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240 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2009 :  5:46:08 PM  Show Profile
I recently purchased a 1997 Takamine (EN-10C) with a palathetic UST.
The action, although not bad, is a little higher than I am used to (6/64ths at the 12th) so I started investigating. There seems to be plenty of saddle above the bridge (9 or 10 64ths) so I removed the saddle to see if there were any shims under there. There were not (at least not on the short piece of the two piece saddle). What I did find though is that the bottom edge of the saddle is angled, not at a 90 degree angle to the side of the saddle. The cross section looks something like this...looking from the end.

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I was surprised because I thought that there should be the maximum contact possible between the saddle and the UST.
I know that this is not the original saddle because the previous owner told me he replaced it with a bone saddle.
Is this shape normal on the bottom of a saddle? Should the bottom edge be perpendicular to the side of the saddle and sit flat in the bottom of the slot?
Any insight would be helpful.



1628 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2009 :  08:55:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mark's Homepage
Hey Dave -

I'm not a luthier... nor do I play one on TV. However, I believe you do want the bottom of the saddle to have maximum contact with the bridge--particularly if there's a piezo element in there.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate that someone, perhaps the original owner, took some material off the saddle by the usual home style method of holding the saddle with thumb and two fingers while making contact with a bit of sandpaper laid flat on a table.

The usual result is that you take too much material off of one side or the other... It is dang hard to keep it flat.

On the other hand, it may have been a conscious decision to pull some material away from one side of the pickup--maybe to alter the pickup response?? Perhaps one of our resident white lab coat types can answer that one.

At any rate, I'd suggest taking the axe in to a trusted tech for a proper set-up. I've found it pays in the long run.

Good luck!
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