".  Curious about why you wanted to lower the string exit height. 

Can't tell for sure from the pic, but it doesn't look like the saddle positions are 'compensated'.  Usually a non-adjustable bridge has an angle to approximate intontation.  Maybe the angle is there, and just doesn't show in the pic.

Curious about those 'saddle sluts'.  Is that the technical term for rodeo groupies?



I lowered the nut exit height to enhance the pitch when fingering the top few frets.

The bridge is slanted some, with the first High E closer to the neck than the 6th low E.
The slant is less than it was with the taller bridge.  Don't know why less comp needed with lower string height, but I am getting same tone from 12th fret chime and fingering, that is how I position the bridge, for each string I get same tone form chiming over the 12th fret and fingering above the 12th fret.
we have some terminology issues. i think you mean the nut height as measured by the first fret string clearance. the nut exit height would be the height of the nut going towards the tuners, would not affect the pitch at the lower frets (the top frets are at the end of the neck closer to the bridge, the lower frets are closer to the nut).
fingering at the 12th fret isn't always meaningful for intonation, i have seen many people push the string really hard and that changes the intonation, so less angle is needed on the saddle for compensation because the finger pressure makes up for some of it. since the thinner strings bend easier, the apparent compensation is less, but only because of poor technique.

Usted es (or may I say Tu eres)
Me, I am definitely not a precision nut so I fret little about my poor technique.  I take seriously you advice about left hand finger approach to the strings - I am going to work on that to reduce that string buzzing against adjacent fingers. Thanks.  As for my imprecise terminology, I am untrained in the proper terminology so it somehow seemed to me that the frets usually higher from the ground might be called the higher frets, now it seems higher frets means higher in Hz not altitude. And I when I said nut exit I did mean the side of the nut toward the fingerboard, not toward the pegs.  Well here in my 68th winter I hope I am never too old to learn.  But I will say this one thing, I like the way my playing and singing sounds even while I do seek to improve it without changing it very much.
Now that I have put new strings on the thing, I wish I had got flatwounds, because the squeak of my fingers moving along the strings is a horrible sound that rasps my nerves.  I know some will say just don't touch the strings except to push down at such and such fret, but my style requires sometimes sliding my finger along a string, that behavior cannot be eliminated. 
Another finger-string buzz issue is with my picking/strumming hand - I am in the habit of leaving my finger tip close to the string after having plucked the string, now I am getting buzz from that! I guess the reason I keep the finger tip close by the string after having plucked it is to sometimes damp the string, so now I guess I must begin a new habit of damping softer tissue like the heel of my palm or maybe damping with some part of the left hand, but I just can't imagine that very well, especially when there is a desire to only damp that one string by its own self without damping other strings simultaneously. 
I really don't like all this technical stuff because it impinges on the free flow of my playing.  But, I guess that impingement plus improved results is better than continuance of unwanted sounds (aka noises).
   


yosoytudios

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2014, 04:32:22 AM »
red, i command you for wanting to learn. look at honky, at close to 80 he is still trying to learn (of course he hasn't actually managed to learn a thing in 50 years). i know you meant towards to fingerboard, but the nut exit is the other way. think about it like this, the string starts at the bridge.
there is nothing wrong with muting with the right hand fingers. just pickup the fingers a little higher after picking so they don't make contact when you don't mean to. properly done, it is always a combination of left hand, palm and right hand fingers.

RichR

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2014, 01:01:10 PM »
Finger ease (spray lube) can help with the squeaks.

yosoytudios

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2014, 05:32:31 PM »
Finger ease (spray lube) can help with the squeaks.
it does. also recording or polished strings work much better than flat wounds and are designed to minimize string squeaking.

DannyDV8

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2014, 12:20:18 AM »
You might even try Half Round strings; best of botyh worlds!  The Finger Ease deal helps a bunch as well!
They call it the Blues, but the shit makes me SMILE!

Red Lester

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Re: new (lower) saddle and lower nut exit helped much
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2014, 07:09:56 PM »
probably I'll try the Finger Ease, expensive strings are not in the plan.

I appreciate all the posts.
Thanks.